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Negotiations between state government and BCGEU workers collapse

Of the 33,000 workers covered by collective bargaining agreements, forest firefighters, prison officers, social workers, and administrative staff

B.C. Forest Service firefighters are among the 33,000 BCGEU members who are in collective agreement negotiations.
B.C. The Forest Department firefighter is one of the 33,000 BCGEU members under collective bargaining agreement. .. Photo: Ian Smith/Vancouver Sun

BC The collective bargaining agreement collapsed due to rising inflation General employee union and B.C. government public services agency.

BCGEU President and Negotiation Committee Chair Stephanie Smith said that the government guarantees living expenses under the agreement.

Smith said the previous collective bargaining agreement expired at the end of March, and on June 22, 33,000 members of the union voted 95 percent in favor of the strike as needed. ..

These members work throughout the public sector and include administrative staff in British Columbia. Forest firefighters, social workers, correction staff, liquor store workers for wildfire services.

Smith said the union wants a 5% increase annually over two years, while guaranteeing living expenses. This means that if inflation exceeds 5%, wages will rise to that level.

As of June, British Columbia's inflation rate is about 8%.

The government has proposed a three-year contract with an annual increase of about 2%.

Smith said BCGEU workers "learned their value" during the pandemic and realized that the dollar they earned for inflation was not as advanced as it used to be.

The collective bargaining agreement's living cost guarantee is rare, but last month, B.C. Top mediatorVince Ready was in the limelight when it included living cost adjustmentsin collective bargaining agreements. An agreement accepted by a bus driver on the sea-to-sky route and his employer.

Mr Smith is unlikely that BCGEU workers will strike or picket, and instead close the deal to their employer.

There are about 400,000 civil servants whose collective agreements will expire in 2022.

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