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NEWS

Winter School 2023 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Winter School 2023 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 4, 2022: Winter School 2023 Application.

 



UWU/MoveUP

February 01, 2023

Black History Month 2023 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

February is Black History Month (BHM) and the BCGEU is commemorating the resilient history and legacy of Black Canadians.

While the world still grapples with racism and anti-Black racism, we will be highlighting events throughout the month that we encourage our members to attend. We hope that these events will serve as an opportunity for growth and learning around the history and present-day experiences of racism and anti-Blackness.

Although we want to acknowledge the ongoing legacy of racism, we also want to uplift the important contributions of Black leaders in the Canadian labor movement over the years. Throughout the month we will be highlighting some exceptional Black Canadians who have made tremendous contributions to the labor movement.

Resources and events will be shared throughout the month of February below.

EVENTS

African Descent History in BC

What: Surrey Archives hosts guest speaker Yasin Kiraga Misago, president of the African Descent Society of BC for a free virtual presentation. During the one-hour talk, Misago will explore BC.’s early history of African descent, which dates back to 1858, as well as discuss Surrey’s African diaspora story.

When: February 9, 2023
Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Where: Online via Microsoft Teams
Cost: Free, advance registration required

Out Of The Sun: On Black History And Storytelling

What: BC Black History Awareness Society presents a live-streamed conversation with award-winning novelist Esi Edugyan. The two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner and internationally bestselling author will discuss her book, Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling with the live and live-streamed audience. The event will also feature musical performances and a Q&A session.

When: February 16th, 2023
Time: 5 to 7 pm
Where: Livestream and in-person at Hermann’s Upstairs, 751 View Street, Victoria.
Cost: Free, though donations are being accepted. Purchase online

Check out other events from the BC Black History Awareness Society here: https://bcblackhistory.ca/black-history-month-2023/

RESOURCES

BOOKS

  • Subtle Act of Exclusion: How to understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran
  • White Fragility: Why it's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo
  • They said this would be fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up by Eternity Martis
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
  • Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald



UWU/MoveUP

January 26, 2023

Vantage Living - Tentative deal for seniors’ care workers - BC General Emplo...

BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – Members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Vantage Living Inc. – owner of independent living facility Lakeside Manor – reached a tentative agreement with their employer after meeting with a mediator on January 25, 2023. Until the vote on the tentative agreement is held, the union's job action will stand down. 

"From the 84 per cent strike vote last October, to serving 72-hour strike notice earlier this month, members at Lakeside Manor have shown solidarity and the kind of fight it takes to get a fair deal," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "That solidarity enabled the bargaining committee to secure a deal that will improve conditions for everyone that lives and works in this facility." 

Details of the tentative agreement will be shared with members in the coming days followed by a vote on whether to accept the agreement. 

The BCGEU represents 30 workers at Lakeside Manor who work as laundry attendants, room attendants, line cooks, chefs, dishwashers, servers and activities and events specialists. 

For more information contact: [email protected] or 604-291-9611.



UWU/MoveUP

January 14, 2023

Job action postponed for seniors’ care workers - BC General Employees' Union ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2023

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: Job action postponed for seniors' care workers
 
BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – Job action has now been postponed for members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) working for Vantage Living Inc. – owner of independent living facility Lakeside Manor in Salmon Arm. This follows 72-hour strike notice issued to the company on Friday. 

Vantage Living Inc. has applied for mediation which is set for January 25, 2023. The BCGEU, representing 30 workers at this facility, is hopeful a fair deal can be reached in mediation and without disruption to the residents. 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

For more information contact: [email protected] 



UWU/MoveUP

January 13, 2023

Seniors’ care workers issue 72-hour strike notice - BC General Employees' Un...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2023

Seniors' care workers issue 72-hour strike notice 

BURNABY, B.C.
(Coast Salish Territories) – Members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) have issued 72-hour strike notice to Vantage Living Inc. – owner of independent living facility Lakeside Manor – as of 11:00 a.m., January 13, 2023. This action is being taken following several months of negotiations that have yet to result in an agreement that provides wage increases that address the rising cost of living and will reduce high staff turnover. 
"This dispute is about seniors' care workers fighting for the respect and support they deserve, and the respect and support those in their care deserve," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "Our members are demanding fair compensation so they can put a stop to the revolving door of poorly paid workers and deteriorating conditions at Lakeside Manor." 

The union is seeking wage increases in line with inflation so these workers can catch up and keep up with rising costs. Right now, most workers make minimum wage with the highest pay at $20.90 per hour.

"This is another case of a for-profit company prioritizing the bottom line over wages and working conditions and by extension, the conditions of care residents experience" continued Smith. "For this reason, Lakeside Manor residents are also engaged and supporting members' actions to improve conditions for everyone that lives and works in the facility." 

The bargaining committee remains dedicated to reaching an agreement without commencing job action and is willing to use every minute of the next 72 hours to get a deal done without any disruption to residents. 

If no agreement is reached, job action will commence on Monday January 16, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. with workers walking off the job and on to the picket line. 

Media are invited to attend the strike kick off:

WHAT: Strike kick off for members of Lakeside Manor. 

WHEN: Monday, January 16, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. PST 

WHERE: 681 Harbour Front Drive, NE, in Salmon Arm, B.C. 

VISUALS: Independent seniors living workers, joined in solidarity by some
of the residents they care for and other allies, calling for a fair deal with
colourful union flags and signs. 

The BCGEU represents 30 workers at Lakeside Manor who voted 84 per cent in favour of strike action last October. 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

For more information contact: [email protected]



UWU/MoveUP

November 04, 2022

BCGEU Stands with Ontario CUPE Members - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

BCGEU stands in solidarity with Ontario education workers 

We condemn the Doug Ford government for their callous attack on 55,000 education workers and their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On Thursday, they made good on their reckless promise to pass legislation making it illegal for workers to strike and forcing a contract on them. Workers who disobey the ruling will be subject to steep fines.

This legislation is an attack on the rights to free bargaining that workers fought for and won through many years of struggle. It's a dangerous precedent that should concern all citizens.

The workers targeted by this unconscionable attack on labour rights are members of CUPE OSBCU - CSCSO. They perform vital supporting roles in the public school system, include education assistants, custodians, library workers, maintenance workers, secretaries, early childhood educators and IT professionals. They are among the lowest paid in Ontario's education sector.

The BCGEU calls on the Ontario government to return to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith - the only way to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that will satisfy education workers, parents, and students.

We encourage BCGEU members to show support for Ontario education workers - visit https://cupe.on.ca/dontbeabully/



UWU/MoveUP

October 18, 2022

MEDIA RELEASE: B.C.’s public service members ratify collective agreement - BC...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2022

B.C.'s public service members ratify collective agreement

BURNABY, B.C. – Over a two-week voting period, members of the BCGEU's (BC General Employees' Union) public service bargaining unit voted 53.4 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement reached with B.C.'s Public Service Agency (PSA) on September 6. More than 71 per cent of eligible members voted in the ratification process.
 
"This ratification marks the end of a long, challenging round of bargaining," said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith, who also serves as Chair of the Public Service Bargaining Committee. "And this agreement is the beginning of a renewed investment in public services and the workers that provide them that will ultimately benefit everyone in B.C. But the result is a clear message from our members that our work is not over."
 
Highlights of the new three-year agreement include:

  • A three-year term from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2025.
  • General wage increases:
    • Year 1 – a flat increase of $0.25/hour which provides a greater percentage increase for lower paid employees (for BCGEU workers, an average of 0.76%) plus 3.24%
    • Year 2 – 5.5% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 6.75%
    • Year 3 – 2% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 3%
  • Improvements to occupational health and safety
  • Improvements to mental health in the workplace
  • Employment security
  • Equity and worker's rights
  • Improved and more flexible leave provisions

The agreement is now fully in effect as the 19th Main Agreement between the BCGEU and the PSA, with a number of terms retroactive to April 1, 2022.
 
In addition to the 33,000 members in the public service bargaining unit, an additional 31,000 public sector BCGEU members are still engaged in bargaining under the Community Social Services, Community Health, Post-secondary instructors and support, and Health Science Professionals agreements.
 
BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.
 
Please see attached backgrounder for additional details and a timeline of public service bargaining.

For more information, contact BCGEU Communications at 604-291-9611 or [email protected]



UWU/MoveUP

October 18, 2022

Public Service Bargaining Backgrounder - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

  • The newly ratified agreement is now in effect as the 19th Main Agreement between the B.C. Public Service Agency and the BC General Employees' Union
  • The previous public service agreement – the 18th Main Agreement – took effect April 1, 2019 and expired on March 31, 2022. 
  • The BCGEU is the only union covered by this agreement. 
  • Employer: Public Service Agency 
  • BCGEU members covered: approximately 33,000 
  • Negotiations start date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 
  • Examples of jobs performed and services provided by BCGEU members: 
    • Correctional officers and sheriffs; 
    • B.C. government liquor store and cannabis store workers; 
    • Social workers, child protection, probation officers, and system analysts;
    • Administrative and support services; and
    • Wildfire forest fighters, biologists, design engineers, conservation officers, scientific/technical officers, inspectors and planning officers.
  • The BCGEU is one of B.C.'s largest unions, representing more than 85,000 members who work in every sector of the provincial economy and live in every community across B.C. 
  • More than 64,000 BCGEU members (78 per cent) are covered by one of six public sector agreements that are being negotiated in 2022.
  • BCGEU members make up 17 per cent of the 384,000 unionized workers and public service professionals that will be negotiating with the provincial government in 2022. 
  • The public service agreement is the second public sector agreement to be ratified in 2022, following the ratification of the Health Services and Support - Facilities Subsector agreement (Health Facilities) on October 13, 2022.
  • BCGEU members remain in bargaining at the following public sector tables (more details here):
    • Health Services & Support – Community Subsector agreement
    • Community Social Services (Community Living, General Services and Indigenous Services agreements)
    • Post-secondary (instructors and support staff agreements) 
    • Health Science Professionals

 

Bargaining timeline: 

Ratification vote:

  • Electronic voting was conducted and verified by Simply Voting – a secure, third-party online voting platform.
  • Voting began on Monday, October 3, and closed on Monday, October 17, at 5 p.m.
  • Immediately following the close of voting, the BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee, BCGEU staff and scrutineers received the final vote count at BCGEU Headquarters.
  • The results of the vote were 53.4 % in favour of the tentative agreement.
  • Approximately 71% of over 32,600 eligible voters participated in the ratification vote.



UWU/MoveUP

October 17, 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY - BCGEU members ratify three-year collective agreement with Pr...

WHAT: Members of the BC General Employees' Union's (BCGEU) public service bargaining unit have ratified a new collective agreement with the provincial government.

The deal was ratified by a vote of 53.4% with over 71% of eligible members voting.

Voting on the tentative agreement was open for two weeks, closing at 5 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2022. The tentative deal was reached in early September after almost eight months of negotiations and a two-week strike by public-service workers.

The three-year agreement is in effect from April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2025 and includes wage protections against inflation, improvements to occupational health and safety, improvements to mental health in the workplace, employment security, and equity and workers' rights.

Please see the backgrounder below for timeline and additional details.

WHO:
BCGEU President Stephanie Smith and Lead Negotiator Michael Eso
WHEN: 
Tuesday, October 18, 2022 – 10 a.m.
WHERE:

 

Please note:

  • In accordance with BCGEU health and safety procedures, those attending in-person must provide a valid vaccination passport and wear an N95 mask, which can be provided to visitors. Please plan to arrive in time to verify vaccination status.

 

  • ASL interpretation will be provided virtually on Zoom and on screen at BCGEU Headquarters.

 

For more information please contact: BCGEU Communications at 604-291-9611 or [email protected] 



UWU/MoveUP