New VCH Information on Redeployment/Shift Change Rights, Mask Use

Thursday, April 30, 2020

CUPE and the other health care unions are in negotiations with the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) to establish general terms for Principles of Redeployment. While these discussions take place, we have produced a new fact sheet with important information about your rights upon redeployment or shift change.


This information includes details on premium pay and overtime for rights related to shift scheduling/hours of work for both CBA and HSPBA members. The document also asserts CUPE’s position that any need to redeploy a member be done on a volunteer basis and that the redeployment be based on seniority, including eventual return to one’s position and accrual of seniority and earned benefits during the redeployment period.


Elsewhere on the COVID-19 page, you’ll find the following important update on the use of masks in our Frequently Asked Questions document:


CANADA'S CHIEF PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER AND OTHERS ARE SAYING THAT WEARING A HOME-MADE FACIAL COVERING MIGHT HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. IS THIS TRUE? IF MY WORKPLACE IS RUNNING OUT OF PPE, SHOULD I CONSIDER MAKING MY OWN MASK?



  • Health Canada has advised that wearing a facial covering/non-medical mask in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. Wearing a homemade mask is an additional measure you may wish to take to help protect others around you, especially if you are experiencing symptoms. If you decide to wear a homemade mask, it should only be for short periods of time when physical distancing is not possible in public settings, such as when grocery shopping or using public transit.

  • To be clear, homemade masks are not medical devices or PPE and should not be used as a substitute for surgical masks or N95 respirators. They are not effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or certain medical procedures.

  • For more information, please visit the Health Canada website.

Advocating for public services to be valued, supplementary information re: safe workplaces


Over the past few weeks, there have been regular announcements on both provincial and federal government benefits that individuals can access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help members sort through the information, we have created a brief overview so you can find all of the information in one place. As updates to government benefits are constantly occurring, we encourage you to visit the websites referenced throughout the brief.

CUPE and the Hospital Employees’ Union have spoken out to support safe workplaces and fair compensation for our members. We encourage our members to participate in this advocacy by sending a message to government through this HEU web page. Meanwhile, CUPE has released new information on your right to refuse unsafe work during the pandemic. We have also released updated guidelines on cleaning versus disinfecting as well as masks and respirators and the proper use and care of your PPE. 


For more information, see our updated Frequently Asked Questions.