2019 BCGEU Scholarships - BCGEU

The 2019 Scholarship Programs has now closed and winners will be posted to the website in mid-June.

Applications for the 2019 BCGEU Scholarship program are now being accepted. The union will award $60,000 in scholarships to students in post-secondary education. Full-time scholarships are worth $2,000 and part-time scholarships are worth $1,000.

Apply online here.

Applicants must be:

  • A BCGEU member; or related to a current, retired or deceased BCGEU member or staff[1], and
  • A current or prospective post-secondary or higher learning student enrolled, registered or planning to attend an eligible educational institution[2] in 2019.

In addition to personal information and details of your education plan, applicants will be asked to submit a 450 to 500-word essay on one of the following topics:

  1. How can unions lead the way on climate change?
  2. How can unions lead the way on reconciliation with Indigenous people and communities?
  3. How can unions lead the way on affordable housing?

We encourage applicants to base their essays on an interview with a BCGEU member, personal experience or original research. Applicants with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may submit their essay as an audio or video file to scholarship@bcgeu.ca

The deadline for submitting your application is at midnight on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

Apply online here.

Please note: We are unable to respond to individual inquiries about scholarships.

[1] Eligible relatives include spouses, (same or opposite and common law spouses); parents; and children and grandchildren (including foster, adopted and stepchildren and grandchildren).

[2] Eligible educational institutions must be recognized by Employment and Social Development Canada. A list can be found here.)

You may also be eligible for one of the scholarships offered by NUPGE, our National Union of Public and General Employees. Find details and apply directly here.


Download PDF of scholarship poster here


Download PDF of scholarship brochure here


BCGEU members in the public service – your new collective agreement between t...

The new 18th Main Public Service Agreement and Component Agreements are in effect as of April 1, 2019. BCGEU members who work in the B.C. public service ratified these agreements last year following five weeks of negotiations.

The agreements are for three years and expire on March 31, 2022. The main agreement features many improvements, such as:

  • a two per cent general wage increase in each year of the agreement;
  • improvements in benefits and the addition of dual coverage;
  • addresses labour market pressures in specific occupations;
  • expands bullying and harassment language;
  • achieves special leave for members experiencing domestic violence.

We're finishing up the editing and other housekeeping on the agreements. Download the draft version of the main agreement here.

Download PDF files of draft component agreements:

Draft Environmental, Technical and Operational Component 20 agreement
Draft Science, Information and Health Component 6 agreement

We will update you again when printing and distribution details are finalized.

-Your BCGEU public service bargaining committee


June 19, 2019

BCGEU welcomes Auditor General’s recommendations to address MCFD’s ineffectiv...

The BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) welcomes the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia's report released today: Oversight of Contracted Residential Services for Children and Youth in Care. The BCGEU has for decades called on the provincial government to address chronic and significant challenges within the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and supports the recommendations made in this report to improve outcomes for children and youth in government care.

"The fact, as the report shows, that the quality of care in placements in contracted residential services is simply unknown is distressing and unacceptable," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "MCFD must act urgently to provide oversight of its contracts, and eliminate this added and unnecessary risk posed to an already vulnerable population of children and youth."

The report found that when it comes to providing contracted residential services, the ministry did not have a province-wide strategy, good information on the supply and demand for placements, nor an effective contract management framework. The report also found that the ministry did not have any cultural planning requirements for contracted residential services to ensure that Indigenous children and youth receive culturally appropriate care – a service the BCGEU has long advocated for.

In the BCGEU's most recent submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, the union called on the provincial government to address the deep, unresolved staff retention issues in MCFD that prevent better resource management and collaboration among frontline teams. This includes improving working conditions for staff, and better supporting resource and guardianship workers who work with contracted residential service providers. The submission also repeated the union's calls to adequately fund Delegated Aboriginal Agencies (DAAs) in order to improve working conditions and therefore the care of Indigenous children and youth.

"The ministry has capable, dedicated staff working in children and youth care, all of whom are BCGEU members. They want to make a difference but MCFD must adequately resource their work and make guidelines clear in order to move forward."

The BCGEU formed a Joint Working Group with MCFD in 2014 following a recommendation made in an earlier Representative for Children and Youth report. The union welcomes any opportunity to work with the ministry, DAAs and other stakeholders to take action on the findings in the Auditor General's report.


Read related BCGEU reports:

Naut'sa mawt sqwaluwun: Working together with one mind and one heart (2018)

Closing the Circle (2015)

Choose Children (2014)


June 18, 2019

Secretary Level 3 - Victoria Area Office - BCGEU



June 18, 2019






A secretary is required to perform secretarial and word processing functions for staff representatives. This person may also be required to assist with switchboard and receptionist duties.




Will include processing a variety of documents such as letters, minutes, reports, bargaining preparation, bargaining proposals, bargaining material for strike/ratification votes, steward elections and communication, and general correspondence; calculating calendar deadlines for grievances; expedited arbitration and appeal preparation; responding to phone calls and walk-in visitors; assisting component/local executive; meeting coordination such as booking meeting rooms, travel and accommodation; prioritizing incoming mail; maintaining filing and bring forward system; and other duties as assigned.




Applicant must have 2-4 years secretarial experience; high school graduation supplemented by secretarial training; excellent keyboarding (60-70 wpm); switchboard experience; excellent Microsoft Word and excel skills; 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, 4 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, Tuesday, June 25, 2019.


Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: human.resources@bcgeu.ca


June 17, 2019

2019 BCGEU scholarship winners announced - BCGEU

Congratulations to the 2019 BCGEU Scholarship Winners. The BCGEU is pleased to support our 2019 scholarship recipients in their continuing education.

(Winners will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on how to claim their scholarship).

2019 Scholarship Winners List

This year, applicants were asked to write an essay on one of three topics:

  1. How can unions lead the way on climate change
  2. How can unions lead the way on reconciliation with Indigenous people and communities?
  3. How can unions lead the way on affordable housing?

You can read some of the top winning essays below:


June 14, 2019

Voicing our concerns: BCGEU presentations regarding workers’ compensation sys...

Participating in public consultations is a valuable way to make sure our voices are heard before government makes important decisions. Two public consultation processes are currently underway that will directly impact working people in B.C. – the Worker's Compensation Review and the provincial government's Budget 2020 Consultation. Today I had the honour of presenting at public hearings for both to call for a more equitable workers' compensation system and a provincial budget that continues investing in public services and a more affordable B.C.

Workers' compensation system review

As we mentioned last week, the provincial government has initiated a formal review of the workers' compensation system. As a result of legislative and policy decisions made by the BC Liberals back in 2002, the workers' compensation system has become skewed in favour of saving money for employers rather than protecting workers. Because of this, the stated goal of the review is "to increase the confidence of workers and employers in the system and to shift the workers' compensation system to become more worker centred."

By telling our stories about the injustices within the current system, this is a tremendously important opportunity for our union to influence legislative and policy changes that will restore fairness. The review will hold 14 public hearings which began today in Surrey, and I made the very first presentation to prominent labour lawyer Janet Patterson who is leading the review.
In follow up to my presentation, the BCGEU will submit a detailed written submission addressing what we feel needs to change. And in the coming weeks, Ms. Patterson will also hear from a number of BCGEU members that have been injured on the job and struggled within a system that has been stacked against them. All of these stories and our submission will demonstrate the human costs of an unequal system, and the pressing need for change. If you have a story to tell, learn more about how you can participate before the deadline of July 19th.

Budget 2020 Consultations

Each year your union participates in the public consultation for the next provincial budget. Led by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, the consultations lead to a report with recommendations for the next year's budget with the input they receive. Today in Vancouver I presented the BCGEU's budget submission to the committee which reflects the feedback of your senior elected leadership regarding the priorities and challenges of members living and working in communities across B.C.
Now almost two years since the BC NDP formed government, next year's budget marks an important moment. Much progress has been made to make life better for British Columbians including: making child care more accessible and affordable, launching a poverty reduction strategy, calling a public inquiry into money laundering in our province and releasing CleanBC, an ambitious and inclusive plan for emissions reduction and clean growth.

But as we all know many problems persist so our submission to the Budget 2020 Consultation includes the following recommendations: 

  • Give Together BC – our province's first-ever poverty reduction strategy – the support it needs to succeed by building capacity in key public service areas. This includes continued progress to make child care in B.C. affordable and accessible and improving working conditions for child care professionals; improving compliance and enforcement capacity in the Residential Tenancy Branch, Employment Standards Branch and other agencies; and adequately staffing and removing barriers to B.C.'s income assistance system while bringing rates above the poverty line. 

  • Take the next critical step in addressing the housing affordability crisis by investing in public supply. A major public sector investment is the only way to guarantee that affordable housing is available when, and where, British Columbians need it. 
  • Protect B.C.'s environment, natural resources, and climate goals by investing in BC Parks. B.C.'s parks and protected areas are an economic, social, cultural, and health boon for British Columbians…and they are key to protecting biodiversity. We urge the government to invest in all aspects of the parks system from conservation and protection to infrastructure, staff, recreational services and regulatory oversight.

  • Ensure working people in B.C. have the safe, healthy workplaces they deserve by putting a priority on occupational health and safety. Factors like chronic under-staffing, recruitment and retention issues, outdated facilities and inadequate training increase the risk of physical and mental injury on the job. We urge the government to invest in the safety and security of the workers who keep our families and communities safe.

The BCGEU will release the full text of our written budget submission in the coming weeks. You can find out more about the consultation process and how you can participate by the deadline of Friday June 28 at 5:00 pm here.

I want to thank the elected leadership and the BCGEU members who provided valuable input into both of the submissions delivered today – and we look forward to seeing the results. The Worker's Compensation Review report is due in September and the committee will release its recommendations for the next provincial budget later this summer.

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith



June 14, 2019

1 out of 10 Independent Shareholders of Brookfield Asset Management Agree tha...

The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) and SumOfUs are encouraged that 10% of independent shareholders voted for the company to tie executive pay to preventing sexual misconduct at the firm

Today, BCGEU and SumOfUs presented a proposal that called on Brookfield Asset Management to address sexual misconduct in the financial services industry by penalizing executive compensation packages. According to recent studies, one in three women in the finance industry has been sexually harassed at work. The groundbreaking proposal is the first of its kind in Canada and is based on recommendations by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services. 

In recent years, the #MeToo movement has achieved significant progress around the world as countries and companies implement policies that address sexual misconduct across the public and private sector. The groups believe that this proposal could completely shift the landscape of the financial services industry and hopefully prevent more #MeToo moments.

In response to today's vote, Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President Stephanie Smith released the following statement:

"The BCGEU believes every worker has the right to a safe, healthy workplace free from all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination and today's vote shows that Brookfield shareholders agree. Clearly, the financial services sector has a long way to go to protect workers from sexual misconduct and we will continue to push for change until they get it right."

In response to today's vote, Dana Wise, UNITE HERE, released the following statement: 

"Brookfield's largest investment in 2018 was in real estate and that includes hotels, where sexual harassment is a pervasive problem. In Chicago, nearly two-thirds of women working in hotels and casinos have been sexually harassed by a guest. In Seattle, 53% of housekeepers reported sexual harassment and assault. UNITE HERE, the hospitality workers union, believes hotel owners like Brookfield have a responsibility to address sexual harassment at work at all levels of the company. All women at Brookfield deserve to be treated with respect and that is why we think management should take action on this issue."

In response to today's vote, Amelia Meister, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs released the following statement:

"This groundbreaking proposal is ahead of its time, and it's encouraging to know that some shareholders are on the cutting edge. It is clear that this pressure is forcing management to pay attention. We hope this will open the conversation in the board rooms across the financial industry to use proven measures, like the one in our shareholder proposal, to address sexual misconduct in their workplace."






June 13, 2019

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith first presenter at workers’ compensation syst...

BURNABY, June 13, 2019 – The workers' compensation system has been seriously undermined by policy and legislative changes introduced by the BC Liberals in 2002. The system shifted to focus on the financial impact to employers which has resulted in an overall reduction in compensation benefits to workers both in the short and the long term, a more limited ability to appeal decisions, and a reduced focus on the merits and justice of an individual worker's case.

As the independent review of the system, led by retired labour lawyer Janet Patterson gets underway, BCGEU president Stephanie Smith will be the first to present at the public hearings. Smith's presentation will highlight key elements of the union's forthcoming written submission to the review, and emphasize that restoring a balance between workers' and employers' interests must be prioritized in order for there to be confidence in the system, and to better support ill and injured workers.

In the coming weeks, BCGEU members that have been injured on the job and struggled with the system will also present their stories to Ms. Patterson in subsequent public hearings throughout the province.

WHAT: BCGEU president to present at public hearing on workers' compensation system review

WHEN: Friday, June 14, 2019, 3:00 – 3:20 pm

WHERE: Sheraton Vancouver Guildford – 15269 104 Avenue, Surrey, B.C.

Read more about B.C.'s workers' compensation system review here; see the public hearings schedule here.


June 07, 2019

British Columbians need a break: the BCGEU submission to the Fair Wages Commi...


The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' union, representing more than 79,000 workers in various sectors and occupations in the province has submitted its report to the provincial government's Fair Wages Commission.

The Fair wages commission was set up by the provincial government to advise government on how to raise minimum wages with increases that are regular, measured and predictable.

The commission has been working since 2017 on three tasks, with the current stage looking at ways to close the gap between the minimum wage and the actual real living wage in the province. Since 2017, the government has laid some important groundwork to lower the average living wage by investing in public services like childcare.

"Here in Canada's most unaffordable province we still have a way to go to make sure that workers are getting a fair paycheque, and that possible to make ends meet without working multiple jobs." said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

The BCGEU's submission contains five recommendations to the Fair Wages Commission, which will submit their report to the Ministry of Labour upon the completion of their findings. Along with a recommendation to end the minimum wage exemptions in B.C., the union is also recommending that government implement policies that raise the average wage in the province.

 "There are two important things the government must do right now to start to close the affordability gap: close the loopholes that let employers pay less than minimum wage, and continue to invest in high quality public services like transit, health care, housing and child care to bring down the cost of living," said Smith. "It is critical that the province try to address this problem from as many angles as possible, including making it easier for workers to form a union, which maximizes their ability to get better wages from their employer".

The work of the provincial government, as well as of the fair wages commission has so far made very real and significant differences for working British Columbians and their families. Now the solid foundation that has been laid must be reinforced with good economic policy empowering workers over the long term, which will make British Columbia more affordable for everyone.

The BCGEU has been engaged with the Fair Wages Commission consultation process since it was first established in 2017.