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Nearly 95% of you voted in favour of a strike! - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Public Service Agency feels the pressure and asks BCGEU to return to negotiations

Your bargaining committee has big news. After five weeks of organizing the largest strike vote in BCGEU history, dozens of your coworkers, your Public Service Bargaining Committee and BCGEU staff gathered at BCGEU headquarters for the vote count. And the results were staggering, you overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action to get a fair deal that meets our needs.

94.6% of you voted YES, sending a powerful message to our employer that you know our worth, we refused to be breadcrumbed, and we are standing together behind our demands – the top one being cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) protections.

But that is not all. Your employer, the Public Service Agency (PSA) has asked your bargaining committee to resume negotiations. This sudden movement is thanks to your inspiring commitment and engagement over the last five weeks.

The public strike vote was a massive undertaking that required endless hours of work and hundreds of member volunteers to accomplish. Your employer felt the pressure from your solidarity and participation, which spanned worksites and communities across B.C., and it pushed them to respond. You should be proud!

Watch a video update from president Stephanie Smith
BCGEU members have spoken loud and clear, and now it's time to find out if the PSA has been listening.

What's Next?

Our goal has always been to get a deal at the bargaining table. Now that the employer has changed their tune and agreed to return to negotiations, we are hopeful that the PSA is prepared to table a reasonable offer that will make this deal happen.

But we cannot be sure, and thanks to your strong strike vote, if the employer fails to table a fair offer, we have another tool we can use to win a collective agreement that meets your needs.

To be clear: We do not anticipate immediate job action. You should proceed with business as usual until you hear otherwise from your union.

For now, negotiations are resuming on Monday, June 27, so we will continue to work as usual. Next week we will have more updates on bargaining. While we bargain, your worksite contacts and stewards will continue to keep you engaged and mobilized.

We want to thank you for this show of solidarity. No matter what role you played in this strike vote, you were part of this success, and you should be proud.

In solidarity,

Your BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee
Stephanie Smith, President
Paul Finch, Treasurer
Judy Phipps, Executive Vice President
Dean Purdy, Vice President - Component 1
Kusam Doal, Vice President - Component 5
Judy Fox-McGuire, Vice President - Component 6
Kayla Woodruff, Member at Large - Component 6
Maria Middlemiss, Vice President - Component 12
Matt Damario, Component 12
Robert Davis, Vice President - Component 20
Michael Eso, Secretary and Lead Negotiator
Lisa Lane, Support Staff