May 17, 2018


Talks between Gateway Casinos and members of the BC Government and Service Employees Union have broken off.

On Tuesday morning, over a hundred employees of Gateway Casinos from Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Kamloops rallied in Kelowna to push for higher wages.




May 17, 2018


Employees of Gateway Casinos from Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Kamloops gathered in Kelowna Tuesday morning to push for higher wages.

Negotiations between the company and the bargaining committee began back in January, but stopped abruptly in March, prompting Tuesday’s demonstration.




May 17, 2018

Casino workers nearing strike? - BCGEU

A vocal group of employees from four of the Okanagan's largest casinos rallied in Kelowna this morning as their union headed back to the bargaining table.

Approximately 1,400 employees of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited (which operates Playtime Casino in Kelowna, Lake City Casino in Vernon, and Cascades Casinos in Penticton and Kamloops) are pressuring the company to pay them a living wage.




May 17, 2018

Casino workers press for wage hike - BCGEU

Gateway Casino workers will be rallying Tuesday for higher wages.

Members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union working at Gateway Casinos and Entertainment in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Kamloops are calling on their employer to improve wages, benefits and working conditions as contract negotiations resume Tuesday.





May 14, 2018

Gateway casino workers to rally for industry-standard wages as they resume ne...

KELOWNA, B.C., May 14, 2018 – Members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Gateway Casinos & Entertainment (Gateway) in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Kamloops will hold a rally and deliver a petition to their employer calling for improved wages, benefits and working conditions as contract negotiations resume tomorrow. 

Contract negotiations broke off on March 21st, but workers are optimistic that they are going back to the bargaining table with a strong message and are united in their fight for a fair contract. The petition has been signed by 95 per cent of workers at all four casinos and includes a demand for the highly profitable company to pay industry-standard wages, which would bring all employees above minimum wage.

WHAT: "Back-to-bargaining rally;" Gateway casino workers rally for a fair deal amidst contract negotiations 

WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 10:00 am 

WHERE: BCGEU Kelowna Office, 1064 Borden Avenue


May 11, 2018

Hard Rock Casino workers strike for fairness - BCGEU

Strike kicks off with rally at Hard Rock 

(Coquitlam, May 11, 2018) - Members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam are walking off the job Friday morning, in their escalating efforts to get fair wages, benefits and respect at work. 

Hundreds of workers and supporters will gather for a rally in front of the casino at 2073 Hartley Ave, Coquitlam at 1:30 P.M. on Friday afternoon. 

Negotiations and mediation for a first contract failed after both parties were too far apart on a number of issues including wages, benefits and hours of work.

"Many of the employees at Hard Rock haven't had a wage increase in over 10 years," said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU. "Wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living and now a large number of workers are working two or three jobs and still struggling to get by."

Smith continued, "it's totally unacceptable for a successful company in the highly profitable casino industry not to pay a decent, living wage to the workers who ensure their success."

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. Great Canadian announced, earlier this week, a 62% increase in revenue this quarter over the same period last year.

Employees at Hard Rock voted to join the BCGEU in May 2016 and have been trying to negotiate a first collective agreement with their employer since January 2017. When they reached impasse earlier this year, 99.5% of Hard Rock workers voted in favour of strike action.

Aside from improved wages, Hard Rock workers are also looking for improved health benefits, a more stable pension plan and fairness in scheduling and hours of work.

"We're looking for language that prevents Hard Rock management from forcing workers to go home early," said Smith. "How can a person budget when they can't count on working a full shift?"

BCGEU represents over 400 staff at Hard Rock working in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, theatre and guest services. 

For more information, contact Erin Sikora at 778-238-0300.



May 10, 2018

BCGEU and BC Government exchange bargaining proposals - BCGEU



The first week of public service bargaining wrapped up in Victoria after the BCGEU exchanged bargaining packages with the employer. Component agreement bargaining took place from April 23 – 27. Component agreements cover occupational terms and conditions. Issues unresolved at component bargaining tables were tabled at the main public service table, by agreement with the employer. 

BCGEU bargaining proposals were developed following extensive consultation with members through proposals submitted by union locals, online surveys and a bargaining conference in November of last year. The proposals were reviewed by the union's Public Service Bargaining Committee and prioritized for inclusion in the bargaining package.

Our proposals cover a range of issues around compensation-particularly with respect to recruitment, retention, and market comparison; they also address the need for new language around issues like workload, bullying and harassment protections and auxiliary conversion among others; and we will be pushing for legislative and regulatory changes outside the scope of the collective agreement that would improve how public services are delivered. 

"After four years, we're seeing a pent-up demand to address a number of outstanding issues," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "We have tabled a robust package of proposals that reflect our members' priorities."

 Negotiations are scheduled to resume next week in Vancouver as the union and employer continue detailed discussions of specific proposals.



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May 10, 2018

Who Decides for BC? - BCGEU

It's time to bring environmental decision-making back to the public interest.

A Natural Resource Officer, tasked with stewarding our forests, without the tools needed to address forest practices until it is too late. An ecologist with serious concerns that an industry-paid biologist's plans will compromise the proper functioning of a stream's ecosystem, and no forum to stop it.

These are just two of the concerns that BCGEU members like you shared directly with the provincial government as part of a formal review of the 'Professional Reliance' system. In the BCGEU's written submission to the review this January, and an in-person meeting with the review team in March, the BCGEU has weighed in to share our members' stories, and pushed for changes to environmental laws to make sure decisions are made in the best interest of all British Columbians. 

For the past 15 years, the provincial government has increasingly used professional reliance and deferred to industry-paid professionals including biologists, archaeologists, engineers and environmental scientists to conduct studies, monitor activities and more. Combined with deep cuts to the public service, this system has meant that government decision-making has been largely turned over to private professionals, who are working for the best interest of their clients, not the public interest. Overall, public confidence in environmental and natural resource management in BC has been seriously eroded. 

The provincial government heard from thousands of citizens, stakeholders and qualified professionals during its consultation period, including many of you who shared your stories and concerns about the oversight of our environment and natural resources. 

A final report with recommendations will be released to the public soon, and then the provincial government will decide how to respond. We need to keep up the pressure, and make sure our local MLAs understand the pressing need for change!

The BCGEU has joined forces with a broad coalition of groups including the Professional Employees Association, Evidence for Democracy, Organizing for Change, Ecojustice, the BC Wildlife Federation and the Fraser Watershed Initiative to make sure the recommendations from the Professional Reliance policy review are put into action.

It's time to bring environmental decision-making back to the public interest. You can add your voice by encouraging action by your decision-maker in a tailored message here:


May 08, 2018

Public service bargaining commences in Victoria - BCGEU



Bargaining representatives from the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) and the B.C. Government Public Service Agency (BC PSA) are meeting today in Victoria to exchange bargaining proposals and begin four weeks of negotiations to achieve a new collective agreement.

"We're pleased to begin the bargaining process early," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "It gives us sufficient time before our agreements expire to address some of the long-standing issues that we've been raising with government for the past four years."

"We've been preparing for a return to bargaining since late last year, consulting with our members through surveys, conferences and bargaining meetings. We've given ourselves time to review the complex range of issues and prepare bargaining proposals that reflect the priorities of our membership."

"Undoing 16 years of eroded government services won't be easy. But we have a unique opportunity to go to the bargaining table early and take the time to canvass important issues, like addressing recruitment and retention challenges, rebuilding child protection services, improving conditions for social workers and increasing staff resources for our justice system."

Public service components began negotiating component agreements on April 30, 2018, with public service agreement negotiations beginning May 7, 2018 and scheduled to continue for four weeks.

Over the course of the next 18 months, nearly 85 per cent of BCGEU members, in multiple sectors, will also be at the bargaining table, negotiating renewed collective agreements.



Your Public Service Bargaining Committee:

Stephanie Smith, President
Kari Michaels, Executive Vice President 
Doug Dykens, Director
Mike Eso, Secretary
Dean Purdy, Corrections & Sheriff Services component, Vice President
Kusam Doal, Retail Stores and Warehouses component, Vice President 
Judy Fox-McGuire, Social, Information and Health component, Vice President
Maria Middlemiss, Administrative Services component, Vice President
Matt Damario, Administrative Services component, first Vice Chairperson
George Buis, Environmental Technical and Operational component, Vice President

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