"Our submission to the panel asked that balance and fairness be restored to the B.C. Labour Relations Code and Labour Relations Board. We believe the recommendations go a long way toward achieving that balance, but they don't go far enough." — BCGEU President Stephanie Smith.
Vancouver (30 Oct. 2018) —The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is supporting many of the recommendations put forward by the independent, 3 person panel that reviewed the Labour Relations Code. The panel was appointed by Harry Bains, the B.C. Labour Minister, earlier this year.
Looking for the restoration of fairness and balance
"Our submission to the panel asked that balance and fairness be restored to the B.C. Labour Relations Code and Labour Relations Board," said Stephanie Smith,President of the BCGEU. "We believe the recommendations go a long way toward achieving that balance, but they don't go far enough."
The BCGEU/NUPGE supports recommendations related to the constitutionally protected right of workers to unionize, including:
- Ensuring certification votes are conducted within 5 business days,
- Restricting the use of mail ballots,
- Reversing the "employer free speech" provisions that allow employers to bully and intimidate workers,
- Extending the validity of membership cards from 90 days to 6 months.
The union is also in favour of recommendations regarding expedited arbitration, and changes in successorship language to end "contract-flipping." However, they're dissatisfied this particular proposal doesn't include food service workers, such as the hundreds they represent at BC Place.
More action needed to help vulnerable workers
The BCGEU/NUPGE is also disappointed that there is no expansion of sectoral certification and re-introducing of multi-employer certification. The union sees these as important avenues to unionize vulnerable workers, such as women and persons of colour, in home child care. The union also finds the recommendation against card check discouraging, as well as the continuation of picketing restrictions.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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