BCH – Agreement Reached Respecting Boot Allowance Policy
March 22, 2016
To all MoveUP members at BC Hydro:
In April 2015, your union was made aware of a BC Hydro policy document respecting safety footwear guidelines and approval of costs for safety footwear. That document included the statement that “the reasonable cost of such safety footwear is typically $250 max, including taxes.”
We informed the company that this was contrary to Article 16.04 of the collective agreement, which stipulates that the employer shall reimburse the reasonable cost of safety footwear once per year with a receipt, and does not make any mention of a maximum amount.
After discussing the issue with the union, the company has agreed to amend the policy to read “circumstances that require footwear of a value greater than $250, including taxes, should be discussed with your Manager prior to purchase.”
For clarity, the wording of the collective agreement stands – employees who are required to purchase safety footwear will be entitled to reimbursement of the “reasonable cost” of the footwear on submission of a receipt. There is no obligation for an employee making a footwear allowance claim to either obtain pre-approval or for an employee to limit the cost of their safety footwear to $250. However, employees are encouraged to discuss the purchase of more expensive footwear with their managers in advance to ensure that there is mutual agreement as to what is “reasonable”.
If you and your manager cannot reach agreement on what is “reasonable”, or if a safety footwear claim is denied, please contact a job steward or the union office.
Tony Geluch, Union Representative