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Health & Safety Newsletter November 2011
Topics include Driving in Winter Weather, medication administration, planning your vacation and substance abuse. 

Link to Health and Safety Newsletter
Health and Safety Newsletter - October 2011
Fall Health and Safety newsletter covers reporting of injuries and unsafe working conditions.  The Employee and Family Assistance Program is also outlined and access information is provided.

LINK to Health and Safety Newsletter October 2011
Policy Committee approves new pay grid
On April 20th, the Policy Committee reviewed a number of options for wage and benefit increases and chose an across the board wage increase to all grids.  Read the Wage Equity Bulletin linked below for more information.

Wage Equity Bulletin #24
HR Refreshers for 2011
For information on tax forms, educational development, employee referral program, vacation, sick accrual and banked hours please see link below.

HR Refreshers for 2011
April 2010 Health And Safety Bulletin Posted
1. Nominations are being sought for staff who would like to participate on the Health and Safety Committee.  Term is one year and the meetings are once per month with training provided. 
2. Spring Cleaning Safety Tips.

LINK TO: Health And Safety Bulletin - April 2010
Municipal Pension Plan - Implementation Delayed
At January’s Policy and Procedures meeting, we presented information on the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) as a new retirement planning option for Spectrum employees.  We scheduled the start date for April 2010 but raised the possibility of delays.  The Municipal Pension Plan is a significantly more stable but expensive retirement option than Group RRSP’s.  Implementation of the plan is dependent on adequate funding from the Provincial Government and that is our current challenge.  Unlike other group benefits that can be changed or cancelled, once the MPP is started as an employee benefit for Spectrum, it cannot be stopped.  We have been meeting with our funders to confirm a plan for funding this benefit but the recent provincial budget and ongoing collective bargaining have delayed a decision.  To ensure we have a long term plan for Spectrum employee wages and benefits, we are delaying the implementation of the MPP until July 2010.  We will send out the enrollment information in April so all employees can make an informed decision about their retirement planning and be ready for implementation for the pay period beginning July 9, 2010. 

Link to Bulletin
Keep Your Personnel File Up to Date
In order for Spectrum’s Human Resources department to provide you with the support and service levels we strive for, it is important that we have the timely communication of updates from our staff to ensure we meet your needs and the needs of the organization.

Link to Bulletin
Health & Safey Newsletter - October 2009 - H1N1 Updates
The H1N1 information is becoming clearer.  In the attached newsletter, we provide a summary of the typical differences between a cold and H1N1.  As well, an update from the BC Ministry of Health on when and where vaccines will be available is included.

Link to Health and Safety Newsletter
Health & Safety Bulletin - H1N1 - Sept 2009
Attached is a bulletin for staff with basic information on H1N1 and what you can do to keep yourself and the folks we support healthy and safe.

LINK to Health and Safety Bulletin
Swine Flu - H1N1
Influenza is caused by viruses, and is generally spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Here are six simple, common sense precautions that can help safeguard everyone’s health:
Stay home when you’re sick or have influenza symptoms.
Get plenty of rest and check with a health care provider as needed.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away immediately.
Wash your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from getting sick. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
You can become ill by touching a surface contaminated with germs and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Practice other good health habits.
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious foods, and avoid smoking, which may increase the risk of serious consequences if you do contract the flu.

Link to Full Bulletin
Employee Survey on Compensation Increases
We have received confirmation of a funding increase of 1.6% to all our CLBC contracts for the coming year, beginning in April 2009.  This 1.6% increase provides for an approximate 2% increase to the wages and benefits portion of our program budgets. 
As we have done for the past two years, we discussed potential targets for this funding increase at the Policy meeting in January.  The Policy Committee reviewed the increases for the last two years and provided the feedback that most people felt the increase last year was better received. 
• In 2007, the increase was provided as a percentage of the current rate for each position.  For example, CSW’s at $15.00 per hour got a 2% increase or $0.30/hour and Asleep Night’s at $9.00 per hour also got a 2% increase or $0.18/hour. 
• In 2008, the increases were averaged across all positions and each classification got a $0.30 increase.  The policy committee felt this better reflected “equal increases”. 
The Policy Committee also provided feedback that employees really valued the opportunity to have input on the ways the increases are targeted. 
For 2009, there was one new priority suggested for consideration.    The extra responsibilities taken on by key workers are currently recognized by a $0.25 /hour lift and this increment could be increased to $0.50/hour. 
We have created an online survey so that all Spectrum employees can participate in choosing the targets for the April 2009 wage increases:
LINK TO SURVEY (This link is also on the Policy and Procedures Committee website)
The username and password for this survey are:
Username: online
Password: online
This survey allows all Spectrum employees a voice in determining how we allocate our increased funding to employee wages and benefits.
• Across the Board 2% Increases would provide a range of increases to all payscales
• Across the Board fixed Increases would provide $0.34 per hour increase to all payscales.
• Focusing on starting wage rates would provide more of an increase to the starting grids and less to the top wage rates for each position.
• Focusing on the 4,500 hour grid would provide bigger increases to the top grid for each position.
• Focusing on greater increases for Key Workers would change the pay grids to recognize the increased responsibility and workload that Key Workers are assigned.
Please provide your input by March 31, 2009 so that we can have the results summarized for the April 15 2009 Policy Committee Meeting. 
STV – Single Transferable Vote – is an option that is being offered to the citizens of BC in May during the Provincial Election.  This voting method allows you to make ranked choices and improves the chance that your preference will be recognized.  STV is also how the Academy Awards are selected.  Academy members get to vote for their first, second and third choices for best actor.  The first choices are tallied and the lowest ranked actor is dropped and people who voted for that actor have their second votes considered.  Consider this Wage Survey your opportunity to test STV as a voting method. 
For more information on STV in BC: 

Link to Online Web Survey
Health and Safety Committee welcomes two new members!
We are happy to welcome Lorne Smith and Mary VanWells to the Health and Safety Committee. We had our first meeting as the new group on February 25, 2009. Also on the Health and Safety Committee are Kyla Tinham and Ernie Baatz.

Link to Full Newsletter
Employer Bus Pass Program
At the recent Policy Committee Meeting, Policy Representatives asked about Spectrum enrolling in the Employer Pass Program
Employees can get annual bus passes for about a 15% discount.
One Zone Passes cost $63.50 per month instead of $73.00.
Two Zone Passes cost $85.50 per month instead of $99.00.
Three Zone Passes cost $117.17 per month instead of $136.00.
For Spectrum to enroll in this program, we need 25 employees willing to make a one year commitment.  Please complete the following Expression of Interest if you would like to buy your bus pass through Spectrum's Employer Bus Pass Program.  Your monthly fee would be deducted from your payroll - 1/2 on each cheque. 

Expression of Interest in Employer Bus Pass Program
New Employee Assistance Provider
Effective Immediately, we have a new Employee Assistance Provider.  Ceridian LIFEWORKS will provide online, telephone, and face-to-face counseling and support to Spectrum employees who are coping with challenging situations. 

Basic Ceridian EAP info
Memo re: Mandatory Employment Requirements
All employees please read this important information about mandatory employment requirements and ensure that your requirements are up to date.

New Pay Rates Effective April 9, 2008
On April 16, 2008, Policy and Procedures Committee members reviewed the results of the employee survey and selected a wage grid that reflects a 2% increase across the board.  The grid also includes a small additional increase to the 4,500 hour increment to reflect those staff who have been with Spectrum the longest.

Wage Equity Bulletin #22
If you like working here, tell your friends!
Approximately one third of new employees at Spectrum come to us through personal referrals from existing employees.  We invite you to share this notice with people you know who might be interested in working here - friends, family members, fellow students in your college or university classes. 
REWARD:  Any Spectrum employee who successfully refers someone to us (ie. the person gets hired and passes his/her probation) will receive a free gift!  See Kyla for details.

New Wage Scales!
We are pleased to announce that a plan for implementing the wage increases for Spectrum employees has been discussed and approved by the policy committee and Spectrum's board of directors.  The new wage scales will be implemented immediately and will be reflected on the April 30th paycheques for all hours worked during the current pay period (April 9-23).

Celebrate Community Living Month!
October is Community Living Month in B.C.  Come celebrate with us at the Riley Park Farmers Market - Wednesday, October 25th, 1-6:30 p.m.

Wage Equity Bulletin #18
Over the past few months, there has been a flurry of correspondence between Spectrum, the provincial government, and our main funder, Community Living BC, regarding the wage equity issue.  Many of you contacted your MLAs in support of Spectrum’s efforts to maintain wage equity between our employees and their unionized counterparts following the government’s landmark public sector labour negotiations this spring.  We wanted to update you on these efforts and assure you that we are continuing to pressure the government into honouring its long-standing commitment to wage equity between union and non-union workers.

Sun Life updates Group Benefits Provisions
SunLife has provided the following bulletin that outlines a number of small changes to wording and coverage.  This bulletin will be attached to the SunLife booklets for new employees.  Current employees should file it with their existing booklet.

Link to SunLife Bulletin