ISSUE 2009-03: May 6, 2009

In This Issue

H1N1 Influenza Update

Employment Implications of a School Closure


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Public Health Agency of Canada  

H1N1 Updates Ministry of Health Services

Vancouver Coastal Health H1N1 Updates

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Refusal of Unsafe Work Flow Chart



If you have questions about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any health, safety or wellness issue, please contact Mark Grabas at 604.730.4509 or markg@bcpsea.bc.ca

H1N1 Influenza Update

Pursuant to Ministerial Order M-138 (the “Order”) issued May 5, 2009 (attached for ease of reference), a school must close for seven calendar days if all of the following three conditions are met:

  1. a student or staff member has tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus;
  2. that student or staff member was present at school while infectious; and
  3. the full incubation period of the H1N1 influenza virus has not passed since the date on which the student or staff member tested positive for the H1N1 Influenza virus.

A decision with respect to whether conditions (b) and (c) have been met will be made in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer, your Regional Health Officer and/or your School Medical Officer.

Employment Implications of a School Closure

In the event that a school is required to close pursuant to the Order, each district should follow their specific language with respect to a Board-ordered school closure as set out in their respective collective agreement language, if it exists. 

In the event that you do not have language regarding school closures or you wish to adopt an approach that is outside the collective agreement such as continuing to pay employees when it is not specified in the collective agreement, please follow the steps below:

  • Consult with union representatives from both teaching and support staff prior to taking any specific measures. 
  • Draft an agreement that clarifies that the measures undertaken during this school closure are:
    1. Being conducted on a without precedent and without prejudice basis;
    2. Temporary in nature;
    3. May be discontinued at any time; and
    4. Shall end when the school reopens.

It is important to reinforce that an agreement will only be required in those situations where a district is undertaking measures outside the language prescribed by their collective agreement.

Attached to this issue you will find a template letter/agreement to use when drafting an agreement with your locals.

Should you have any questions related to this matter, please contact your BCPSEA liaison. 


Ministerial Order

Template letter

BC Public School Employers' Association
400 – 1333 West Broadway, Vancouver BC V6H 4C1
Tel: 604.730.0739   Fax: 604.730.0787   
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