BC Hydro – Vaccination Mandate Grievance Arbitration Update

September 15, 2023

To: All MoveUP members at BC Hydro

Your union would like to thank all our members at BC Hydro for their continued support and patience during the vaccination mandate policy grievance process. It has been quite the journey and experience navigating an extremely contested topic in hopes of coming to a reasonable resolve.

Since November 18, 2021, your union has worked extremely hard in challenging the employer’s position and evidence in respect to the arbitrator’s award. With the guidance of Arbitrator Somjen’s June 30, 2022, award and his October 26, 2022, supplementary award , the parties were able to establish a list of employees who were deemed “carved-out” and those that would be deemed as “non-carved out”.  What remained was a group of employees who the union maintained should be recognized as “carved-out”. Out of the 23 employees outstanding, the union and BC Hydro focused on the 17 employees remaining who were under the “design” group.

The parties met with Arbitrator Somjen on June 22, July 18, and September 6, 2023, in hopes of coming to a resolve through mediation and exchanges of evidence. Despite the best efforts by the parties, Arbitrator Somjen ultimately was required to make the final determination on the “design” group.

On September 7, 2023, Arbitrator Somjen provided a second supplemental award citing that 14 of the 17 employees within the “design” group would not be “carved-out”. We understand that this decision was not the desired outcome our members would have wanted. Your union was seeking all 17 employees within the “design” group to be “carved-out”.

As we review this decision in detail, we will be working on the remaining six employees whose positions are still in dispute. The parties will reconvene on November 27, 2023, with Arbitrator Somjen to determine the status of the remaining employees and to discuss remedy.

MoveUP understands that COVID-19 has had a lasting effect on all employees. Your union will continue to support all our members and we hope you will continue to support us. Further updates will be provided when available.

In solidarity,

Javed Saheb, Union Representative
Ronnie Ho, Union Representative

File Number: 23-BCH-BLTN-Vaccination Mandate Grievance Arbitration Update-Sept 15
Union Label: RH/usw:2009