BCGEU Pres. Darryl Walker (centre) with COPE378 Pres. David Black (right) and PEA Exec. Director Scott McCannell at news conference today announcing joint strike action on September 5. More photos on Flickr and on our Facebook page.
The BCGEU will be conducting strike action for direct B.C. government employees on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 during operating hours at all B.C. government worksites in the province.
“We are striking for a fair and reasonable agreement and to support BCGEU members’ wage proposal, but the government is not listening,” says BCGEU President Darryl Walker. “We have not taken the decision to strike lightly. We have no choice but to send a clear message on September 5: there can be no more falling behind for government workers.”
Professional Employees Association (PEA) and Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 378 will join us on the picket line.
The BCGEU issued a strike notice to the B.C. Public Service Agency and the Labour Relations Board earlier today. We will publicly announce the strike tomorrow, but wanted to let you know first.
We want to assure you and the public that this and any future job action against the government will pose no risk to the health, safety or welfare of British Columbians. We have negotiated essential service levels with the employer to this effect.
What’s at stake?
You identified wage increases as a bargaining priority. By taking two zeroes in 2010 and 2011, you have done your part. But the government’s last offer would see your pay cheques fall further behind inflation. Members in this bargaining unit haven’t had a pay increase since 2009.
We are asking for a wage increase of 3.5 per cent in the first year and a cost of living increase in the second year. The government previously offered two per cent, after a three-month delay, in year one and 1.5 per cent in year two, but this offer is no longer on the table. The government is not listening.
We also made several revenue generating proposals to the government to support our demands. We estimate our proposal for Sunday liquor store openings province-wide will generate up to $100-million in annual revenue. As well we also proposed the B.C. Government use sheriffs for traffic safety and enforcement, a move we believe would generate about $180-million annually in reduced expenditures and additional revenue.
The government has rejected both proposals.
We will be emailing you more information regarding job action by separate email, including background information and frequently asked questions.
Please keep watching the BCGEU website for the latest information.