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January 10, 2017

Metro Vancouver seniors' care workers face more struggles with icy streets

Volunteers and homecare workers are bracing for another tough week caring for the city's homebound seniors as temperatures are predicted to drop again Monday night.



January 10, 2017

Icy road conditions are posing a danger to home care workers

BURNABY (NEWS1130) - Worries about injuries to homecare workers have increased dramatically in the past month as a result of icy road conditions.


January 10, 2017

Convention 2017: Guidelines for FT Officer and Exec VP Candidates' Election C...

1. No funds or assistance in kind will be contributed from the Union, Components, Locals or Cross Component Committees other than that specified in the guidelines. There will be no Component hospitality suites during Convention.

2. Declared candidates will have an opportunity to have a picture and a personal statement of no more than 1,000 words in a special election issue of The Provincial. Declared candidates will have an opportunity to have a picture and a personal statement of no more than 1,000 words on the BCGEU website. Appropriate notices to potential candidates will be announced in The Provincial and on the website. Information regarding how members declare their candidacy, as well as the guidelines in this policy, will be provided to members on the website and in the last issue of The Provincial in the year preceding the Constitutional Convention and again in the March issue of the Convention year.

NOTE: Deadline for submission of biography and high resolution head and shoulders photo: Friday, February 24, 2017. Please email to: [email protected]

3. Following The Provincial deadline as set for the personal statements by candidates for either full-time Officer, or for the Executive Vice President positions, the President will notify the Provincial Executive and the Cross Component Committee Chairs of the declared candidates and the offices they seek. Within ten days of that notice, the date for webcast(s) will be announced by Union Headquarters to include declared candidates for full-time Officer and Executive Vice-President positions. The webcast(s) will be chaired by a person agreed to by all candidates. Leave of absence and travel expenses for declared candidates only will be paid by Union Headquarters. Administrative assistance for the scheduling and conduct of the all-candidates' webcast(s) will be provided by the Union.

4. If Components wish to invite declared candidates for full-time Officer and Executive Vice-President positions to address a Component Executive meeting, or a Component caucus at Convention, they must invite all candidates who have declared their candidacy for the same position in the Provincial candidate statement issue, and pay related expenses.

5. Local Executive and convention delegates' mailing addresses, telephone and email addresses will be given to candidates for the exclusive purpose of the election campaign and candidates will be asked to sign a statement to that effect.

6. Photocopying at BCGEU offices will be available for candidates to a maximum of 2,000 copies, double-sided in black and white. Copying will be done by Union support staff. Envelopes, labels and postage will be provided by the Union for one all-delegate mailing by the candidate. If the candidate desires, support staff may run the envelopes through the Union’s postage meter. Such requests, as well as requests for photocopying, will be made through a servicing staff representative.

7. Campaign expenditures by each candidate are not to exceed $2,250 in cash or in-kind contributions (value of material goods provided), in addition to those provided for in points 3, and 6. All claims must be receipted. In-kind contributions are counted as expenses and must be accompanied by a statement confirming fair market value. Candidates shall be reimbursed for $750 of the $2,250 maximum expenditure.

8. No money is to be solicited or accepted from outside organizations or any sources external to the Union.

9. Within sixty (60) days after the Convention, a statement of campaign expenditures will be submitted by each candidate to the Provincial Executive. Candidates will be asked to use the electronic form available from the Finance Department.

10. There shall be no staff involvement in the political process. If there are any allegations of staff interference, the complaint should be made in writing to the President who will initiate due process and take action if warranted. Elected members shall not initiate involvement of staff in the political process. Should staff have complaints, they shall make them in writing to the appropriate Director who will refer them to the President for due process and action if warranted. Staff will be advised by the President of each candidate at the time that they announce their candidacy.

11. No candidate shall produce or make statements that will bring disrepute on the Union, other candidates or its members.

12. Campaigns will be kept internal and candidates will not seek out the media as a means of communicating with the membership or have the media present at all candidate meetings, nor will outside endorsements be permitted for a specific position.

13. During Convention, the following rules will apply:
(a) No posters in the hall will be permitted. Posters to be posted outside the hall will be dealt with by the Sergeant-at-Arms Committee.
(b) Buttons and leaflets must be distributed outside the hall.
(c) Equipment will be provided for candidates by Union Headquarters for display of electronic campaign material outside the hall.
(d) Honoured guests as appointed by the President will form the balloting committee.
(e) Each candidate can appoint up to two (2) scrutineers for the ballot count.
(f) The President will request an honoured guest or life member to chair the elections.
(g) Candidates will have a total of five (5) minutes to address voting delegates from the Convention stage. Nominators will speak from the floor and limit their remarks to nominate their candidate. Should the candidate wish their nominator to speak for them, the nominator will have the opportunity to do so later, after the nomination is accepted, from the Convention stage.

14. Any campaign materials that are accessible by the general public (e.g. websites) or produced for distribution at Convention, must include the following statement: “This is a publication of (name), candidate for office at the BCGEU convention. It is not an official publication of the BCGEU. Views expressed are those of the candidate”. No campaign materials will use the BCGEU logo.

15. A candidate workshop will be provided for declared candidates prior to the candidate webcast(s).

Download pdf version of the guidelines

December 16, 2016

Government’s announcement to ban asbestos: Groups express support but asbesto...

Immediate Release                                                                        December 15, 2016

Toronto – The federal government’s announcement to ban asbestos has been highly anticipated over the past few days. Groups expressed its support to the announcement but notes their expectation for additional federal work needed to fully achieve protection from asbestos for all Canadians.

“The federal announcement to ban asbestos in Canada comes at a crucial time as the health data confirms that deaths from asbestos related diseases has continued to increase in Canada” states Fe de Leon, Researcher at the Canadian Environmental Law Association. 

“This news is important if Canada is to achieve comprehensive protection from asbestos exposure,” explains Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association. ‘We look forward to working with the government to ensure the remaining challenges associated with asbestos are addressed.”

“The federal government’s decision to ban asbestos is welcome news for CAUT members and other workers exposed to asbestos in their workplaces”, says David Robinson, Executive Director at the Canadian Association of University Teachers.  “However, there are still many other issues regarding asbestos that need to be addressed, and CAUT looks forward to working with our partners to ensure this work is addressed by the government.”

The announcement of the ban is significant to protect the health of Canadians, particularly in the occupational setting.  According to Statistics Canada, the number of new cases of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos in the workplace, increased from 335 cases in 2000 to 580 cases in 2013. Some other asbestos-induced diseases include lung cancers and asbestosis (with estimates of at least 1900 new cases annually).

The Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two of 68 signatories on a letter addressed to the Prime Minister urging a ban on asbestos and the establishment of an expert panel review on asbestos. 

See letter to the Prime Minister at


Canadian Environmental Law Association website:

December 12, 2016

BCGEU sends solidarity message to jailed Iranian trade unionists

As part of our ongoing support of the Free Them Now campaign to support jailed Iranian trade union members, the BCGEU Provincial Executive recorded a message of solidarity that was sent directly to jailed activists. The campaign received messages of solidarity from many unions around the world, and they have been compiled into a video. Watch the full video below. 

December 09, 2016

International Human Rights Day: Human rights are everyone’s rights, everywhere

Today we recognize International Human Rights Day.  Every December 10th since 1948, people have stood in solidarity against human rights violations in all forms.

In Canada we are fortunate to be living in a country where we have a legislated Human Rights Code and a Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is built into our constitution. 

Much of the world sees us as a country that defends human rights, but let us remind ourselves that it is due to each and every person who values human rights that we are able to create the society we live in which is envied around the world. 

As Canadians it is important that we do not take those rights and protections for granted and to take steps to ensure that these rights do not become diminished or restricted but instead strengthened.  

The BCGEU has and will continue to defend human rights for everyone.  We all live in this world together and we all must treat each other with respect, understanding and with equality. 

We must continue to hold governments around the world, including our own various levels of government, accountable for their actions and or lack of action. 

We must commit to defend the rights of immigrants, refugees, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ, indigenous peoples, everyone who is vulnerable or at risk of discrimination, racism, violence, or any form of violation against a person’s human rights. 

 “It’s time for each of us to step up for human rights. There is no action that is too small: wherever you are, you can make a difference. Together, let’s take a stand for more humanity.”
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein -- 
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

If you are a member of an equity seeking group*, the BCGEU would like to encourage you to click here and join our Equity and Human Rights network.             

We also encourage you to visit the webpage for our International Solidarity committee which supports workers around the world.

*Equity seeking groups include: workers of colour, Aboriginal workers, workers with disabilities or LGBTQ workers.

December 06, 2016

December 6: Never forget

It’s hard to believe, but 27 years have passed since 14 young women were slain at the École Polytechnique, an event also known as the Montreal Massacre. It remains one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.

In 1991, the Parliament of Canada established December 6, the anniversary of the devastating event, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Each year on this day we honour the 14 young women whose lives were tragically cut short in an act of gender-based violence.

Take a moment to remember the victims of the École Polytechnique, each of whom were singled out and murdered just because they were women.

It is not only a day to remember and mourn the victims of École Polytechnique, but it is also a day to reflect that gender-based violence and oppression is a daily reality for many women and girls. The brutal truth is that violence against women and girls is still pervasive throughout Canada, disproportionally impacting Aboriginal women, trans women, and women of colour. According to Statistics Canada, approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. The statistics are even more grim for Canada’s Aboriginal women: they are killed at six times the rate of non-Aboriginal women.

Violence against women has a devastating impact on women’s lives and on our society. We, as individuals and within our communities, must continue to work towards eliminating all forms of violence against women.

See below for a list of useful online resources and for events across the province.

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith
Chair, BCGEU Women’s Committee
President, BCGEU


  • PovNet has a listing of resources for women throughout BC: 
  • The Ending Violence Association of BC has programs targeting different areas
  • Women Against Violence Against Women offers many ways to volunteer
  • Native Women's Association of Canada for links to aboriginal resources:
  • Battered Women's Support Services has an extensive listing of services and volunteer opportunities: 


Click here for a comprehensive list of events in communities across BC.

December 03, 2016

Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today we are proud to recognize the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities.   

This day was created to bring awareness and understanding and to take action to further the rights of persons with disabilities both legally and in society. 

Even though we have a come a long way in Canada there remains much more to do to achieve the equity in our society. 

The United Nations's theme for this year is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”.  Based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the 17 goals aim to help individuals and organizations identify easy ways they can make a difference. Click here for more information on the United Nations Sustainable Development agenda 

To join the BCGEU Equity and Human Rights network for workers with disabilities or one of our other equity networks please visit our campaign page.