Download the PDF file of the 2017 Summer issue of The Provincial magazine. In this issue:
- New Leadership - Convention 2017 reports
- BCGEU Environment Policy
- 2017 audited financial statements
- BCGEU Community
- Remembering John Shields
- and more...
An hour after warning the public that a killer was missing from B.C.'s Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, the 54-year-old man is back in police custody.
Mounties issued a warning Monday afternoon, three days after Terrance Scott Giesbrecht left the facility at 70 Colony Farm Rd. in Coquitlam. Giesbrecht was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, the RCMP said.
The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is calling on the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to protect workers after a staff member was allegedly assaulted by a patient at a high-security Coquitlam psychiatric hospital.
The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) announced today that it has joined with its national affiliate, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) to pledge a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross to help with wildfire relief efforts in British Columbia.
"We are pleased to contribute to the relief effort for B.C. residents affected by wildfires," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "BCGEU members and their families live in the affected communities and we share a responsibility to provide humanitarian services for all British Columbians impacted by this natural disaster.
"BCGEU members are on the front lines with other emergency service workers, fighting to protect British Columbians' personal safety, homes and livelihoods. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to them and all people affected by the wildfires."
"The labour movement has a long history of stepping up to help Canadians in times of need," says NUPGE president Larry Brown. "Our affiliates provide necessary public services to affected residents and we proudly make this donation to the Red Cross on behalf of all our members."
During the B.C. wildfire crisis, the BCGEU will continue to communicate with its membership about other support services, including: accessing union services during area office closures and the union's policy on emergency relief for loss of home."
The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia, representing over 72,000 members in 550 bargaining units in the public and private sectors. BCGEU members provide vital public services including wildfire protection, provincial emergency support and a wide range of public health and environmental services to British Columbians.
For more information, contact
Chris Bradshaw at: 778-746-7483 or 604-369-8411
Bronwen Barnett at: 604-473-5424
As a new government is sworn in today at the British Columbia Legislature, it marks a new era of leadership for the people of British Columbia. In marking the occasion, President Stephanie Smith noted that "We are incredibly excited by what the future will hold for Premier John Horgan, and a new government forged in the spirit of collaboration."
Under the leadership of Premier Horgan, who has identified several top priorities for immediate attention, the new gender-balanced cabinet will have a long list of issues to attend to, including: addressing the deadly opioid crisis; tackling a softwood lumber deal with the United States; working with the Ministry of Education on better services for children, educators, and parents in time for the new school year; addressing the housing affordability crisis across the province; and attending to extreme wildfire situation that has triggered a state of emergency in British Columbia.
With so many important issues that need to be addressed, the people of British Columbia will expect their new cabinet and premier are ready to hit the ground running.
"As they develop legislation, we encourage the new BC NDP government to draw on the expertise of working people in our province, including the BCGEU members. Whether it is fighting wildfires, providing childcare, or responding to fentanyl overdoses, BCGEU members are often on the front lines of many of the issues they will be turning to right now." said Smith.
Our union looks forward to meeting with the new cabinet ministers and their staff to help support their work on these important issues.
The BCGEU represents 73,000 members in the public and private sectors, and in almost every economic sector in the province with approximately one-third of its membership from the public service.
Over the past week, hundreds of wildfire fighters have been fighting over 200 wildfires across the province, and experts fear more wildfires are on their way.
While firefighters, RCMP and paramedics are the emergency response units we see on the highways and on television every day, there are hundreds other public servants who are making this response possible.
These are the workers doing administration, payroll, dispatchers, finance, media, coordination, contract negotiation and more. Many of these workers are also deployed away from their families during emergency situations to support the work of the first responders.
As the president of the union that represents many of these workers, I would like to recognize the important work these behind-the-scenes workers do. Without them, our wildfire crews would not get the supplies they need, their paycheck, or even the coordination needed to evacuate communities and combat the fires.
When you approach a first responder on the highways of our province and thank them for their service, be sure to also think about all the unsung superstars who have facilitated the work of those first responders.
Big thanks to all the public servants, from the wildfire crews to the office clerks, that are keeping our families safe during this crisis!
B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), representing over 73,000 workers across B.C., will stand in solidarity with the workers locked out of their jobs by Pacific Blue Cross (PBC) in Vancouver.
On June 30th, PBC announced to its workers they would be prevented from returning to work if they continued a job action aimed at securing a fair deal for workers. During the latest round of negotiations, PBC tried to roll back retiree benefits, which workers are trying to protect.
In a sign of support for the locked out workers the BCGEU Provincial Executive, members and staff are joining the locked out PBC workers at the picket line on July 11th.
"An attack on the rights of these workers is an attack on all workers." said Stephanie Smith, President of the BCGEU. "It is in moments like these when we must stand together in solidarity and support each other's fights for respect and good working conditions at our workplace."
The PBC workers, represented by CUPE 1816, voted 98% in favour of a strike on June 22, which led to a rotating job action to demand a fair deal from their employer.
On behalf of 73,000 BCGEU members, I would like to extend our support and solidarity to the communities affected by wildfires burning through much of British Columbia this week.
With over 200 wildfires starting over the weekend, hundreds of B.C. families spent their weekend wondering whether their homes would be standing by Monday.
As one of B.C.'s largest unions, we know that hundreds of our members are being directly or indirectly affected by these fires, including the B.C. Wildfire Service crews that are responding to these fires.
We would like all of our members and their families to know that your union is there for you. Over the coming days we will look at the best ways to support you and your communities.
I would also like to recognize and to thank B.C. Wildfire Service crews and all other emergency response units who are keeping our communities safe.
As thousands of people are evacuated from communities affected by the fires, wildfire crews, police officers, paramedics, and other emergency response units are walking straight into evacuation zones to prevent loss of life and property.
Their work puts them into direct harm and exposes them to long term health problems, but that does not stop them from coming to work day after day.
Throughout these hard times and beyond, we will be fighting to ensure the wildfire crews defending our homes receive the best representation a union can give.
As we learn more about the wildfire situation across B.C., we will be there for British Columbians and provide any support we are able to give.
If you would like to contribute to the efforts to support these communities, you can make a donation to the Red Cross by clicking here or by making a donation at the register at any B.C. Liquor Store.
REACH Daycare and Young Parent Centre in Langford will close at the end of September representing a tremendous loss of community for families who rely on the centre. Due in part to lack of provincial funding, this closure will leave some young parents without the support they need to complete their education, creating a gap in valuable social services.
REACH Daycare provides early learning and care for children aged 0-5 years-old while also offering education, programming and support for young moms to complete their education, learn about parenting, and develop their skills. The centre also promotes a safe, consistent and stable environment for children.
We would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of the many staff who made the REACH program such a valuable resource. The daycare, a program run by Pacific Centre Family Services since 2011 and located at Belmont High School, will close September 30, 2017.