August 16, 2017

Standing against hatred in our communities - BCGEU

As I read reports and watch coverage of the events unfolding in Charlottesville, it saddens me to see the rise of hateful, intolerant rhetoric in our public discourse. These bigoted beliefs have no place in the just and equitable society that so many BCGEU members fight to achieve every day.


Nonetheless, it's inspiring to see so many members of the Charlottesville community and activists across the world standing up to oppose hatred and prejudice and to protect those threatened by the actions of these far-right groups.


On behalf of our 73,000 members, the BCGEU's provincial executive and I stand in solidarity as we oppose the rise of white supremacism, whether in Charlottesville or elsewhere in the world.


It's important to stand up to face injustice wherever we see it. Unfortunately, sometimes that means facing burgeoning hatred in our own communities, and this Saturday in Vancouver is one of those times.


A growing coalition of anti-racist groups will be standing together to oppose a right-wing rally that seeks to divide and destabilize our community.


A number of BCGEU members will be meeting together to join the forces of unity and tolerance, and I hope that you can join us.


Click here for details: BCGEU Stands Up Against Racism

August 14, 2017

Labour Day Picnic - BCGEU

The BCGEU Area 01Cross Component Committee invites all BCGEU members and their families to participate in the 29TH Annual Labour Day Event(hosted by the Victoria Labour Council)



Date: Monday, September 4th - 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: On the Lawn of the BC Legislature


Please join us for an afternoon of fun for the whole family!

We will have games, clowns, a bouncy castle and snacks for the kids. Also great music by the Timebenders.


Please drop by the BCGEU table!


In solidarity


Susanne Francoeur, Area 01 Cross Component Chairperson



Local 467/MoveUP

Download as pdf

August 11, 2017

BCGEU remembers first woman president - BCGEU

It's hard not to think of Joan Gower Gillatt as the first woman of the BCGEU. Not the first woman member, but our union's first woman trailblazer.

Joan passed away on August 10, 2017 in Duncan. She was 93.

Joan's was a life of community service and activism, beginning with her work in the labour movement. She was a lab assistant in Victoria when she joined the B.C. Government Employees' Association (which later became the BCGEU) in 1944. Joan became the Victoria branch's vice president, then president and later joined the BCGEA's provincial executive.

Over the years, Joan took on the many anti-worker policies of WAC Bennett's Social Credit Government. As the provincial executive's only woman member, she led the battle against a discriminatory rule forcing women in the public service to retire five years earlier than men.

Joan was the BCGEA's elected vice president in 1957 when the president died, making her the association's first woman president.

In 1997, the BCGEU granted Joan a well-deserved special life membership. 

After leaving the labour movement to teach high school in Duncan, Joan became an active member of her community. She served as an elected school board trustee and municipal council member over two decades.

In recent years, Joan has lead the Cowichan Peace Pole Art Project, which would see the creation of an outdoor public art space incorporating a traditional Cowichan welcoming figure.

Joan Gower Gillatt was a pioneer in our union. It took a special kind of courage and determination to lead those early fights for equality in the workplace. We can only imagine how many working women's lives were improved because of Joan's efforts and how many women activists she has influenced in the decades since.

We acknowledge her important contributions to our union and women workers. Our condolences to her loved ones and friends. 

- Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president.

Learn more about Joan Gower in the BCGEU's documentary on women and the BCGEU: We are the union: Women's Work [hyperlink:]

August 11, 2017

Staff Representative (Permanent) - Headquarters - BCGEU

August 11, 2017



The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union requires a staff representative (member engagement campaigner) for its Research & Interactive (R&I) services, effective date to be determined. The position is located at its headquarters in Burnaby.


The position reports to the coordinator, Research & Interactive (R&I) Services.



Campaigns strategy: develop and implement strategic member engagement campaigns aligned with organizational priorities established by senior leadership Member engagement campaigns: develop grassroots campaign plans and budgets on key public policy and labour relations issues to advance the interests of the union's membership as well as engage members and recruit activists; execute campaigns using a combination of traditional approaches and digital strategy; evaluate campaign effectiveness; recommend improvements to engagement strategy Reports, presentations, and submissions: prepare and present briefs, policy statements, reports, submissions and other campaigns-related communications or information Training: facilitate workshops, courses, conferences, meetings, events and other engagement activities related to campaigns Digital communications and social media: work with digital campaigners to strengthen outreach with the strategic, selective use of digital and visual communications as well as social media Committee assignments: support elected on BCGEU committees and represent the union on committees or in meetings with government, opposition and employer representatives Liaison: work with BCGEU activists, community groups, coalition partners, unions and labour centrals on shared issues and campaigns Other duties: primary role in this position is campaigns; however a member engagement campaigner may be assigned associated work, as required, to support departmental objectives



demonstrated skills and experience in both traditional and contemporary engagement processes, from grassroots organizing to digital campaigning, within the labour movement or community organizations excellent written communication skills, including formal reports, magazine writing and editing   excellent verbal communications, including experience designing and facilitating workshops or courses knowledge of graphic design, digital photography and editing are assets demonstrated ability to develop activists' skills and to maintain effective working relationships with union and community activists as well as coalition partners an understanding of the goals and values of the labour movement


Travel is required, therefore, applicants must hold a valid B.C. Driver's licence.


The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, LGBTQ+ workers and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.


Submit applications no later than 5:00 pm, Friday, August 18, 2017


Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to:


Attention to: Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland

August 11, 2017

Community health workers avoid strike action, negotiate tentative agreement -...

BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) members have reached a tentative agreement with their employer, We Care Home Health Services, a decision that came late last night before a rotating strike was set to begin this morning.

After joining the union last July, the BCGEU bargaining committee began negotiations to improve working conditions for the 221 community health workers at the home support agency. After several months of difficult talks, and resolve by the workers to reach a fair deal, the terms of the tentative agreement are expected to be voted on later this month.

"We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that provides our members with improved compensation, protects fair scheduling, and brings other significant improvements that will enable workers to provide reliable and consistent care to their clients," says BCGEU treasurer Paul Finch. "The union will recommend acceptance of the agreement to members."

The workers provide home support services mainly to seniors, and also work in areas such as addictions, youth palliative care, and mental health care.

"As B.C.'s population continues to age, the demand for home care support will simultaneously increase. This agreement puts all involved in a better position to help meet this demand, and provide the best in care so our seniors can age in place and with dignity," says Finch.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 10,000 workers in community health services throughout the province.

 For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713

August 11, 2017

Casino workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of job action against Great Cana...

August 11, 2017


Casino workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of job action against Great Canadian Casinos


Workers at River Rock Casino this week voted 99.4 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary to back their contract proposals.

In nearly a year of negotiations between the BCGEU and the employer, Great Canadian Casinos, the two sides have failed to achieve a first collective agreement. It's not for a lack of effort on our part.

"We welcomed River Rock employees into our union knowing their working conditions needed to be improved and we were determined to achieve that," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "We've spent many months now trying to move the employer on a number of key issues and it just hasn't happened. Strike mandates are always a last resort, but we've been left with no choice."

Participation in the strike vote demonstrated the determination of members to achieve a fair collective agreement. Nearly 90 per cent of the 977 BCGEU members at River Rock who were eligible to vote did so.

Mediated talks are expected to take place next week. If those fail, the prospect of job action will become more likely - a move that could cost Great Canadian Casinos millions in lost revenue.

"It's hard to feel confident that Great Canadian is bargaining in good faith. All we're asking for is a fair deal for workers. We urge the employer to come back to the bargaining table with a view to getting a deal done," said Smith.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia. We represent more than 73,000 members across all sectors of the economy, including over 3800 workers in casinos.

 For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications
| e: | c: 604-719-4713

August 11, 2017

Secretary (Permanent) - Headquarters - BCGEU

August 11, 2017






A secretary is required to perform secretarial and word processing functions for Staff Representatives in the Occupational Health and Safety Department.




Duties will include: processing a variety of documents such as minutes, meeting notices, reports, memoranda, forms, schedules, questionnaires, leaves of absence and general correspondence; making travel and hotel arrangements; arranging appointments; making logistical arrangements for conferences and training sessions; liaising with BCGEU activists and employer representatives; setting up and maintaining departmental filing systems; maintaining a daily bring forward system; responding to telephone inquiries and walk-in visitors; preparing and coding purchase orders; preparing cheque requisitions for signature; sorting and distributing mail; and other related duties as required.




Applicants must have 2-4 years secretarial experience: high school graduation supplemented by secretarial training; excellent keyboarding (60-70 wpm); word processing skills essential; Word and database experience required; an aptitude for organization and detail; good telephone manner; and the ability to set priorities and work within time limits.

Hours of work are 32 per week, four days.

General aptitude tests will be administered to all applicants. Keyboarding tests will be administered to regular/temporary employees who are not presently working in, or have not previously worked in a secretarial position.

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, LGBTQ+ workers and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Apply in writing with resume to Sharon Penner, Human Resources Administrator, Headquarters by 5:00 pm, Thursday, August 17, 2017.



Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to:

August 08, 2017

Community health workers launch strike for fair wages and fair scheduling - B...

Following several months of unsuccessful negotiations seeking fair wages and fair scheduling provisions, 221 community support workers will go on strike Friday. The workers, employed by home support agency We Care Home Health Services, will initiate a rotating strike to emphasize the need for a fair contract.

 “Community health workers are trained professionals, and the vital work they do must be coordinated and compensated fairly,” says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. “Many of these workers are on the front lines of the most pressing health issues in our province. It is critical that they are supported with fair wages and reasonable schedules so that we can retain and recruit the best in the profession to care for those in need.”

We Care employees are currently paid less than direct employees doing the same work at Fraser Health – the health authority that contracts them through We Care – and they are seeking to narrow that pay gap. Further, their employer is attempting to backslide on fair scheduling practices currently in place, such as moving from weekly to daily scheduling, a move that would put already stressed and underpaid workers in a more precarious position.

 “As these workers fight for what is fair in terms of wages and appropriate scheduling provisions, they will ensure the strike has as little negative impact as possible on those that depend on their care and services” says Smith. “Essential services such as providing medications or meal preparation will not be disrupted.”

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 10,000 workers in community health services throughout the province.

For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713

August 08, 2017

BCGEU welcomes government’s decision to eliminate tuition fees for Adult Basi...

The BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) welcomes today's announcement by the provincial government to remove tuition fees for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learning (ELL) programs in the province.

ABE is the gateway to many other advanced education programs and good jobs, and ELL programs are essential to new Canadians' ability to access employment and education. Eliminating tuition fees will provide access, as well as readiness in apprenticeships and skills training.

"Eliminating these fees will enable thousands of people to succeed academically and in the workforce, especially considering the needs of young and transitioning workers who require language training or upgrades, as well as the high volume of new immigrants to B.C." says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

After tuition fees were reinstated in 2014/15 by the previous Liberal government, enrolment for adult basic education fell to its lowest level since 2005/06. The BCGEU called for tuition-free access to these programs in its submission last year to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services 2016/17 and in the union's last three provincial budget analyses for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 4,700 instructors and support staff at colleges and institutes throughout the province.


For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713


August 08, 2017

Basic Stewards' Training - BCGEU

The BCGEU provides training to all of its Stewards and Local Executives. Training is essential to you in your role as a steward. You are receiving this notice because you are on our list for those Stewards awaiting your Steward Course.

Paid leaves from work, accommodation, travel and meal expenses, if required, will be paid for by the Union. Lunch will be provided for the days you are in class.

The course is scheduled for:

Date:        September 19-21, 2017 

Time:        9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Please note that our office does not open until 8:30 a.m.)

Location:  BCGEU North Island Area Office

  106-1650 Terminal Ave N, Nanaimo

  (Please park in designated BCGEU parking spots.)


Please bring a copy of your collective agreement.

As space is limited, registrations are being accepted on a first come, first-served basis. If you would like to attend the training, please click here to register

The deadline for registration is September 5, 2017. Please call the area office at 1-800-667-1997 if you have any questions or concerns.


In solidarity

North Island Area Office


Download as pdf

August 02, 2017

The BCGEU welcomes the government’s decision to review the economic viability...

The BCGEU welcomes today's announcement that the provincial government has asked the BC Utilities Commission to review the $8.8 billion Site C dam. Long overdue, the commission finally has the opportunity to provide a fair and transparent assessment of the merits of the project. British Columbians deserve nothing less. 

BCUC's due diligence will clarify the choices that are available now that construction of the project has begun. It will arm us with the information we need to make a better decision for our province.

We congratulate our new government on fulfilling its commitment today, and look forward to the results of the commission's work.

August 02, 2017

Williams Lake Area Office Re-Opens Today - BCGEU

The Williams Lake Area Office re-opens today, August 2, 2017. Thank you for your patience, and special thanks to the volunteers in the area who assisted residents during the wildfires evacuation, as well as the recent return home of residents.

Please note that with the re-opening of the office, calls will no longer be re-directed to Prince George. However, although the evacuation order is lifted, Williams Lake is still on evacuation alert and should another evacuation proceed, calls would again go to Prince George. 


August 01, 2017

The BCGEU granted standing at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered ...

Good news from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The BCGEU has been granted standing in the MMIWG allowing it to make formal written and oral submissions to the public inquiry. 

The letter received states:

On behalf of the Commissioners, the Application for Standing submitted by BC Government and Service Employees' Union has been granted, for greater certainty, the Commissioners have granted standing in Part I, for the Region of British Columbia, for the issues as applied, with full rights. 

"I am very pleased to hear our application was accepted. The essential work of our members has been recognized by the commission and they've asked to hear from them directly," says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. "Several of our members around the province have worked with now missing and murdered women and girls, and feel strongly that their stories and experiences be shared with the commission." 

"I am so proud of the work our members do with Indigenous peoples and communities. We now have some of our most important work ahead of us as we prepare for our submission to the Inquiry. Recently, we released our report on Women's Services in B.C. – Collective Wisdom: Challenges and Opportunities in BC Women's Services. It speaks to the vital work our members do to protect and support vulnerable women and girls and their children, including many Indigenous women and girls. We intend to share this collective voice and experience directly with the inquiry." 

 "We have already shared these findings with the Federal Minister of Status of Women, Honourable Maryam Monsef, as well as the former Provincial Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Honourable Michelle Stilwell. I hope to meet with Minister Monsef in September to further discuss our members' work, how we can better protect and support Indigenous women and girls, and how we can help provide healing and justice for their communities." 

The BCGEU will issue further updates as our involvement with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls progresses. 

July 31, 2017

Read The Summer 2017 Issue Of The Steward - BCGEU

In this issue, we look at a variety of topics to keep you up-to-date on issues that could affect your workplace, and the members you represent. Topics include bullying and harassment, planning ahead in case of permanent disability, stories of grievances and their outcomes from across Canada, and tips from an advocacy department co-op student for assisting members as a steward.

We hope you'll find this issue informative and useful in your work. If there are topics you would like addressed or you have ideas for new education opportunities for stewards, don't hesitate to email us at There is also a wealth of information for stewards, including back-issues of this publication, on our brand new BCGEU member portal. Log into your account and find resources under Tools for Stewards.

Download PDF of The Steward here




Local 467/MoveUP

July 28, 2017

Provincial magazine - Summer 2017 - BCGEU

Provincial - Summer 2017Download the PDF file of the 2017 Summer issue of The Provincial magazine. In this issue:

  • New Leadership - Convention 2017 reports
  • BCGEU Environment Policy
  • 2017 audited financial statements
  • BCGEU Community
  • Remembering John Shields
  • and more...


July 25, 2017

Killer found after escaping custody at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital - BCGEU

An hour after warning the public that a killer was missing from B.C.'s Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, the 54-year-old man is back in police custody.

Mounties issued a warning Monday afternoon, three days after Terrance Scott Giesbrecht left the facility at 70 Colony Farm Rd. in Coquitlam. Giesbrecht was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, the RCMP said.



July 24, 2017

‘Violent’ attack on Colony Farm psychiatric hospital staffer prompts call for...

The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is calling on the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to protect workers after a staff member was allegedly assaulted by a patient at a high-security Coquitlam psychiatric hospital.



July 20, 2017

BCGEU, NUPGE pledge $100,000 donation to B.C. wildfire relief - BCGEU

The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) announced today that it has joined with its national affiliate, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) to pledge a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross to help with wildfire relief efforts in British Columbia. 

"We are pleased to contribute to the relief effort for B.C. residents affected by wildfires," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "BCGEU members and their families live in the affected communities and we share a responsibility to provide humanitarian services for all British Columbians impacted by this natural disaster.

"BCGEU members are on the front lines with other emergency service workers, fighting to protect British Columbians' personal safety, homes and livelihoods. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to them and all people affected by the wildfires."

"The labour movement has a long history of stepping up to help Canadians in times of need," says NUPGE president Larry Brown. "Our affiliates provide necessary public services to affected residents and we proudly make this donation to the Red Cross on behalf of all our members."

During the B.C. wildfire crisis, the BCGEU will continue to communicate with its membership about other support services, including: accessing union services during area office closures and the union's policy on emergency relief for loss of home."

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia, representing over 72,000 members in 550 bargaining units in the public and private sectors. BCGEU members provide vital public services including wildfire protection, provincial emergency support and a wide range of public health and environmental services to British Columbians.


For more information, contact

Chris Bradshaw at: 778-746-7483 or 604-369-8411

Bronwen Barnett at: 604-473-5424



Local 467/MoveUP