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Week 2 Public Service bargaining with govt concludes – steady progress made on non-monetary issues - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Your Public Service Bargaining Committee negotiating team met with the provincial government's Public Service Agency on Monday, February 14 in Victoria to resume bargaining for the week. 
As we have previously reported, BCGEU Public Service members have made it clear in their proposals to your bargaining committee: financial issues are key to a tentative agreement. The news this week that the inflation rate now running at 5.1% annually means the challenges in these negotiations are increasing.
So far, negotiations have centered around non-monetary issues that members have told us are important. We anticipate moving into monetary issues in early March.
Progress has been made on the following language issues in the agreement: 
• Expansion of the protected human rights grounds to include gender identity or expression and indigenous identity.
• Improvement of the arbitration process to more quickly resolve member grievances.
• Expanding the use of eligibility lists to expedite the posting process.
• Recognition of prior vacation year entitlement on reemployment.
• Expansion of special leave entitlement where the employee or their child is a victim of domestic violence.
• Improvement to the short and long term disability where there is a subsequent disability.
• Expansion of the employment equity language to best support workers with disabilities.
• Improvements to occupational health and safety provisions.
Steady progress has been made over the two weeks we have been at the table. We are currently engaged in discussions on improving our bullying and misuse of managerial and supervisory authority language. We exchanged several proposals with the employer aimed at speeding up the process to resolve member complaints. We are working hard to resolve these issues in time for Pink Shirt Day, which is February 23rd and is co-sponsored by the BCGEU.
Next bargaining meetings
Our next bargaining dates are scheduled for Tuesday, February 22 to Friday, February 25 in Vancouver, and dates are scheduled through mid-March. We are committed to bargain with the priorities that you put forward and will provide weekly updates.
Please remind your coworkers to sign up to get updates by email and ensure that your contact information is current, so you can get regular updates during bargaining.
If you know a co-worker who is not getting these emails forward this to them and tell them to sign up here. If they aren't getting emails, we don't have their contact info.
It is vitally important that we have contact with members through personal email (not work email) to ensure members receive important information throughout the bargaining process.

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
Michael Eso, Secretary and Chief Negotiator
Lisa Lane, Support Staff