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NEWS

February 04, 2022

BCGEU begins bargaining collective agreements covering more than 64K members ...

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2022

 

Starting the last week of January, the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) is bargaining six separate collective agreements that cover a total of approximately 64,000 of the union’s members.  

Negotiations for three agreements have already started: 

  • The Health Services and Support—Community Subsector (Community Health) agreement is a multi-union agreement covering more than 13,000 BCGEU members. Negotiations opened on Thursday, February 3rd. 
  • The Main Public Service agreement covers approximately 31,500 BCGEU members who work for the provincial government. Component tables opened on Monday, January 31st. Main table negotiations open on Tuesday, February 8th.  
  • The Community Social Services agreement covers more than 11,000 BCGEU members. Negotiations opened on Wednesday, February 2nd.  

Bargaining dates have been set for the other three agreements, all of which are multi-union agreements: 

  • The Health Facilities and Health Science Professionals agreements, which cover a total of nearly 5,000 BCGEU members, are set for February 11th and February 28th respectively. 
  • Agreements in the post-secondary sector cover a total of approximately 6,000 BCGEU members. Negotiations for Instructors are set for February 28th. Negotiations for Support staff are still to be determined. 

Key issues for BCGEU members covered by all agreements include: 

  • Compensation that addresses the rising cost of living as well as persistent recruitment and retention issues in these critical sectors. 
  • Working conditions that protect the physical, psychological, and mental health of workers. 
  • Agreement language that respects workers; promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion; and supports the long-term sustainability of BC’s public service.  

Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU and chair of the union’s public service bargaining committee, will be available for media interviews by Zoom on Monday, February 7th between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. 

 

Please click here to read background information on bargaining

 

For more information contact: 
[email protected]  or (604) 291-9611

 


UWU/MoveUP

January 31, 2022

Black History Month 2022 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

February is Black History Month, and the BCGEU is celebrating the contributions and legacy of Black Canadians throughout our history.

Since Black History Month was created 25 years ago, we have honoured the role that so many Black Canadians have played in society. Around this year’s celebrations, there has been a focus on those who have made an impact on Canadian politics, including Lincoln Alexander – who fought for racial equity and served as the first Black cabinet minister and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario – and Jean Augustine  – the first Black woman federal cabinet minister who was integral in the recognition of this month.

So many more Black Canadians have made significant contributions in other fields like science, arts, entertainment, journalism, writers and authors, and activism for racial equality. 

Throughout the month, we will be sharing resources and events that members can access to learn more about Black history in Canada.

EVENTS

Two Events to Honour Black History Month

Sponsored by the Vancouver & District and New Westminster & District Labour Councils
Two part discussion with guest speakers, Candace Knoll and Parker Johnson:

February 9th and 16th: Register here

Text Rally: Beyond Black History Month

Sponsored by the Canadian Labour Congress 
February 23rd: Register here

RESOURCES

 

BOOKS

  • Subtle Act of Exclusion: How to understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran
  • White Fragility: Why it's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo
  • They said this would be fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up by Eternity Martis
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
  • Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald



UWU/MoveUP

January 21, 2022

NTT Data Members Please Check Your Paystub - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

 
Have you been paid Incorrectly?
 
It has come to the Union’s attention that BCGEU members working for NTT may not have been paid correctly for the following 2021/2022 statutory holidays:
 

  • December 25, 2021
  • December 27, 2021
  • January 1, 2022
  • January 3, 2022

 
We understand members were paid at a whole range of DIFFERENT rates for these stat dates when they should have been paid at the SAME rate in accordance with the collective agreement.
 
Scenario 1 (If you work Monday – Friday)
 
The collective agreement says if you work a Monday – Friday schedule and a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, like Christmas and New Year's Day did this year, then the Employer must make the following Monday the holiday. This year, December 27 and January 3 should have been deemed the holidays if you work Monday – Friday. If you were scheduled and worked on December 27 or January 3, you should have received double time PLUS one half for all hours worked PLUS a day off in lieu of each holiday.
 
Scenario 2 (If you work weekends)
 
If you were scheduled and worked on the actual holiday (December 25 or January 1), you should have also received double time PLUS one half for all hours worked PLUS a day off in lieu of each holiday.
 
We also understand there may have been payroll errors for overtime not being accurately paid between pay periods December 25 and January 15, 2022.
 
What Should I do Next?
 
We are recommending that all NTT employees look at their paystubs from this period and make sure they were paid correctly for December 25, December 27, 2021, January 1, and January 3, 2022. If you find you were not paid correctly or are unsure, please reach out to a steward to look into filing a grievance. If you don’t have a steward, please contact Kevin Ball ([email protected]) or Jesse Farsang ([email protected]) and they will connect you with a steward or help you figure out whether you’ve been paid incorrectly.
 
If you worked overtime between December 25 and January 15, 2022, please check your paystub to make sure you were paid correctly.
 
What is the Union doing about this?
 
We are looking into this and are reaching out to the Employer to notify them of the problem. In the meantime, we need to know how many members have been affected so we can present those numbers to the Employer. Please reach out to a steward, Kevin Ball ([email protected]) or Jesse Farsang ([email protected]by next Monday, January 24, 2022 so we can start working towards resolution.
 
Have a good weekend everyone.
 
In solidarity,
 
Jennifer Arnold – Local 603 Staff Representative
Earl Maloney – Local 601 Staff Representative
Kevin Ball – Local 603 Secretary and Steward
Jesse Farsang – Steward
 



Download PDF of notice here



UWU/MoveUP

January 19, 2022

Public Service Negotiations Scheduled to Commence - BC General Employees' Uni...

BCGEU President and Public Service Bargaining Committee Chair Stephanie Smith announced this week that negotiations aimed at reaching our 19th public service main and component collective agreements will kick off at the end of this month.

"I'm pleased that the BCGEU and the PSA will begin negotiations on January 31 well ahead of the March 31, 2022 expiry of the current collective agreements," said Smith. "Every round of bargaining is an opportunity to make sure the lived experiences of members are reflected in their collective agreements and I can't remember a time when there were so many experiences to draw from.

"Since the current agreement ratified in 2018, BCGEU members in the public service have faced extraordinary risks and challenges from the pandemic as well as devastating extreme weather events. You have also gone above and beyond working towards lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, eliminating racism and discrimination from your workplaces, and making our province a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place. Your bargaining proposals are based on everything you've learned from those experiences and addressing your demands in your next collective agreement is one way your employer can show respect for everything you've done."

Under the Public Service Labour Relations Act, public service bargaining includes component agreements which cover occupational specific issues as well as a main public service agreement which spell out the wages, terms and conditions for all public service workers.

Due to surging cases of the Omicron variant and high community transmission, your bargaining committee and the B.C. Public Service Agency who represent the province at the bargaining table, have mutually agreed to modify our upcoming public service bargaining schedule to ensure health and safety protocols are in place for both bargaining committees.

The agreed to bargaining schedule is:

Component bargaining will take place from Monday, January 31 to Friday, February 4.

Main table bargaining will take place beginning Tuesday, February 8 for a five week period until Friday, March 11.

The Public Service Bargaining Committee has been hard at work since last fall preparing our proposals to go to the bargaining table. This has included considering bargaining proposals from BCGEU public service locals, a membership bargaining questionnaire, as well as a detailed membership poll conducted by one of B.C.'s foremost pollsters, Mario Canseco.

"The BCGEU has conducted the most detailed and comprehensive preparations for public service negotiations in our history," said Smith. "This included reviewing nearly 500 proposals from union locals, 5800 bargaining survey results and polling results from over 5000 members. Members' input has been clear and consistent: you want a fair and equitable contract that addresses the rapidly rising cost-of-living, builds on the gains we achieved in the current agreement and recognizes how critically important public services and workers are to British Columbians."

Your bargaining committees will update you as bargaining proceeds and will keep you informed every step of the way.

In solidarity,

Your BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee


Stephanie Smith, President
Paul Finch, Treasurer
Judy Phipps, Executive Vice President
Dean Purdy, Vice President - Component 1
Kusam Doal, Vice President - Component 5
Judy Fox-McGuire, Vice President - Component 6
Cynthia Mepham-Egli, Component 6 Acting First Vice-Chairperson
Maria Middlemiss, Vice President - Component 12
Matt Damario, Component 12 First Vice-Chairperson
Robert Davis, Vice President - Component 20
Doug Dykens, Director - Field Services & Negotiations
Michael Eso, Secretary and Chief Negotiator
Lisa Lane, Support Staff



UWU/MoveUP

January 18, 2022

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT – ADVOCACY - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

BCGEU HEADQUARTERS OFFICE

 INTERNAL POSTING
January 18, 2022

 

 

POSITION: ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT – ADVOCACY

GRADE: LEVEL 3 - MoveUP AGREEMENT

 

An Administrative Assistant is required to assist secretarial and word processing functions for staff representatives, as well assist with the implementation of library projects.

DUTIES: 

General Advocacy administrative duties may include processing a variety of documents on a personal computer including reports, memoranda, forms, leaves of absence, meeting notices, legal documents and general correspondence; compiling books of authorities and exhibits under the direction of servicing staff; inputting all files into a grievance database and updating hearing/arbitration reports; compiling quarterly statistical Advocacy reports for PE meetings; handling Component administrative duties; processing invoices from outside professionals; maintaining filing systems and daily bring forward system; responding to telephone inquiries and walk-in visitors; arranging appointments; making travel and hotel arrangements; sorting and distributing mail; other related duties as required.

Library duties may include receiving, scanning and indexing settlements, arbitration awards, LRB and other decisions both in analogue and digital environments; performing other regular record keeping and maintenance of digital and analogue files; creating, maintaining and updating legal research resources in all formats and environments.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Two years general (or union administration) office experience; high school graduation supplemented by relevant training; aptitude for detail and accuracy with a high level of attention to detail; ability to follow step-by-step procedures; high-level skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat Pro, excellent technological literacy; ability to work independently and in cooperation with others; UnionWare and other database software experience an asset. 

Hours of work are 32 per week, four days.

General aptitude tests will be administered to all applicants. Keyboarding tests will be administered to regular/temporary employees who are not presently working in or have not previously worked in a secretarial position. 

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, indigenous workers, LGBTQ2SI+ workers, and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU. 

Apply in writing with resume to Jennifer Ferguson, Acting Human Resources Administrator, Headquarters, by 5:00 pm, Monday, January 24, 2022. 

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: [email protected]



UWU/MoveUP

January 10, 2022

COVID-19 Safety And Omicron - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Our union is once again seeing an increase in COVID-19 numbers throughout the province, with 80% of the reported cases being attributed to the Omicron variant . On January 7, the PHO announced an order requiring businesses to return to COVID-19 Safety Plans. The situation is evolving daily and the BCGEU will be updating you as we get more information.

The BCGEU will continue to advocate for measures that go above the minimum guidance set by the PHO. Read this notice for a list of measures from the Hierarchy of Controls that you can take to your employer/Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committee to reduce the risk of transmission at your worksite, and for a reminder of your rights as a worker.   

Measures your worksite can take to reduce COVID-19 transmission

  1. The most effective control is to allow for remote work or other alternative work arrangements that minimize the number of workers and the number of customers and clients at a given workplace, and this should be implemented wherever possible.
     
  2. Employers should make every effort to ensure that employees, customers, and clients that are ill do not attend the workplace. This may include allowing working from home, remote meetings, and/or reinstating a system for daily health checks at your workplace. And, if you are sick, stay home. As of January 1, 2022, all workers in BC have 5 days paid sick leave. Your Collective Agreement will outline additional sick leave provisions that have been bargained by the BCGEU.
     
  3. Where workers are required to attend the workplace, the employer must ensure that additional measures are implemented to minimize risk, and that their effectiveness is monitored. This includes:
  • Ensuring the effectiveness of ventilation in indoor spaces – your employer must provide the OHS committee with the past 12 months of HVAC inspection reports;
  • Minimizing occupancy limits in areas where people may congregate – this may include reinstating previous occupancy limits; and
  • Limiting the duration of close contact with other individuals where possible.
  1. These measures should also be applied as much as possible where workers are attending clients' homes. Risk assessments and direction from your supervisor must take into account any additional risks due to COVID-19.
     
  2. Travel between health regions for work should be limited as much as possible. This includes where community health workers are performing home care visits.
     
  3. While Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the least effective measure to protect workers, mask use is a critical measure in minimizing the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces. In fact, for health care workers in particular, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recently updated guidance supports wearing N95 masks in all settings. Throughout the pandemic, the BCGEU has consistently advocated for the appropriate use of masks and recommends the following regarding masks in your workplace:
  • Appropriate, high-quality masks and training on their use must be provided to workers by the Employer.
    • There is a lot we don’t know yet about the Omicron variant. However, we do know that the available science shows it is airborne. Therefore, our union requires employers to provide and permit use of N95 masks that are properly fit for all workers in all public-facing environments.
  • For interactions with clients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in healthcare contexts:
    • An N95 or equivalent respirator be worn in place of a medical mask.

 
Your rights as a worker

As a worker, you have 4 basic rights under the Workers Compensation Act:

  1. The Right to Know about all known or foreseeable health and safety risks;
  2. The Right to Participate in your workplace OHS program: this applies to all workers, not just OHS representatives;
  3. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work (please see the refusal procedure here);
  4. The Right to Protection from Prohibited Actions. This means you cannot be punished for raising health and safety issues in the workplace.

For any questions on your workplace plans, please contact your local OHS rep, your steward, or your local BCGEU area office. If you have urgent COVID-19 concerns or would like to become an OHS rep, please contact us at [email protected].

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith
BCGEU President


Download PDF of notice here



UWU/MoveUP

December 01, 2021

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST - Information Security Officer (ISO) - BC Ge...

Information Security Officer (ISO)
(Excluded Position)

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST 
November, 2021

 

The B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia. We represent over 83,000 members in 550 bargaining units in the private sector and public services.

The BCGEU seeks an experienced information security professional who wants to join a team of dedicated staff supporting the union's core mission: uniting working people in BC in a democratic organization that acts on their behalf, in order to promote their social, cultural and economic interests.

Information technology plays an increasingly important role in the BCGEU, which is in the process of rapidly modernizing its services and internal procedures. The union is in the process of building and implementing new programs and systems with the support of its in-house software development team. We are seeking a strong leader to provide the vision and strategy necessary to integrate cutting edge security practices across a workforce of over 300 employees working in fifteen offices across the province, ensuring the security of membership data and assets.

The ISO reports to the Director of Finance, Administration and Information Technology, advocating for the comprehensive information security needs to senior leadership of the union, and taking responsibility for the development and implementation of a security program that protects existing assets while keeping pace with the implementation of new programs.

The ISO will lead a medium sized team that includes the network and systems administrators, as well as IT support staff. The position will engage collaboratively with the Coordinator of IT and Administrative Services, working closely with the software development team.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Responsible for the strategic development and implementation of the BCGEU's information security program.
  • Evaluate the IT threat landscape for the BCGEU and provide expert technical and policy advice to senior leadership.
  • Manage and lead the network and system administration team in undertaking the day to day activities of the union as well as technology and process improvements.
  • Supervise IT support services across the organization.
  • Manage organization wide information security governance processes, and lead cross-departmental security implementation meetings.
  • Develop and implement comprehensive risk and incident management systems.
  • Work with the Internal Auditor to ensure appropriate audit and compliance measures are in place across the union. 
  • Develop IT security policies for consideration by the Provincial Executive of the union, and procedures for consideration by the Administrative Committee.
  • Supervise external IT resources where necessary.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 5+ years of experience in the Information Security sector.
  • Experience reviewing applications in Java/PHP from a security perspective.
  • Experience with security audits, secure coding practices, and code analysis tools as well as an understanding of secure software development best practices around protecting customer data.
  • Excellent understanding of computer systems, security, network and system administration, databases and data storage systems, as well as telecommunications systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders, technical team members, and management.

Recent experience with modernizing legacy systems, migrating to cloud infrastructure, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and/or data warehousing would be considered an asset.

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, indigenous workers, 2SLGBTQI+ workers, and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Travel is required; therefore, applicants must hold a valid B.C. Driver's Licence.

This position will be excluded and will be compensated and governed by the Excluded Servicing Agreement. Further information on salary, benefits and pension will be provided upon request.

Submit your expression of interest by email to: [email protected], attention: Paul Finch, Treasurer, c/o Lisa Trolland



UWU/MoveUP

November 22, 2021

Public Service Pension members - Your pension plan: good news to share - BC G...

Today the Public Service Pension Plan announced a decision to use surplus funds in the plan to improve the value of your pension. We wanted to write to you in full support of the decision, and to explain it in clear terms.
 
This decision comes from years of advocacy by your union to improve the value of your pension. In 2018, the pension plan moved to a flat rate of accrual at 1.85% of annual salary, removing unfair subsidies and significantly increasing the value of the average BCGEU member's pension. One of those subsidies that was removed on a go-forward basis was the "bridge" to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) at age 65, which was valued at 2%. While most members were a better off under this arrangement, the difference in the bridge negatively impacted a small number of members who benefited from this subsidy by retiring on or close to the earliest retirement age of 55.
 
The announcement today means that as of April 1, 2022, the flat rate of accrual will move up from 1.85% to 1.95%. This will bring the accrual rate to only 0.05% below the former bridge amount, but unlike the former bridge does not end at age 65, and extends for the duration of your pension.
 
This is a significant win for BCGEU members, and something we fought for when the 2018 pension changes were announced. We are pleased that due to the good financial health of the plan, the surplus is being used not only to improve the value of your pension, but also to stabilize contribution rates for years to come.
 
In solidarity,

Paul Finch, BCGEU Treasurer

 



UWU/MoveUP

November 19, 2021

BCGEU phone outage - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Phone service to all BCGEU offices has been restored

Last updated - Dec 2, 4:38 p.m.

The phone system serving BCGEU offices is now workingthe primary phone numbers for all Area Offices, as well as for the Benefits Department, are now functional.  Direct phone numbers to specific staff are not functioning at this time and may change. To reach a specific staff member, please call the main Area Office phone number.  You can find the main phone numbers for each office at this link:

https://www.bcgeu.ca/full_contact


UWU/MoveUP