Employer must pay ICBC fee: Arbitrator

About 15,000 workers in the community social services sector scored a win last month as the Labour Relations Board of BC ruled that the employer must continue to pay $75 for the renewal of employees’ Class 5 driver’s licences.

“This is an important victory,” said President Ivan Limpright. “Our members working in community social services are some of the hardest working, most caring people you’ll ever meet. They give so much of themselves, every day. But they shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket to do the job.”

In 2017, the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) filed a policy grievance regarding whether community social services employers were required under the collective agreement to pay the $75 ICBC renewal fee for an employee’s Class 5 driver’s licence when the employer requires an employee to use a personal vehicle.

CSSBA is an association of 10 unions representing about 15,000 workers in the community social services sector. UFCW 1518 belongs to CSSBA and bargains collectively with the other unions in the association.

The Labour Relations Board (LRB) ruled that employers must pay the renewal fee and last month, dismissed an appeal of that decision by the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA), the bargaining agent for 200 agencies that employ community social services workers.

This win follows a 2012 LRB ruling that required community social services employers to reimburse employees the costs associated with renewing their Class 4 driver’s licence. In that decision, arbitrator Vince Ready ruled that if an employee is required to hold a Class 4 licence as a condition of employment, the employer is required to reimburse the  ICBC License renewal fee, ICBC medical form processing fee and any remaining physician costs paid to the physician to complete the ICBC medical form not otherwise covered by the employee benefit plan up to the amount outlined in the MSP fee schedule.

“This is why we bargain collectively in an association with other unions. I’ve said it before: together we’re stronger. When we stand and fight together, we win,” said Limpright. “So when we head to the bargaining table later this year, our voice will be louder and our power more forceful as 10 unions working collectively to improve the lives of our members.”