CLC Winter School 2019

CLC Winter School 2019

Course listings and registration for the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School (January 13 to February 15, 2019) at Harrison Hot Springs is now available.

Active union members are encouraged to apply online. Applications will be forwarded to your Component executive to make their selections on who will attend the school. 

Registration cut off is November 2nd for all courses.

Please click here to register: 


Download pdf of Course Descriptions here 





October 17, 2018

STEP UP - An Introduction to the BCGEU for Newly Elected and Returning Stewa...

STEP UP, our new introductory, one-day course, will introduce you to the BCGEU, explore our common values, union culture and our diverse community of members. Through stories of solidarity and courage, you will gain the strength and support you need to begin your journey as a new or returning steward. Along the way, you will learn about your fundamental union rights and useful union tools and strategies for getting started in your role. Newly elected and returning stewards will leave feeling more informed, confident and ready to support a member through a Step 1 grievance. This course is the first step on our new learning pathway for stewards.

We are pleased to offer the STEP UP course on the following date:


DATE: November 27, 2018
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION: BCGEU Area Office, 1064 Borden Ave, Kelowna 


To register please use this link to complete the registration form:

Download PDF of notice here.


October 17, 2018

British Columbia turns over a new leaf - BCGEU

Vancouver –

With cannabis prohibition finally over in Canada, British Columbia is bracing itself for a new era of economic potential.

“Legal, recreational cannabis has the potential to be a major driver of economic growth and direct monetary benefit to the province” noted BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “Wise investments in the regulation, sale, and distribution of alcohol provide billions in direct benefit to British Columbians, and we can expect the new cannabis industry to further subsidize government’s ability to invest in services like health, education, and seniors’ care.”

The sale and distribution of cannabis in B.C. will be managed and implemented by BCGEU members across the province working in brick-and-mortar stores, like the first BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops, as well an online store. Additional stores will begin opening in the next twelve months as hiring continues to intensify all across the province.

“Responsible retail of recreational cannabis by professional BCGEU members at BC Cannabis Stores will ensure that cannabis stays out of the hands of minors, while providing a world-class retail experience for consumers” said Smith.

Hundreds of new living-wage jobs are being filled right now in preparation for new stores opening across the province. Interested individuals should go to the BC Government website:

The BCGEU represents over 4,900 members at the Liquor Distribution Branch and over 77,000 workers across the province.


October 16, 2018






October 16, 2018


The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union requires a temporary staff representative to work in the Advocacy Department, effective date to be determined. Term of assignment is up to 12 months or to return of incumbent.

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 is committed to employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, LGBTQ+ workers and workers with disabilities, are encouraged to apply for this position. Travel is required, therefore, applicants must hold a valid B.C. Driver's Licence.

Submit applications no later than 5:00 pm, Tuesday, October 23, 2018.


Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to:, attention to:

Stephanie Smith, President, c/o Lisa Trolland.


October 16, 2018

BCGEU members in employment assistance meet with minister - BCGEU

Six BCGEU members who work for the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction met with minister Shane Simpson late last week.

The members are from BCGEU Component 6 - Social, Information and Health and Component 12 – Administrative Services.

The meeting was organized by the union so that the minister could hear firsthand the issues facing workers on the front-lines in the hope they can be addressed by the government.

These issues include: overwhelming workloads, the need for more staffing, work performance measures, problems with the current service delivery model and computer software, and unnecessary duplication of tasks.

"Our members' clients have complex issues. The existing staff cannot handle the present volume of work. It's disheartening and frustrating for our members to not be able to provide the highest quality service to those who need it," said Judy Fox-McGuire, the vice-president of the BCGEU's Social, Information and Health component. 

"Our members told the minister about their passion for helping clients and the pride they take in their work. At the same time, they're worried clients aren't getting consistent, dignified and fair service. The result is diminished morale. We need to find solutions to guarantee better client service and better working conditions," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

Our union intends to continue working with members and the government to find ways to resolve the problems.

"The minister wants to change the culture of the ministry and we believe it will happen. He also indicated he wants to hear our ideas, our creative solutions to problems. We're urging BCGEU members to share their thoughts with their BCGEU local so we can get them in front of the minister," said Fox-McGuire.

In a report released last April, B.C.'s Ombudsman Jay Clarke made nine recommendations aimed at improving services. The report confirmed what the BCGEU has pointed out for years regarding the long wait times and inadequate service levels. 

The recommendations include:

• Reporting wait time statistics to increase transparency on the ministry's progress in addressing this problem

• Hiring more employment assistance workers (EAWs) to reduce wait times and provide adequate levels of service

• Phasing out the use of limited service techniques used to reduce the amount of time EAWs spend on each call, which resulted in reduced service levels for people seeking assistance

"Implementing these recommendations would go a long way to addressing the issues our members raised with the minister," said Fox-McGuire. 


October 16, 2018




October 16, 2018





A secretary is required to perform secretarial and word processing functions for staff representatives. This person will 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, Monday, October 22, 2018.

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to:


cc: MoveUP



October 12, 2018

Provincial magazine – Autumn 2018 - BCGEU

The latest issue of The Provincial magazine is available for download. In this month's issue:

• Casino workers stand strong

• Violence at Forensics Hospital

• Protection from online harassment

• Sectoral Bargaining updates

• Referendum on proportional representation

• Ginger Goodwin memorial, and much more.

Download PDF file of Provincial



October 11, 2018

BCGEU submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government S...

Every fall your union participates in the public consultation for the next provincial budget. The consultation is led by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services—an all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly—and involves public hearings across the province as well as written, audio and video submissions and online surveys. The Committee reviews all input received from organizations and individuals and releases a report including recommendations for the next provincial budget. Find out more about the consultation process and how you can participate here:

Yesterday, I had the honour of presenting the BCGEU submission at a public hearing in Mission. Our submission reflects the feedback of your senior elected leadership regarding the priorities and challenges of their members living and working in communities all over B.C., and is supported by the rigorous and comprehensive work of Research & Interactive Services (RIS) staff to research and document relevant factors like the state of our economy, the impacts of legislative and policy changes, and opportunities for innovation. 

RIS research shows a strong fiscal and economic outlook for 2019 and we believe that gives the government the opportunity to continue the spirit of bold policy changes started in last year’s budget and go further, faster in some key areas.

Our priorities for 2019 fall into four key policy areas:

  • Address housing affordability and supply. I spend hundreds of days a year on the road visiting members in their worksites and the housing crisis comes up all the time, everywhere. The government has done a lot of work on this issue but it isn’t enough. Our submission urges the government to expand and accelerate direct investment—including capital funding and land contributions—in a broad range of affordable housing options—including public, co-op, social and non-market.

  • Budget for an effective poverty reduction strategy. Since 2017, I have had the honour of serving as the sole representative of B.C.’s labour movement on the Minister’s Advisory Forum on Poverty Reduction and I commend the government for launching a provincial poverty reduction strategy as a priority for 2019. Our submission urges the government to go take steps to rebuild the vital public services and programs that will supply the education, training, child care, social services, health and regulatory services that will determine the long-term success of that strategy.

  • Protect B.C.’s environment and natural resources. The economic, health and human impacts of B.C.’s floods and wildfires are impossible to ignore and expected to get worse. The deterioration of our public parks and natural resources are also reaching crisis levels. Our submission urges the government to restore staffing and resource levels in the key ministries and agencies responsible for protecting B.C.’s environment and natural resources including BC Wildfire Service, BC Parks, Emergency Management BC, and the various offices and agencies responsible for analysis, compliance, and enforcement related to environmental protection and natural resource management.

  • Restore funding to our justice and corrections system. Beginning in 2002 budgets for B.C.’s justice system, courthouses, jails and legal aid offices were slashed. The result in 2018 is a system where access, timeliness, staff and public safety, program effectiveness, and the human dignity of clients all continue to suffer. Our submission mirrors the campaign work the BCGEU has done for the last several years, especially through our “Prison Safety Now” campaign, and calls for additional resources and the restoration of the funding necessary to rebuild a functional, effective, and safe system.

Our submission also included several well-researched revenue-generation ideas to ensure stable, ongoing funding for our priorities. While this is common practice for us, the Committee informed me yesterday that it makes our submissions unique.

I want to thank your elected leadership for passing on your priorities. I want to thank the talented and dedicated staff in RIS who actually worked around the clock to put this document together on an extremely tight timeline. Finally, I want to encourage all of you to take the time to read our submission. I look forward to continuing to work with your elected leadership, the staff of the BCGEU, and our provincial government to ensure our priorities are reflected in Budget 2019.

You can read our submission here

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith


October 10, 2018

UPDATED: Information For BCGEU Members At Gateway Casinos - BCGEU

On Friday, September 15 Gateway Casino filed an application in BC Supreme Court seeking an injunction that would have severely restricted picketing at the Penticton location. Gateway's application relied on video and other evidence that allegedly showed our members trespassing, delaying vehicles, and intimidating casino clients. 

The Court heard the application on Monday and issued a ruling on Wednesday, September 19th. The Court denied Gateway's application because the evidence presented did not show unlawful activity by BCGEU members.
This ruling is great news-not just for BCGEU casino workers currently on strike at Gateway's four Okanagan casinos, but for all unions in BC-because the Court's oral reasons uphold picketing as an exercise of free expression and workers' rights.
While this ruling is something to celebrate, the Court also directed BCGEU leadership to communicate with our members about the principles of lawful picketing and the potential dangers of unlawful activity on the picket line. I support this direction from the Court because I believe it is vitally important that our members on the line in the Okanagan are exercising their rights in a way that ensures Gateway will not be able to return to Court to try for another injunction in the future. 
The principles below relate directly to Gateway's allegations and don't cover all aspects of picketing but they should be very familiar to many of you because they reflect the direction the BCGEU gives to all members on the line. If you have questions about these principles or any other aspect of picketing, please refer to that written direction and contact your picket captain.
I've had several opportunities to visit and walk all four picket lines since June 29th and I'm impressed with the strength and solidarity shown by all of our striking casino workers. On behalf of your union, I'm proud to stand with you and support you as you fight for the fair collective agreement you deserve.
In sol,

Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president


Media Coverage


Principles of Lawful Picketing


  • Minor, incidental use of private property, such as momentarily stepping on a sidewalk to get out of the way of vehicle traffic, is not unlawful.
  • Picketers may not follow vehicles into the parking lot, or otherwise proceed into the property.


  • Verbal insults are not unlawful but picketers should remain courteous and respectful even when managers and/or clients are not.
  • If managers are recording the activity of picketers, picketers should be recording as well.

Delaying vehicles

  • Picketers may walk across entrances and exits at a normal pace.
  • If a vehicle arrives while a picketer is in the entrance/exit, the picketer should continue to the other side.
  • If a vehicle approaches or is in an entrance/exit where picketers are not currently walking, picketers should not walk in front of that vehicle.
  • When a vehicle stops to wait for picketers to clear an entrance/exit a picketer may approach the driver, explain the reason for the picket line, and ask the driver not to cross it. During this interaction, it would be best if the picketer had leaflets to hand to the driver. The interaction may continue as long as the driver wishes.
  • Picketers may not stand or walk in front of a vehicle crossing the picket line. The driver must be able to safely cross the picket line if they choose to.