Click here to find info on COVID-19


Convention 2021 wrap-up – a new executive and a new name. - BCGEU

Our union’s 2021 Constitution Convention has come to a close. Over the course of convention, members passed resolutions determining the direction of our union over the next three years and elected our union’s executive officers for the same period. Be on the lookout for a more thorough wrap up of convention in the next issue of The Provincial magazine.

Congratulations to our new BCGEU executive:
Stephanie Smith
Paul Finch
Executive Vice Presidents
Kari Michaels
Judy Phipps
James Coccola
Doug Kinna

Election details:
There was one declared candidate for president, and Stephanie Smith was acclaimed to the office.
There was one declared candidate for treasurer, and Paul Finch was acclaimed to the office.
Executive Vice Presidents – Women
There were three declared candidates for women executive vice presidents, and two additional candidates ran from the convention floor, for a total of five candidates. Kari Michaels was elected on the first ballot, and Judy Phipps was elected on the fourth ballot, which was conducted twice.
Following the first running of the fourth ballot, a point of order was raised regarding complaints from delegates who were unable to vote. The chair decided that – in order to protect the rights of all delegates and the integrity of the election – the election would be rerun. Judy Phipps was elected on the second running of the fourth ballot.
Executive Vice Presidents – Men
There were five declared candidates for men executive vice presidents, and one additional candidate ran from the convention floor, for a total of six candidates. James Coccola and Doug Kinna were elected on the first ballot.


A new name – the B.C. General Employees’ Union

On Friday, delegates at BCGEU’s Constitutional Convention voted to change our union’s name to the B.C. General Employees’ Union.

The following resolution was submitted by the provincial executive and passed by an overwhelming majority vote without debate:

The BCGEU will: amend the BCGEU constitution Article 1, as follows: (a) This organization is known as the B.C. General Employees’ Union (BCGEU), and is referred to as the union.;

BECAUSE the BCGEU has grown in strength and diversity, including members from the private sector, broader public sector, and Indigenous services; and

BECAUSE we strive for an inclusive name that represents the unity of members in the union, while respecting the diverse needs and interests of our members.

In addition to the clauses of the resolution, this change addresses an issue that has been raised by BCGEU members as well as our partners in Indigenous communities and elsewhere in the labour and social justice movement: The term "government" has negative connotations for some Indigenous people and communities and our work towards true reconciliation should focus on taking concrete action to decolonize our union. This name change does that.


It will take some time to update our union’s materials to reflect our new name, and we appreciate your patience as our staff works through this process.


COVID-19: BCGEU office closure details - BCGEU

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in January, your union has been closely monitoring the situation and acting decisively based on the best available science and expert recommendations to keep members and staff healthy, safe, and informed while maintaining core services and supports for our 80,000+ members across the province during this critical time.

Yesterday, I convened the first meeting of the BCGEU COVID Response Team-which is made up of me, Treasurer Paul Finch, our four Executive Vice Presidents, the BCGEU's three directors and our press secretary. The team will be meeting daily (by phone) throughout the pandemic to identify urgent issues for members and staff and streamline the resolution of those issues.

The first issue we tackled was the decision to close BCGEU offices to the public and require all non-essential BCGEU staff to work from home effective as soon as it is operationally possible. We expect all offices to be closed by the end of this week-hopefully many will be closed by Wednesday.

We took this decision to ensure our members have access to core services and supports of their union during the pandemic while also supporting the ability of our staff to practice social distancing. Allowing non-essential staff to work from home and restricting public access to BCGEU buildings we are making sure staff whose work requires them to be in an office to practice social distancing in their workplace. 

I want to make two things clear:

  • BCGEU buildings are safe-we implemented deep cleaning protocols in every facility last week. This decision to have non-essential staff work remotely is simply our commitment to the recommended practice of social distancing.
  • The office closure will not impact members' ability to access the core services and supports of their union. During this period of remote work, local chairs will continue to have direct access to staff representatives and members with questions or issues related to COVID-19 or regular labour relations can contact their steward or local chair as they usually would. In addition, members with questions or concerns specific to COVID-19 in their workplace can email those questions to [email protected] 

Going forward your union will continue to protect the health, safety, and rights of our members and staff as well as all working people based on the best available science and expert advice and to keep our members and staff informed of our decisions and actions. I encourage all of you to follow the science, listen to the experts and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Thank you for all that you do.

In solidarity,
Stephanie Smith



Public Service Main and Component Bargaining Proposals for the 19th Public Se...

Preparations for the 19th Public Service negotiations are already commencing. Therefore, we are calling for locals to meet and prepare draft proposals and resolutions for submission to their respective components. They are to be forwarded to the Component Executives in order for proposals and resolutions to be vetted and allocated to either the Public Service Main or Component tables. The deadline for locals to have proposals submitted to their respective Component is Friday - October 1, 2021. 

Components will consider these proposals and submit them to the Public Service Bargaining Committee by 5:00 pm on Monday - November 1, 2021.
All Public Service Main proposals will be sent electronically to the attention of Lisa Lane at the Victoria Area Office. This will require locals and components to meet earlier and endorse proposals in time for referral. 

Please ensure that you schedule a local meeting with bargaining proposals on the agenda in advance of October 1, 2021. 
Attached is the form to use to articulate the proposal and the rationale for it. These forms are retained by the Public Service Bargaining Committee and referred to during negotiations to assess need, determine priority and obtain additional feedback where necessary. Proposals do not need to be in contract language format. The committee can draft the language as long as the intent is clear. It is very important, however, to include examples, which justify the need for language changes as these are used by the Committee at the negotiations table to show why the changes are needed.

Thank you for your assistance in this regard.

In solidarity

Stephanie Smith

Download Memorandum here

Download Form for Submitting Component or Main Bargaining Proposals here 


July 23, 2021

Staff Representative (Temporary) Victoria area office - BCGEU


July 23, 2021


The B.C. General Employees' Union requires a temporary staff representative to work in the Victoria Area Office, effective date to be determined. The term of the assignment is up to 3 months or to return of incumbent.


  • Assist officers, stewards and membership in the day-to-day administration of their union by attending membership meetings; assisting in union elections, preparing and conducting ratification votes;
  • Advising union membership on union policy and procedures;
  • Negotiating collective agreements and contract administration through the handling of grievances up to and including expedited arbitration;
  • Teaching courses for stewards and local officers;
  • Assisting in or leading organizing campaigns, both internal and external;
  • Representing the union at local labour councils and conventions; and
  • Will be required to develop grassroots campaign plans to advance the interests of the union's membership as well as engage members and recruit activists.


  • Experience in the trade union movement is essential;
  • Ability to deal with union leadership and employer representatives;
  • Ability to prepare concise written reports and handle a large volume of correspondence and ability to speak in public;
  • Must have an understanding of the goals and values of the labour movement;
  • Must have a solid understanding of organizing principles. Proven experience in union organizing drives will be an asset; and
  • Demonstrated ability to develop activist skills and maintain an effective working relationship with union and community activists.

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, 2SLGBTQI+ workers, and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Submit applications no later than 5:00 pm, Friday, July 30, 2021.

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: [email protected], attention to:

Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland


July 20, 2021

Tips to avoid email fraud - BCGEU

In the past couple of years, the BCGEU has seen an increase in the number of fraudulent, or phishing, emails being sent to BCGEU members.

Often, these emails look like they come from someone at the BCGEU. In other circumstances, the scammers have taken information off the BCGEU website and have attempted to impersonate component or local executive members.

In many of these cases, the scammers are asking other BCGEU members to send them money, either by an e-transfer or other means (such as a request to purchase gift cards), on their behalf.

To be clear: The BCGEU will never email you to ask for an e-transfer or for any form of money.

Unfortunately, we have had a member recently fall victim to one of these scams. As a result, we want to advise you of best practices to stay safe online.

1. Check for an email address in the "From:" line of the email

Any email you receive from the BCGEU will have an email address in the "From:" line. Here is an example of a fraudulent email:

Here is another example, this time asking to install software.

While this email looks legitimate, it is not. You can see from the "From:" email that this does not come from Microsoft. In addition, software companies will never email asking you to upgrade your software. Anytime an email asks you to install something, you should assume that it is fraud.

2. Confirm request using existing contact information

If anyone emails you asking for money, make sure you call or text that person to confirm the request is real. Do not assume any email asking for money is real until you have confirmed with the person by using contact information that you already have. Do not trust a phone number listed within the email and do not reply to the email you received. If you don't have the person's phone number, then you don't know them well enough to send them money.

3. Assume any email requesting personal information is fraudulent

In general, it is best to assume that any email that asks you for personal information is fraudulent. For instance, the BCGEU will not email you to ask for any personal information – instead we would ask you to login into the Member Portal ( to update any information. If you receive an email from the BCGEU asking for you to update information through a website, make sure that it links you to a website that ends in, like

4. Update passwords directly, not via links

Finally, a common fraudulent email we have seen is one asking you to update your password. This type of email is a bit more difficult to be sure about, because this is something many online services will commonly ask you to do. The best way to be sure that you do not inadvertently provide your password to a scammer is to simply go to the online service in your web browser and login. Do not click the link in the email you received. If the service wants you to change your password, you will be prompted to do so upon logging in.

For more information about staying safe online, please consult the Government of Canada's websites:


July 19, 2021

Staff Representative (Temporary) Negotiations Department - BCGEU


July 19, 2021


The B.C. General Employees' Union requires a temporary staff representative to work in the Negotiations Department for up to 5 months. The effective date to be determined.


Negotiations: Working with bargaining units and bargaining councils to develop collective agreement proposals and bargaining strategies; development and implementation of industry standard agreements; review contract administration problems in bargaining units; negotiation of collective agreements for single units and multiple units and with other unions in bargaining associations; participation in mediation to settle collective agreements; representing the union at various informal and formal hearings at the Labour Relations Board pertaining to collective bargaining, essential services and strikes or lockouts; conducting strikes; ratification of tentative agreements.

Classifications: To analyze job descriptions, job specifications and job evaluation plans in order to make determinations as to the appropriate classification level for a given position; to pursue classification appeals through the appeals process including expedited hearings and agreed settlements; to participate in Joint Job Evaluation Committees with elected and employer representatives to rate jobs; to provide training to elected representatives in various job evaluation plans; handle appeals covering a variety of classification groups; to communicate with union members and employer representatives.


Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with other staff and elected members; to handle a large volume of correspondence and other communication; experience with administration of collective agreements, grievance handling and arbitration; knowledge of the operation of contract language; experience in servicing locals and members, familiarity with PSEC guidelines; drafting contract language, analyzing contract proposals, arbitration awards and other relevant decisions; good organization skills, including ability to produce collective agreements for signature and distribution in a timely manner. Experience in negotiating with non-profit agencies, for profit agencies and an understanding of public sector funding and delivery mechanisms would be an asset.

An ability to analyze complex benefit plans; to analyze classification appeals and negotiate resolutions to appeals; an understanding of classification systems, systemic wage discrimination and principles of pay equity.

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, 2SLGBTQI+ workers and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Travel is required, therefore, applicants must hold a valid B.C. Drivers Licence.

Submit applications no later than 5:00 pm, Monday, July 26, 2021.

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: [email protected]
Attention to: Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland


July 19, 2021

Events Coordinator/Planner - Conventions, Conferences and Travel Department -...


July 19, 2021

The B.C. General Employees' Union requires an administrative representative to work in the Conventions, Conferences and Travel Department. The position reports directly to the Facilities Coordinator. Effective date to be determined.


Organizes and coordinates the physical and administrative aspects of BCGEU conventions and conferences.

  • negotiates with outside agencies/facilities for appropriate accommodation and travel arrangements; negotiates operational costs; authorizes contracts;
  • calculates delegate entitlement for submission to the Executive Committee;
  • drafts correspondence for the President’s and Treasurer’s signature to delegates/participants , guests, committees, affiliates and staff;  oversees credential preparation;
  • oversees delegate/participant travel requirements;  ensures Provincial Executive policy is adhered to;
  • authorizes leaves of absence, advances, purchase orders, expense claims for members and staff;
  • authorizes invoices for payment from agencies/facilities;
  • advises components of chargebacks when applicable;
  • responds to and follows up with members with regard to discrepancies in expense claims and union policies and procedures;
  • prepares and monitors the budget for conferences and conventions; provides information and accounting of expenditures.

Organizes and coordinates the administration for delegates/participants to attend the BC Federation of Labour Convention, Canadian Labour Congress Convention, National Union of Provincial and General Employees Convention and other affiliate conferences and functions.

  • calculates delegate entitlement for submission to the Executive Committee;
  • oversees delegate/participant travel requirements; ensures Provincial Executive policy is adhered to;
  • drafts correspondence for the President’s and Treasurer’s signature to delegates/participants;
  • oversees credential/registration and leave of absence preparation;
  • authorizes leaves of absence, advances, purchase orders, expense claims for delegates/staff;
  • liaises with affiliate convention/conference administrator(s) to arrange for the administrative requirements for BCGEU delegation;
  • authorizes leaves of absence, advances, purchase orders, expense claims for members and staff;
  • authorizes invoices for payment from agencies/facilities;
  • advises components of chargebacks when applicable;
  • responds to and follows up with members with regard to discrepancies in expense claims and union policies and procedures.

Other Related Duties:

  • monitors union travel activity; receives travel activity reports provided by the travel clerks; provides summaries of reports;
  • makes recommendations for procedural and policy change;
  • identifies convention software requirements;
  • supervises in-house travel clerks to ensure all of the union's policies and procedures are being followed; 
  • drafts and signs correspondence to outside organizations;
  • conducts and attends meetings with outside organizations to review union practices and ensure that accessibility standards and safety issues are in place;
  • plans other events and functions as required.


Applicants must have 4-5 years events planning experience; including convention and conference planning covering all aspects of a convention; from hotel event booking, budgets, travel arrangements, registration, delegate counts, member room booking, meeting room planning and agenda planning. Have a good understanding of the functions of the administrative operations and election process of a union convention. Experience in the union movement essential.

Ability to deal effectively with union leadership, to prepare concise written reports, must deal with people effectively and have excellent organizational skills. Experience in supervising and directing employees; ability to handle diverse responsibilities and functions; ability to handle multiple priorities and work within time limits; knowledge and understanding of Union procedures and policies; understanding of the BCGEU structure; ability to deal with confidential and sensitive information.

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, 2SLGBTQI+ workers and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Travel is required, therefore, applicants must hold a valid B.C. Drivers Licence.

Submit applications no later than 5:00 pm, Monday July 26, 2021.

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: [email protected]
Attention to: Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland


July 02, 2021

BC Restart Phase 3 – union offices opening and changes at work - BCGEU

BCGEU offices re-opening on July 12

With the shift to Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, BCGEU offices will re-open, by appointment only, on July 12.

Members can visit offices for meetings and to drop off or pick up materials.

For the safety of BCGEU members and staff, masks are required in common spaces and visitors must register upon arrival. Additional occupational health and safety protocols will also apply, including limits on meeting size and the number of people allowed in an office at one time, though these vary between offices.

If you wish to visit your local BCGEU office, please contact your area office to make an appointment – click here for a list of BCGEU offices. 


What Phase 3 means at work

Yesterday B.C. moved to stage three of our restart plan. Click here to read details of the plan. 

Key changes affecting workplaces in this stage include:

  • the end of the provincial indoor mask mandate, and
  • the end of workplaces requiring a COVID safety plan.

However, there is still a mask recommendation for certain individuals and workplaces will now be required to have a Communicable Disease Plan, which could include mask wearing.
For many BCGEU members, work will begin to look more like it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our union will be working with employers to ensure that occupational health and safety is the highest priority in every workplace.
If you are concerned about how your workplace is adapting to the new regulations, please contact your union steward or occupational health and safety representative. Click here for information about occupational health and safety in your worksite.


June 30, 2021

Canada Day: Reflect, listen, learn, commit to action - BCGEU

How can we make Canada Day meaningful? By taking time on July 1 to reflect and collectively mourn about recent events as we learn more about the horrors and abuse that took place in residential schools.
We grieve alongside Indigenous Peoples and communities as we validate tragic events in our history. Of course, the most recent ones being the deeply disturbing news of 751 unmarked graves being accounted for at the former Marieval Indian Residential School in the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan and another 182 human remains located in unmarked graves at the former St. Eugene's Mission Residential School in the Ktunaxa Nation in Cranbrook.
Canada Day needs to be about respectful reflection — to listen and to learn about the history of Canada and understand all the ways Indigenous people have suffered and are suffering today. Again, we’re calling for decolonization, and real action toward reconciliation.
The BCGEU stands with Indigenous Peoples from coast to coast to coast.  We strongly support the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s 94 Calls to Action which cover a variety of aspects of life in Canada that include business, education, health, youth, women, justice and more. We implore all non-Indigenous people to read each of the 94 calls to action, to cultivate a deeper understanding of the impact of intergenerational trauma and systemic racism and work together to dismantle colonialism.
What can you do?
Your union has gathered a variety of resources including suggestions of some Indigenous businesses to support, Indigenous social media thought leaders to follow, and links for non-Indigenous people to better understand Canada’s painful colonial legacy and its impact on Indigenous peoples.
Please take the time and learn.
Actions matter: Your union remains more committed than ever to strengthening relationships with Indigenous members and all Indigenous peoples.
Donate: Indian Residential School Survivors Society
IndigiNews: Help decolonize the media by becoming an IndigiNews supporter.
Land Acknowledgements
Acknowledging territory shows recognition of and respect for Aboriginal Peoples. Find out more about local Indigenous territories and languages 
Guide to Indigenous organizations and services
A listing of Indigenous community-based services and organizations in B.C.: 
A-Z listing of First Nations in B.C.
An alphabetical listing of First Nations in B.C., and links to further information 
A Manual for Decolonization Whose Land Is It Anyway?
A Manual for Decolonization was inspired by a 2016 speaking tour by Arthur Manuel, less than a year before his untimely passing in January 2017.
First Nations historical dates in Canada
Historical timeline in B.C.: a timeline and history of Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia (link to:
B.C. First Nations history
First Nations of North America have always been self-sustaining societies with complex social, economic and political structures. Read this brief historical overview of First Nations in B.C., starting with the signing of a Royal Proclamation in October 1763.
A child-friendly version of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
It’s never too early to start teaching our children.

Indigenous Women and the Story of Canada | Sarah Robinson | The Walrus Talks

BCGEU Equity and Human Rights Facebook Group
BCFED Indigenous Workers Group 
BCGEU guide to First Nations acknowledgement, protocol & terminology

Indigenous thought leaders to follow on social media:
Cindy Blackstock: a Canadian-born Gitxsan activist for child welfare and executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
Jody Wilson-Raybould: Independent MP—Vancouver Granville, former Minister of VAC, Justice and Attorney General of Canada, BC Regional Chief
Khelsilem: Indigenous leader and spokesperson with Squamish Nation
Angela Sterritt: Academy (CSA) award winning journalist — best local reporter in Canada, 2021. Gitxsan/Amsiwa
Ryan McMahon: Anishinaabe comedian, podcaster and writer from the Couchiching First Nation 
Brandi Morin: Cree/Iroquois/French, Awarded Journalist 
Pam Palmater: Lawyer, Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick
Tanya Talaga: Storyteller, writer, filmmaker
Bob Chamberlin: Indigenous leader 
Wawmeesh Hamilton: CBC Radio syndicated columnist
Candis Callison: Author, Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities (2020) 
Anna Mary Mckenzie: IndigiNews reporter 
Odette Auger: Indigenous Journalist 
Gordon Loverin: A certified director, an accomplished screenwriter and an experienced journalist 
Steph Eva Wood: Reporter for The Narwhal
Bob Joseph: Author of national bestseller 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act. 
Indigenous podcasts to follow 
48 books by Indigenous writers to read to understand residential schools 
Films by Indigenous filmmakers 
REEL Canada: Indigenous made film catalogue 
Indigenous-owned businesses to check out and support




The BCGEU is located on the Unceded Territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Learn more about local Indigenous territories and languages: