UFCW 1518 employer trailblazes with paid leave for domestic violence agreement

Surrey, B.C. – January 22, 2020 – The credit union for working people in British Columbia, Community Savings, has voluntarily given 10 paid days of leave for employees experiencing domestic violence. The company, which has staff represented by UFCW 1518, signed a letter of agreement that will be included in the collective agreement providing for paid leave.

The move follows a campaign by the labour movement calling on the provincial government to make the paid leave mandatory. Workers Deserve Better is an initiative of the BC Federation of Labour that pushes for legislation to support workers facing domestic and sexual violence by mandating 10 days of paid leave. The BCFED represents more than 500,000 workers from affiliated unions across the province.

“Without paid leave for domestic violence, workers – mostly women – cannot easily escape dangerous situations, protect their families, or get back on their feet,” says UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak. “Paid leave is critical, but it needs to become law in order for all workers to be protected,” she adds.

British Columbia is one of the only provinces in Canada without mandated paid leave for workers facing domestic and sexual violence. According to Statistics Canada, sexual assault is the only violent crime on the rise in Canada.

“We know that intimate partner violence disproportionately affects women and working-aged Canadians,” Novak continues. “We applaud Community Savings for showing leadership and including this paid leave in the collective agreement outside of bargaining. It demonstrates that they understand the seriousness of the issue, and that they value the health and safety of their workers. We encourage the government to follow their lead.”

To read more about the paid leave breakthrough at Community Savings, click here.

UFCW Local 1518 represents 24,000 members working in the community health, service and hospitality, retail, industrial, and professional sectors across B.C. To learn more about UFCW 1518 and its outstanding work, visit the Local Union’s website.