Influential First Nations political organization backs BCGEU Native Courtworkers job action | National Union of Public and General Employees

Influential First Nations political organization backs BCGEU Native Courtworkers job action

"It is essential that the Province provide equitable funding so that the Courtworkers can receive fair compensation, and can return to full service provision throughout the province.” — First Nations Leadership Council in its letter to B.C.'s attorney general.

Burnaby (12 Nov. 2014)  —  The B.C. Government and General Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is pleased to announce that the leading B.C. First Nations political leadership organization has expressed public support for the union’s Native Courtworkers’ job action to achieve a fair collective agreement.

First Nations Leadership Council supports BCGEU/NUPGE Native Courtworkers in their struggle to achieve wage and benefit parity 

The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) wrote a letter to Attorney General Suzanne Anton on October 31 expressing support for the Native Courtworkers’ demand for wage and benefit parity with public service workers doing similar work within the Aboriginal Services collective agreement. The FNLC includes the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. The Native Courtworkers are employed by the Native Courtworkers and Counselling Association of British Columbia (NCCABC).

The letter states in part: “Providing the necessary level of funding for a robust program as well as competitive wages, or at a minimum comparable wages, ensures the NCCABC will be able to maintain stable and committed staff and therefore fulfill its important mandate. It is essential that the Province provide equitable funding so that the Courtworkers can receive fair compensation, and can return to full service provision throughout the province.”

Native Courtworkers are significantly underpaid compared to other public service workers, government needs to rectify this imbalance

The BCGEU/NUPGE maintains that Native Courtworkers should have been transferred into the Aboriginal Services Agreement in 2003 when the sectoral bargaining unit was created. If this had happened, the courtworkers would now enjoy similar wages and benefits to other public service workers — amounting to about $10,000 more in base salary, and fully paid benefits.

“The B.C. government is responsible for providing these important Aboriginal services, but funding has not kept pace over the past decade,” says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “These members are significantly underpaid compared to other public service workers. They have not had a pay raise in five years and their collective agreement expired three years ago. It is time the B.C. government stepped up to the plate and made it right for these workers.”

NUPGE

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

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