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October 07, 2016

BCGEU makes budget submission to Finance Committee

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith made a presentation to the B.C. Select Standing Committee on Finance and Governnment Services today, outlining the union’s priorities for the upcoming provincial budget.

Smith noted that it’s time to chart a different course in British Columbia and urged the government to take steps to accomplish three main objectives – quality jobs for all British Columbians; reliable, effective social supports for families and communities; and effective protection for our environment and natural resources.

To achieve those goals, Smith recommended a series of initiatives, including: implementing a comprehensive poverty reduction plan; making critical investments in BC’s justice system; Commiting resources for climate action and natural resource management; and restoring funding for post-secondary education, among others.

“The BCGEU continues to challenge the B.C. government to implement meaningful revenue improvements in key areas of the economy, to reduce poverty, improve public safety and expand responsible environmental stewardship in our province,” said Smith.

September 30, 2016

Watch: Stephanie Smith looks back on a busy week and speaks about the importa...

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith looks back on a busy week in Victoria that included worksite visits, a member BBQ and the Union of BC Municipalities convention. She also honours the work of Phyllis Webstad on Orange Shirt Day. Have a look:

September 20, 2016

Local 1708 SEM Members Bargaining Committee

To:     All BCGEU Local 1708 Members               
Re:    Bargaining Committee


Please be advised that the following BCGEU members have been elected to your Bargaining Committee:

                                Lindsey Hamilton
                                Julie Free
                                Melissa Vitaliano
                                Patricia Chambers (Alternate)


Thank you to all the members that put their names forward for a position on the committee.


Download PDF of notice here



September 16, 2016

Important information on registering for BCGEU-BCPSA OHS Safety Education Pro...

Important information on registering for BCGEU-BCPSA OHS Safety Education Program courses

The joint BCGEU-BC Public Service Agency Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Education Program is now 22 years old. Through this collaboration we are able to offer valuable training to our OHS committee worker representatives all across the province.

Members in the public service register for these courses through the Public Service Agency Learning Centre website. Space is limited for these courses and many courses have waiting lists.  However, we encourage you to register even when courses are full. This allows your union to gauge member interest for specific OHS training, which then allows us to create additional spaces in courses or add more courses to meet member demand.

Click here to learn more about BCGEU’s OHS services.




September 12, 2016

BC Makes Little Progress on Public Service Diversity Gap

Visible minorities and Indigenous people are still dramatically underrepresented in the B.C. public service, according to the province’s latest report on workforce diversity. Read more...

September 09, 2016

BC Federation of Labour Women's Health & Safety in the Workplace Course

To:       To all Occupational Health and Safety Committee Representatives in Area 03                and Local Chairs
Re:       BC Federation of Labour Women's Health & Safety in the Workplace


The “Women’s Health and Safety in the Workplace” course will be offered at the Lower Mainland area office at Suite #130 - 2920 Virtual Way, Vancouver on Wednesday October 19, 2016 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. This course will be delivered by a facilitator from the BC Federation of Labour Health and Safety Centre.

This course provides participants the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills to identify, assess and control workplace hazards from a woman's perspective.

It is geared to health and safety committee members and to all women who want to know more about how to make our workplaces and lives safer and healthier.

In this course participants will:

• Discuss how women’s health (including reproductive health) is affected by toxic workplace substances, work design & work organization.

• Learn about workplace stresses such as violence (including domestic violence), bullying and harassment. 

You are entitled to take at least 8 hours of annual health and safety training. Your employer must pay any reasonable costs in order for you to take this training, including your leave of absence from work. 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. The area office will confirm the funding with the OHS department.

To register, please email [email protected] and provide your leave requirements (do you require BCGEU funding or will it be employer paid?) and any dietary restrictions.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn about the health and safety issues that affect women in the workplace - register today!

If you have any questions, please contact the Lower Mainland area office at 604-215-1499 or email [email protected]



Download PDF of notice here 

September 04, 2016

Celebrating Labour Day 2016

As long, sunny days shorten and cooler weather begins , Labour Day offers us time to reflect on the summer that is drawing to a close. For those of us in the labour movement it’s also a time to reflect on the state of working people in our union community.

Looking back on the last year, it’s amazing to see the progress BCGEU members have made since last year’s celebrations. 

We’ve grown tremendously. Over 1,800 workers voted to join our union, bringing our membership to over 70,000!

We’ve stood up for what we believe in. Members in highways, corrections, retail liquor stores, and home support have stood up and spoken to community members, media, and municipal councils about issues important to our communities and our jobs.

We’ve developed our skills in the workplace. New initiatives to allow stewards to better communicate with their co-workers, coupled with education fairs and enhanced steward trainings, have empowered more and more of you to step up and become leaders at work. 

Seeing our growth and speaking with so many of you in my travels makes me so excited for the future of our union. It’s inspiring to see the many ways in which you are stepping up at your workplaces and in your communities.

Labour Day isn’t just for celebrating our strength as a union, it’s also for celebrating the importance of the work that each and every BCGEU member does.

Your union represents workers in almost every sector you can imagine.  Today, let's all remember that your work is an important part B.C.’s economy and this is a day for you.

I hope that you have a chance to spend time with friends or family today and join BCGEU members across the province in recognizing the importance of our work striving for dignity and respect for all workers in B.C.

- Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president

Click here for a list of Labour Day events in British Columbia

August 18, 2016

Public Service Pension Plan - Fall 2016 Member Seminars

An update from the BC Pension Corporation:

The fall schedule for the Public Service Pension Plan free member seminars is now posted on the website with seminars offered across BC.



Your Pension, Your Future
It is important for new and mid-career employees to know how decisions made today can affect your retirement pension in the years to come. In this seminar, Your Pension, Your Future, we discuss the details of your pension, including:

  • Your pension’s value and its many benefits
  • How to maximize your pension through purchase of service and transfer of service if those opportunities apply to you
  • The way life events, such as marital separation or raising children, can affect your pension
  • Tools to assist you when making important decisions about your pension

Thinking About Retiring
If you are within five years of retirement, this seminar will help you plan and prepare for your retirement, we cover the key pension considerations, including:

  • How your pension works
  • How to choose your best pension option
  • The group health and dental benefits available for retirees
  • How to navigate the retirement process
  • Tools to assist them when making important decisions about your pension


Registering for a seminar


Registration is easy. You can register for Your Pension, Your Future or Thinking About Retiring through My Account on the plan website.

Please note

  • Seminars run until mid-December 2016. You should check the website for schedule updates.
  • Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Attendees, including those receiving long-term disability benefits, are welcome to bring their spouse or a guest.
  • Attendees are responsible for their own travel and associated costs.




  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: Phone 250 356-2199 (Victoria) or 1 877 558-5572 (toll-free in BC)

Thank you,
Client Education Program | Pension Corporation

August 16, 2016

OH&S Committee Changes

Improving the Effectiveness of Occupational Health and Safety Committees

Public hearings have been scheduled by Worksafe BC on proposed regulatory changes, including proposed changes to joint health and safety committees.

New sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation related to joint committees are:

  • 3.26, Rights and Responsibilities, evaluation for joint committees
  • 3.27, Rights and Responsibilities, minimum training requirements for new joint committee members and worker health and safety representatives
  • 3.28, Rights and Responsibilities, participation by employer or representative of employer and worker representative in employer investigations

WorkSafeBC Regulatory Practices has prepared a draft Joint Health and Safety Committee Evaluation Tool, for stakeholders to provide their written comments. The draft evaluation tool, and information on how to provide feedback, can be accessed through this link.


Public Hearing Details

September 21, 2016
Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina
146 Kingston Street, Victoria, B.C.

September 27, 2016
Best Western Hotel
2402 Highway 97 N, Kelowna, B.C.

September 27, 2016
Via video conference - Community Futures
110A Slater Road NW, Cranbrook, B.C.

October 4, 2016
Ramada Prince George
444 George Street, Prince George, B.C.

October 6, 2016
Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre
7311 Westminster Highway, Richmond, B.C.

Session Times:
3 to 5 p.m.
7 to 9 p.m.


The issues being discussed at the public hearings are very important to the BCGEU. In particular the new sections proposed for joint committee training, evaluation and participation in investigations. Your OHS Officers have been actively involved in the public consultation phase of the proposed regulatory changes, and have been advocating for language that will benefit our members.

We will ensure that we have a strong presence from the BCGEU leadership at these public hearings to see that we achieve the best language in the regulation for joint committees, worker representatives, and worker participation. You also have the right to speak to all of the proposed changes as a worker in British Columbia.

For more information, visit the Worker Compensation Board’s website:


If you have any feedback or questions about our position on the proposed regulation, contact your OHS Officers at 604-291-9611 or by emailing us at [email protected]


Download PDF of notice here