"The air we all breathe in the region is cleaner because of your work," says BCGEU/NUPGE as workers begin to receive termination notices as B.C.'s AirCare winds down.
Vancouver (08 Sept. 2014) — Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) who work at AirCare have begun receiving termination notices or will be receiving them in the next few days. This is another step in the cancellation of the AirCare program, which is scheduled to end on December 31.
B.C. government cancelled AirCare program, and despite opposition, refuses to revisit the decision
In recent months, representatives of the BCGEU/NUPGE, including members who work at AirCare, past BCGEU president Darryl Walker, and the current president Stephanie Smith have met with members of the official opposition, the environment committees of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley, key stakeholders and independent experts. All agreed that AirCare is an important part of protecting air quality in the region.
The BCGEU/NUPGE report “Renewing our Commitment to Clean Air in B.C.” was endorsed by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Asthma Society of Canada, Sierra Club BC, GreenJobs BC, Automotive Retailers Association and other organizations.
The union also met with Members of the Legislative Assembly and government ministers. They steadfastly refused to revisit or reverse their decision to cancel the AirCare program.
In the last round of bargaining, the BCGEU/NUPGE won important improvements to the collective agreement in the event that AirCare was terminated. BCGEU/NUPGE members should review the collective agreement and ensure that they understand their rights, including those in the following sections:
13.3 Options Upon Layoff
13.4 Severance Pay for Part-Time Employees
Memorandum of Understanding #7, which includes provisions for career and vocational training, time off for job interviews, and the payout of unused sick leave.
This is a difficult time. Many of you have worked at AirCare for many years. You were a key part of the important service AirCare provided. The air we all breathe in the region is cleaner because of your work. That is an important legacy, and for that we thank you.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE