Local governments affect many aspects of our members’ daily lives, from the services that keep our families safe, including fire, police and emergency preparedness, to issues of housing affordability and community recreation.
This week I’ll be attending the Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) annual convention in Victoria to meet with local legislators from around the province. We do this every year to build support for active BCGEU campaigns and to strengthen relationships with community leaders.
The provincial government often looks for guidance from people on the ground in municipalities - they take note of resolutions that UBCM Convention passes.
Members of BCGEU Component 10 put forward a resolution this year that calls upon the provincial government to award highway maintenance contracts to companies that will maintain the employment and successorship rights of our members.
The hardworking, experienced BCGEU members of Component 10 maintain our province’s 47,000 km of highways and rural side roads and 2,800 bridges. We need to ensure that when the province re-tenders highways contracts we continue to have well-trained, experienced workers, who are familiar with their region, keeping our highways and bridges safe.
Also, our members work directly for municipalities on the Sunshine Coast, in the Cariboo and Fort St. John. The UBCM convention provides us with an important opportunity to develop relationships with some of the employers that we’ll be sitting across from in bargaining.
We also can’t forget how many BCGEU members hold public office at the municipal level. Over the week, I’ll be meeting with members who represent communities across BC and learning more about what we can do to support the important work they are doing.
BCGEU members - whether municipal staff, elected officials or delivering important services in the community - have a huge stake in local politics. I’m looking forward to doing all I can to make sure that your voices are heard – at UBCM convention and at every other available opportunity.