BCNU to Provide Disaster Relief Funds to Members Impacted by Wildfires

August 23, 2023
Members are encouraged to stay vigilant and follow guidance

BCNU has established a disaster relief fund to provide short-term financial relief to members personally impacted by the devastating wildfires in the province. Members who have had to evacuate their homes due to weather-related disasters in BC, on or after June 1, 2023*, can apply for a one-time $750 support payment from the union. The funds are intended to supplement any other assistance members receive through disaster relief agencies, like the Red Cross, or from government authorities.

Members impacted can apply for the $750 payment on the BCNU Member Portal. Applications for support are reviewed and approved by your Regional Council Member and the Provincial Executive Committee and are subject to available funds. Payments will be administered by the union and will be sent directly to members via electronic fund transfer (EFT).

The union would like to recognize the incredible commitment shown by members in affected communities, many who have worked tirelessly caring for others and supporting their communities despite the significant personal impact this disaster has had on them and their families.

Available Resources

Affected members working within Interior Health are strongly encouraged to access Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) benefits to assist with psychological health and safety concerns. The EFAP program is available to all eligible employees and their families, and includes counselling, online resources and more. Interior Health also offers wellness resources for Indigenous employees that focus on the mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

BCNU remains in contact with individual employers to ensure everything is being done to support members at this difficult time.

Any affected member who has concerns about their safety should report these to their employer immediately, contact their steward, or call BCNU at 604-433-2268 or 1-800-663-9991 and ask for the OHS officer assigned to their region. They can also email

Stay Informed

As wildfire conditions can change rapidly, we are strongly encouraging members in the Okanagan area to stay informed about the fire's progression, evacuation orders, and other important information by visiting the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website. The site also includes instructions for evacuees’ support.

For all other areas of the province, please refer to the government’s EmergencyInfoBC website and BCWS Wildfires Map for accurate information on fire danger, evacuation orders, alerts, preparation methods and other vital information.

How to Help

All BCNU members who would like to offer support to those affected by the wildfires can donate to the Canadian Red Cross BC Fires Appeal. Funds will be used for immediate and ongoing relief, recovery and resilience efforts in response to the fires.

The United Way of BC has also started a campaign to help the thousands who have been impacted by the wildfires. Donations will go toward addressing important needs like food assistance, trauma, and mental health support, and fund a variety of programs and essential supports that are critical to residents as they recover emotionally and physically from the devastation of wildfires within their communities.

 *Please note that the original June 1 date was extended to April 1 for members who have had to evacuate their homes due to weather-related disasters in BC.

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