Contract negotiations between the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and province, via BC’s Public Service Agency (PSA), have broken down for a second time. Negotiations reached an impasse in April 2022, with the PSA unwilling to bargain cost of living adjustment (COLA) protections for members. In May, the BCGEU began a five-week strike vote for its 33,000 public-sector workers, with 94.6% of voters ultimately approving the mandate. Despite the membership’s resolve, the PSA once again refused to table COLA proposals when they returned to the bargaining table.
With a strong mandate, union leadership is now preparing to act. “The BCGEU will be planning strategic, targeted job action and finalizing essential services with the assistance of the Labour Relations Board,” a July 4, 2022 union release noted.
As we’ve previously covered, the BCGEU is leading off public-sector pattern bargaining this round–the first of the major unions in BC to bargain with the PSA in 2022. Their agreement will set a precedent for the remainder of the almost 400,000 public-sector workers in BC with contracts that expire(d) in 2022. Noting as much, BCGEU President Stephanie Smith has said that “a win for the BCGEU’s public service members is a win for every public sector worker in B.C.”Leave a reply →