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BC NDP MLAs (Constituency Assistants) - Job Action Continues - Day #19 - BCGEU

Thank you for your continued solidarity and efforts upholding our work-to-rule and overtime ban job action. Plans are underway to escalate. Our Strike Coordination Committee is meeting regularly, and plans will be communicated as soon as possible.

In the meantime, know that your efforts are influencing the employer! Read these statements from your fellow CAs:

No staffing off-hour events: "We had a Minister visiting our riding a few weeks back and myself or my colleague were supposed to staff that evening. Once job action and the over-time ban started, we let our MLA know that we could no longer staff them. We later found out that our riding association's president was also going to attend, but sent regrets after learning that CAs were doing job action. They shared that they wanted to stand in solidarity with their fellow workers. Myself and my colleague were very happy to see this show of solidarity from our riding association president, who is also a CUPE staffer."

Taking breaks: "I was sure to take my 15-minute breaks very seriously as soon as job action started. The first few days my MLA tried to speak to me about work while I was on break but now, they know not to. I realized that I had always let my MLA interrupt me during my break because they rely on me for a lot. My co-worker is part-time and works from home, so it was difficult taking uninterrupted breaks as the only CA in office. Uninterrupted breaks are our right just as any other workers'. Shortage of staff, and/or a heavier workload, shouldn't get in the way of our breaks. I'm glad that I was able to establish this with my MLA while on job action."

No volunteering: "I've stepped back from riding association duties. This was frustrating for my MLA as I was a key organizer for many of their events. However, I stood my ground as my volunteer time is valuable and I will not be putting that time into riding association work until we receive wage parity. I also sent the NDP office an email as to why I will be cancelling my monthly donations. We deserve better!"

Have your own story to share about work-to-rule making an impact on your MLA? Tell us!

Here are some more ideas to intensify the impact of job action:

  1. Keep a record of your work this week. If you are unable to answer all the emails or return all the calls within your work hours, advise your MLA. We know CAs always take care of business and ensure things run smoothly – let's ensure the employer knows that not all tasks are able to get completed under work-to-rule and overtime ban!
  2. Ask for support from your steward or OHS representative. Work-to-rule and overtime bans are considered legal job actions under the Labour Code. This means you are entitled to implement them. However, we're aware that the employer is pushing back and may be making you uncomfortable at work. You have rights and protections under our collective agreement and labour law, so bring your questions or concerns to your steward or OHS rep for help.

Also, we've prepared some content you may wish to use on social media – and ask your supporters to use, too!

PSA about service change:

  • You may notice slower service from your local constituency office lately. Your MLA's constituency assistants are on strike for a contract that fully respects and fairly values their work and ensures sustainable service for the community. Tell your MLA that #CAsDeserveBetter
  • Being on strike means slower service in the short term. But lack of respect and fair value means unsustainable service in the long term. Tell your MLA that #CAsDeserveBetter 

What a CA does for the community & the problem:

  • The "eyes and ears" of your MLA – that is, Constituency Assistants – are burnt out, stressed, and concerned for their livelihood. Without a fair contract, the sustainability and quality of constituency services is at risk. Tell your MLA to offer a better deal. #CAsDeserveBetter
  • On behalf of MLAs, Constituency Assistants provide the community with so much – namely access to provincial supports including child care, housing subsidies, COVID-19 resources, social assistance or disability. Tell your MLA to offer them a respectful, fair contract. #CAsDeserveBetter
  • A time when a CA helped changed my life was [insert your own positive experience]. Tell your MLA to offer CAs a better deal. #CAsDeserveBetter
  • A time I helped changed a constituent's life was [insert your own positive experience]. Tell your MLA to offer a better deal. #CAsDeserveBetter 

Why CAs voted down the offer:

  • Lack of respect and value for our local Constituency Assistants is lack of respect and value for constituents. Tell your MLA to offer CAs a better deal – and constituents a sustainable, quality service. #CAsDeserveBetter 

Why CAs are on strike: 

  • Constituency Assistants are on strike to ensure sustainable service for the community. Tell your MLA to offer a respectful and fair contract and resume sustainable service to constituents. #CAsDeserveBetter
  • Without a contract that fully respects and fairly values the work of Constituency Assistants, constituency services remain unsustainable. Tell your MLA that #CAsDeserveBetter
  • Unfortunately, despite months of bargaining and support from a mediator, BC NDP MLAs failed to offer full respect or fair value for the work of Constituency Assistants and needs of their communities. Help end the strike by telling your MLA that #CAsDeserveBetter
  • CAs care about serving their communities and do not want to be on strike. Tell your MLA to offer a respectful and fair contract and end this strike #CAsDeserveBetter
  • Constituency Assistants wish to return to serving the community in a fair and healthy work environment. Tell your MLA to offer a better contract to end this strike #CAsDeserveBetter

Finally, please see the attached Questions & Answers for further information about the job action. We are updating this document with the questions you are asking. Attached to this bulletin is the recent update. Please contact your steward or a member of the Bargaining Committee with any questions you may have. We will add your question to the list, so everyone can learn from the answer.

In solidarity,

Andrea McDonald, Bargaining Committee Chairperson 
Preet Sangha, Bargaining Committee member
Linsay Buss, Staff Representative – Negotiations

Download PDF of notice here
Download PDF of FAQ here