New union office will reflect union values
We have some big news! Our union is building a new Lower Mainland Area Office (LMAO) that will provide BCGEU members and staff with the space and amenities they need, but it will also include much needed affordable housing and childcare spaces as well. We are excited to share this news with members and this bulletin will be the first of many updates as the project moves forward.
Here's what you need to know right now:
- The land for the project has been acquired under the oversight of a special capital projects committee led by the Treasurer, and with the unanimous support of your elected leaders on the provincial executive.
- The land purchase was funded by the significant investment returns the BCGEU has earned since we began divesting our defence fund from fossil fuels back in 2014. The financing for the project is from investment returns, and not your dues.
- The site of the new LMAO is in Burnaby-a location chosen because the city's progressive approach to zoning made our goal of providing affordable housing in the new LMAO possible.
- Every step of this project will be done in a way that is consistent with our values as a union committed to democracy and social justice. Our new LMAO will be a sustainable, accessible and inclusive building that provides the affordable housing and childcare options that working people deserve.
- The next step is to secure approval from the City of Burnaby for our plans. Our application has been submitted and we will be reaching out to members who live in Burnaby to support our application when it comes to a public hearing.
- At this point we don't have a date for the start of construction but while we work on those details the buildings that currently stand on the future site of our new LMAO will be part of the City of Burnaby's Mural Program. We will update you on the details of this aspect of the project as we have them.
Building for human need, not for profit, is something Canadian and U.S. unions did to support working people back in the 1920s – 1970s. It's a model our union has pursued in our long-standing commitment to build rather than lease the offices used by our members. And we're proud to be reinventing this model using the economic principles of our Affordable BC plan.
Our new building will support BCGEU members and staff for years to come and will truly be an anchor for the progressive community and all working people in Burnaby. We are excited about this project and look forward to sharing more details as we watch our vision come to life.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected].
Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Paul Finch, BCGEU Treasurer
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