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Post-secondary support reach first-ever tentative *common* agreement - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

We are pleased to announce that, after bargaining through the week and into the early morning hours today, we successfully established with your employer’s bargaining agent a tentative common agreement for all BCGEU members working in post-secondary support services – the first ever!
Why is this significant?
A common agreement enables us to standardize the collective agreements across the post-secondary sector in areas of common issues.
Once ratified, the agreement will cover BCGEU members working in support services at seven post-secondary institutions represented by the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (PSEA):

  • BC Institute of Technology
  • Coast Mountain College
  • Douglas College
  • Justice Institute of BC
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Northern Lights College
  • Okanagan College

How long did this take? Why didn’t we have a common agreement before?
The parties negotiated this common agreement during bargaining dates scheduled this week. However, the groundwork for this historic achievement began many years ago. Prior to this common agreement, some BCGEU post-secondary units including BCIT and KPU only observed (did not participate) in our Multi-Employer Table (MET) negotiations. In summer 2022, all seven units agreed to join the MET, giving us the consensus needed to achieve a common agreement.
What’s in the common agreement?
Based on your input, we tabled proposals about wages (including meaningful wage protections), term (length) of the agreement, a job evaluation plan, common wage grid, and benefits. The tentative agreement reached is under the Province’s Shared Recovery Mandate.
Further details of the common agreement will be provided to members during the ratification process. Highlights include: 

  • a process to establish a framework for a common job evaluation plan and a common wage grid, across the sector. This framework has been a long-time goal of the support sector because of the inequities between the institutions. We now can begin to standardize jobs and pay across our seven bargaining units. 
  • a Joint Benefits Committee to monitor benefit carrier performance, including the tendering of contracts; comparison and analysis of contract administration, reviewing cost effectiveness and quality of service, benefits, access. Plus training on best practices, including for local Joint Early Intervention Plan (JEIP) committees.
  • the Shared Recovery Negotiating Mandate (as set by the BC government) plus Flexibility Allowance (an additional 0.25 per cent of total compensation base) to be determined at the local level how they want to spend it, but the intention is to direct the money towards a new common wage grid.
  • Retroactive to July 1, 2022.

What’s next?
The common agreement will proceed to ratification once each of the seven local tables have completed their local bargaining processes. Full details of the common agreement will be kept confidential until the bargaining process is complete.
Dates are now being scheduled for local table bargaining. We will notify you as soon as they are confirmed.
A couple other important notes:

  • Local tables bargain local agreements that address issues specific to your institution.
  • Neither a strike vote nor a ratification vote can be taken until bargaining is completed at both the Multi-Employer Table and each local table.
  • For more information about your collective agreement, bargaining committee, and the bargaining process, please read this email from April 8th, 2022.

IMPORTANT: Do we have your contact info?
There is important information that we need to share with you and, if we don’t have your up-to-date personal email address and phone number, you could miss important updates.

We’re asking all members to make sure your contact information is up to date in the BCGEU Member Portal before local bargaining begins.


If you do not yet have a BCGEU Member Portal account, click here to request one. Then watch for an email with instructions to activate it.

In solidarity,

Your College and Institute Support Service Bargaining Association (CISSBA)