Bargaining update for BCGEU members in direct Government of B.C. service

June 28, 2012

Provincial Executive authorizes strike action in the Government Bargaining Unit

This week, the Provincial Executive authorized two motions to enable the commencement of strike action, if needed, in support of our proposals for a fair and reasonable settlement. The first motion permits the strike to occur and the second motion provides for the payment of target strike pay for target strike activity, as approved by the Master Bargaining Committee.

Target pay is 70 percent of basic pay to a maximum of $500/week ($100/day), double the amount provided by basic strike pay. In addition, members are eligible for an additional $60/week ($12/day) per dependent (same definition as used on tax returns). Strike pay is NOT taxable. Additionally, the union will maintain the cost of benefit premiums to avoid any disruptions in benefits. (Click here for details). Pension benefits, however, cannot be maintained. Thus, a day on strike is not a day of pensionable earnings and contribution to the pension plan cannot be made for that day.

Strike notice has NOT been issued to date.

Impact of teachers’ settlement with B.C. Government

Some enquiries have been received regarding the teachers’ "net zero" settlement for two years and what impact that may have on our current round of bargaining. The short answer is, "none". The Master Bargaining Committee has already negotiated a settlement in the "net zero" mandate. That agreement provided no wage increases and saw members lose over 5 percent of their earnings to inflation. Our last wage increase was April 1, 2009. We are now negotiating under the government's "cooperative gains" mandate and are seeking a fair deal in which we don't lose any more to inflation and recover a little of our loss in the last agreement. We have proposed over $300 million in annual revenue gains and savings but the government isn't interested. Strike action is intended to buttress our wage proposal and produce a better offer.

Stay tuned for daily releases regarding this round of bargaining.