COVID-19 Update for HSP Members

Publish date: Friday, March 13, 2020

HSP - Health Science Professionals

Dear HSP members,

The PEA has been closely monitoring the continually changing COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage all members to follow the Government of Canada’s health recommendations for updates, travel advisories, and general prevention and risk guidance.

Please refer to the frequently asked questions below for further information.


  • Call 8-1-1, your primary care provider, or public health office.
  • If you contract COVID-19, you will be placed on sick leave until such time as a primary care provider clears you for return to work.
  • If you are instructed by a primary care provider to self-isolate, make sure you inform your employer, and you will be placed on paid general leave. This will not affect your other leave banks.
  • If you are a casual employee, you will be placed on a general leave of absence and compensated for any accepted shifts that were cancelled because of the self-isolation requirement by a primary care provider.
  • Contact your labour relations officer if you have concerns about how your time is being coded if you are self-isolated.


  • Employers have an obligation to ensure workers are informed and equipped to work in settings where there’s a risk of exposure to COVID-19, and should provide timely, specific and clear direction to health care workers on the infection control protocols they will follow to avoid exposure to the virus.


  • If you have recently returned from travel to an area where there has been a COVID-19 outbreak and public health officials have issued a travel advisory for self-isolation, self-isolate and advise your employer, and you will be placed on a paid general leave of absence. As of March 11, 2019, travel advisories for self-isolation are in place for people returning from Hubei province in China, Iran, and Italy.
  • If you have travelled to an area not designated a COVID 19 affected region, are asymptomatic but believe you may have been exposed to COVID 19, contact 8-1-1 or your primary care provider and self-isolate if so directed. Contact your employer, and you will be placed on paid leave.
  • You should continue to self-monitor, and if you develop any flu-like symptoms, contact your primary care provider or 8-1-1. If you are instructed to self-isolate while awaiting testing, contact your employer, and you will be placed on paid leave.

The situation with COVID-19 is changing daily. Please contact your Labour Relations Officer should you have any questions.

Rhiannon Bray
Labour Relations Officer

In this section

The PEA was formed in 1974, by a group of professionals working in the public sector. The story goes that the founders of the union mortgaged their houses to fund negotiations of the union’s first collective agreement. 

Now, the PEA is BC’s union for professionals. We represent a wide range of professionals including lawyers, foresters, engineers, agrologists, teachers, veterinarians, fundraisers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists program managers, librarians and more.

Our union is led by the PEA Executive. They represent members from across the chapters of the PEA and set the overall vision and direction for our union.

Resources for our members

Navigating a union can sometime be a challenging process. Under this section of the website you will find resources to help you navigate the PEA. In the members section you'll find expense claim reimbursements, information on the PEA's scholarship and bursary program and our grants and donations program.

Collective bargaining and job action resources explain the process of collective bargaining and what to do in the unlikely event of job action. 

Local reps can also find resources to help them complete their job more effectively. This includes ways to welcome new members, how to take notes in investigation disciplinary meetings and more.

The heart of our union

The PEA is made up of nine chapters, or groups of members who either work for the same employer or are in the same field of work. Each chapter has an elected executive tasked with running the affairs of the chapter. Each chapter is entitled to representation at the PEA Executive, the governing body of the union. 

Our members work for a range of employers: the Province of BC, the University of Victoria, St. Margaret's School, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Law Society of BC, Legal Services Society, the Okangan Regional Library and health authorities across BC.

Professionals need unions now more then ever

Since the 1970’s, when the PEA was formed, our mission has been to ensure our members can work in safe, productive environments and receive fair and reasonable wages and benefits for the valuable work they do. We help individuals and groups of professional workers to understand the challenges they face in their workplaces and some of the solutions available to them. 

We work with potential members to become certified as a union and achieve the wages, benefits and respect they deserve. 

The Professional | Volume 46 Issue 1

The Professional is the PEA's award-winning, quarterly magazine for members.

The August-September 2020 issue includes a look into Animal Care Services at UVic.

Read the August-September 2020 issue



The PEA was formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals in the BC Public Service. Since then the organization has grown to include a wide range of professionals from across BC. Find our more about our governance, staff and strategic direction.

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