B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union members who provide payroll services to the B.C. Government voted overwhelmingly to approve strike action to support their contract negotiations with Telus Employer Solutions (formerly Telus Sourcing Solutions), the BCGEU announced today. Members voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action at a strike vote held on Thursday.
The main issues in bargaining include wages and benefits, workload and language to address bullying in the workplace. A major sticking point is Telus' refusal to provide a wage offer that matches wage increases negotiated by government workers in their recent collective agreement.
"BCGEU members process payroll for the B.C. government and they're justifiably upset that Telus, which provides these services, refuses to match the government workers' wage increase," said BCGEU treasurer Paul Finch. "Telus can afford double digit increases in executive compensation and a multi-year dividend growth program for shareholders, but they say they can't afford a modest wage increase for the workers who provide that profit? Our members aren't buying it."
Telus' financial report for the first quarter of 2019 shows net income growth of up to 8.6 per cent and a quarterly dividend increase of $0.5625 per share. The company has also approved an annual 7 to 10 per cent dividend growth program for shareholders through to 2022. In 2017, Telus executives realized a 12.39 per cent increase in overall compensation.
"Telus is a large company that enjoys modern, progressive branding," said Finch. "And yet they are refusing to adopt even basic anti-bullying language in their collective agreement. What kind of message does that send to their customers, their investors and future employees?"
The union bargaining committee at Telus Employer Solutions will be meeting in the following days to consider options, including possible job action, to press their demands for a fair collective agreement.
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