Week three of Main Table Public Service Bargaining between the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and the B.C. Government’s Public Service Agency (PSA) is concluding for the week of February 21.
The tone at the bargaining table continues to be generally positive and collaborative, and your bargaining committee remains committed to bringing forward the priorities you’ve identified.
The committee has made progress on many non-monetary items, and we expect to enter monetary negotiations sometime in the next two weeks.
Pink Shirt Day
Following several days of bargaining on bullying and misuse of managerial/supervisory proposals, your bargaining committee negotiated improvements on anti-bullying language for members. This was particularly timely given that Wednesday was Pink Shirt Day. Both parties agreed to the expansion of the definition of bullying and harassment, and your committee was successful in achieving improved timelines to help better identify and resolve issues.
“Employers have an obligation to provide safe and healthy workplaces and that includes protecting workers’ psychological and physical well-being,” said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith, who also serves as Chair of the Public Service Bargaining Committee. “We have achieved many gains on anti-bullying language in the past few rounds of bargaining, but there is still much work to be done to achieve language improvements that protect all workers. The language improvements we have achieved this week are a step in the right direction.”
Your committee continues to carry forward discussions on substantive non-monetary items where we’re finding common ground. These include:
- Agreed to updated language on postings
- Both parties agreed to develop a training program between stewards and employer Step 2 designates
As well, we tabled all unresolved component issues.
BC Budget 2022
The B.C. Budget was released earlier this week, and BCGEU President Stephanie Smith spoke with CFAX 1070 about how Budget 2022 will affect negotiations. “I think what was most important for us to hear was the fiscal outlook and how well our province is doing economically,” said Smith. “We have heard from our members that financial incentives are going to be a big part of being able to achieve an agreement in this round”
Negotiations resume in Victoria next Tuesday for four more days of bargaining. Your bargaining committee will continue to keep you updated as talks progress.
N.B.: If you know of a co-worker who has not been receiving these bargaining updates, please remind them to sign up to get updates by email. All members should ensure that their contact information is current in order to receive important regular updates during the bargaining process.
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
Michael Eso, Secretary and Chief Negotiator
Lisa Lane, Support Staff
The Public Service Bargaining Committee wore pink shirts in support of Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday, February 23rd. For many years the BCGEU has proudly participated and sponsored Pink Shirt Day in B.C.
(Please note that Cynthia Mepham-Egli, Component 6 Acting First Vice-Chairperson and member of the public service bargaining committee, joined us virtually this week.)
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