September 25, 2017

River Rock Casino workers negotiate strong first collective agreement after a...

RICHMOND – B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) members at River Rock Casino Resort voted by 81 per cent to ratify a four-year collective agreement today after more than a year of negotiations with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

"I am so proud of the outstanding resolve and determination of workers at the River Rock Casino to negotiate such a strong first agreement," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "The agreement will bring vast improvements to working conditions and makes impressive strides in job security, pensions, benefits, and a much stronger wage grid."

The nearly 1,000 members at River Rock will receive an average 19 per cent wage increase making them among the best paid casino workers in the province. Extended health and dental care, parental and adoption leave, and fair vacation entitlements are also among the benefits.

River Rock Casino Resort, owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, is one of the most profitable casinos in B.C., yet when compared to other unionized casinos in the province, workers at River Rock generally earned far less in wages.

"Today's result is another example of the important role unions play in fighting for workers' rights in today's economy and family-supporting jobs," says Smith. "Many River Rock workers are first-generation Canadians and this agreement also provides them with more security as they lay down roots in their communities."

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with more than 73,000 members across all sectors of the economy, including over 3,800 workers in casinos.

For more information please contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, 604-719-4713.

September 22, 2017

Walk for Reconciliation 2017 - BCGEU

Join and support the spirit of 'Namwayut - We are all one.

On September 24, 2017, BCGEU members will joining in the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver! 

The BCGEU is proud to sponsor the walk once again this year and support a positive movement to build better relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. 

Walk for Reconciliation:

Sunday, September 24th | 9:30am

650 Cambie St.

Vancouver, BC

The Walk follows a 2km route from Cambie St. and Georgia St. to Strathcona Park. 

BCGEU members will rally at the corner of Cambie and Georgia, look for the yellow BCGEU flags

Reconciliation Expo

Sunday, September 24th | 10:30am - 3:00pm

Strathcona Park

857 Malkin Ave.,

Vancouver, BC 

Gather at Strathcona Park for the Reconciliation Expo, featuring a series of Indigenous and multi-cultural performances and a keynote speech.

More information on this event can be found here:

September 21, 2017

RV Tour – Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton, Smithers, Houston, Franc...

The BCGEU RV will be touring through the above noted locations. Below you will find dates, locations and times. We hope you can join us!


Monday September 18, 2017 – Prince Rupert:

· Liquor Distribution Branch (Liquor Store) Parking Lot

BBQ Lunch – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, all members and families welcome

· Northwest Community College Campus

Refreshments – 3:00 pm, come join us on your coffee break!



Tuesday September 19, 2017 - Terrace:

· Nechako Northcoast Construction

Coffee and Donuts – 6:00 am

· Forests, Lands and Natural Resources

Coffee and Donuts – 10:00 am to 10:30 am

· Liquor Distribution Branch (Liquor Store) Parking Lot

BBQ Lunch – 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, all members and families welcome

· Courthouse/Health Unit Parking Lot

Refreshments – 3:00 pm, come join us on your coffee break!


Wednesday September 20, 2017 – Kitimat:

· BC Parks (Highway 37 across from Lakelse Lake Picnic Site)

Coffee and Donuts – 9:30 am, come join us on your coffee break!

· Haisla Nation Council

Lunch - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, join us for lunch!

· Kitimat General Hospital

Coffee and Donuts – 2:30 pm, come and join us on your coffee break!

· City Centre Mall

BBQ for all members and their families – 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm



Thursday September 21, 2017 – Hazelton and Smithers:

· Northwest Community College - Hazelton

Coffee and Donuts – 10:00 am, join us on your coffee break!

· Ministry of Children and Family Development – Hazelton

BBQ Lunch – 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, join us for lunch!

· Government Buildings – Smithers

Refreshments – 3:00 pm, join us on your coffee break!

· Bulkley Lodge – Smithers

BBQ for all members and their families – 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm


Friday September 22, 2017 – Houston, Francois Lake and Burns Lake:

· Lakes District Maintenance – Houston

Coffee and Donuts – 6:00 am, join us for coffee!

· Houston Health Unit/Northwest Community College – Houston

Coffee and Donuts - 9:30 am to 10:00 am

· Waterbridge Equipment – Francois Lake

Lunch – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, join us for lunch!

· Lakeview Mall Parking Lot – Burns Lake


BBQ for all members and their families – 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm




Local 467/MoveUP


Download as pdf

September 15, 2017

More care workers needed to help B.C. seniors feel at home

Vancouver— Today the Seniors’ Advocate of B.C. published the results of a comprehensive study on the state of care homes in BC. The report shows in no uncertain terms what many families, seniors, and care workers have been raising with government for some time now: basic standards in care homes are not being met.

“I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it must be for everyone involved to know there are people out there suffering. Without adequate resources or staffing to support them, seniors are feeling isolated and trapped in what is supposed to be their own home” said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. “When so many seniors are reporting not experiencing adequate levels of basic of personal hygiene, human interaction, and freedom it means there are serious concerns for their quality of life.”

This study reinforces the call by care workers for increased staffing so that basic standards of care can be met. That is the first recommendation made by Seniors’ Advocate Isobel Mackenzie in her report. It is important to acknowledge that simply increasing training cannot solve the core issue. Instead the government must address the staffing ratios between full time staff and residents in care homes which currently does not allow for adequate care to be provided to all. 

B.C. seniors and their families have identified significant lapses in emotional support, and isolation as key areas for improvement. Important quality of life aspects such as decent meals, social activities, and meaningful social interactions are left wanting or simply non-existent. While we know that workers are struggling trying to meet standards and the needs of residents, at the current staffing levels it is not possible to achieve any of the report’s eight recommendations.

“For the report’s eight recommendations to be implemented, the government needs to commit significant resources to bringing in more workers to improve the quality of life for seniors. Last year the government promised to hire 1,500 new health workers as part of a half a billion-dollar investment in seniors’ care,” recalled Smith. “We look forward to meeting with the government to make sure that the significant investment negotiated with Ottawa by the previous government will go into addressing these issues”

BCGEU members working in the sector have been advocating for better standards of care for quite some time through their Seniors Deserve Better Campaign. They have been petitioning government, and raising awareness of this issue.

The BCGEU represents over 73,000 workers in British Columbia, including over 16,000 workers in various health sectors.


Local 467/MoveUP

September 15, 2017

Rally in support of Edgewater Casino workers - BCGEU

Paragon Gaming is relocating Edgewater Casino to a new $600m facility in September of 2017, but instead staffing the new location with their existing union employees, they are planning to outsource the food and beverage department.

This will affect over 100 casino workers represented by Unifor who fought hard for a collective agreement and respect from their employer. The jobs created by the new facility will be outsourced to Las Vegas-based Elizabeth Blau, a non-union restaurant planning and consulting company.

This will eradicate seniority and reduce benefits for the casino's food workers, some of whom have been with the company for 10 years.

You can support the workers of Edgewater Casino by joining them at a rally this evening.


Edgewater Casino Solidarity Rally

Where: 760 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

When: Friday, September 15 at 5:00 pm


Hope you can make it out!




Local 467/MoveUP

September 15, 2017

B.C. government strikes a pragmatic balance in budget update – says B.C.’s la...

The B.C. NDP government's first budget update is measured, pragmatic and balances key spending priorities with modest tax increases to high income earners, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union says in their annual budget analysis.

"The government has made good use of the operating surplus to address urgent needs such as education, poverty reduction, housing and mental health," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "They've balanced these new commitments with measured tax increases on corporations and high-income earners, who have benefited the most from our economy."

The BCGEU's budget analysis provides an overview of the budget's key measures, including specific choices that directly affect the services our members provide for British Columbians – including the addition of 660 new FTE positions in the public service, cuts to MSP premiums and roughly $1.8 billion in new operational spending over 3 years.

The analysis concludes that Budget 2017 Update is a "conscientious and measured budget" that "positions the government well for the implementation of its core commitments with sustainable spending increases."

Members and the public can read the BCGEU budget analysis here. 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, representing over 73,000 members in direct government service, the broader public sector and service sectors across the province.



September 11, 2017

B.C. budget delivers on key priorities for British Columbians - BCGEU

BURNABY – The BC NDP government's first budget update delivers on commitments to re-invest in critical public services this year, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) said today.

The government will increase public service staffing levels by more than 600 positions, addressing the critical need for additional social workers, park rangers, environmental management staff and compliance and enforcement officers, among others.

"I'm pleased to see the B.C. government acknowledge the value of the important services our members provide to British Columbians," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "For the first time in years, issues like child protection, community health and home support, poverty reduction, mental health and addictions have seen renewed attention and investment."

"This budget update is based on prudent economic forecasts and balances modest tax increases for the wealthy with targeted public investments to support working British Columbians. It also acknowledges the impacts of long-term staffing cuts across government and in the natural resource sector."

Budget 2017 formalizes budget proposals that will see significant increases to the number of social workers in child protection, as well as a commitment to increase the number of park rangers and capital improvements to increase campsites in BC Parks, a new Abbotsford courthouse and an addition to the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre.

"I'm pleased that the government recognizes poverty reduction, child care and affordable housing as important parts of a sustainable economy," says Smith. We look forward to working with the government to implement their election commitments to provide these important services for British Columbia families."

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, representing over 73,000 members in direct government service, the broader public sector and service sectors across the province.



Local 467/MoveUP

September 08, 2017

B.C. throne speech focuses on real needs of British Columbians - BCGEU

BURNABY – The B.C. NDP government's first throne speech is a transitional roadmap that steers the province toward a progressive future, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) said today. 

"The throne speech strikes a positive tone and commits the government to focus on the real needs of our citizens," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "The former government spent 16 years balancing the books by eroding public services, and this government has clearly signalled a new approach that reflects a number of priorities the BCGEU has identified in our budget submissions."

Smith is pleased with throne speech commitments to improve services for seniors' care, child care, poverty reduction and making life more affordable for working families and renters. 

"B.C. is one of the richest provinces, with some of the highest rates of poverty and child poverty in Canada," Smith says. "The government's commitment to initiate a poverty reduction plan and take the first steps toward affordable child care is a refreshing and much needed change from the past."

Improving the government's relationship with First Nations and reforming the province's out-dated electoral system are key commitments to establish progressive democratic reform.

"In supporting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the B.C. government is signaling an historic shift in the relationship between government and First Nations peoples," says Smith. "Electoral reform and campaign finance reform is also long overdue. It's time British Columbia joined other progressive democracies and controlled the influence of big money on government."

The BCGEU is British Columbia's fastest growing union, with over 70,000 members working in direct government service, the broader public sector and service sectors in British Columbia.




September 01, 2017

Celebrating Labour Day 2017

This Labour Day we celebrate not only the great legacy of the labour movement in British Columbia, and across Canada, but today’s movement that continues to grow and evolve as we stand up for all working people.

Representing members across all sectors of the economy, we welcomed 3,000 workers into our union this past year, growing our membership to over 73,000! And in the last 12 months, we’ve accomplished so much together.

We convinced the previous B.C. Liberal government to ensure that skilled and experienced highways maintenance workers were retained in new contracts. We raised the profile of important issues like child care and seniors’ care in the provincial election. We shone a spotlight on the working conditions of workers on the front lines of our health care crises, and pushed government to invest in staffing to overcome staffing concerns. The union has also drawn attention to the safety risk of over-crowding in our prison system and the B.C. government responded by opening a new corrections centre in the Okanagan.

BCGEU members took to their communities and participated in numerous protests, rallies and events. In August, hundreds of us came out to support a massive anti-racism demonstration at Vancouver City Hall in response to the rise of hateful, intolerant rhetoric by far-right groups. And back in January, we joined 15,000 more for the Vancouver Women’s March, calling for civil rights and social justice for all.

Our union’s own campaign work focuses on the needs of workers, while seeking to improve social conditions for all of B.C. In December, the BCGEU launched an initiative to reach out and listen to members and understand what their biggest needs were in addressing the fentanyl crisis at work, and to ensure they had access to those resources.

In the coming weeks, our union will continue the fight for a more equitable B.C. by working on two new initiatives: affordable housing and electoral reform. By securing affordable housing, we can ensure that incomes from family-supporting jobs go even further. And with electoral reform through proportional representation, our provincial elections will more accurately reflect the people of B.C. and we will have more of a say in the opportunities and challenges facing our province. I hope you will join us in working for these changes!

So, this Labour Day we reflect on both the past and the future of the labour movement. Looking back, let’s celebrate achievements like the 8-hour workday, pensions and health and safety standards. But looking forward, with much more work to be done, let’s celebrate the strength, creativity and commitment of our movement to create an even more prosperous and inclusive society.

I want to thank each BCGEU member for the work they do every day to keep our union movement strong and hope that you have a chance to spend time with friends or family on this last long weekend of summer. Special thanks as well to those who will be working on Labour Day, such as the men and women on the front lines of the wildfires and all those working behind the scenes to keep people safe, and to transition back into their communities. In the true spirit of solidarity, we commend your courage and dedication in helping so many British Columbians through this difficult time.

- Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president