“We are looking for a fair and reasonable agreement, but the government is not listening." - Darryl Walker, BCGEU President.
Vancouver (31 Aug. 2012) - B.C. government workers across the province will go on strike on September 5, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE), the Professional Employees Association (PEA) and Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 378 announced.
On September 5, approximately 27,000 BCGEU, PEA and COPE 378 members who work for the B.C. government will go on strike in 153 communities and 1785 government work sites across B.C. The strike will last all day.
“We are looking for a fair and reasonable agreement, but the government is not listening. We have no choice but to send a clear message on September 5: there can be no more falling behind for all government workers.” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker. “We’ve not taken the decision to strike lightly. Our last strike in direct government was over 20 years ago.”
Since 2010, B.C. government workers have suffered a real wage cut of five per cent. The government’s last offer, which has been withdrawn, would see pay cheques fall further behind inflation.
“Our professional members have in almost all cases chosen public service because of their commitment to serving the public”, said Scott McCannell, PEA Executive Director. "Without some protections to stop a clear trend of downsizing licensed professionals in the public service, the public interest will not be served. Our members will be taking job action for the first time in their 38 year history to send a message to the government that this issue needs to be addressed and that we need a fair settlement.”
“We’ve exhausted our other options with ICBC and the provincial government,” said COPE 378 President David Black. “Our members have spent over two years without a collective agreement doing more work for less pay.”
Essential service levels are guaranteed so the health, safety and welfare of British Columbians will not be impacted by the job action.
The BCGEU/NUPGE represents 25,000 direct government workers. The PEA represents over 1,200 licensed professionals employed directly in B.C.'s public service. COPE 378 represents about 4,600 workers at the Insurance Corporation of BC, a crown corporation.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE