B.C. negotiations sidetracked by government announcement of layoffs | National Union of Public and General Employees

B.C. negotiations sidetracked by government announcement of layoffs

"The rights of the affected members have to be protected and that’s where we’ve been focusing our efforts for the last few days,” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker.

logo of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE)Vancouver (23 Jan. 2012) - Three days of negotiations between the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) and the B.C. Government were marred this week by the government’s announcement that it’s closing two youth corrections units for female offenders in Prince George and Victoria. As a result, more than two dozen regular and auxiliary BCGEU/NUPGE members in the Corrections & Sheriff Services Component will lose their jobs.

“This announcement distracted our work at the bargaining table, to say the least. The rights of the affected members have to be protected and that’s where we’ve been focusing our efforts for the last few days,” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker.

Despite the distraction, some progress on minor issues was made at the negotiating table.

The union is seeking a fair and reasonable agreement. BCGEU/NUPGE members have identified wage increases, job security and improved benefits as their main contract priorities.

Full master bargaining will resume on Feb. 7 in Vancouver. In the meantime, the negotiations will focus on concluding six separate component (occupational group) agreements.

Roughly 85 per cent of BCGEU/NUPGE members will be in contract negotiations in 2012. Bargaining in the Community Health subsector begins today in Vancouver. The BCGEU/NUPGE represents 8,300 members who provide home and community-based care and related support services.

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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