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Health and Safety Training Program

Goals and objectives of the BCTF health and safety training program

  1. To ensure that the BCTF has effective courses available for joint health and safety committee members who take educational leave under Section 135 of the Workers Compensation Act.
  2. To provide joint health and safety committee members with the skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill their roles as joint committee members.
  3. To ensure that joint health and safety committee members and school union representatives receive relevant health and safety training that is reflective of the occupational hazards of working in schools and of school district worksites.
  4. To familiarize joint health and safety committee members and school union representatives with the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and other health and safety policies, procedures, and programs.
  5. To provide joint health and safety committee members and school union representatives with skills and knowledge aimed at preventing worker illness and injury in the public education system.

All BCTF workshops are suitable for a tripartite audience—teachers, support staff, and administrative officers.

Workshops offered

The BCTF and WorkSafeBC have signed a Letter of Understanding that allows the Federation to produce and facilitate health and safety workshops which meet the educational leave requirements of Section 135 of the Act. In addition, all workshops are suitable for School Union Representative Training (SURT). 

How to book health and safety training

Bookings must be made at least three weeks prior to the training.

Contact the BCTF Health and Safety Officer at 604-871-1891 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1891 to book a workshop for joint committee training.

Contact the BCTF Professional and Social Issues Department (PSID), Michele Hope at 604-871-1860 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1860 to book School Union Representative Training (SURT) workshops in health and safety.

The following information is required at the time of booking:

  • date(s) and time(s) of training
  • number of participants
  • to what audience the workshop will be presented
  • location of training
  • which workshops are required
  • name and contact information of the school district official who can authorize payment for tri-partite training. if the request is received directly from a local

The BCTF will confirm the booking by e-mail, including the name(s) of the health and safety trainer(s). The health and safety trainer(s) will contact the organizer and others, as appropriate, to finalize details. Sessions of more than 40 will be booked with two trainers in one day or two days with one trainer.

Cost of the workshops

Education leave for health and safety training
Section 135 of the Workers Compensation Act states:

Education Leave
1) Each member of a joint committee is entitled to an annual educational leave totalling eight hours, or a longer period if prescribed by regulation, for the purposes of attending occupational health and safety training courses conducted by or with the approval of the board.
2) A member of the joint committee may designate another member as being entitled to take all or part of the member’s educational leave.
3) The employer must provide the educational leave under this section without loss of pay or other benefits and must pay for, or reimburse the worker for, the costs of the training course and the reasonable costs of attending the course.” (emphasis added)

Actual cost of the workshops

This section applies only to joint committee training.

As part of its commitment to provide cost-effective training, the BCTF will bill the school district a flat fee of $1,000 per day or $500 per half-day, to cover all the costs of our facilitators.
The school district is responsible for any reasonable travel, meal, and room costs of participants. In addition, the school board is expected to pay for the photocopying of all workshop materials.

What if the employer refuses to allow a member an educational leave to attend BCTF courses?
Contact the BCTF Health and Safety Officer immediately at 604-871-1891 or 1-800-663-9163, local 1891.

BCTF Policy

13.D.01—That locals be advised that all workplace health and safety committee meetings must be held during instructional time.*
13.D.03—That locals be advised that the annual eight hours’ educational leave for health and safety committee members be provided during instructional time.*
13.D.05—That locals be advised that health and safety training required under the Workers Compensation Act is not an appropriate use of Professional Development days and must be done during instructional time.*
13.D.09—That locals and district health and safety committee members:
(a) encourage all health and safety representatives to utilize their entitlement to an eight-hour annual educational leave under S.135 of the Workers Compensation Act, and
(b) request the BCTF/WorkSafe course as the content for the educational leave.
*Note: Time off in lieu is an acceptable alternative to release time.


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