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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]


January 10, 2022

COVID-19 Safety And Omicron - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Our union is once again seeing an increase in COVID-19 numbers throughout the province, with 80% of the reported cases being attributed to the Omicron variant . On January 7, the PHO announced an order requiring businesses to return to COVID-19 Safety Plans. The situation is evolving daily and the BCGEU will be updating you as we get more information.

The BCGEU will continue to advocate for measures that go above the minimum guidance set by the PHO. Read this notice for a list of measures from the Hierarchy of Controls that you can take to your employer/Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committee to reduce the risk of transmission at your worksite, and for a reminder of your rights as a worker.   

Measures your worksite can take to reduce COVID-19 transmission

  1. The most effective control is to allow for remote work or other alternative work arrangements that minimize the number of workers and the number of customers and clients at a given workplace, and this should be implemented wherever possible.
  2. Employers should make every effort to ensure that employees, customers, and clients that are ill do not attend the workplace. This may include allowing working from home, remote meetings, and/or reinstating a system for daily health checks at your workplace. And, if you are sick, stay home. As of January 1, 2022, all workers in BC have 5 days paid sick leave. Your Collective Agreement will outline additional sick leave provisions that have been bargained by the BCGEU.
  3. Where workers are required to attend the workplace, the employer must ensure that additional measures are implemented to minimize risk, and that their effectiveness is monitored. This includes:
  • Ensuring the effectiveness of ventilation in indoor spaces – your employer must provide the OHS committee with the past 12 months of HVAC inspection reports;
  • Minimizing occupancy limits in areas where people may congregate – this may include reinstating previous occupancy limits; and
  • Limiting the duration of close contact with other individuals where possible.
  1. These measures should also be applied as much as possible where workers are attending clients' homes. Risk assessments and direction from your supervisor must take into account any additional risks due to COVID-19.
  2. Travel between health regions for work should be limited as much as possible. This includes where community health workers are performing home care visits.
  3. While Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the least effective measure to protect workers, mask use is a critical measure in minimizing the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces. In fact, for health care workers in particular, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recently updated guidance supports wearing N95 masks in all settings. Throughout the pandemic, the BCGEU has consistently advocated for the appropriate use of masks and recommends the following regarding masks in your workplace:
  • Appropriate, high-quality masks and training on their use must be provided to workers by the Employer.
    • There is a lot we don’t know yet about the Omicron variant. However, we do know that the available science shows it is airborne. Therefore, our union requires employers to provide and permit use of N95 masks that are properly fit for all workers in all public-facing environments.
  • For interactions with clients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in healthcare contexts:
    • An N95 or equivalent respirator be worn in place of a medical mask.

Your rights as a worker

As a worker, you have 4 basic rights under the Workers Compensation Act:

  1. The Right to Know about all known or foreseeable health and safety risks;
  2. The Right to Participate in your workplace OHS program: this applies to all workers, not just OHS representatives;
  3. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work (please see the refusal procedure here);
  4. The Right to Protection from Prohibited Actions. This means you cannot be punished for raising health and safety issues in the workplace.

For any questions on your workplace plans, please contact your local OHS rep, your steward, or your local BCGEU area office. If you have urgent COVID-19 concerns or would like to become an OHS rep, please contact us at [email protected].

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith
BCGEU President

Download PDF of notice here


November 22, 2021

Public Service Pension members - Your pension plan: good news to share - BC G...

Today the Public Service Pension Plan announced a decision to use surplus funds in the plan to improve the value of your pension. We wanted to write to you in full support of the decision, and to explain it in clear terms.
This decision comes from years of advocacy by your union to improve the value of your pension. In 2018, the pension plan moved to a flat rate of accrual at 1.85% of annual salary, removing unfair subsidies and significantly increasing the value of the average BCGEU member's pension. One of those subsidies that was removed on a go-forward basis was the "bridge" to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) at age 65, which was valued at 2%. While most members were a better off under this arrangement, the difference in the bridge negatively impacted a small number of members who benefited from this subsidy by retiring on or close to the earliest retirement age of 55.
The announcement today means that as of April 1, 2022, the flat rate of accrual will move up from 1.85% to 1.95%. This will bring the accrual rate to only 0.05% below the former bridge amount, but unlike the former bridge does not end at age 65, and extends for the duration of your pension.
This is a significant win for BCGEU members, and something we fought for when the 2018 pension changes were announced. We are pleased that due to the good financial health of the plan, the surplus is being used not only to improve the value of your pension, but also to stabilize contribution rates for years to come.
In solidarity,

Paul Finch, BCGEU Treasurer



November 19, 2021

BCGEU phone outage - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Phone service to all BCGEU offices has been restored

Last updated - Dec 2, 4:38 p.m.

The phone system serving BCGEU offices is now workingthe primary phone numbers for all Area Offices, as well as for the Benefits Department, are now functional.  Direct phone numbers to specific staff are not functioning at this time and may change. To reach a specific staff member, please call the main Area Office phone number.  You can find the main phone numbers for each office at this link:


November 05, 2021

BCGEU members ratify collective agreement with LifeLabs

BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – A majority of the 1,550 LifeLabs workers represented by the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) voted on Thursday November 4, 2021 in favour of ratifying their collective agreement with their employer after reaching a tentative agreement on October 24, 2021. The new three-year agreement is effective April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2024.

"After so many months of hard work in negotiations we are pleased to see members ratify a deal that values and respects their expertise, their contributions during the pandemic and their goal to better serve the public," said BCGEU president, Stephanie Smith. "Through their solidarity and the strength of our union, these members demanded better, and we're so pleased with the advances they made in this round of bargaining."

Highlights from the agreement include wage improvements averaging increases of 12 per cent over three years which includes a $1,250 signing bonus for all active employees to be paid out within 30 days of ratification. This represents a strong advance towards closing the wage gap with those doing similar work in the public sector and achieving the goal of winning a larger percentage increase for the lowest wage earners. Members also have an improved indexed pension plan, increases to extended health coverage, improvements to sick leave entitlement and health and safety policies as well as stronger workload language to deal with under-staffing issues.

"All workers in B.C. deserve respect and a wage that keeps pace with the high cost of living in this province, and at the end of the day that's what this dispute was about," said Smith. "I would like to thank and congratulate everyone on the bargaining committee for the long hours they put in to get this deal, and for standing as an example for all working people."

The collective agreement covers members at 94 LifeLabs locations across B.C. working as couriers, phlebotomists, technical assistants, technologist and information specialists.

See previous media releases:
BCGEU members at LifeLabs reach tentative agreement – vote to go to membership
1,550 BCGEU members launch job action against LifeLabs
LifeLabs workers issue 72-hour strike notice

For more information contact: BCGEU Communications [email protected] 


November 02, 2021

New poll shows British Columbians support investing in B.C. wildfire fighters...

November 2, 2021
New poll shows British Columbians support investing in B.C. wildfire fighters

BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – A new Research Co. poll on wildfires in B.C. commissioned by the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) reveals that half of British Columbians have been personally impacted by wildfires, 85% believe more should be done to prepare for and prevent wildfires, and more than 90% support increased investment in B.C.’s world-renowned wildfire fighters.
The poll was conducted from October 20 to 22, three weeks after the BC Wildfire Service released its official Wildfire Season Summary for 2021. According to the summary, from April 1 through September 30, 1,610 fires burned more than 868,000 hectares of land — making 2021 the third worst fire season on record. 
“B.C.’s three worst fire seasons have happened in the last five years,” said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU. “That’s millions of hectares burned, billions in property damage and the unmeasurable devastation of lives and entire communities lost to wildfires. It’s no surprise that so many British Columbians have been personally impacted by wildfires or that so many value the work of the wildfire fighters. The question now is, how can we do better in the future?”
Key findings of the poll include:

  • Almost nine-in-ten British Columbians (88%) support increasing the compensation for wildfire fighters, given the nature of the job that they do.
  • Two thirds of British Columbians (67%) say wildfire seasons are getting more intense.
  • Almost seven-in-ten British Columbians (69%) think the BC Wildfire Service does not currently have enough staff to manage wildfire seasons.
  • More than four-in-five British Columbians (85%) think we should be doing more to prepare for and prevent wildfires in the winter months.

“The bottom line is this poll shows that British Columbians agree with what our members have been saying for years,” said Smith. “If we are serious about protecting our communities, economies, and ecosystems, it’s time to radically rethink our entire wildfire service model—including how we recruit and retain top quality, professional wildfire fighters.”
“As the climate crisis worsens, wildfire seasons are increasing in severity, frequency and duration. This poll demonstrates that most British Columbians are affected by wildfires and do not believe that there are sufficient resources available for wildfire fighters,” said Mario Canseco, Research Co. president.
In September 2021, the BCGEU launched a campaign calling on the provincial government to create a working group that includes frontline wildfire fighters to enhance the BC Wildfire Service’s service model.
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 20 to October 22, 2021 among 801 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender, and region in British Columbia. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.
Link to Factum
Link to Data Tables
For more information, contact [email protected] or (604) 291-9611
The BCGEU is B.C.'s most dynamic, diverse, and fastest growing union -- representing more than 82,000 members who work in every sector of the economy and live in every community across the province including the 1,887 wildfire fighters and support staff who work for the BC Wildfire Service.


October 26, 2021

CLC Winter School 2022 - BCGEU

Winter School 2022 will be taking place in-person! We are so excited that our communities will be able to come together, to learn and discuss with peers and colleagues at the upcoming Winter School. As we continue to work with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) on updating you with further details, please complete your registration application form to express your interest in attending. Please note, this form does not mean you are registered to attend Winter School. Upon receipt of your registration/application, you will receive an e-mail from [email protected] asking for your class choices and asking for further supporting details that will be forwarded to your Component Education Committee for consideration. Once your Component has made their decision on who is approved to attend, you will be contacted by our Department to finalize your attendance.


Please complete by November 5, 2021: