February 12, 2019

BCGEU Office Closures - Feb 12 - BCGEU

Due to inclement weather, the following BCGEU offices will be closed on Tuesday, February 12:

  • Headquarters (Burnaby)
  • Victoria Area Office (Area 01 - Victoria)
  • North Island Area Office (Area 02 - Nanaimo)
  • Lower Mainland Area Office (Area 03 - Vancouver)
  • Fraser Valley Area Office (Area 04 - Langley)

Any further updates will be made on this website.

If you are a BCGEU member and need emergency support at your worksite, please contact your union steward.

We expect that the offices will re-open on Wednesday, February 13.

February 11, 2019

The BCGEU remembers and honours Art Kube’s legacy - BCGEU

Art Kube was born in Poland in 1935 and raised by a trade unionist mother, on her own along with two children, while his father was taken prisoner of war in the Soviet Union. He kicked off his life-long work to fight for workers' rights as an executive in the youth wing of the Metal Workers union before immigrating to Canada in 1953 as a nineteen-year-old.

Art wore many hats over the years, from a steel fabricator and heavy equipment operator to miner. He was an organizer with the United Steelworkers and then a representative with the Canadian Labour Congress in the 1960s.

Art was the President of the BC Federation of Labour from 1983 to 1986. As Chairperson for Operation Solidarity in 1983, he had a front-row seat to one of the most difficult and tumultuous chapters in Canadian labour history. His leadership and determination during that time left a permanent mark, and inspired generations of activists.

Art was active well beyond his retirement, advocating for seniors' rights across the country, and serving as president of the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations and National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation.

In 2015, Art Kube was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, to recognize and honour his deep commitment to working people and communities.

The following year, Art told the Labour Heritage Centre: "I truly hope that I have been able to help make a difference in this world and that the legacy of my life will live on in my children, grandchildren and the many people that I have been honoured to work with and serve in my life." 

The BCGEU offers its condolences to Art's wife Mary and his family as we remember his legacy and his decades of contributions to the labour and social justice movements. 



February 07, 2019

New poll shows overwhelming support for a public inquiry - BCGEU

February 7, 2019

(BURNABY) – The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) released polling results on British Columbians' attitudes toward a public inquiry into organized crime, money laundering and the overdose crisis in B.C. 

The results demonstrate overwhelming support for a public inquiry:

  • 77 per cent of British Columbians in favour of an inquiry.
  • 80 per cent of respondents say that an anti-corruption office similar to the one in Quebec should be established in B.C.
  • 84 per cent say that this would be an important voting issue for them if a provincial election were called tomorrow.

"This poll backs up what we've been saying for months: British Columbians want answers," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "No matter where they live, how old they are or who they vote for the citizens of our province support a comprehensive public inquiry as a way to get to the bottom of how these crises are connected, to make sure those who are responsible are held accountable and that the rest of us are protected going forward. Anything less would be a disservice to the public." 

The poll, conducted by Research Co., is the third poll on the subject of money laundering the firm has compiled since June. The results demonstrate broad-based support across age, gender, region, voting preference and ethnicity. 

"The interest from British Columbians on figuring out all aspects related to money laundering in the province has not subsided," said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. "There is only a minuscule proportion of residents who believe there is no need for a public inquiry on this matter, and nearly universal support for the eventual establishment of an anti-corruption commission in British Columbia. While there is definitely some satisfaction with the fact that the provincial government is discussing money laundering in the open, voters of all political stripes are eager to see more action on this file."

The BCGEU is uniquely positioned to call for an inquiry as this crisis has impacted union membership in a number of ways. The housing affordability crisis was identified by members as a top concern leading the union to launch its Affordable BC Plan in 2017. As well, members in health care, social services, transit, libraries and casinos, along with deputy sheriffs and correctional officers, have been thrust into first responder roles on the frontlines of the overdose crisis, and have been working hard to tackle its impact.

Two weeks ago, the union launched a campaign calling on the provincial government to launch a public inquiry into organized crime, opioids and money laundering in B.C. The campaign has garnered nearly 4,000 signatures. The launch of the campaign follows the union's call for an inquiry and subsequent letter to government in December 2018.

The polling results are based on an online study conducted from February 1 to February 5, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error-which measures sample variability-is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Link to Data Tables

Link to Factum

Link to the Public Inquiry petition


For more information contact:

Emma Pullman, BCGEU | (604)-473-5479 |
email: emma.pullman@bcgeu.ca
Mario Canseco, President Research Co. |
email: mario.canseco@researchco.ca


The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in B.C. with over 78,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.


January 22, 2019

Province’s largest union calls for full inquiry into money laundering - BCGEU

The BCGEU wants the government to provide answers, saying a full inquiry is needed into money laundering in this province. John Hua has more.


See video here...


January 22, 2019

B.C.'s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs...

The union representing thousands of workers in B.C. says the provincial government must hold a public inquiry to examine organized crime, the opioid crisis, money-laundering and its connection to real estate.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees Union says in a news release that an inquiry is the best way to learn the truth about a crisis that has claimed thousands of lives, and made B.C. the most unaffordable province to live in Canada.




January 21, 2019

BCGEU calls for public inquiry into organized crime, opioids and money launde...

BCGEU calls for public inquiry into organized crime, opioids and money laundering in B.C.
January 21, 2019
BURNABY – Today the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) launched a campaign calling on the provincial government to launch a public inquiry into organized crime, opioids and money laundering in B.C. The campaign follows the union's call for an inquiry and subsequent letter to government in December 2018.
Following the collapse of the E-Pirate investigation – a RCMP money laundering probe that started in 2015 – a public inquiry is the best way to learn the truth about a crisis that has claimed thousands of lives, and has made B.C. the most unaffordable province to live in.
Neither Attorney General David Eby nor Premier Horgan have ruled out the possibility of calling for a public inquiry into the crisis, and the BCGEU is hoping that public support will push the government to act on this vital issue.
"The links between organized crime, fentanyl and money laundering leading to skyrocketing real estate prices in B.C. cannot go unexamined," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "British Columbians deserve answers so that those responsible can be held accountable, but also so we can take meaningful action to safeguard our communities from further harm."
The effects of this multi-layered crisis have reached every corner of the province and have impacted the union's members in a number of ways. BCGEU members from health care, social services, libraries, and casinos to deputy sheriffs and correctional officers have been thrust into first responder roles on the frontlines of the opioid crisis. In response to this situation, the BCGEU launched a province-wide education and training initiative in 2017: Stop the Fentanyl Crisis
At their 2017 convention, BCGEU members passed multiple resolutions calling for action on the housing affordability crisis as well. In response, the union launched its Affordable BC campaign in late 2017 with particular focus on the issues affecting urban centres like Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.
"Our union has been working hard to support members as they face the challenges of both the opioid and housing crises, but it's time to take the next step. We need to have a public inquiry," says Smith. "Together, we can, and we must put a stop to this and restore the rule of law in our province."
The union's campaign asks the public to sign a petition to show Premier Horgan that they support an inquiry into organized crime, opioids, and money laundering in B.C.
For more information contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, communications@bcgeu.ca.


January 10, 2019

BCGEU Statement on RCMP raid at Unist'ot'en Camp and Gidimt’en Access Point -...

BURNABY - The BCGEU has been closely monitoring the developing situation at the Unist'ot'en camp. As a trade union committed to supporting the full implementation of the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the recommendations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are concerned that police action has been used to suppress the rights of both peaceful protesters and the media.

We urge the RCMP, Coastal Gaslink and the provincial government to work with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary leadership and the elected council to resolve the current dispute in the spirit of the principles articulated in those documents.

The Wet'suwet'en people have inherent Indigenous rights and title that must be recognized and respected. What happens at the Unist'ot'en camp could have lasting repercussions for generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous British Columbians.

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in B.C. with over 77,000 members across the province working in every sector of the economy.

For more information contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, communications@bcgeu.ca



December 24, 2018

Happy Holidays – BCGEU offices closed for the holidays - BCGEU

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith, treasurer Paul Finch and the entire Provincial Executive would like to wish our 77,000 members and their families a happy and festive holiday season!

Please note that all BCGEU offices will be closed for the holidays.

BCGEU offices around the province will be closed from end of business December 24, 2018 and will reopen on January 2, 2019 at 8:30am.

If you are a BCGEU member and need emergency support at your worksite, please contact your union steward.

Media inquiries can be directed to Aaron Donovan, Coordinator - Research and Interactive Services, at aaron.donovan@bcgeu.ca or 604 306-9122.

Facilities related emergencies can be directed to Ryan Schmid at 778-870-7877.


Happy holidays!


December 20, 2018

BCGEU disappointed by defeat of electoral reform referendum - BCGEU

The BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is disappointed by Election BC's announcement today that the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform was defeated. Despite this result, over half a million British Columbians voted for change due to a deep dissatisfaction with First Past the Post (FPTP), and the conversation about a more representative voting system must continue.

Under FPTP more and more people have been tuning out of our electoral system and since 1983, voter turnout has fallen nearly 20 per cent. Less than 50 per cent of millennials currently vote and as this group starts to make up more of the electorate, we could see FPTP elections drawing less than 50 per cent participation. This is not only bad for our democracy, it stifles new ideas and innovation and puts British Columbia's future prosperity at risk.

In 2017 the BCGEU asked its members for their input about changes to the voting system and the upcoming referendum on electoral reform. 90 per cent indicated they were in favour of modernizing our electoral system and switching to proportional representation. Many BCGEU members took part in a year-long campaign for electoral reform in their communities and workplaces, engaging with their family, friends, and coworkers.

In total, 533,518 British Columbians or 39% voted in favour of changing the system to proportional representation following the largest public consultation in B.C. history. Unfortunately, the government-funded proponent campaign failed to reach a broad public audience that may have been receptive to supporting electoral reform, contributing to the defeat today.

Representing over 77,000 B.C. workers, the BCGEU is one of the largest member-run democratic organizations in the province with a wealth of experience in making sure that all voices are heard in decision-making. As such, the union will continue to advocate for fair elections and more direct participation in our democracy on behalf of our members, and all working people.