August 11, 2017

Casino workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of job action against Great Cana...

August 11, 2017


Casino workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of job action against Great Canadian Casinos


Workers at River Rock Casino this week voted 99.4 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary to back their contract proposals.

In nearly a year of negotiations between the BCGEU and the employer, Great Canadian Casinos, the two sides have failed to achieve a first collective agreement. It's not for a lack of effort on our part.

"We welcomed River Rock employees into our union knowing their working conditions needed to be improved and we were determined to achieve that," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "We've spent many months now trying to move the employer on a number of key issues and it just hasn't happened. Strike mandates are always a last resort, but we've been left with no choice."

Participation in the strike vote demonstrated the determination of members to achieve a fair collective agreement. Nearly 90 per cent of the 977 BCGEU members at River Rock who were eligible to vote did so.

Mediated talks are expected to take place next week. If those fail, the prospect of job action will become more likely - a move that could cost Great Canadian Casinos millions in lost revenue.

"It's hard to feel confident that Great Canadian is bargaining in good faith. All we're asking for is a fair deal for workers. We urge the employer to come back to the bargaining table with a view to getting a deal done," said Smith.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia. We represent more than 73,000 members across all sectors of the economy, including over 3800 workers in casinos.

 For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications
| e: | c: 604-719-4713

August 08, 2017

Community health workers launch strike for fair wages and fair scheduling - B...

Following several months of unsuccessful negotiations seeking fair wages and fair scheduling provisions, 221 community support workers will go on strike Friday. The workers, employed by home support agency We Care Home Health Services, will initiate a rotating strike to emphasize the need for a fair contract.

 “Community health workers are trained professionals, and the vital work they do must be coordinated and compensated fairly,” says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. “Many of these workers are on the front lines of the most pressing health issues in our province. It is critical that they are supported with fair wages and reasonable schedules so that we can retain and recruit the best in the profession to care for those in need.”

We Care employees are currently paid less than direct employees doing the same work at Fraser Health – the health authority that contracts them through We Care – and they are seeking to narrow that pay gap. Further, their employer is attempting to backslide on fair scheduling practices currently in place, such as moving from weekly to daily scheduling, a move that would put already stressed and underpaid workers in a more precarious position.

 “As these workers fight for what is fair in terms of wages and appropriate scheduling provisions, they will ensure the strike has as little negative impact as possible on those that depend on their care and services” says Smith. “Essential services such as providing medications or meal preparation will not be disrupted.”

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 10,000 workers in community health services throughout the province.

For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713

August 08, 2017

BCGEU welcomes government’s decision to eliminate tuition fees for Adult Basi...

The BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) welcomes today's announcement by the provincial government to remove tuition fees for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learning (ELL) programs in the province.

ABE is the gateway to many other advanced education programs and good jobs, and ELL programs are essential to new Canadians' ability to access employment and education. Eliminating tuition fees will provide access, as well as readiness in apprenticeships and skills training.

"Eliminating these fees will enable thousands of people to succeed academically and in the workforce, especially considering the needs of young and transitioning workers who require language training or upgrades, as well as the high volume of new immigrants to B.C." says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

After tuition fees were reinstated in 2014/15 by the previous Liberal government, enrolment for adult basic education fell to its lowest level since 2005/06. The BCGEU called for tuition-free access to these programs in its submission last year to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services 2016/17 and in the union's last three provincial budget analyses for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with over 73,000 members and represents 4,700 instructors and support staff at colleges and institutes throughout the province.


For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713


August 08, 2017

Basic Stewards' Training - BCGEU

The BCGEU provides training to all of its Stewards and Local Executives. Training is essential to you in your role as a steward. You are receiving this notice because you are on our list for those Stewards awaiting your Steward Course.

Paid leaves from work, accommodation, travel and meal expenses, if required, will be paid for by the Union. Lunch will be provided for the days you are in class.

The course is scheduled for:

Date:        September 19-21, 2017 

Time:        9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Please note that our office does not open until 8:30 a.m.)

Location:  BCGEU North Island Area Office

  106-1650 Terminal Ave N, Nanaimo

  (Please park in designated BCGEU parking spots.)


Please bring a copy of your collective agreement.

As space is limited, registrations are being accepted on a first come, first-served basis. If you would like to attend the training, please click here to register

The deadline for registration is September 5, 2017. Please call the area office at 1-800-667-1997 if you have any questions or concerns.


In solidarity

North Island Area Office


Download as pdf

August 02, 2017

The BCGEU welcomes the government’s decision to review the economic viability...

The BCGEU welcomes today's announcement that the provincial government has asked the BC Utilities Commission to review the $8.8 billion Site C dam. Long overdue, the commission finally has the opportunity to provide a fair and transparent assessment of the merits of the project. British Columbians deserve nothing less. 

BCUC's due diligence will clarify the choices that are available now that construction of the project has begun. It will arm us with the information we need to make a better decision for our province.

We congratulate our new government on fulfilling its commitment today, and look forward to the results of the commission's work.

August 02, 2017

Williams Lake Area Office Re-Opens Today - BCGEU

The Williams Lake Area Office re-opens today, August 2, 2017. Thank you for your patience, and special thanks to the volunteers in the area who assisted residents during the wildfires evacuation, as well as the recent return home of residents.

Please note that with the re-opening of the office, calls will no longer be re-directed to Prince George. However, although the evacuation order is lifted, Williams Lake is still on evacuation alert and should another evacuation proceed, calls would again go to Prince George. 


August 01, 2017

The BCGEU granted standing at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered ...

Good news from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The BCGEU has been granted standing in the MMIWG allowing it to make formal written and oral submissions to the public inquiry. 

The letter received states:

On behalf of the Commissioners, the Application for Standing submitted by BC Government and Service Employees' Union has been granted, for greater certainty, the Commissioners have granted standing in Part I, for the Region of British Columbia, for the issues as applied, with full rights. 

"I am very pleased to hear our application was accepted. The essential work of our members has been recognized by the commission and they've asked to hear from them directly," says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. "Several of our members around the province have worked with now missing and murdered women and girls, and feel strongly that their stories and experiences be shared with the commission." 

"I am so proud of the work our members do with Indigenous peoples and communities. We now have some of our most important work ahead of us as we prepare for our submission to the Inquiry. Recently, we released our report on Women's Services in B.C. – Collective Wisdom: Challenges and Opportunities in BC Women's Services. It speaks to the vital work our members do to protect and support vulnerable women and girls and their children, including many Indigenous women and girls. We intend to share this collective voice and experience directly with the inquiry." 

 "We have already shared these findings with the Federal Minister of Status of Women, Honourable Maryam Monsef, as well as the former Provincial Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Honourable Michelle Stilwell. I hope to meet with Minister Monsef in September to further discuss our members' work, how we can better protect and support Indigenous women and girls, and how we can help provide healing and justice for their communities." 

The BCGEU will issue further updates as our involvement with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls progresses. 

July 31, 2017

Read The Summer 2017 Issue Of The Steward - BCGEU

In this issue, we look at a variety of topics to keep you up-to-date on issues that could affect your workplace, and the members you represent. Topics include bullying and harassment, planning ahead in case of permanent disability, stories of grievances and their outcomes from across Canada, and tips from an advocacy department co-op student for assisting members as a steward.

We hope you'll find this issue informative and useful in your work. If there are topics you would like addressed or you have ideas for new education opportunities for stewards, don't hesitate to email us at There is also a wealth of information for stewards, including back-issues of this publication, on our brand new BCGEU member portal. Log into your account and find resources under Tools for Stewards.

Download PDF of The Steward here




Local 467/MoveUP

July 28, 2017

Provincial magazine - Summer 2017 - BCGEU

Provincial - Summer 2017Download 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...