"Telus can afford double digit increases in executive compensation and a multi-year dividend growth program for shareholders, but they say they can't afford a modest wage increase for the workers who provide that profit?" — Paul Finch, BCGEU Treasurer
Vancouver (21 May 2019) — Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE), who provide payroll services to the government, voted overwhelmingly to approve strike action to support their contract negotiations with Telus Employer Solutions (formerly Telus Sourcing Solutions). The members voted 100 per cent in favour at a strike vote held on Thursday.
Telus reaps profit, won't increase workers' wages
The main issues in bargaining include wages and benefits, workload and language to address bullying in the workplace. A major sticking point is Telus' refusal to provide a wage offer that matches wage increases negotiated by government workers in their recent collective agreement.
"BCGEU/NUPGE members process payroll for the B.C. government and they're justifiably upset that Telus, which provides these services, refuses to match the government workers' wage increase," said Paul Finch, BCGEU Treasurer. "Telus can afford double digit increases in executive compensation and a multi-year dividend growth program for shareholders, but they say they can't afford a modest wage increase for the workers who provide that profit? Our members aren't buying it."
Telus' financial report for the first quarter of 2019 shows net income growth of up to 8.6 per cent and a quarterly dividend increase of $0.5625 per share. The company has also approved an annual 7 to 10 per cent dividend growth program for shareholders through to 2022. In 2017, Telus executives realized a 12.39 per cent increase in overall compensation.
BCGEU/NUPGE members back proposals with action
"Telus is a large company that enjoys modern, progressive branding," said Finch. "And yet they are refusing to adopt even basic anti-bullying language in their collective agreement. What kind of message does that send to their customers, their investors and future employees?"
The BCGEU/NUPGE bargaining committee at Telus Employer Solutions will be meeting in the following days to consider options, including possible job action, to press their demands for a fair collective agreement.
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