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:
Executive Vice Presidents
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.