NEWS

July 18, 2017

BCGEU looking forward to working in the spirit of collaboration with new Premier

VICTORIA – 

 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.

 

Local 467/MoveUP

July 13, 2017

BCGEU Recognizes the Unsung Superstars Behind the Wildfire Response - BCGEU

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!

Stephanie Smith
President
B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

 

 

 

Local 467/MoveUP

July 11, 2017

The BCGEU Stands in Solidarity with Pacific Blue Cross Workers Locked Out of ...

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.

 

 

Local 467/MoveUP

July 10, 2017

BCGEU President Extends Support to Communities Affected by Wildfires and Than...

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.

Stephanie Smith,

BCGEU President

 

 

 

Local 467/MoveUP

 

July 10, 2017

Closure of REACH Daycare a significant loss for the community - BCGEU

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.

 

 

 

Local 467/MoveUP

July 10, 2017

Williams Lake Area Office Temporary Closure - BCGEU

There is a temporary closure of the Williams Lake Area Office (Area 06) due to the fire conditions in the area. All calls to the office have been re-routed to the Prince George Area Office. We will update you once we have more information.

July 05, 2017

Prince George Pride Parade - July 8, 2017 - BCGEU

Pride Season is here again in Prince George!

 

We want to encourage everyone to join in the fun! This year is expected to be the biggest yet!

Date: July 8, 2017

Start: 11:00 am

Where: Parade begins at the Veterans Plaza at 100 Patricia Blvd

If you would like to join the BCGEU in the parade we will be meeting at 9:30 am behind City Hall, look for the BCGEU flags.

If you need more information, please contact Keith Cameron at keith.cameron@bcgeu.ca

 

For directions click here

 


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July 05, 2017

Victoria Pride Parade - July 9, 2017 - BCGEU

Pride Season is here again in Victoria!

 

We want to encourage everyone to join in the fun! This year is expected to be the biggest yet!

Date: July 9, 2017

Start: 11:00 am

Where: Parade begins at Pandora and Government

If you would like to join the BCGEU in the parade we will be meeting between 8:30 am and 10:00 am at the corner of Pandora and Government, look for the BCGEU flag.

If you need more information, please contact Keith Cameron at keith.cameron@bcgeu.ca

 

For directions click here


 

July 05, 2017

More violence at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital as BCGEU calls on PHSA board o...

Another staff member at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) in Coquitlam, operated by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), has been assaulted after being asked to escort a patient exhibiting aggressive behaviour to a seclusion room. Staff members are not provided with protective gear at FPH.

 "The ongoing violence at FPH is due to an imbalance created by bringing dangerous individuals, remanded to the facility by the courts, into a hospital setting where staff are not equipped with protective gear," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "For too long, the therapeutic interests of patients have been pursued at the expense of staff safety and we have called on the PHSA to bring this into balance."

 Last Thursday, President Smith delivered a presentation at the PHSA Open Board of Directors Meeting to ensure the board is well-informed of the dangerous conditions at the facility, and to call on the PHSA to take both long-term and immediate actions to improve onsite safety.

 "While we are troubled to hear about another assault, we were encouraged by the response at Thursday's meeting as the board chair assured us we all share the same goal – to keep workers safe in their workplace," says Smith. "We await PHSA's response and hope they take the opportunity to work with the union to turn things around at this facility, and quickly."

 FPH has been issued 54 Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) safety orders and 102 WCB inspection reports have been filed in the last five years, mostly resulting from the employer's failure to protect workers from violence. A $171,000 fine was issued by the WCB in the fall of 2016 for extremely dangerous conditions at the facility, yet the violence continues.

 Over 270 BCGEU members work at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, including 130 health care workers, 15 forensic security officers, 25 dietary staff, 7 social workers and 27 administrative staff.

 Click here to see the letter sent to the PHSA President and CEO following our presentation at the Open Board of Directors Meeting Thursday June 29th

 For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: bronwen.barnett@bcgeu.ca | c: 604-719-4713


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