"Our members know that the BCGEU/NUPGE is a practical and principled union that has their backs. When workers have to stand up to an employer and go on strike, we use the economic power of our membership to help them reach a fair settlement." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (26 July 2018) — July 26 marks the 99th birthday of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
BCGEU/NUPGE celebrates almost a century of labour activism
Of course, the name wasn't BCGEU/NUPGE back in 1919, but July 26 marks the anniversary of the first annual convention of the Provincial Civil Service Association of B.C., which over the decades, grew to become the BCGEU/NUPGE.
"At 77,000 members strong, the BCGEU/NUPGE is one of the fastest growing and most diverse unions in British Columbia," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. "We have more than 500 certifications and we're adding members all the time."
"Our members know that the BCGEU/NUPGE is a practical and principled union that has their backs, "said Smith. "When workers have to stand up to an employer and go on strike, we use the economic power of our membership to help them reach a fair settlement. In the past decade, the union's growth has come mainly from the community health and community social services sectors, but also from casinos, hotels and medical labs."
BCGEU/NUPGE has a long and progressive history
Here's how BCGEU/NUPGE has evolved into one of the largest unions in the province:
1944: The Provincial Civil Service Association changed its name to the B.C. Government Employees' Association (BCGEA).
1947: The BCGEA newspaper, The Provincial, is issued as a result of a convention resolution. The Provincial is now a magazine and is still published 4 times a year.
1970: The BCGEA becomes the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU).
1974: The BCGEU becomes the bargaining agent for 25,000 public service workers.
1981: The BCGEU changes its name to add "service," to reflect non-government workers.
The BCGEU/NUPGE has come a long way. It is at once old and wise, yet young at heart, strong and progressive. So, here's wishing everyone all a happy union birthday.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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