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February 14, 2022

Black History Month 2022- Part 3 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

For the past two weeks we have shared a number of events taking place in celebration of Black History Month. This week we have more exciting events taking place! All the events we are sharing are free events or little cost for upcoming concerts. All are great opportunities to hear speakers and learn about ways we can fight against racism, learn about black history and enjoy great entertainment. Below are events taking place throughout this week. 

We encourage you take advantage of these events and continue celebrating black history not just this month but every day!

Black History Awareness Society

Dr. Cornel West "Being a Hope Amid Crisis"Feb 16th 5-6pm online
Visit their website to register

VDLC and the NWDLC

Candace Knoll and Parker Johnson:
February 16th: Register here

BCIT events: Find out more

February 16 – Respectful Workplace Training In-person (via Zoom)
February 18 – Dealing with Microaggressions in the Workplace 

SFU lecture series

February 17th: Homegoing: Blackness and Belonging across the Canada/US Border
Feb 21st 7-8:30pm Music Performances with Dawn Pemberton and Louise Rose at Belfry Theatre. Find out more


February 10, 2022

Throne Speech 2022 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

The spring legislative session started Tuesday, February 8th with the government's Speech from the Throne. Throne speeches are government's opportunity to establish priorities for the legislative session. This was the Horgan government's third throne speech since the last election in the fall of 2020 and it provided some insight into what to watch for in government's Economic Plan -- expected sometime next week -- and the budget -- which will be delivered on February 22.

Some of the highlights from the speech that are most relevant to BCGEU members included: 

  • A recommitment to implementing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) through an Action Plan and a Reconciliation Secretariat that are expected to be announced in detail in the coming months. Our union will work closely with members impacted by the implementation of the action plan as details are revealed.
  • A commitment to separate the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) into two ministries in the coming months. The government's plan is to have one ministry charged with stewardship of BC's lands and resources and to link that work to the implementation of DRIPA. We expect to learn more details about the new ministry in the budget and, again, we will be working closely to support and advocate for BCGEU members through the transition.
  • A plan to review and renew key parts of BC's healthcare system by working with other provinces and Ottawa to secure an increase to the Canada Health Transfer. This initiative has the potential to impact BCGEU members working throughout the healthcare system and our union will be monitoring the government's efforts in this area to ensure members are informed, engaged and supported through any changes that result.
  • A commitment to continue work to modernize the Royal BC Museum. BCGEU members were front and centre in initiating this process and they have been deeply involved in every step of the renewal. We are proud of what they have achieved and our union will continue to support these members as this important work moves forward.
  • A commitment to move responsibility for child care into the Ministry of Education in 2022 and manage child care programs through new regional offices. We expect to hear more details in the budget. This is part of government's multi-year ChildCare BC strategy, which is built on sector-wide changes that BCGEU members have advocated for for years. The BCGEU supports and applauds government for recognizing that child care workers are educators and we understand this move will impact many members working in front line child care as well as ministry positions. Our union will work closely with all impacted members to ensure a smooth transition. 

You can read/watch the speech here.
We look forward to hearing more details about government's plans in next week's announcement of the Economic Plan as well as the budget release the week after. We will provide an analysis of both.


February 09, 2022

Public service bargaining officially underway between BCGEU & B.C. government...

Negotiations for the 19th Main Public Service Agreement, which covers you and 31,500 other BCGEU members employed by the provincial government, officially kicked off yesterday morning.

Before your bargaining committee and the B.C. government's Public Service Agency (PSA) exchanged proposals, Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President and Chair of the BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee, provided these opening remarks:

"Through everything the last three years has thrown at them, the more than 30,000 BCGEU members covered by this agreement kept showing up to support the families and communities that rely on the services they provide."

"They've demonstrated commitment, resilience, and professionalism as the ground has shifted beneath their feet. And, most importantly, they've learned their value and grown their solidarity in preparation for this round of bargaining because they know the stakes have never been higher for them or for our province."
We also heard from Deputy Minister Bobbi Sadler who heads the PSA bargaining team who thanked members for the work of the public service through the pandemic, but indicated that government's ability to address wages are limited and expects negotiations to be challenging.

BCGEU Public Service members have made it clear in their proposals to your bargaining committee: financial issues are key to a tentative agreement. With inflation currently running at well over 4 per cent annually, the challenges in these negotiations are clear to your committee.

As you may already know, the Public Service Agreement has two parts (Component agreement and Main agreement) which are negotiated by separate tables (Component tables and the Main table). Proposals negotiated at the Component tables are limited in scope (non-monetary) and any proposals that cannot be settled at the Component tables are then dealt with at the Main table alongside monetary issues and significant collective issues.

Some gains were made on numerous proposals at the Component tables last week (January 31 to February 4) by each respective component bargaining committee. These agreements are being finalized and will be reported out later this week.

The employer and the union tabled language proposals to begin talks with financial matters to be tabled later.

Main table negotiations are scheduled through March 11 and are taking place in Vancouver this week and Victoria next week, with all COVID-19 safety measures in place.

As a BCGEU member covered by the Main Public Service Agreement, expect to receive regular bargaining updates from our union every step of the way throughout the bargaining process.

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

Public Service Bargaining Committee


February 07, 2022

Black History Month 2022- Part 2 - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

As we begin the second week of Black History Month we want to bring your attention to a few free events that begin this week. We encourage you take advantage of these events and learn about Black history in B.C., learn about anti-racism from honored guest speakers and continue celebrating not just this month but every day! 

B.C. Black History Awareness Society sponsored free events:

Feb 11th – 27th all day/ in-person “Dynamic Diasporas” at Vancouver Mural Fest: Winter Arts Fest

Feb 12th 1-4pm in-person “Black History and Heritage Day” at Royal BC Museum

Feb 16th 5-6pm online Dr. Cornel West “Being a Hope Amid Crisis”

Visit their website to register


VDLC and the NWDLC sponsored event:

Two part discussion with guest speakers, Candace Knoll and Parker Johnson:

February 9th and 16th: Register here


BCIT free events and workshops open to all:

February 11th & 25th: Register here for Unpacking Islamophobia and Countering Cyberhate SFU lecture series



February 04, 2022

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


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



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.


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




  • 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


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


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


January 18, 2022



January 18, 2022






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


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.


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]