Surprise toll booth announcement leaves auxiliaries with few options

September 30, 2008

For immediate release
September 30, 2008

Following their surprise decision this week to remove tolls from the Coquihalla highway, the B.C. government has left auxiliary toll booth employees with little to show for their service but a pink slip, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union said today.

"It's bad enough that our members heard they'd be losing their jobs from motorists and the news media, but now the government has left long-serving auxiliary employees high and dry," said BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "In their rush to take political advantage of a popular policy announcement, they seem to have forgotten about the workers who have been serving the people of our province."

The 21 regular full-time employees have job protection under their collective agreement, and will be able to post into other positions in the public service sector. However, 14 auxiliary employees have been offered only a token amount of job counselling, while being given lay-off notices effective today.

"Our members deserve better treatment than this," Walker said. "They've given years of service to the government, only to find out they are disposable. Given the current hi-profile effort to recruit and retain public service employees, I hope the government will demonstrate their commitment by finding work for these employees."

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For more information, contact Chris Bradshaw at 604-291-9611 or 604-209-4129