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NEWS

December 02, 2019

BCGEU reaches tentative agreement with Western Pacific Marine for inland ferr...

The communities of Kootenay Lake are no longer facing disruptions to their ferry service due to the labour dispute between BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) ferry workers and their employer, Western Pacific Marine. On November 26, after 13 days of intensive bargaining and more than five months after the negotiations reached an impasse, the two parties reached a tentative agreement.

"This bargaining process was hard work and this tentative agreement is fantastic news," said Stephanie Smith. "I'm proud of the solidarity shown by our members and the support of the community throughout this process. And I'm grateful that the employer was ultimately willing to get back to the table and get this deal done."

The tentative agreement includes provisions similar in principle to the collective agreement between the union and the other two inland ferries employers-WaterBridge Ferries and Waterbridge Equipment. That agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by union members in October. These provisions included wage parity with BC Ferries within the term of the agreement and a commitment to successorship training that will protect existing members.

BCGEU members will vote on the agreement this weekend. The union's bargaining committee is recommending ratification. If ratified, the WPM agreement will take effect immediately and expire on March 31, 2024. 

"This tentative deal is a game changer," said Smith. "If our members vote to ratify it, they'll be voting for an agreement that could ensure the sustainability of the inland ferry system, and the families and communities that rely on it, for the foreseeable future."

Inland ferry workers on the Balfour, Harrop and Glade crossings have been without a contract since March 31, 2019. After negotiations broke down in June, the union initiated job action on WPM's Kootenay Lake route with a three-day work stoppage over the Labour Day long weekend followed by an overtime restriction as of September 18. 

The communities of Glade and Harrop were unaffected by the union's job action due to an essential service ruling made August 29. When talks resumed on November 13, the union eased up on its job action – which had been resulting in up to 70 per cent of regular sailings being cancelled per day – ensuring all regularly scheduled sailings on Kootenay Lake while bargaining was ongoing. 

Community support for reaching a collective agreement has been significant, including the website and Facebook group Our Ferry Matters, organized 'unity' sailings, and calls to all parties for a sustainable service.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and fastest growing unions in B.C. with more than 79,000 members working in almost every community and economic sector in the province.



UWU/MoveUP

December 02, 2019

BCGEU members ratify collective agreement with Western Pacific Marine - BCGEU

A strong majority of the 80 inland ferry workers represented by the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) have voted in favour of ratifying their collective agreement with their employer, Western Pacific Marine (WPM). 

 

The agreement, which was reached on November 26 and ratified by members on November 30, achieved wage parity with BC Ferries within the term of the agreement and a commitment to successorship training that will protect existing members. These achievements will help ensure the sustainability of the inland ferry system – and the families and communities that rely on it – for the foreseeable future.

 

WPM, which operates B.C.'s inland ferry routes on Kootenay Lake, Glade and Harrop, is the third and final inland ferry operator to reach an agreement with BCGEU members after the previous contract expired March 31, 2019.

 

For more details about the agreement, read the media release .

 



UWU/MoveUP

November 29, 2019

BCGEU members ratify collective agreement with Community Living BC - BCGEU

Nearly 600 members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) who work in communities across the province have voted to accept a renewed collective agreement with Community Living BC (CLBC) – the provincial crown agency that provides supports and services to adults with developmental disabilities. 

The parties reached a tentative agreement on October 17. The workers, who had been without a contract since April 1, voted 89 per cent in favour of ratification at a meeting on November 25. The agreement takes effect immediately and expires March 31, 2022.

"This was a challenging round of negotiations, but we've achieved progress on key issues identified by our members," says Judy Fox-McGuire, vice president of the BCGEU's social, information and health component. 

One of the key issues for members was the need for an understandable collective agreement. The previous agreement was an unpolished amalgamation of three agreements that was created in 2005 when the work of CLBC was removed from direct government. As a result, the agreement contained repetitive articles and outdated terminology that made it challenging for workers to use.

Another key issue for BCGEU members in this round of bargaining was addressing workload issues and recruitment and retention challenges for specific roles.

"As the demand for CLBC's services has increased, so have the demands on our members who work frontline supporting clients," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president. "I'm glad we've found common ground with the employer and achieved an agreement that balances the clients' need for access to care and our members' need for fair workload and compensation."

The three-year agreement also achieves parity with the main terms of the public service agreement, including a two per cent wage increase per year for the term of the agreement, and a one-time payment related to savings from the elimination of MSP premiums.

The BCGEU represents most employees at CLBC including social workers, facilitators, analysts, and administrative workers. CLBC receives funding from the provincial government to provide services to more than 20,000 individuals with significant demands for support and services.

The BCGEU is one of the largest and fastest growing unions in B.C. with more than 79,000 members working in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

 



UWU/MoveUP

November 25, 2019

Volunteer opportunity: BC Fed free community Christmas Dinners - BCGEU

This dinner is for those in the community who are less fortunate. They are served a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings, music, carol sing-a-longs, gifts from Santa for every child and teenager, a visit to the boutique, and a food hamper.

To volunteer please call Marisha Zuckerman at 604-306-4156 or email at labourxmasdinner@hotmail.ca

  • Surrey - December 23, 2019 5:00pm – 8:00pm Kwantlen Secondary School 10441 132nd Street
  • Vancouver - December 24, 2019 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Maritime Labour Centre 1880 Triumph Street


Download PDF of Notice Here

UWU/MoveUP

November 14, 2019

BCGEU Dawson Creek chalk painting night

BCGEU Dawson Creek Chalk Painting NightWhere: South Peace Campus, Northcourt10808 15 St., Dawson Creek BC
When:
December 9, 2019From 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.



 

Get in on the new décor trend of the year!
Chalk Couture's silk screen transfers make decorating fast, easy and beautiful.
With the reusable surfaces, you can change up the look of your sign over and over!

Open to all BCGEU Members but space is limited to 20 spots.
All supplies are provided.

Please RSVP, no later than November 25, 2019
, by clicking on the following link:

http://events.bcgeu.ca/area_10_bcgeu_dawson_creek_chalk_painting_night 

BCGEU Peace River Area Office
10147 100 Ave. Fort St. John BC V1J 1Y7
Phone: 250-785-6185 Fax: 250-785-0048
area10@bcgeu.ca
 

Download a copy of the poster here



UWU/MoveUP

November 01, 2019

Information conference calls: tentative agreement between BCGEU & CLBC and Me...

The BCGEU is hosting two conference calls to answer questions about the tentative agreement reached with CLBC earlier this month. You’re invited to participate by calling in.
 
The calls will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 at 12:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time. You can, but don’t need to, participate in both.
 
Meeting one:
Call information for: Nov. 5, 2019 12:00 P.M. Pacific Time. You can connect using one of these three methods:
 
Join the Zoom meeting on your computer:
Go to: https://zoom.us/j/964691891
Meeting ID: 964 691 891
 
By One tap mobile:
Dial: +16475580588, 964691891# (within Canada)
 
From a landline phone:
Dial: 1647 558 0588 (within Canada)
Meeting ID: 964 691 891
—————————————————
 
Meeting two: please note the meeting ID is different for the 6:00 P.M. meeting
Call information for: Nov. 5, 2019 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time. You can connect using one of these three methods:
 
Join the Zoom Meeting on your computer:
Go to: https://zoom.us/j/434229517
Meeting ID: 434 229 517
 
By One tap mobile
Dial: +16475580588, 434229517# (within Canada)
 
From a landline phone:
Dial: +1 647 558 0588 (within Canada)
Meeting ID: 434 229 517
 
Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • Consolidation of existing collective agreement language. 
  • Consolidated and streamlined harassment procedures.
  • Parity with the public service agreement including benefits and language. 
  • Monetary gains are contained in the agreement including a one-time payment related to the savings resulting from the elimination of MSP premiums.
  • General wage increases follow the government mandate of two per cent per year over three years.

 
Important Dates to Note:

  • October 30/31: a ratification document containing all changes to the collective agreement will be emailed out to CLBC members
  • November 4: conference call at noon for all Component 6 Stewards at CLBC 
  • November 5: telephone townhall meeting at noon and 6:00 p.m.
  • Ratification meetings November 13, 14 & 15:
  •        -    Nov. 13 in Victoria at CLBC office at 11:30 a.m.
  •        -    Nov. 14 at Surrey CLBC office at 11:30 a.m.
  •        -    Nov. 15 at CLBC HQ at noon
  • November 15: ballots will be emailed out
  • November 25: ballots due back

 
You can read the Memorandum of Settlement here
 

UWU/MoveUP

October 28, 2019

BCGEU reaches tentative agreement with two inland ferries employers; Western ...

The communities of Arrow Lake, Adams Lake and Francois Lake will soon have a more sustainable ferry service. Late in the evening of October 24th, after two long days of bargaining in Kelowna, the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) reached a tentative agreement with WaterBridge Ferries and Waterbridge Equipment – two of the three employers who operate B.C.'s inland ferry services.

"From day one our members have been focused on getting a collective agreement that addresses recruitment, retention and successorship," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president. "This deal does all of that, and that's what it will take to make these ferries sustainable for the future. I'm very impressed with the hard work from both sides in getting this done."

Highlights of the tentative agreement include achieving wage parity with BC Ferries within the three-year term and a successorship training commitment from the employer that would ensure existing members have training opportunities and career paths in the service. 

Members working for Waterbridge Ferries and Waterbridge Equipment will be reviewing the tentative agreement in detail over the next week and voting on ratification.

Western Pacific Marine, which employs 80 BCGEU members and operates service on Kootenay Lake, continues to refuse the union's proposals and requests to return to bargaining.

"Waterbridge is locally owned, and I believe that gives them an acute understanding of how important this service is to the people, businesses and communities that rely on it," says Smith. "This agreement demonstrates their commitment to our members and to ferry users. I'm hopeful that Western Pacific Marine will follow Waterbridge's example and work with our members to keep their services sustainable."

The BCGEU is one of the largest and fastest growing unions in B.C. with almost 80,000 members working in virtually every community and economic sector in the province.

 



UWU/MoveUP

October 24, 2019

They're back! BCGEU resolves grievance restoring the right for wildfire membe...

In 2016, your employer implemented a policy that prohibited wildfire members from wearing crew patches. 

Since then, at every worksite that your treasurer Paul Finch and I have visited, we have heard how much the 30-year tradition of crew patches means to you.

Crew patches not only build team spirit and show pride of place, they also help clearly identify members of different crews fighting the fires alongside each other. Most patches are designed by crew members, including some designed by Indigenous crew members using Indigenous imagery.

Our initial solution resulted in a grievance that has just reached resolution. We are happy to tell you that you will once again be able to wear your crew patches. 

In the coming weeks and months, per the terms of the settlement, your union will work with the employer to roll out crew patches and stickers by March 2020, including resurrecting historical patches on ball caps and stickers that can be worn on helmets. 

It was a long road to reach this resolution, and we made it by sticking together. I can't wait to see wildfire members proudly wearing their patches again in 2020.

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith
BCGEU president



UWU/MoveUP

October 24, 2019

BCGEU applauds government on next steps towards implementation of UNDRIP in B...

Today's introduction of legislation by the provincial government to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is a significant and important step towards reconciliation in B.C.

"Thanks to the leadership of our members, the BCGEU has long been an active participant in the national project of reconciliation and decolonization," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "I'm proud that our government is committed to the full implementation of UNDRIP in B.C. And I'm excited for what this legislation will mean for our ability to build stronger relationships with Indigenous communities and create a better, more just society for all."

The BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is committed to supporting the full implementation of the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the recommendations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
UWU/MoveUP