Government demand to exclude BC Pension Corp threatens job protection, career opportunities

February 24, 2006

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Just say NO by voting YES in the strike vote

BCGEU members at the BC Pension Corporation are among the over 6,000 members in the public service targeted by the government in this round of bargaining.

"The government has significant demands to remove members from the bargaining unit, including members at the BC Pension Corporation," said George Heyman, BCGEU president.

"Excluding these 400 members from the public service will weaken our ability to protect them from job cuts. It will limit their career opportunities and ability to bid on vacancies within the public service," Heyman said.

The government is also demanding to exclude members at the BC Oil and Gas Commission, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Industry Training Centre, and the BC Film Classification Branch.

"At the same time, the government is refusing to renew the employment security agreement in the current contract that guarantees no involuntary loss of employment for regular employees during the term of the agreement."

"And their wage offer of six percent over four years doesn't begin to make up for what our members have lost due to wage freezes and increased cost of living."

The government's demands also include:

- severely curtailing recall rights for laid-off regular employees;

- reducing job placement opportunities for laid-off employees;

- limiting the ability of members impacted by restructuring or downsizing to access the early retirement incentive plan (ERIP) and voluntary departure plan (VDP);

- reducing your ability to negotiate modified work weeks;

- the right to hire people to do your work, so-called `term employees', then get rid of them with no recognition of seniority, threatening the future employment for members;

- weakening the rights of auxiliary workers by proposing auxiliaries lose their seniority after six months instead of nine, and after three declines in six months (currently four declines in six months).

The union is urging all BCGEU members at the BC Pension Corporation to vote YES in the strike vote to back our demands to get a fair wage increase, halt exclusions, privatization and contracting out, and strengthen - not weaken - employment security.

Balloting is through worksite stewards and contacts, or at the BCGEU Area Office. Deadline for ballots to be returned to BCGEU Headquarters is 5pm, Thursday, March 2.