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Public Service Bargaining Backgrounder - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

  • The newly ratified agreement is now in effect as the 19th Main Agreement between the B.C. Public Service Agency and the BC General Employees' Union
  • The previous public service agreement – the 18th Main Agreement – took effect April 1, 2019 and expired on March 31, 2022. 
  • The BCGEU is the only union covered by this agreement. 
  • Employer: Public Service Agency 
  • BCGEU members covered: approximately 33,000 
  • Negotiations start date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 
  • Examples of jobs performed and services provided by BCGEU members: 
    • Correctional officers and sheriffs; 
    • B.C. government liquor store and cannabis store workers; 
    • Social workers, child protection, probation officers, and system analysts;
    • Administrative and support services; and
    • Wildfire forest fighters, biologists, design engineers, conservation officers, scientific/technical officers, inspectors and planning officers.
  • The BCGEU is one of B.C.'s largest unions, representing more than 85,000 members who work in every sector of the provincial economy and live in every community across B.C. 
  • More than 64,000 BCGEU members (78 per cent) are covered by one of six public sector agreements that are being negotiated in 2022.
  • BCGEU members make up 17 per cent of the 384,000 unionized workers and public service professionals that will be negotiating with the provincial government in 2022. 
  • The public service agreement is the second public sector agreement to be ratified in 2022, following the ratification of the Health Services and Support - Facilities Subsector agreement (Health Facilities) on October 13, 2022.
  • BCGEU members remain in bargaining at the following public sector tables (more details here):
    • Health Services & Support – Community Subsector agreement
    • Community Social Services (Community Living, General Services and Indigenous Services agreements)
    • Post-secondary (instructors and support staff agreements) 
    • Health Science Professionals


Bargaining timeline: 

Ratification vote:

  • Electronic voting was conducted and verified by Simply Voting – a secure, third-party online voting platform.
  • Voting began on Monday, October 3, and closed on Monday, October 17, at 5 p.m.
  • Immediately following the close of voting, the BCGEU Public Service Bargaining Committee, BCGEU staff and scrutineers received the final vote count at BCGEU Headquarters.
  • The results of the vote were 53.4 % in favour of the tentative agreement.
  • Approximately 71% of over 32,600 eligible voters participated in the ratification vote.