“With strength and solidarity, they stood up against some of the most powerful members of their community because they knew they were right and they knew they were fighting for something bigger than themselves." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"Everybody wins when workers are paid a decent and fair wage. Everybody wins when a local like this bargains language that will prevent their jobs from being contracted out or privatized." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"After 16 years of cuts and wage restraint leading the sector into crisis, this agreement with a government that wants to put people first provides a foundation to build on." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
“Before anybody else gets hurt, they [the doctors] must take a hard look at their actions and then get back to the table with a decent offer that shows basic respect.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"Every one of our union's 155,000 members is proud of these women and men for fighting for decent wages and working conditions." — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer
OPSEU/NUPGE also filed a complaint on Friday with the College of Physicians and Surgeons against the owners of the Family Health Organization and some of their senior administrators over harassment and some abusive language directed at the striking workers.
"After 16 years of staff cuts and wage restraint, there was a lot of pent-up demand for positive change from our membership," — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
The award came after five days of mediation-arbitration which took place last week and concludes a process that began in October, 2016.
Upon returning to the bargaining table, the government was unwilling to negotiate. It was their unwillingness that brought about the need for a strike vote.
The Public Service Bargaining Committee is recommending that members vote in favour of the agreement.