BCGEU sets course for 2010 post-secondary talks | National Union of Public and General Employees

BCGEU sets course for 2010 post-secondary talks

New contracts for nearly 4,000 employees in the sector will be negotiated in 2010.

Vancouver (1 Dec. 2009) - The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) has refined bargaining proposals for 2010 negotiations for its members across the public service and in certain other areas of the public sector.

President Darryl Walker says the union has also decided on "strategies for negotiations" that will be followed in the new year. Activists from across the province wrapped up a successful bargaining conference on Nov. 27 in Burnaby.

"We .. set our course for 2010," he says. "Some 2,700 post-secondary instructors and 1,200 support staff members will be looking for new contracts next year."

Walker expects that bargaining - difficult at the best of times - will be made even more challenging because of the rigid conditions and zero cost mandate set by the B.C. Liberal government in advance of bargaining.

"Our proposals include a wage increase and changes to solve long-standing inequities," he says.

"And we're ready to work hard to find common ground and creative solutions to achieve settlements that work for front-line workers, the government and for British Columbians who depend on public services. But we are not going to sign deals if there's nothing in it for us. Why would we agree to settle for nothing?"

The BCGEU post-secondary instructors bargaining committee identified a number of priority areas that will go forward as resolutions for consideration for approval at the upcoming joint bargaining council conference to be attended by BCGEU and the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of B.C. (FPSE) in January 2010.

Priorities for common table bargaining include regularization improvements, wages, pension post-retirement benefits, regaining de-listed extended health benefits and professional development fund increases. Local bargaining tables will focus on such issues as workload (hours of work, shift scheduling, class size), distributed learning and safety equipment.

The post-secondary support staff bargaining committee also met with support workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to prepare for bargaining at the joint provincial table.

Support staff collective agreements expire June 31, 2010. Key issues discussed include job security and compensation. Members are being surveyed for their views on bargaining priorities.

More information:
Post-secondary instructors and support staff bargaining alert