Community Savings trailblazes with paid leave for domestic violence

The credit union for working people in British Columbia has voluntarily given 10 paid days of leave for employees experiencing domestic violence. Community Savings Credit Union, which has staff represented by UFCW 1518, signed a letter of agreement that will be included in the collective agreement providing for the paid leave.

The move follows a campaign by the provincial labour movement calling on government to make the paid leave mandatory. Workers Deserve Better is an initiative of the BC Federation of Labour that pushes for legislation to support workers facing domestic and sexual violence by mandating 10 days of paid leave. The BCFED represents more than 500,000 workers from affiliated unions across the province.

“Without paid leave for domestic violence, workers – mostly women – cannot easily escape dangerous situations, protect their families or get back on their feet,” said UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak. “Paid leave is critical, but it needs to become law in order for all workers to be protected.” British Columbia is one of the only provinces in Canada without mandated paid leave for workers facing domestic and sexual violence. According to Statistics Canada, sexual assault is the only violent crime on the rise in Canada.

“We know that intimate partner violence disproportionately affects women and working-aged Canadians,” President Novak continued. “We applaud Community Savings for showing leadership and including this paid leave in the collective agreement outside of bargaining. It demonstrates that they understand the seriousness of the issue, and that they value the health and safety of their workers. We encourage the government to follow their lead.”

Founded in 1944, Community Savings Credit Union continues to be guided by its founding motto of “people helping people.” Its goal is to provide the working community “a fair opportunity at a better life by empowering them with banking products and investments that are always in their best interest.” [source]