B.C.'S UNION SINCE 1919

NEWS

May 20, 2016

Free pensions webinars

Learn more about pensions in a webinar series offered by NUPGE, our national union.

 

Capital stewardship

Friday, June 10

10.00 am (11.00 am Mountain Daylight Time)

Pension assets in Canada now exceed $1 trillion. The way this money is invested has significant impacts on retirement security, the wider economy, and the welfare of society. It can also affect the jobs of NUPGE members and other public sector workers. This session will examine the growing role of social, environmental, and governance factors in pension plan investment. NUPGE policies and practices related to the responsible stewardship of pension assets will be described.

Register for free here.

Watch these previous pensions webinars on the NUPGE YouTube channel:

  • Overview of Canada’s retirement system
  • Plan funding and the role of the actuary
  • Pension investment
  • Pension law

May 18, 2016

The BCGEU is proud to announce the following winners of a 2016 BCGEU Scholars...

Shaelyn Ann Loise Blatta, West Kelowna

Flora Copley, Barriere

Ruth Dyck, Williams Lake

Haven Evans, Prince George

Elisabeth Hill, Port Alberni

Ramona Jones, White Rock

Isaiah Joseph, Langford

Pamela Lozano Fernandez, Chilliwack

Kayla MacKay, Victoria

Tessa Milic, Delta

Sarah Osborne, Victoria

Tenysha Ross-Van Mierlo, Castlegar

Lindsay Russell, Port Moody

Jaya Scott, Victoria

Jordan Tarchuk, Surrey

Gary Wong, Burnaby

*Winners will receive a letter with instructions on how to claim their award.

Please check back in the fall for information on the 2017 Scholarship Award Program

May 16, 2016

All members in Haida Gwaii - Pension Seminar

What's New With Pensions?:  Your pension, Your plan, plus CPP, OAS and GIS

A BCGEU pension specialist will begin with an explanation on the differences between a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution pension plan – do you  know what type your plan is?  Learn the differences in predicting retirement income under the different arrangements and why this is important.

You will then be given an overview of the various public sector (MPP, PSPP and College) pension plans BCGEU members are in.

In addition there will be an update on the changes to the three basic government programs that are currently underway for the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

See how it all ties together to provide you with a more financially secure retirement.

 Please complete the attached registration form and return it by June 6, 2016.

Kim Shelley

Staff Representative  

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

May 13, 2016

Government Members on Haida Gwaii pension seminar

What's New With Pensions?:  Your pension, Your plan, plus CPP, OAS and GIS

A BCGEU pension specialist will begin with an explanation on the differences between a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution pension plan – do you  know what type your plan is?  Learn the differences in predicting retirement income under the different arrangements and why this is important. 

You will then be given an overview of the various public sector (MPP, PSPP and College) pension plans BCGEU members are in. 

In addition there will be an update on the changes to the three basic government programs that are currently underway for the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. 

See how it all ties together to provide you with a more financially secure retirement. 

As this is during typical work hours you will required to have approval to attend from your supervisor or manager.  Please complete the attached registration form and return it by June 6, 2016.

Kim Shelley 
Staff Representative  

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

May 04, 2016

BCGEU president’s statement re: Fort McMurray wildfire & $50k donation

NEW: The BCGEU has made a $50,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross towards relief efforts.

Like you, I’ve been watching the images and video footage from wildfire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta. It’s heartbreaking to see. The lives of those affected have been changed forever.

We know some of our BCGEU members have loved ones and friends who’ve been impacted by the evacuation of a staggering 80,000 area residents. Our thoughts are with you. We hope everyone stays safe.

The BCGEU represents forest firefighters in B.C. who’ve been busy fighting fires recently in the northeast. It’s risky, dangerous work. It takes people away from loved ones for long periods. We understand the sacrifice firefighters everywhere make to bring fires under control and we thank you.

Today, as I watch rain fall outside my office window at BCGEU HQ, I wish for a return to cooler and wetter weather conditions in Fort McMurray. Let’s hope this tragic situation turns around soon.

 

--Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president

 

 

May 02, 2016

BC Federation of Labour "Stress in the Workplace" Course

The “Understanding and Preventing Stress in the Workplace” course will be offered at the Castlegar area office on Friday June 3, 2016 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. This course will be facilitated by a BC Federation of Labour Health and Safety Centre facilitator. This course is designed to help identify stressors such as job demands, job control, lack of support, organization styles, bullying and lack of work / life balance. All these factors can cause workplace stress and worker burnout. You will learn how your work on the Joint OHS committee can help the employer to develop prevention strategies to reduce worker stress.

Your employer must pay for you to take at least 8 hours of annual Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) education. You must apply for this training through your employer and the cost of this training is $115 per person. Employer OHS representatives are invited to register but will only be accepted if there is space. The maximum registration is 24. A pre- requisite for this course is the BCGEU 1 day Basic OHS (Labour Code) or 2 Day Basic Government OHS training.

If you have already taken your 8 hours of annual training, the OHS department will consider sponsoring you to take this training. Please indicate your need for this sponsorship when you register through your area office. The area office will then confirm the funding with the OHS department.  

Call the Castlegar area office at 250.365-9979 to register and to provide your leave requirements and dietary restrictions.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to improve your ability to advocate for worker’s health and safety rights and to enable you to reduce worker stress at your worksite – register today! 

If you have any questions, please contact your area office or email ohs@bcgeu.ca

Download PDF of notice here.

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

 

 

May 02, 2016

Area 05 Stewards Educational Seminar – Pension Workshop

The Area 05 Cross Component Committee is pleased to invite you for a free education session regarding a Pension Workshop. This educational session will be useful for all BCGEU members who want more information related to Pensions and Pension Plans.

    WHERE: Kamloops Area Office 
                  158 Oriole Road, Kamloops
                  After hours entrance at right rear of building.

    WHEN: Saturday, May 28, 2016
                2 Educational Workshops to choose from:
                10:00 a.m. OR 1:00 p.m.

REGISTER BY emailing Amelia Peterson or Tara Copeland at area05@bcgeu.ca or call 
(250) 372-8223 or toll free at 1-800-667-0054 before Friday, May 20, 2016. Confirm early as this session will fill up quickly and seats are limited!

The Pension Workshop will cover the following:

  • Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution
  • Overview of MPP/PSPP and College plans
  • Government Pension Programs: OAS, CPP, GIS
  • Putting it all together


In solidarity

On behalf of the Area 05 Cross Component Committee

Download PDF of notice here. 

UNIFOR467/MoveUP

April 28, 2016

Stephanie Smith: Day of Mourning 2016

UPDATE: Day of Mourning photos

Many of you will be attending Day of Mourning events on April 28 in different communities around our province. Some of you will be there to honour and remember your co-workers and family members or to show solidarity and empathy for those who have been affected by the death or injury of a worker. The provincial government will be lowering flags on all provincial government buildings to acknowledge this day.

Sadly, the number of fatalities in our province in 2015 did not decrease.  According to the BC Federation of Labour, the fatalities that occurred in 2015 and were reported by February 2016 are as follows:

  • Motor vehicle accident: ​​​23 deaths
  • Other injury: ​​​​54 deaths
  • Asbestos exposure​​​: 60 deaths
  • Other disease: 45 deaths

The total is a shocking 182 fatalities for 2015. Experience tells us that every one of these deaths could have been prevented. 

There is much work to be done to improve regulatory requirements and enforcement to ensure safe and healthy worksites. The BCGEU, together with the BC Federation of Labour and other unions, continues to lobby government and the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) to increase prevention activities, to write more orders, levy more penalties and to launch more criminal prosecutions against negligent employers.  

Every year the BCGEU and labour councils organize activities in workplaces and communities to commemorate April 28. We encourage you to attend a Day of Mourning event in your community. We also ask you to take a moment on April 28 to remember workers who have lost their lives or have been injured on the job.

​This year the BC Federation of Labour and WorkSafeBC have created a Day of Mourning website.  You will be able to find links and a schedule to this year's events. The website also has a commemorative wall to honour fallen workers. If you are interested in attending an event in your community please visit www.DayofMourning.bc.ca

 
Stephanie Smith

President, BCGEU

Click here to download the BCGEU’s Day of Mourning poster for 2016.

April 27, 2016

Speak out against death threats to union leaders in Colombia

We have been alerted through CoDevelopment Canada and our Colombian partner NOMADESC that there has been a new round of death threats against numerous human rights defenders and union leaders. These threats are taking place in the Valle de Cauca region, and originate with the paramilitary group Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC). This is the latest incident in a recent increase in human rights abuses in Colombia. 

In this case, a series of envelopes containing threatening messages from the AGC were discovered at the Colombian Labour Central (CUT), Solidarity Committee with Political Prisoners (CSPP) and NOMADESC main offices. The messages declare a number of people as military targets, and warn that anyone accompanying them will be gunned down. Please join CoDevelopment Canada in calling on the Colombian government to ensure the safety of the threatened activists and to investigate and dismantle the paramilitary groups operating in Colombia.

Click here for a link to the Urgent Action.