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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.


CLC Winter School 2022 - BCGEU

Winter School 2022 will be taking place in-person! We are so excited that our communities will be able to come together, to learn and discuss with peers and colleagues at the upcoming Winter School. As we continue to work with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) on updating you with further details, please complete your registration application form to express your interest in attending. Please note, this form does not mean you are registered to attend Winter School. Upon receipt of your registration/application, you will receive an e-mail from [email protected] asking for your class choices and asking for further supporting details that will be forwarded to your Component Education Committee for consideration. Once your Component has made their decision on who is approved to attend, you will be contacted by our Department to finalize your attendance.


Please complete by November 5, 2021:


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 


January 21, 2022

NTT Data Members Please Check Your Paystub - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Have you been paid Incorrectly?
It has come to the Union’s attention that BCGEU members working for NTT may not have been paid correctly for the following 2021/2022 statutory holidays:

  • December 25, 2021
  • December 27, 2021
  • January 1, 2022
  • January 3, 2022

We understand members were paid at a whole range of DIFFERENT rates for these stat dates when they should have been paid at the SAME rate in accordance with the collective agreement.
Scenario 1 (If you work Monday – Friday)
The collective agreement says if you work a Monday – Friday schedule and a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, like Christmas and New Year's Day did this year, then the Employer must make the following Monday the holiday. This year, December 27 and January 3 should have been deemed the holidays if you work Monday – Friday. If you were scheduled and worked on December 27 or January 3, you should have received double time PLUS one half for all hours worked PLUS a day off in lieu of each holiday.
Scenario 2 (If you work weekends)
If you were scheduled and worked on the actual holiday (December 25 or January 1), you should have also received double time PLUS one half for all hours worked PLUS a day off in lieu of each holiday.
We also understand there may have been payroll errors for overtime not being accurately paid between pay periods December 25 and January 15, 2022.
What Should I do Next?
We are recommending that all NTT employees look at their paystubs from this period and make sure they were paid correctly for December 25, December 27, 2021, January 1, and January 3, 2022. If you find you were not paid correctly or are unsure, please reach out to a steward to look into filing a grievance. If you don’t have a steward, please contact Kevin Ball ([email protected]) or Jesse Farsang ([email protected]) and they will connect you with a steward or help you figure out whether you’ve been paid incorrectly.
If you worked overtime between December 25 and January 15, 2022, please check your paystub to make sure you were paid correctly.
What is the Union doing about this?
We are looking into this and are reaching out to the Employer to notify them of the problem. In the meantime, we need to know how many members have been affected so we can present those numbers to the Employer. Please reach out to a steward, Kevin Ball ([email protected]) or Jesse Farsang ([email protected]by next Monday, January 24, 2022 so we can start working towards resolution.
Have a good weekend everyone.
In solidarity,
Jennifer Arnold – Local 603 Staff Representative
Earl Maloney – Local 601 Staff Representative
Kevin Ball – Local 603 Secretary and Steward
Jesse Farsang – Steward

Download PDF of notice here


January 20, 2022

Staff Representative - Advocacy Department (2 Positions) - BC General Employe...

(2 Positions) 

January 20, 2022



The B.C. General Employees' Union requires two staff representatives to work in the Advocacy Department. The effective dates are to be determined.

BCGEU may consider alternative work locations for the positions.

DUTIES: The successful applicant will work as part of a team providing a wide range of advocacy services to the union and its members. Duties will include, but may not be limited to, representing the union and its members at formal arbitration hearings, at the Labour Relations Board, and other adjudicative tribunals.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must have demonstrated abilities to analyze and identify grievance file issues, conduct merit assessments and either informally resolve outstanding issues and/or prepare and present a case at formal arbitration; deal with senior management and their counsel; prepare concise oral and written submissions; work effectively with union officers and stewards; handle a large volume of correspondence and speak effectively in public; demonstrated ability in problem solving and dispute resolution; an understanding of the goals and values of the labour movement; demonstrated ability to develop activists' skills and to maintain effective working relationships with activists.

Experience and training in the specific area of responsibility is preferred, in particular, experience in preparation and presentation of cases referred to full arbitration.

Salary and benefits are offered under a collective agreement. The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, indigenous 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. Driver's Licence.

Submit applications no later than 5:00 pm Friday January 28, 2022.

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

Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland.


January 19, 2022

Public Service Negotiations Scheduled to Commence - BC General Employees' Uni...

BCGEU President and Public Service Bargaining Committee Chair Stephanie Smith announced this week that negotiations aimed at reaching our 19th public service main and component collective agreements will kick off at the end of this month.

"I'm pleased that the BCGEU and the PSA will begin negotiations on January 31 well ahead of the March 31, 2022 expiry of the current collective agreements," said Smith. "Every round of bargaining is an opportunity to make sure the lived experiences of members are reflected in their collective agreements and I can't remember a time when there were so many experiences to draw from.

"Since the current agreement ratified in 2018, BCGEU members in the public service have faced extraordinary risks and challenges from the pandemic as well as devastating extreme weather events. You have also gone above and beyond working towards lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, eliminating racism and discrimination from your workplaces, and making our province a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place. Your bargaining proposals are based on everything you've learned from those experiences and addressing your demands in your next collective agreement is one way your employer can show respect for everything you've done."

Under the Public Service Labour Relations Act, public service bargaining includes component agreements which cover occupational specific issues as well as a main public service agreement which spell out the wages, terms and conditions for all public service workers.

Due to surging cases of the Omicron variant and high community transmission, your bargaining committee and the B.C. Public Service Agency who represent the province at the bargaining table, have mutually agreed to modify our upcoming public service bargaining schedule to ensure health and safety protocols are in place for both bargaining committees.

The agreed to bargaining schedule is:

Component bargaining will take place from Monday, January 31 to Friday, February 4.

Main table bargaining will take place beginning Tuesday, February 8 for a five week period until Friday, March 11.

The Public Service Bargaining Committee has been hard at work since last fall preparing our proposals to go to the bargaining table. This has included considering bargaining proposals from BCGEU public service locals, a membership bargaining questionnaire, as well as a detailed membership poll conducted by one of B.C.'s foremost pollsters, Mario Canseco.

"The BCGEU has conducted the most detailed and comprehensive preparations for public service negotiations in our history," said Smith. "This included reviewing nearly 500 proposals from union locals, 5800 bargaining survey results and polling results from over 5000 members. Members' input has been clear and consistent: you want a fair and equitable contract that addresses the rapidly rising cost-of-living, builds on the gains we achieved in the current agreement and recognizes how critically important public services and workers are to British Columbians."

Your bargaining committees will update you as bargaining proceeds and will keep you informed every step of the way.

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
Cynthia Mepham-Egli, Component 6 Acting First Vice-Chairperson
Maria Middlemiss, Vice President - Component 12
Matt Damario, Component 12 First Vice-Chairperson
Robert Davis, Vice President - Component 20
Doug Dykens, Director - Field Services & Negotiations
Michael Eso, Secretary and Chief Negotiator
Lisa Lane, Support Staff


January 18, 2022



January 18, 2022






An Administrative Assistant is required to assist secretarial and word processing functions for staff representatives, as well assist with the implementation of library projects.


General Advocacy administrative duties may include processing a variety of documents on a personal computer including reports, memoranda, forms, leaves of absence, meeting notices, legal documents and general correspondence; compiling books of authorities and exhibits under the direction of servicing staff; inputting all files into a grievance database and updating hearing/arbitration reports; compiling quarterly statistical Advocacy reports for PE meetings; handling Component administrative duties; processing invoices from outside professionals; maintaining filing systems and daily bring forward system; responding to telephone inquiries and walk-in visitors; arranging appointments; making travel and hotel arrangements; sorting and distributing mail; other related duties as required.

Library duties may include receiving, scanning and indexing settlements, arbitration awards, LRB and other decisions both in analogue and digital environments; performing other regular record keeping and maintenance of digital and analogue files; creating, maintaining and updating legal research resources in all formats and environments.


Two years general (or union administration) office experience; high school graduation supplemented by relevant training; aptitude for detail and accuracy with a high level of attention to detail; ability to follow step-by-step procedures; high-level skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat Pro, excellent technological literacy; ability to work independently and in cooperation with others; UnionWare and other database software experience an asset. 

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, indigenous workers, LGBTQ2SI+ workers, and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU. 

Apply in writing with resume to Jennifer Ferguson, Acting Human Resources Administrator, Headquarters, by 5:00 pm, Monday, January 24, 2022. 

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


January 14, 2022

Staff Representative - Negotiations Department- BC General Employees' Union (...


January 14, 2022


The B.C. General Employees' Union requires a staff representative to work in the Negotiations Department, 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, indigenous 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 January 24, 2022.

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

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