To: BC USW Local Executives
From: Scott Lunny, Director
CC: BC Staff
As you are all aware last year marked the first federal holiday to annually commemorate a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. You are also most likely aware that this holiday is currently only applicable to federally regulated workplaces.
In keeping with policies recommended by the USW Aboriginal Working Group and adopted by our union we have been advancing bargaining proposals to recognize this holiday in our collective agreements, but employers have been very resistant.
In BC Indigenous organizations, unions and community allies have been pressing the provincial government to also recognize September 30 as a provincial holiday to allow all BC workers to acknowledge and commemorate Truth and Reconciliation across our province.
To that end the provincial government has initiated a survey to solicit feedback from workers, employers and community. (Background from the Ministry of Labour is included at the end of this message.)
I am encouraging all of our members in BC to take part in this survey and asking Local unions to use every communications tool you can to distribute this survey. The survey link is:
The deadline for responses is September 21, 2022. If you have any questions about the survey please contact Jessie Uppal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our union is committed to walking the path of Truth and Reconciliation, led by our Indigenous members, but with a solidarity shared by all of us.
Ministry of Labour
The Ministry of Labour is inviting you to participate in a survey on how workplaces and businesses can commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30th) each year, including whether B.C. should establish a new employer-paid statutory holiday starting in 2023.
That National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday which commemorates the history and legacy of the residential school system, honours the resilience, dignity and strength of survivors, and remembers the children that never came home. Designating this day as a provincial statutory holiday would entitle B.C. employees covered by the Employment Standards Act to an employer-paid day off to personally commemorate the day, or to payment at premium rates if they are required to work on that day.
Additional information and the survey are available at National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | govTogetherBC where employers and employees are invited to submit their views until September 21, 2022. I encourage you and members of your organization to participate in the survey. Please forward the link to the survey to your colleagues, members of your organization, and anyone else whom you think will be interested in participating.