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BCGEU issues statement on the CRD’s strong-arm tactics - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)


June 10, 2024

BCGEU issues statement on the CRD's strong-arm tactics 

WILLIAMS LAKE – The union representing striking Cariboo Regional District (CRD) workers says that the Regional District's upper management has a responsibility to its staff and the entire community to adjust its last offer and bargain fairly for an improved contract that will serve the needs of all residents.

BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU) President-Elect Paul Finch says, "It's incredibly unfair of the CRD to continue passing the buck to our members in the media, when they already know where the workers stand on the CRD's insufficient wage proposal."

In May, months after BCGEU members voted in favour of strike action to win a fair deal, the CRD's upper management put its final (and only) wage offer to a vote. This offer did not include critical inflation-matching wage protections, even though the CRD never provided evidence that they could not afford such measures.

The members voted the offer down. Many of them are already struggling to pay their bills, and they need financial assurance in the face of an uncertain economic future, where cost-of-living could spike yet again.

"Final offer votes are a last-ditch effort on an employer's part to compel staff to accept a less-than-ideal contract," says Finch. "Two paths to resolution remained when their tactic failed: members could strike or the CRD could improve its offer. The CRD did not adjust their offer, so our members went on strike. The workers made their move. Now it's the employer's turn."

He adds that striking was not an easy decision for the CRD workers, who want to be at work supporting their neighbours. However, job action was necessary to prove that critical services in the Cariboo don't run themselves.

"Communities need skilled and dedicated workers like our members to ensure regional governments can service residents now and into the future," says Finch. "There is a logical and reasonable next step for the CRD to take - provide a contract that attracts and retains workers, so they can do their jobs and give Cariboo residents the support that they deserve."


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