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January 14, 2023

Job action postponed for seniors’ care workers - BC General Employees' Union ...

January 14, 2023


MEDIA ADVISORY: Job action postponed for seniors' care workers
BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – Job action has now been postponed for members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) working for Vantage Living Inc. – owner of independent living facility Lakeside Manor in Salmon Arm. This follows 72-hour strike notice issued to the company on Friday. 

Vantage Living Inc. has applied for mediation which is set for January 25, 2023. The BCGEU, representing 30 workers at this facility, is hopeful a fair deal can be reached in mediation and without disruption to the residents. 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

For more information contact: [email protected] 


January 13, 2023

Seniors’ care workers issue 72-hour strike notice - BC General Employees' Un...

January 13, 2023

Seniors' care workers issue 72-hour strike notice 

(Coast Salish Territories) – Members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) have issued 72-hour strike notice to Vantage Living Inc. – owner of independent living facility Lakeside Manor – as of 11:00 a.m., January 13, 2023. This action is being taken following several months of negotiations that have yet to result in an agreement that provides wage increases that address the rising cost of living and will reduce high staff turnover. 
"This dispute is about seniors' care workers fighting for the respect and support they deserve, and the respect and support those in their care deserve," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "Our members are demanding fair compensation so they can put a stop to the revolving door of poorly paid workers and deteriorating conditions at Lakeside Manor." 

The union is seeking wage increases in line with inflation so these workers can catch up and keep up with rising costs. Right now, most workers make minimum wage with the highest pay at $20.90 per hour.

"This is another case of a for-profit company prioritizing the bottom line over wages and working conditions and by extension, the conditions of care residents experience" continued Smith. "For this reason, Lakeside Manor residents are also engaged and supporting members' actions to improve conditions for everyone that lives and works in the facility." 

The bargaining committee remains dedicated to reaching an agreement without commencing job action and is willing to use every minute of the next 72 hours to get a deal done without any disruption to residents. 

If no agreement is reached, job action will commence on Monday January 16, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. with workers walking off the job and on to the picket line. 

Media are invited to attend the strike kick off:

WHAT: Strike kick off for members of Lakeside Manor. 

WHEN: Monday, January 16, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. PST 

WHERE: 681 Harbour Front Drive, NE, in Salmon Arm, B.C. 

VISUALS: Independent seniors living workers, joined in solidarity by some
of the residents they care for and other allies, calling for a fair deal with
colourful union flags and signs. 

The BCGEU represents 30 workers at Lakeside Manor who voted 84 per cent in favour of strike action last October. 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

For more information contact: [email protected]


November 04, 2022

BCGEU Stands with Ontario CUPE Members - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

BCGEU stands in solidarity with Ontario education workers 

We condemn the Doug Ford government for their callous attack on 55,000 education workers and their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On Thursday, they made good on their reckless promise to pass legislation making it illegal for workers to strike and forcing a contract on them. Workers who disobey the ruling will be subject to steep fines.

This legislation is an attack on the rights to free bargaining that workers fought for and won through many years of struggle. It's a dangerous precedent that should concern all citizens.

The workers targeted by this unconscionable attack on labour rights are members of CUPE OSBCU - CSCSO. They perform vital supporting roles in the public school system, include education assistants, custodians, library workers, maintenance workers, secretaries, early childhood educators and IT professionals. They are among the lowest paid in Ontario's education sector.

The BCGEU calls on the Ontario government to return to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith - the only way to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that will satisfy education workers, parents, and students.

We encourage BCGEU members to show support for Ontario education workers - visit


November 04, 2022

Winter School 2023 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Winter School 2023 will be taking place in-person! We are so excited that our communities will be able to come together, to learn and discuss with peers and colleagues at the upcoming Winter School. As we continue to work with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) on updating you with further details, please complete your registration application form to express your interest in attending. Please note, this form does not mean you are registered to attend Winter School. Upon receipt of your registration/application, you will receive an e-mail from [email protected] asking for your class choices and asking for further supporting details that will be forwarded to your Component Education Committee for consideration. Once your Component has made their decision on who is approved to attend, you will be contacted by our Department to finalize your attendance.


Please complete by November 4, 2022: Winter School 2023 Application.



October 18, 2022

MEDIA RELEASE: B.C.’s public service members ratify collective agreement - BC...

October 18, 2022

B.C.'s public service members ratify collective agreement

BURNABY, B.C. – Over a two-week voting period, members of the BCGEU's (BC General Employees' Union) public service bargaining unit voted 53.4 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement reached with B.C.'s Public Service Agency (PSA) on September 6. More than 71 per cent of eligible members voted in the ratification process.
"This ratification marks the end of a long, challenging round of bargaining," said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith, who also serves as Chair of the Public Service Bargaining Committee. "And this agreement is the beginning of a renewed investment in public services and the workers that provide them that will ultimately benefit everyone in B.C. But the result is a clear message from our members that our work is not over."
Highlights of the new three-year agreement include:

  • A three-year term from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2025.
  • General wage increases:
    • Year 1 – a flat increase of $0.25/hour which provides a greater percentage increase for lower paid employees (for BCGEU workers, an average of 0.76%) plus 3.24%
    • Year 2 – 5.5% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 6.75%
    • Year 3 – 2% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 3%
  • Improvements to occupational health and safety
  • Improvements to mental health in the workplace
  • Employment security
  • Equity and worker's rights
  • Improved and more flexible leave provisions

The agreement is now fully in effect as the 19th Main Agreement between the BCGEU and the PSA, with a number of terms retroactive to April 1, 2022.
In addition to the 33,000 members in the public service bargaining unit, an additional 31,000 public sector BCGEU members are still engaged in bargaining under the Community Social Services, Community Health, Post-secondary instructors and support, and Health Science Professionals agreements.
BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.
Please see attached backgrounder for additional details and a timeline of public service bargaining.

For more information, contact BCGEU Communications at 604-291-9611 or [email protected]


October 18, 2022

Public Service Bargaining Backgrounder - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

  • The newly ratified agreement is now in effect as the 19th Main Agreement between the B.C. Public Service Agency and the BC General Employees' Union
  • The previous public service agreement – the 18th Main Agreement – took effect April 1, 2019 and expired on March 31, 2022. 
  • The BCGEU is the only union covered by this agreement. 
  • Employer: Public Service Agency 
  • BCGEU members covered: approximately 33,000 
  • Negotiations start date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 
  • Examples of jobs performed and services provided by BCGEU members: 
    • Correctional officers and sheriffs; 
    • B.C. government liquor store and cannabis store workers; 
    • Social workers, child protection, probation officers, and system analysts;
    • Administrative and support services; and
    • Wildfire forest fighters, biologists, design engineers, conservation officers, scientific/technical officers, inspectors and planning officers.
  • The BCGEU is one of B.C.'s largest unions, representing more than 85,000 members who work in every sector of the provincial economy and live in every community across B.C. 
  • More than 64,000 BCGEU members (78 per cent) are covered by one of six public sector agreements that are being negotiated in 2022.
  • BCGEU members make up 17 per cent of the 384,000 unionized workers and public service professionals that will be negotiating with the provincial government in 2022. 
  • The public service agreement is the second public sector agreement to be ratified in 2022, following the ratification of the Health Services and Support - Facilities Subsector agreement (Health Facilities) on October 13, 2022.
  • BCGEU members remain in bargaining at the following public sector tables (more details here):
    • Health Services & Support – Community Subsector agreement
    • Community Social Services (Community Living, General Services and Indigenous Services agreements)
    • Post-secondary (instructors and support staff agreements) 
    • Health Science Professionals


Bargaining timeline: 

Ratification vote:

  • Electronic voting was conducted and verified by Simply Voting – a secure, third-party online voting platform.
  • Voting began on Monday, October 3, and closed on Monday, October 17, at 5 p.m.
  • Immediately following the close of voting, the BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee, BCGEU staff and scrutineers received the final vote count at BCGEU Headquarters.
  • The results of the vote were 53.4 % in favour of the tentative agreement.
  • Approximately 71% of over 32,600 eligible voters participated in the ratification vote.


October 17, 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY - BCGEU members ratify three-year collective agreement with Pr...

WHAT: Members of the BC General Employees' Union's (BCGEU) public service bargaining unit have ratified a new collective agreement with the provincial government.

The deal was ratified by a vote of 53.4% with over 71% of eligible members voting.

Voting on the tentative agreement was open for two weeks, closing at 5 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2022. The tentative deal was reached in early September after almost eight months of negotiations and a two-week strike by public-service workers.

The three-year agreement is in effect from April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2025 and includes wage protections against inflation, improvements to occupational health and safety, improvements to mental health in the workplace, employment security, and equity and workers' rights.

Please see the backgrounder below for timeline and additional details.

BCGEU President Stephanie Smith and Lead Negotiator Michael Eso
Tuesday, October 18, 2022 – 10 a.m.


Please note:

  • In accordance with BCGEU health and safety procedures, those attending in-person must provide a valid vaccination passport and wear an N95 mask, which can be provided to visitors. Please plan to arrive in time to verify vaccination status.


  • ASL interpretation will be provided virtually on Zoom and on screen at BCGEU Headquarters.


For more information please contact: BCGEU Communications at 604-291-9611 or [email protected] 


September 29, 2022

Learn, Reflect and Participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliati...

A photo collage of BCGEU members wearing orange shirts, posing along an crosswalk painted orange with features, and standing at the Kamloops Residential School monument


Tomorrow is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and union encourages all members to take the day to learn, reflect and participate in events going on in our communities.
Learn and Reflect - Reconciliation is an ongoing process, and in addition to the events that are occurring tomorrow, our union has gathered a variety of resources including suggestions of some Indigenous businesses to support, Indigenous social media thought leaders to follow, and links for non-Indigenous people to better understand Canada’s painful colonial legacy and its impact on Indigenous peoples.


Participate – Here is a list of free events that are happening around the province that you can participate in.



Dates: September 23 – 30, 2022
Time: Between 9:00 AM – 4:00PM
Location: Civic Center outside the Clearbrook Library (32320 George Ferguson Way
Hosted by the Clearbrook Library – More info here

Campbell River

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Spirit Square, Shoppers Row-More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Circle of Indigenous Nations Society office - 1801 Connors Rd
Hosted by Circle of Indigenous Nations Society – More info here


Comox Valley

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Simms Millenium Park, 50 – 5th Street, Courtenay
Hosted by MIKI’SIW Métis Association and the Indigenous Women’s Sharing Society – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: Coqualeetza Residential School Memorial Post - 7201 Vedder Road
Hosted by the Stó:lõ Leadership and Sts'elemeqw Residential School Thrivers Society – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Place des Arts - 1120 Brunette Ave.
Hosted by Place des Arts – More info here


Fort St. John

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Centennial Park in Fort St. John
Hosted by the Treaty 8 Tribal Association- More info here


Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: KIRS Monument - 330 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Hosted by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Okanagan Heritage Museum 470 Queensway Avenue
Hosted by the Okanagan Heritage Museum – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Fraser Heritage Park - 7494 Mary Street
Hosted by the Siwal Si'wes Indigenous Education Advisory Council & Education Department, Mission Public School District 75, Members of the Board of Education, the Mission Friendship Centre, and the City of Mission – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Stadium District  745 Third Street
Hosted by Snuneymuxw First Nation, City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools – More info here


New Westminster

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Westminster Pier Park
Hosted by Spirit of the Children Society – More info here


Port Alberni

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: Harbour Quay
Hosted by Tseshaht First Nation – More info here


Port Coquitlam

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Kinsmen Hall - 2175 Coquitlam Ave
Hosted by Tsartlip First Nation artist Priscilla Omulo – More info here


Port Hardy

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: Port Hardy Secondary School - 9350 Granville St
Hosted by the Kwakiutl, Quatsino and Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations - More info here


Port Moody

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Port Moody Station Museum – 2734 Murray Street
Hosted by Port Moody Station Museum – More info here


Prince George

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park, 17th Ave
Hosted by the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation – More info here


Prince Rupert

Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Jim Ciccone Civic Center - 1000 McBride St.
Hosted by Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Holland Park – 13428 Old Yale Road
Hosted by Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: South-Side John Hendry Park, Trout Lake, 3300 Victoria Drive
Hosted by Nisga’a Ts’amiks Vancouver Society – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 11:00 AM (Doors open at 10:00 AM)
Location: Royal Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Ave.
Hosted by Songhees Nation and City of Victoria – More info here



Date: September 30, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: The Museum & Archives of Vernon 3009 32nd Avenue
Hosted by The Museum & Archives of Vernon  - More info here




September 07, 2022

BCGEU reaches tentative agreement in B.C. public service bargaining - BC Gene...

September 7, 2022

BCGEU reaches tentative agreement in B.C. public service bargaining

Following more than seven months of negotiations and a historic job action that lasted almost two weeks, the BC General Employees' Union's (BCGEU) public service bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with the provincial government's B.C.'s Public Service Agency (PSA). This agreement covers 33,000 bargaining unit members working in direct government service.

"The members of this bargaining unit have been clear from the day we started preparing for bargaining last fall that their top priorities were wage increases and meaningful wage protections and our committee took that message to the PSA," said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU and chair of the bargaining committee. "The 95% strike vote we got in June and actioned in August was our members' response to an offer that showed their employer had not gotten the message. After almost two weeks of job action and nine consecutive days at the table, enough progress was made that the committee decided it was time to let our members see what's on offer and have their say."

The PSA invited the BCGEU back to the bargaining table in late August - more than five weeks after talks broke down in July – where both parties spent nine straight days at the table to reach a deal. "Bargaining is never easy and this has been a long and challenging round," said Smith. "I'm proud of the work our committee has done and I'm proud of the solidarity our members have shown over the last eight months-especially the hundreds who walked picket lines at liquor and cannabis locations and the thousands who refused much-needed over-time as part of our job action."

This tentative agreement is the result of almost a year of work by the BCGEU's bargaining committee and members of the bargaining unit. Last fall, the union conducted the most extensive consultation for public service negotiations in BCGEU history. Our members told us that they wanted a contract that offered wage increases and wage protections that address rising costs and that recognized the critical importance of robust public services and the workers that provide them.

Here are the highlights from the agreement: Public Service tentative agreement highlights

Timelines for the ratification vote will be confirmed in the coming days.

The BCGEU's 33,000 member public service bargaining unit was the first of many public sector unions to bargain with the government in 2022. In total, more than two-thirds of the BCGEU's 85,000 members will be engaged in public sector bargaining this year.


General media contact: BCGEU Communications, [email protected]