Memo from Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat

Please read this bulletin from K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams.

Hello Everyone:

There have been many conversations with CUPE, Government and BCPSEA around ensuring wages, benefits and safety for our members during this pandemic.

Please find below the email from BCPSEA and the attached letter from Government outlining that its Governments expectation that pay will continue through March and April for employees whose work would not otherwise have been interrupted, save for the pandemic response.

CUPE will continue regular discussions with Government and BCPSEA and we will provide you updates as we receive them.

In Solidarity and safety,

Warren Williams
President K-12 Presidents Council, Local 9876


Email from BCPSEA:

This e-mail was sent to Superintendents, Secretary Treasurers, HR Directors, BCPSEA Trustee Representatives, Management Associations

We have this afternoon received confirmation (attached) from the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC) Secretariat regarding the provincial government’s expectation/direction with respect to wage and job continuity for public sector employees arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As school districts prepare their plans for continuity of learning, it is government’s expectation that pay will continue through the months of March and April “for employees whose work would not otherwise have been interrupted save for the pandemic response.” This expectation/direction will be reviewed by government prior to the end of April and updates issued as available.

Layoffs are to be avoided unless previously contemplated/planned or unless it’s clear that the specific circumstances can’t be mitigated. Information with respect to casual employees will follow.

There are many questions that arise from this direction including, for example, who is required to attend at work and potential re-deployment of staff who may be needed to perform a job other than their current job.

We are in the process of arranging conversations with representatives of the BC Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and other support staff unions in the sector to seek their agreement/cooperation to the best extent possible with respect to these questions. Once we have had those conversations, which we are trying to arrange as quickly as possible, we will provide a further update.

Where eligible, districts may issue Records of Employment to employees as per normal practice.

We trust that this will assist in sharing information with your employees and easing concerns that we understand are being expressed regarding continuity of work and pay.

Renzo Del Negro  Chief Executive Officer BCPSEA

Important Information about benefits (PEBT and LTD)

The following information is for K-12 members in response to the COVID -19 pandemic.

Public Education Benefits Trust (PEBT)

The attached pdf regarding the Public Education Benefits Trust (PEBT) includes the following information:

  • Who is eligible for Core Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits?
  • Who may not be eligible for LTD benefits?
  • Where can I get more information about my benefits?
  • What other supports are available? )

Pacific Blue Cross (PBC)

K-12 extended health and dental benefits are provided through Pacific Blue Cross (PBC). PBC created an info sheet on COVID-19 with responses to questions about disability coverage and how they are handling claims and benefits. ( )

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits are available to provide income replacement for those unable to work because of illness, injury, or quarantine. Quarantined Canadians can apply for EI sickness benefits and the typical requirement to provide a medical certificate is being waived. The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. Service Canada’s dedicated toll-free support number is 1-833-381-2725 and information is available here.

If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.

Information from CUPE National

This pdf has information from CUPE National on income assistance available to workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.