NEWS

June 22, 2018

Public service agreement ratification process under way - BCGEU

Public service agreement ratification process under way

UPDATE #7

 Now that a tentative agreement for direct government workers has been reached, the ratification process is under way. Here is what you can expect in the coming weeks:

Ratification Bulletin:

A comprehensive ratification bulletin containing all the proposed changes to the collective agreement is being prepared and will be mailed to all public service members in the coming weeks. You will have time to review it before voting.

Member Portal:

All the ratification documents are being posted on the member portal as soon as they are available. Make sure the union has your correct contact information by logging in to the Member Portal (https://members.bcgeu.ca/login). If you need to register, click on the 'Not sure if you are registered?' link and submit your information online.

Telephone Town Hall Meetings:

Two telephone town hall meetings for public service workers have been scheduled, for Tuesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 12. Members will receive email and telephone notices to let you register for the events or call in directly.

Regional Meetings:

Information and voting meetings are being scheduled to take place at all 12 area offices around the province in July. A meeting schedule will be included in the Ratification Bulletin, or by logging on to the BCGEU member portal and downloading the files.

Voting:

Ballot packages are being printed and distributed to stewards. Shop stewards and mail contact members will be conducting votes on the tentative agreement at work sites across the province. Clause 2.6 of the collective agreement entitles stewards to undertake ratification vote duties on work time and without loss of pay.

When casting your vote, you will be asked to vote on two agreements – the Public Service Main Agreement, as well as your individual Component Agreement. Details on the component agreements are available at the BCGEU member portal, as well as at area offices.

Vote Count:

The ballot counting of all public service members' votes will take place on August 8, 2018 at BCGEU HQ in Burnaby. All ballots must be submitted to HQ or any Area Office by the close of business (5:00 pm) Tuesday, August 7th. 


Download PDF of notice here



UWU/MoveUP

June 20, 2018

Tentative agreement for the Public Service - BCGEU

After five weeks of negotiations, the BCGEU has reached a tentative three-year agreement with the B.C. Government for members working in direct government service. The Public Service Bargaining Committee is recommending that members vote in favour of the agreement.

On ratification, all changes to the tentative 18th Public Service Agreement will take effect after the expiry of the current agreement. At that time, the 18th Public Service Agreement and the 5 individual component agreements will replace the current agreements.

To help prepare for the ratification vote, the union has put together a ratification newsletter, which should be arriving in the mail, and via email to all members.

You can download the ratification newsletter by clicking here

To download an audio version of the ratification document click here. (You must be logged into the member portal)

This newsletter includes important information about the ratification process. It also contains detailed information about the 18th Public Service Agreement as well as individual component agreements.

In addition to negotiations at the main table, component negotiating committees worked hard to get sector-specific agreements for members, and all five of them are recommending acceptance and ratification of the component agreements. 

Click on your component to view more information, as well as download your tentative agreement:

Component 1 

Component 5

Component 6

Component 12

Component 20

Telephone Town Hall Meetings:

Two telephone town hall meetings for public service workers have been scheduled, for Tuesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 12. Members will receive email and telephone notices so you can register for these calls.

Regional Meetings:
Information and voting meetings are being scheduled to take place at all 12 area offices around the province in July. A meeting schedule has been emailed to members, and is also included in the ratification newsletter above.

Meeting Schedule

  • Area 01 – Victoria
    • July 26 Noon & 6:00 pm: Victoria Area Office, 2994 Douglas St, Auditorium

  • Area 02 – North Island
    • July 25 6:00 pm: Nanaimo Area Office, 106 – 1650 Terminal Ave N

  • Area 03 – Lower Mainland
    • July 17 & 18 6:00 pm: LMAO, 130 – 2920 Virtual Way, Vancouver

  • Area 04 – Fraser Valley
    • July 19 6:00: Langley, Fraser Valley Area Office, 8555 - 198A St, Langley, BC

  • Area 05 – Kamloops
    • July 18 6:00 pm: Coast Kamloops Hotel, 1250 Rogers Way, Kamloops

  • Area 06 – Cariboo
    • July 19 6:00 pm: Ramada Williams Lake, 1118 Lakeview Crescent

  • Area 07 – Okanagan
    • July 25 6:00 pm: Kelowna Area Office, 1064 Borden Ave

  • Area 08 – East Kootenay
    • July 18 6:00 pm: St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino 7777 Mission Rd., Cranbrook

  • Area 09 – West Kootenay
    • July 26 6:00 pm: Super 8, 651 18 St., Castlegar

  • Area 10 – Peace River
    • July 11 6:00 pm: Fort St. John Area Office, 10147 - 100 Ave

  • Area 11 – Prince George
    • July 16 6:00 pm: Prince George Area Office, 500 Quebec St

  • Area 12 – Northwest
    • July 9 6:00 pm: Holiday Inn Express, 3059 Hwy. 16 East, Terrace


Voting:
Ballot packages are being printed and distributed to stewards. Shop stewards and mail contact members will be conducting votes on the tentative agreement at work sites across the province. Clause 2.6 of the collective agreement entitles stewards to undertake ratification vote duties on work time and without loss of pay.

When casting your vote, you will be asked to vote on two agreements – the Public Service Agreement (the main agreement), as well as your individual component agreement. Details on the component agreements are available by clicking on your component link above, signing on to the BCGEU member portal, as well as at area offices.

Vote Count:
The ballot counting of all public service members' votes will take place on August 8, 2018 at BCGEU HQ in Burnaby. All ballots must be submitted to HQ or any Area Office by the close of business (5:00 pm) Tuesday, August 7th.



UWU/MoveUP

June 20, 2018

BCGEU Celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day - BCGEU

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day- a special day for all communities to celebrate, recognize, and honour the achievements, history and cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada. The BCGEU is proud to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and to reaffirm our commitment to lasting and meaningful reconciliation. We invite you to join us in marking this day with community events across British Columbia to showcase and celebrate Indigenous peoples through stories, songs, art, and dance. National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for celebration, but it is also a day for reflection upon our shared history and in building a better future for all. The BCGEU is looking forward to delivering our members' stories and recommendations directly to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We are hopeful that in listening and learning from the voices of Indigenous women, families and community leaders and in engaging respectfully in dialogue, we can ensure that decision makers act on what the Inquiry reveals.

Every day, our members across the province are taking important steps to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous communities and form relationships built on respect, partnership and recognition of rights. Our Indigenous solidarity poster, designed by artist Simone Diamond of the Quw'utsun (Cowichan), reminds us that our union is made stronger by our numbers and diversity.

To celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, BCGEU members will be attending community events with our friends and allies across British Columbia. To find an event in your hometown, please visit our events listings. If you are in Vancouver, please join us today for a pancake breakfast at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre at 9 am, a Friendship Walk at 11 am and a day of celebration, dance performances, canoeing, art displays and cultural learning events at Trout Lake.

We look forward to another year of putting reconciliation into action in our work places and communities and in building a new way forward for all Canadians.



UWU/MoveUP

June 20, 2018

2018 Scholarships awards announced - BCGEU

The union's Education and Scholarship committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 awards for full and part-time post-secondary students. In all, $60,000 in scholarships will be awarded, with 26 full-time awards of $2,000 and eight awards of $1,000. Winners include BCGEU members and family members, all starting or continuing their post-secondary education.

"We thank everyone who submitted an application and essay. It was difficult to settle on the finalists", says Kari Michaels, executive vice-president and chairperson of the committee.

 

Rosa Aminzavvar, Vancouver

Shane Atienza, Burnaby

Naveen Aujla, Delta

Katelynn Baerg, Prince George

Kaelin Brons, Moberly Lake

Schynel Carley, Vernon

Daniele Celella, Agassiz

Monica Cervantes, Vancouver

Chiara Ciapponi, Burnaby

Brittany Clark, Vancouver

Destany Crane, Victoria

Alexa Derksen, Burnaby

Sani Mirsan Dzafic, Burnaby

James Gillis, Victoria

Connor Hawes, Grand Forks

Seung Hwan (John) Lee, Kamloops

Katja Juthans, North Vancouver

Natalie Klassen, Kamloops

Trevor Lee, Victoria

Lydia Lobbezoo, Victoria

Darrin McBee, Castlegar

Chance McCoshen, Salmon Arm

Karly Morgan, Port Moody

Frank Morven, Prince Rupert

Trish Palichuk, Victoria

Dustin Procee, Burnaby

Sharifa Riddett, Victoria

Kai Roenspiess, Nelson

Gurpreet Sangha, Surrey

Madison Slocum, Parksville

Heidi Stooshnoff, Maple Ridge

Maggie Thomson-Kurz, Comox

Cassidy-Joy Wait, North Vancouver

Brysen Watson, Kamloops



UWU/MoveUP

June 29, 2018

Professional Reliance Reform Is A Step Forward For B.C. - BCGEU

Yesterday, we welcomed the final report on the independent professional reliance review, the result of an eight-month review process led by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to examine professional reliance in the natural resource sector. The comprehensive report clearly identifies the problems with professional reliance and provides concrete recommendations to make the system work better for everyone.
 
We urge the provincial government to move forward immediately on the recommendations and to take meaningful steps toward restoring public trust in government decision-making.
 
The professional reliance model was adopted by the former B.C. Liberal government as part of a dramatic plan to reduce "red tape" and weaken environmental and health protection laws. B.C.'s civil service – the professionals responsible for stewarding B.C.'s resources and natural environment – was slashed by over 25 per cent. Qualified professionals, hired by industry, assumed greater responsibility for decision-making and oversight of projects, often at the expense of the public interest and the environment.
 
I believe that the government needs to reclaim its leadership role in resource and environmental stewardship. For too long, corporations were allowed to certify their own resource plans and police their own operations, creating a conflict of interest. 
 
The report puts forward 121 recommendations as a roadmap to improve and strengthen the rules governing natural resource management and environmental protection including:

  • 2 recommendations to restructure the governance of professional associations by creating new legislation and establishing a new government agency
  • 32 sweeping recommendations to strengthen natural resource regulatory regimes including improving laws, regulations, Indigenous engagement and improve information
  • 87 specific regulatory regimes


A key recommendation in the report is to significantly improve staffing, capacity and organizational culture in key government agencies that are mandated with land use planning, protecting wildlife and habitat, stewarding forest and mineral resources and ensuring that our air and watersheds are properly managed. The report identified that a "culture of deference" that leads many resource managers see their primary role as advocating for a particular industry, or that they are unable to speak out about issues that arise.

I was encouraged to see many of our members' concerns reflected throughout the final report. Our members, many of whom directly work to protect our environment and manage our natural resources, know first-hand the problems of the professional reliance system. You can read our submission to the provincial government here. 

Reforming the professional reliance system is an important step forward for the province. However, for real change to be made on-the-ground, the provincial government must also improve legislation that governs our natural resources and rebuild the public agencies mandated to protect our land, water and natural resources.
 
I look forward to continuing to bring our members' voices and concerns to the provincial government and in ensuring that the recommendations of this timely report are brought to life.
 
 
In solidarity,
 
Stephanie Smith
 
PS
 
To build our collective power, BCGEU has joined forces with the Professional Employees Association, Ecojustice, Organizing for Change, the BC Wildlife Federation and others in the non-profit and union communities to reflect the concerns of the public, government officials and concerned and knowledgeable individuals. 
 
You can read the final report of the Professional Reliance review at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/professionalreliance/



UWU/MoveUP

June 29, 2018

BCGEU to host public meeting on housing affordability crisis in the Okanagan ...


KELOWNA, June 29, 2018 – Since taking power, government has implemented a number of major policy changes and promised to invest billions into affordable housing. This has been a great start but as housing prices continue to soar, the Okanagan has become one of the least affordable regions in Canada, and many people across the political spectrum feel more can be done.

This event will host a panel of experts and community members to speak about different ways in which they are helping to tackle the affordability crisis.

The panel, moderated by BCGEU Treasurer and co-author of the report Building an Affordable B.C. Paul Finch, includes:

  • Harpinder Sandhu – Co-author of the report Building an Affordable B.C.; CUPE 1767 member

  • Kari Michaels – BCGEU Executive Vice President and lead on the Affordable BC Campaign

  • Norah Bowman – Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies at Okanagan College, former NDP candidate and local activist


The BCGEU will also present recommendations from the report Building an Affordable B.C. (www.affordablebc.ca/our-plan), including how the provincial government can strengthen its 30-point housing plan to address the root of the crisis: speculation on the part of financial institutions and wealthy investors in the housing market.
 
WHAT: BCGEU to host public meeting on housing affordability crisis

WHEN: Tuesday, July 3, 2018, 6:30 pm start (doors open at 6:15 pm)

WHERE: BCGEU Kelowna Office, 1064 Borden Avenue

Read more about the event here and see our post-budget media release here: Government must take bolder action on speculation tax

For more information contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications Officer at 604-719-4713 or bronwen.barnett@bcgeu.ca


UWU/MoveUP

June 28, 2018

Gateway’s Okanagan casino workers to strike - BCGEU

More than 675 Okanagan casino workers will walk off the job this week.

Casino workers at Cascades Kamloops, Cascades Penticton, Playtime Kelowna and Lake City Vernon are set to strike Friday, June 29, after mediation broke down earlier this week.

"Our members are asking for living wages that would bring them in-line with the industry standard for casino workers in BC," said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith, in a press release.

 

Read more...



UWU/MoveUP

June 27, 2018

CSSBA reaches tentative agreement for Indigenous services workers - BCGEU

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) and the Community Social Services Employers' Association (CSSEA) have reached a tentative three-year collective agreement for Aboriginal Services. This agreement provides significant compensation increases for workers in this sector while meeting the government mandate of improving the services British Columbians count on.

 

Highlights of the tentative agreement include significant money for low wage redress for all members in addition to general wage increases, as well as strong improvements to language and policy to ensure culturally appropriate care is provided and prioritized.

 

The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is the lead union in the bargaining association consisting of 10 unions including CUPE, HEU, HSA, CSWU, UFCW, USW, SEIU, CLAC and BCNU and representing 16,000 members.

 



UWU/MoveUP

June 25, 2018

Casino workers reach tentative agreement at Hard Rock - BCGEU

Deal reached after more than six weeks on strike

 

(Coquitlam) - After being on strike for more than six weeks, over 400 members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam have reached a tentative agreement with their employer.

 

"Through their hard work and unity, Hard Rock workers have a solid first agreement on the table," says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith.

 

"These workers have stuck together and it has paid off - I'm so proud of the commitment and solidarity our members have shown."

Employees at Hard Rock voted to join the BCGEU in May 2016 and have been trying to negotiate a first collective agreement with their employer since January 2017. When they reached impasse earlier this year, 99.5% of Hard Rock workers voted in favour of strike action.

 

Over 400 workers at the casino walked off the job on May 11, 2018 after mediation broke down. Major issues included wages and hours of work.

 

Both sides reached a deal in mediation over the weekend. Union members at the casino will vote on the tentative agreement later this week.

"We won't be releasing details until the members have had a chance to look over and ratify the agreement but, the bargaining committee is pleased with the achievements they've made and are recommending their co-workers vote to accept the deal," says Smith.

 

"I want to give my whole-hearted thanks to the bargaining committee for working tirelessly on behalf of their fellow BCGEU members. This truly is a ground-breaking deal that will help achieve fairness for casino workers across the industry."

 

BCGEU represents thousands of casino workers in the province including over 400 staff at Hard Rock working in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, theatre and guest services.

 



UWU/MoveUP