Don’t Rush to Get Your Record Checked

The Criminal Record Review Act (CRRA) will now be record check used for some library employees. The upcoming arbitration will determine who is eligible for a check.

The police review your record/personal history for histories of sexual misconduct with children, acts of physical violence and drug-dealing (for example). Minor charges do not warrant being brought to the employer’s attention. This is the process which the Union suggested was appropriate for libraries when we first addressed the Board in September of 2006.

Police Record Checks

In December 2006 Vancouver Public Library announced a new Employment Checks policy which included Police Record Checks for many public service staff. The Union disputed the application of the policy and we were set to go to arbitration in June of 2008.

In April/May 2008 VPL was notified that the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General changed its application of the Criminal Records Review Act. The VPL was advised that the Criminal Records Review Act did in fact apply to municipal public libraries. The Ministry confirmed this change in writing.

As a result VPL withdrew its December 2006 policy and introduces the application of the CRRA to all library employees. CUPE 391 has a new grievance on how VPL is planning to apply the Criminal Record Review Act. We believe that the Employer’s application of the CRRA to every VPL employee is too broad an interpretation. We believe that only members who work alone, in a position of trust (to be interpreted also) and have unsupervised access to children need to have this check. The Employer believes all CUPE 391 members should have the check as some of our shelvers and events persons are under the age of nineteen. The arbitration will determine which members are eligible.

Criminal Record Review Act

The Criminal Record Review Act (CRRA) will be the only level of record check used for Vancouver Public Library employees. The police will review your record for:

* histories of sexual misconduct with children
* acts of physical violence
* drug-dealing

Minor charges do not warrant being brought to the employer’s attention.

The cost of this much less invasive check will be picked up by Management. If you have a minor charge but it is not in the three areas outlined in above paragraph; it will not be of interest to Management and will NOT be released by police to VPL. The police either give a yes or no answer to Management. If you do not have any previous charges or a record that pertains to the three bolded points, then the police tell the employer that you are good to go. The CRRA requires that employees be checked every 5 years. If it is yes, then you will be discussing your record with management with a grievance member to support you.

see Schedule I of the CRRA for related offences. Schedule I, CRRA

The Union does not recommend that any CUPE 391 member get a record check under the terms of the Criminal Review Act until the arbitration determines who is eligible for the check. Almost 25% of our membership applied for a criminal record check before our last arbitration date and their checks proved to be unnecessary. Let’s wait and see – a lot of time and public money have already been wasted on this enterprise.

in solidarity