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NEWS

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
President

Download Memorandum here

Download Form for Submitting Component or Main Bargaining Proposals here 

UWU/MoveUP

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.

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

 
Election details:
President
There was one declared candidate for president, and Stephanie Smith was acclaimed to the office.
 
Treasurer
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.

UWU/MoveUP

September 15, 2021

Staff Representative (Temporary) - Negotiations Department - BCGEU

STAFF REPRESENTATIVE (Temporary)
NEGOTIATIONS DEPARTMENT 

INTERNAL POSTING
September 15, 2021

The B.C. General Employees' Union requires a temporary staff representative to work in the Negotiations Department for up to 14 months or return of incumbent. The effective date to be determined.

DUTIES:

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.

QUALIFICATIONS:

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, Tuesday September 21, 2021.

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


UWU/MoveUP

September 13, 2021

Staff Representative - Nanaimo Area Office (2 Positions) - BCGEU

STAFF REPRESENTATIVE
NANAIMO AREA OFFICE
(2 Positions) 

INTERNAL POSTING
September 13, 2021

The B.C. General Employees' Union requires a staff representative to work in the Nanaimo Area Office, effective date to be determined.

DUTIES:

  • 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.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 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 September 17, 2021

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

Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland

The direct appointment procedure contained in MOA 16 Re: Equity Appointments may be applied for this posting. 


UWU/MoveUP

September 10, 2021

BCGEU provides submission to BC Gov’t to help build a long-term economic plan...

BCGEU provides submission to BC Gov't to help build a long-term economic plan for B.C.

This past June, the B.C. government requested input from business, labour, Indigenous and other stakeholders for the development of our province's long-term, post-pandemic economic plan.

Your union represented the voices of our 82,000 members in the consultative process, which involved Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation and a team of advisors from the University College London (UCL)'s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. In addition to participating in stakeholder engagement sessions this summer, your union also delivered a comprehensive submission to Minister Kahlon. 

Our submission, made on behalf of the BCGEU membership, provided recommendations rooted in the perspective of working people across the province and aimed at equitably guiding the province through the post-pandemic era.

The submission covered climate action and the transition to a greener economy, building resilience in our social systems, strengthening economic inclusion and equity, and how to ensure fairness moving forward. Another central theme was to shift the narrative to accurately position government and the public sector as major economic contributors.

BCGEU President Stephanie Smith advocated strongly for workers throughout the process, concluding that "Our union knows that a new and ambitious economic plan will mark a major step toward ongoing recovery, future opportunity and prosperity, and also the symbolic commitment to a larger social project aimed at building a better, fairer British Columbia."

The government's economic plan is expected to be released later this fall.



UWU/MoveUP

September 02, 2021

Solidarity in Post-Secondary Labour Movement - BCGEU

Solidarity in Post-Secondary Labour Movement

(British Columbia, September 2, 2021) – With last week's ever-changing landscape in COVID-related announcements affecting BC's post-secondary sector we saw what's possible amidst chaos. Union leaders jumped to action to represent their members in a variety of ways and one of those ways was that we, the undersigned unions, came together as a collective to keep each other informed and discuss strategies. While we all have different structures and memberships, foremost on our minds was the health and safety of campus communities.

As advocates for our members and crucial partners in post-secondary we made ourselves available to work with the government and employers to discuss measures based on what we were hearing from members.

At an uncertain time like this, with Labour Day approaching, we want to celebrate the power of solidarity.

As union leaders, we stand united with all workers across all post-secondary institutions. We support employers in being advocates for staff, faculty, and students. As unions we welcome communication, consultation, and clarity – these are key factors in the successful operations of our campuses. This is why we came together to share what we were hearing and why we will continue to fight for equitable, accessible, and well-supported public education in BC while honouring the different working realities for our memberships.

Signed by:

Colin Jones, President and Michael Conlon, Executive Director
BCIT Faculty & Staff Association

Cindy Battersby, Vice-President Component 7 BC General Employees' Union

Daniel Laitsch, President and Annabree Fairweather, Executive Director Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC

Brent Calvert, President and Sean Parkinson, Secretary-Treasurer Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President and Nathan Beausoleil, Union Representative
MoveUP

BC Post-Secondary Education Sector Group

Representing over 24,000 faculty and staff, teaching and supporting 175,000 full-time-equivalent students in post-secondary across British Columbia.


BC Institute of Technology Faculty & Staff Association: BCITFSA https://www.bcitfsa.ca/ 

The BCIT Faculty & Staff Association (BCITFSA) is a certified trade union and a member-driven association that represents 1,800+ full-time and part-time technological faculty and staff at the B.C. Institute of Technology (BCIT). The BCITFSA has worked since 1964 for excellent working conditions for all members through representation, negotiation, and advocacy. The well-being of BCIT as a unique educational institution in British Columbia is at the heart of our work.

President – Colin Jones [email protected]

Executive Director – Michael Conlon [email protected]

BC General Employees' Union – Component 7  https://www.bcgeu.ca/component-7 

Component 7 is the Education, Scientific, Technical and Administration unit of BC GEU, and includes members who work in colleges and institutes as instructors and support staff, in private environmental testing laboratories, legal services, and other related fields. Employers include community colleges, the B.C. Institute of Technology, the Justice Institute of B.C., private labs, BC NDP Caucus and Constituency Offices, legal services to the public and many more. 

Vice President Component 7 – Cindy Battersby [email protected]

Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC: CUFA BC https://www.cufa.bc.ca/ 

CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia. CUFA BC celebrates fifty years of working closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.

President – Dr. Dan Laitsch [email protected]

Executive Director – Annabree Fairweather [email protected]

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC: FPSE https://www.fpse.ca/

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is the provincial voice of 10,000 faculty and staff at BC's teaching universities, colleges, institutes and private sector institutions.

President – Brent Calvert [email protected]

Secretary Treasurer – Sean Parkinson [email protected]

Movement of United Professionals: MoveUP https://moveuptogether.ca/ 

The Movement of United Professionals (MoveUP) represents more than 12,000 union members at public and private sector companies in Western Canada. MoveUP is Local 378 of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE-SEPB). 

Vice-President – Christy Slusarenko [email protected]

Union Representative – Nathan Beausoleil [email protected]



UWU/MoveUP

August 30, 2021

B.C. government liquor and cannabis workers rally for essential pay outside e...

B.C. government liquor and cannabis workers rally for essential pay outside employer's head office, September 1

BURNABY, COAST SALISH TERRITORIES – After five months without response from the Minister of Finance, B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) members working for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) will rally outside the BCLDB's head office to call for their employer's support in receiving the Minister of Finance's authorization to provide essential pay for workers' government-deemed essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BCGEU members have invited BCLDB CEO/GM Blain Lawson to join them for the rally.

Who: BCLDB workers from government liquor and cannabis stores and warehouses, union representatives including BCGEU Treasurer Paul Finch, Vice President Kusam Doal, and Executive Vice Presidents Judy Phipps, Kari Michaels, Doug Kinna and James Coccola

What: Public rally outside BCLDB head office

When: 10:00 am Wednesday September 1

Where: BCLDB head office: 3383 Gilmore Way, Burnaby

Visuals: Crowd of workers with flags, t-shirts and balloons; representatives addressing the crowd

BACKGROUND:

On March 26, 2020, the provincial government declared BCLDB workers at government liquor and cannabis stores and warehouses to be essential. Despite their essential designation, serving the public safely and enduring health risks throughout the pandemic, and generating record revenues for the province, these workers were excluded from the province's Temporary Pandemic Pay (TPP) program.

In September 2020, workers began calling on their employer, BCLDB CEO and General Manager Blain Lawson, to use pandemic-generated record BCLDB revenues to provide workers with essential pay – as encouraged by former Minister of Finance Carole James.

In March 2021, Lawson deferred the decision to provide essential pay from BCLDB revenues to the Minister of Finance who oversees the BCLDB.

On April 14, 2021, workers began – with rallies in Coquitlam and Victoria – to call on Minister of Finance Selina Robinson to authorize Lawson to use BCLDB funds for their essential pay. Supporters from the public have since sent thousands of emails to Minister Robinson, with no response.

The rally on September 1st, which will be celebratory in nature, comes just months before BCLDB workers begin bargaining for a new collective agreement with their employer, the B.C. government.

The BCGEU is B.C.'s most dynamic, diverse, and fastest growing union -- representing more than 82,000 members who work in every sector of the economy and live in every community across the province including approximately 3,500 staff at BC Liquor and Cannabis Stores and BCLDB warehouses.

For more information please contact [email protected]

UWU/MoveUP

August 26, 2021

BCGEU welcomes the return of provincial mask mandate, calls for employers to ...

BCGEU welcomes the return of provincial mask mandate, calls for employers to ensure safe worksites

BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – Members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) are pleased by the reissuing of a provincial mask mandate for indoor, public spaces, and calling it an important layer of protection for front-line workers.

"Vaccines are an amazing tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19, but many essential service worksites will not be covered by the 'proof of vaccination' program and will continue to assist the public regardless of their vaccination status," said Paul Finch, BCGEU Treasurer. "A mask mandate will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of front-line workers."

In a recent survey of BCGEU members, over 75 per cent of respondents supported calling for the return of an indoor mask mandate in B.C.

The BCGEU has been one of the foremost organizational voices calling for an indoor mask mandate in B.C. The union began urging the provincial government to institute an indoor mask mandate in the summer of 2020 and continued to advocate for the reinstatement of the mandate after it was lifted in July 2021.

"We know it takes a number of measures to maintain a safe worksite – vaccines, masks, access to PPE, paid sick time, distancing, and other measures – and all workers have a right to safe, healthy workplaces," said Finch. "BCGEU members are calling on government and employers to step up to protect workers until community transmission of the virus is truly halted."

The BCGEU represents over 82,000 members in a number of sectors across B.C.'s economy including staff at BC Liquor and Cannabis Stores, Service BC centres, private and post-secondary schools, and other workplaces that serve members of the public and will not be part of the province's 'proof of vaccination' program set to roll out in September.


The BCGEU is B.C.'s most dynamic, diverse, and fastest growing union -- representing more than 82,000 members who work in every sector of the economy and live in every community across the province.

Contact:
Aaron Donovan, Communications Coordinator
[email protected] 



UWU/MoveUP

August 25, 2021

UPDATE: Public Service remote work and mask mandate - BCGEU

UPDATE - Remote work and mask mandate

We are pleased to report that the BC Public Service has agreed to our request -- see Monday's bulletin and letter here -- to allow employees who are working from home to continue to do so beyond the September 7 deadline without an approved telework agreement until at least October 12.

Our union will continue to advocate for health and safety precautions that protect members and will actively contest any premature relaxation of those measures.
 
Click here to read the letter from the Head of the BC Public Service.

NOTE: Members who wish to continue working remotely long-term (beyond October 12) must still have an approved telework agreement in place by September 7, but the agreement's hours won't take effect until the full reopening of offices.

Additionally, the B.C. Government's reissuing of an indoor mask mandate starting on August 25 will further protect public service employees providing essential services to the public.
 
Your Public Service Bargaining committee will continue to monitor these policies and will keep you up-to-date as new information becomes available. Again, if you have any questions about implementation or any other concerns at your workplace, please contatct your BCGEU union steward.
 
In solidarity,
 
Your BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee
Stephanie Smith, President
Paul Finch, Treasurer
Kari Michaels, 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 Second 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
Mike Eso, Secretary
Lisa Lane, Support Staff



UWU/MoveUP