'The results show that employment security was key for our members, but they have also said that when we are at the table in two years they will want us to negotiate a wage increase.' - Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (3 May 2010) - Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) employed by the provincial government have voted 71 percent in favour of a new collective agreement. The announcement was made today by the union following two weeks of voting.
The voting comes following a tentative agreement with government negotiators that was reached on March 29.
"This was a tough round of negotiations, but I am pleased that the agreement has been ratified," said Darryl Walker, BCGEU president.
"The results show that employment security was key for our members, but they have also said that when we are at the table in two years they will want us to negotiate a wage increase," said Walker. "Our members understand that in these economic times a wage increase was not possible."
"Under the terms of the agreement, employment security provisions have been renewed and improved. This was the number one issue for our members. Reaching the employment security package was key - we would not have signed a tentative agreement without it," said Walker.
Other highlights of the agreement include:
- Two-year agreement expiring March 31, 2012.
- No general wage increase because of the province's two year wage freeze, but a continuation of current temporary market adjustments (TMAs).
- Improved extended health benefits, such as hearing aids and leave for family illness in the case of illness or hospitalization of the employee's spouse or leave for care for adult dependent children.
The 29,000 BCGEU members covered by the new agreement provide important services around the province. They include child protection workers, health care workers, environment officials, corrections officers and sheriffs, conservation officers, public liquor store employees and administrative workers across the province.
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