The BCGEU Master Bargaining Committee continued to push the B.C. Government this week for more details about its plan to sell the LDB warehouses in Vancouver and Kamloops. The plan was announced in last week’s provincial budget.
The BCGEU has requested information about the business plan, the Request for Proposals, and details about how the privatization will affect LDB workers. So far, the government hasn’t provided us any information. We’ve not received a response to proposals we tabled last week to protect our members' rights in any transfer process. Our proposal for Sunday store openings, which we believe will generate additional $135-million in revenue for the province, has also been disregarded.
“We ended the week of bargaining with a clear message to the government,” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker. “We need answers and information, and we expect to receive it when we meet next week in Vancouver.”
One bright spot emerged in this week’s negotiations. We were able to reach agreement on improved anti-bullying language for public service members.
“The new anti-bullying language is an improvement on what’s currently in place under our Memorandum of Understanding 13. We made this a focus this week to coincide with pink shirt day and because BCGEU members have told us bullying is a problem,” said Walker.
The BCGEU has been negotiating with the B.C. Government since early January. Dates have been set through to the end of March. The union is seeking a “fair and reasonable” agreement with the government.
BCGEU members have identified wage increases, job security and improved benefits as their main contract priorities. Since 2010, during the term of the current agreement, BCGEU members have suffered a real wage cut of five percent. There has been no general wage increase since April 2009.