Click here to find info on COVID-19

NEWS

Happening soon – Local meetings to elect convention delegates - BCGEU

Once every three years members from across the province elect their representatives to convention. They're called delegates.

The next BCGEU convention will take place June 9-12, 2021.

These delegates attend BCGEU convention and vote on important resolutions, and in the election of the President, Treasurer, and Executive Vice-Presidents. For more information on convention, check out the latest issue of the Provincial magazine.

The majority of delegates to our convention are elected at meetings of their union local – regional groups of members in the same industry – and that process is currently going on. This year's meetings are happening online.

If you would like to be a delegate or participate in choosing your local's delegates, check your email or the BCGEU Member Portal for details about your local's meeting.

If you are unable to find details on your meeting, please contact your area office.



UWU/MoveUP

COVID-19: BCGEU office closure details - BCGEU

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in January, your union has been closely monitoring the situation and acting decisively based on the best available science and expert recommendations to keep members and staff healthy, safe, and informed while maintaining core services and supports for our 80,000+ members across the province during this critical time.

Yesterday, I convened the first meeting of the BCGEU COVID Response Team-which is made up of me, Treasurer Paul Finch, our four Executive Vice Presidents, the BCGEU's three directors and our press secretary. The team will be meeting daily (by phone) throughout the pandemic to identify urgent issues for members and staff and streamline the resolution of those issues.

The first issue we tackled was the decision to close BCGEU offices to the public and require all non-essential BCGEU staff to work from home effective as soon as it is operationally possible. We expect all offices to be closed by the end of this week-hopefully many will be closed by Wednesday.

We took this decision to ensure our members have access to core services and supports of their union during the pandemic while also supporting the ability of our staff to practice social distancing. Allowing non-essential staff to work from home and restricting public access to BCGEU buildings we are making sure staff whose work requires them to be in an office to practice social distancing in their workplace. 

I want to make two things clear:

  • BCGEU buildings are safe-we implemented deep cleaning protocols in every facility last week. This decision to have non-essential staff work remotely is simply our commitment to the recommended practice of social distancing.
  • The office closure will not impact members' ability to access the core services and supports of their union. During this period of remote work, local chairs will continue to have direct access to staff representatives and members with questions or issues related to COVID-19 or regular labour relations can contact their steward or local chair as they usually would. In addition, members with questions or concerns specific to COVID-19 in their workplace can email those questions to [email protected] 

Going forward your union will continue to protect the health, safety, and rights of our members and staff as well as all working people based on the best available science and expert advice and to keep our members and staff informed of our decisions and actions. I encourage all of you to follow the science, listen to the experts and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Thank you for all that you do.

In solidarity,
Stephanie Smith

 



UWU/MoveUP

2021 BCGEU Scholarships - BCGEU

Applications for the 2021 BCGEU Scholarship program are now being accepted.

Our annual scholarship program of $60,000 offers awards of $2,000 for full-time students and $1,000 for part-time students. Scholarships are funded by the dues of our 80,000 members.

Apply online here


Eligibility

  • A BCGEU member in good standing, or related to a current, retired or deceased BCGEU member or staff; and
  • A student or prospective post-secondary or higher learning student enrolled, registered or planning to attend an eligible educational institution in 2021.

Eligible relatives include spouses, parents, and children or grandchildren (including foster, adopted and stepchildren and grandchildren).

Eligible educational institutions must be designated by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Find a list of eligible institutions here.

Previous BCGEU scholarship recipients are not eligible to apply.

Essay

In addition to providing personal information, applicants must submit a short essay of 450 - 500 words in response to one of the following topics for their essay:

  1. The coronavirus pandemic has deemed frontline workers – like grocery store cashiers, retail shop clerks, security guards, health and social care workers, food delivery and taxi drivers, early childhood educators - 'essential' yet these workers continue to be poorly paid and are often forced to put their health and safety at risk. Many low-wage and racialized workers have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic highlighting the critical role of robust public services in tackling major health and social crises. How do we build a post-pandemic world that is caring, sustainable and equitable?

  2. The earth is in the midst of a man-made climate emergency. Addressing this emergency requires system change and collective – not just individual – action. What can the BCGEU and unions do to mobilize this collective action?

  3. In 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, BC saw a surge in anti-Asian racism. There was also an intense focus on anti-Black racism and institutional violence toward Black and Indigenous people. What should the BCGEU do to challenge racism and build a union and province that is just, equitable and inclusive?

  4. The BCGEU is active in many communities where our members live and work. What are the benefits of the union's presence at community events and why is it important?

We encourage applicants to interview a BCGEU member, or to use personal experience or original research for this essay.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, May 9 at midnight.


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.

 





UWU/MoveUP

February 17, 2021

BCGEU members ratify collective agreement with Protrans BC

A majority of the 180 Canada Line workers represented by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) voted on Sunday in favour of ratifying their collective agreement with their employer, Protrans BC Operations Ltd., after reaching a tentative agreement on February 2, 2021.

The agreement was ratified after 13 months without a contract, more than 40 bargaining sessions and is the result of the hard work and dedication of the bargaining committee.

The agreement term is four-years – from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023 – and includes wage and sick leave improvements, a significant increase in benefits coverage and more. These gains represent meaningful advancements in the agreement between these members and their employer, and the respect Canada Line workers deserve for the vital services they provide to our communities.

For more details read the media release announcing the tentative deal

UWU/MoveUP

February 16, 2021

Pension Seminar Information - BCGEU

Online pension seminars are available at any time for the Public Service Plans at:

MPP: https://mpp.pensionsbc.ca/online-courses-and-webinars
PSPP: https://pspp.pensionsbc.ca/online-courses-and-webinars
College: https://college.pensionsbc.ca/online-courses-and-webinars



UWU/MoveUP

February 10, 2021

Black History Month Events and Resources - BCGEU

EVENTS & RESOURCES  

 

Webinar 

Then and Now: Shaping the Future of Black Canadians Through Lessons of Past and Anti-Racism 

This 90-minute event will focus on Black history in BC and the impact of anti-Black racism. 

The panel, moderated by Community Advocate Asiyah Robinson, will be composed of Silvia Mangue (BC Black History Awareness Society President), Olaolu Adeleye (Associate Faculty, Royal Roads University) and Hayden Atwell (English Department and Chair of the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School, Brampton) 

Friday, February 19, 4.00 PM (PST)  

Register here. 

 

Webinar  

Dismantling Systemic Anti-Black Racism with an Equitable COVID Response & Recovery Plan 

Join Canadian Labour Congress Executive Vice-President Larry Rosseau to mark Black History Month for a discussion on dismantling systemic anti-Black racism through equitable, inclusive response and recovery efforts that support Black workers and communities. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:00 AM PST  

Register here. 

 

Posters 

Download free posters on Black Canadian historical figures Chloe Cooley and Charles Roach from the Graphic History Collective. 

 

Website 

Learn about pioneering Black trade unionists in BC from the BC Labour Heritage Centre. 

 

Website 

The Hogan’s Alley Society advocates for Black Vancouverites who have endured the legacies of urban renewal and their erasure from the official historical narrative. 

 

Website 

Visit the BC Black History Awareness Society's website for resources. 

 

Website 

Visit the digital museum exhibit: British Columbia’s Black Pioneers. 

 

Biographies 

Read the biographies of some notable Black individuals who have helped shape Canadian heritage and identity, and who have made and continue to make enormous contributions to all sectors of society in Canada. 

 

Articles 

Visit the Canadian Encyclopedia’s Black History in Canada portal. 

 

February 02, 2021

No disruption to Canada Line as BCGEU reaches tentative agreement with Protra...

No disruption to Canada Line as BCGEU reaches tentative agreement with Protrans BC

BURNABY - After 13 months without a contract and more than 40 bargaining sessions-including close to 40 hours since Sunday morning-members of the B.C. Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working on the Canada Line have reached a tentative deal with their employer. 

"Our members' goal has always been to get a fair contract at the bargaining table," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "Bargaining isn't easy at the best of times and bargaining during a pandemic is definitely not the best of times. Our members showed incredible solidarity under extremely challenging circumstances and they got it done."

Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until members of the bargaining unit have reviewed and voted to ratify the terms.

The union's last contract with Protrans expired in December 2019 and contract talks started in February 2020. In November 2020 union members voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action. The union served strike notice on Friday, January 29th and was in a legal strike position as of 4 p.m. Monday, February 1st but chose to delay job action and as an act of good faith during negotiations.

The BCGEU represents about 180 workers at the Canada Line. The Canada Line of Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain system is operated by Protrans BC Operations Ltd.-a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin.

For more information please contact [email protected]
 
BCGEU, Protrans BC to continue Canada Line talks
BCGEU members on Canada Line back at the table Monday morning
Canada Line workers issue 72-hour strike notice



UWU/MoveUP

February 01, 2021

BCGEU, Protrans BC to continue Canada Line talks - BCGEU

BURNABY, COAST SALISH TERRITORIES - Members of the B.C. Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working for Protrans BC, operator of the Canada Line, are in a legal strike position as of 4 p.m. today. However, talks are scheduled into the evening and the union is holding off on job action while negotiations continue.
 
The current contract expired in December 2019 and contract talks started in February 2020. In November 2020 union members voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action - that mandate would have expired on February 3rd.
 
The BCGEU represents about 180 workers at the Canada Line which is privately operated by Protrans BC Operations Ltd. and owned by the multinational SNC-Lavalin.

For more information please contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, at 604-719-4713 or [email protected]
 
BCGEU members on Canada Line back at the table Monday morning
Canada Line workers issue 72-hour strike notice



UWU/MoveUP

February 01, 2021

BCGEU members on Canada Line back at the table Monday morning - BCGEU

BURNABY, COAST SALISH TERRITORIES - Members of the B.C. Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working for Protrans BC, operator of the Canada Line, are in a legal strike position as of 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. Seventeen hours of talks over the weekend brought the sides closer together, but did not result in a deal. 
 
The two sides will resume bargaining Monday morning with the hopes of resolving outstanding issues.
 
The current contract expired in December 2019 and contract talks started in February 2020. In November 2020 union members voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action-that mandate would have expired on February 3rd.
 
The BCGEU represents about 180 workers at the Canada Line which is privately operated by Protrans BC Operations Ltd. and owned by the multinational SNC-Lavalin.

For more information please contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, at 604-719-4713 or [email protected]

Canada Line workers issue 72-hour strike notice

UWU/MoveUP