'Unless the government mandate changes soon we will be at an impasse.' - BCGEU president Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (22 March 2010) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says talks with the province's Liberal government to reach a new master agreement for 29,000 public service members are on a collision course with just over a week to go before the current agreement expires on March 31.
"This week we made limited progress on resolving some of the outstanding proposals from both sides but we are still not able to reach agreement on the central issue of employment security," says Darryl Walker, BCGEU president.
"After nine intensive weeks of talks the government mandate related to employment security is still not adequate for us to reach a deal at the bargaining table."
Walker says the province is trying to "reduce employment security protections" included in the existing collective agreement.
"Since the beginning of these negotiations we have been clear that the BCGEU is not prepared to recommend a new collective agreement without employment security," he adds.
"The government is backing us into a corner with their attempts to take away rights we currently have. Unless the government mandate changes soon we will be at an impasse," Walker adds.
Talks resume this week in Vancouver and bargaining is scheduled to continue through to March 31.
The union bargaining committee includes Darryl Walker, BCGEU vice-president Colleen Jones; Dean Purdy, Component 1; Susanne Francoeur, Component 2; Craig MacKay, Component 5; Doug Kinna, Component 6; Sandi McLean and Lori Joaquin, Component 12; Byron Goerz, Component 20 and chief staff negotiators Jaynie Clark and David Vipond.
Updates will be posted on the BCGEU website.
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