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As the CRD grasps at straws, striking workers hold the line for fair wages - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 11, 2024

As the CRD grasps at straws, striking workers hold the line for fair wages 


WILLIAMS LAKE (Traditional territory of the Williams Lake Band, home to the Secwepemc people) – It's week four of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) strike, and instead of taking the necessary steps to end job action by amending its last wage offer and negotiating in good faith, the CRD is making unfounded claims.


"The CRD's management is saying that our members are the ones refusing to return to bargaining, but that's simply not the case," says BCGEU President-Elect Paul Finch, who was on the Williams Lake picket line today, and the Quesnel picket line yesterday.

The BCGEU has reached out to the CRD bargaining team's hired gun multiple times during the strike to remind management of their responsibility to make a counteroffer that can financially sustain workers, so they can deliver the highest quality services. On June 10, the BCGEU sent another email to the CRD's bargaining team. The union has yet to receive a response.

"Management knows that the only way out of this strike is by adjusting their last offer, which our members could not accept because it would only exacerbate recruitment and retention issues at the CRD and destabilize services," says Finch. "The Regional District's upper management stopped talking after members voted down that insufficient final offer. In other words, they refuse to honor the bargaining process while our members are deeply invested in settling a deal."

Picketing workers are fighting for language that will protect their future wages from the eroding forces of inflation, in case the cost-of-living spikes again. The union's proposal follows a clear pattern of deals recently settled between other unions and municipalities that recognize workers need wages in-line with the regional cost-of-living to keep contributing to their communities.

"Instead of valuing their staff with a reasonable wage offer, like other comparable employers, the CRD is racking up legal fees and pitting residents against their neighbours - our members - just so they can win an argument. It's unproductive." 

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For more information, please contact BCGEU Communications Officer Celia Shea at 780-720-8122 or [email protected]



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