British Columbia's Native Courtworkers reach tentative agreement | National Union of Public and General Employees

British Columbia's Native Courtworkers reach tentative agreement

Tentative agreement closes gap between Native Courtworkers and comparable jobs in Aboriginal services sector.

Vancouver (19 Dec. 2014) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) announced today that their native courtworker members have reached a tentative agreement with the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia.

Wage parity achieved

The tentative agreement provides wage parity for native courtworkers with other public service workers doing similar work, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Until now, salary levels for comparable jobs in the Aboriginal services sector started at about $10,000 higher than for native courtworkers.

The agreement also provides a 1 per cent wage increase to all bargaining unit members, effective April 21, 2015. If ratified, the agreement is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2016.

Province took step forward to fund equity

“I’m happy that our native courtworkers were able to achieve wage parity in their collective agreement,” says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “The provincial government deserves to be acknowledged for stepping up to the plate and funding pay equity in this agreement.

“I would also like to express our sincere thanks to the literally thousands of British Columbians who signed letters of support for native courtworkers and made their views known to the B.C. government.”

Still work to be done

One key goal of the negotiations — to have the Native Courtworkers included in the Community Social Services Aboriginal Services collective agreement — was unfortunately not achieved this time. But the union commits to making this a priority in upcoming rounds of bargaining.

The BCGEU represents about 36 employees in the bargaining unit, including native courtworkers and counsellors. Voting on the tentative agreement will take place prior to the implementation date of January 1, 2015.

More information:

British Columbia: Native Courtworkers stands down job action

Influential First Nations political organization backs BCGEU Native Courtworkers job action

Native courtworkers serve strike notice, citing discriminatory wage policy

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