“Spending reductions will put added pressure on public services like social workers and child protection,” said Darryl Walker, BCGEU President.
Vancouver (21 Sept. 2012) - The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is puzzled by statements outlined in the B.C. government’s Quarterly Report that suggest the province’s economic health has declined.
“On August 7, then Finance Minister Kevin Falcon stated publicly that he had ‘good news coming out of public accounts,’ boasting that ‘once again we outperformed’ and ‘we are on track for a surplus budget next year,’ said BCGEU President Darryl Walker. “Today, Finance Minister Mike de Jong is saying that B.C.’s economy has worsened. How could it have changed so drastically in one month’s time?”
The union is also concerned about spending reductions and other measures the government wants to employ to address the shortfall. The government’s own facts point to a better economic picture than Minister de Jong is suggesting. Retails sales are up, employment is up and is forecast to continue on an upward trend.
“Spending reductions will put added pressure on public services like social workers and child protection,” said Walker.
“We expect that any savings realized by the government’s hiring freeze and our overtime ban will go towards a better offer for our members who have not had a raise in three and a half years.”
The BCGEU/NUPGE is also seeking information about the bargaining mandate review announced in the report. The union remains committed to reaching a fair and reasonable settlement for its members who work for the B.C. government and is open to returning to the bargaining table to conclude an agreement.
The union has more than 25,000 members in the B.C. public service. The collective agreement expired on March 31, 2012.
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