Mediation fails to resolve outstanding issues for BCGEU members at LifeLabs

Lifelabs looking for concessions, even in mediation.

Vancouver (29 Nov. 2012) - Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) who work at LifeLabs and the employer met with a mediator at the Labour Relations Board (LRB) on November 27. This effort failed to deliver a new collective agreement.

The employer indicated it was willing to withdraw its concessions, but with strings attached. LifeLabs proposed a package containing no wage increase in the first year of a deal and only a ‘modest’ increase in the second year.

LifeLabs then proposed another plan, suggesting it would increase the wage offer. Again, this came with strings attached. The wage boost would have meant BCGEU/NUPGE members agreeing to the concession proposals.

What LifeLabs is saying is this: it wants members to buy the wage increase by agreeing to concessions.

Members gave the bargaining committee a strong strike mandate to get a fair and reasonable settlement. Paying for a wage increase is neither fair nor reasonable.

LifeLabs has applied to the LRB for essential services designations. The parties will begin discussions regarding essential services levels in the next few weeks. There will not be any job action until essential services designations are in place.

Updates on the situation will be posted on the union 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

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