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Public Service Negotiations Scheduled to Commence - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

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