Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BCGEU ratifies agreement, calls government deceitful

Members of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union voted 64 percent in favour of ratifying an agreement with the provincial government.

Both the government and the union put out press releases calling the agreement a success. However, the union's release repeated that they were frustrated by the government's refusal to pay the full cost of members' professional fees.

"This difference will cost our members hundreds of dollars in fees annually," the release quoted President Darryl Walker saying. "This deceit doesn’t bode well for a cooperative working relationship with government."

Ratification voting started on Oct. 22nd, but as The Tyee reported last week the BCGEU's chief negotiator David Vipond sent a letter dated Oct. 31 to the province complaining that while the employer had refused to pay BCGEU members' professional fees at 2011 and 2012 levels, it did agree to do so for the Professional Employees' Association.

In his letter Vipond said the award to the PEA had "severely complicated" the BCGEU's ratification process.

"We acknowledge that the agreement that we reached with the PEA contains higher professional fee reimbursement rates than your agreement," wrote the Public Service Agency's Bert Phipps in response. "But it is important to note that the BCGEU made other gains in this round of bargaining that the PEA did not."

The deal provides some 26,000 direct government employees with four wage increases of one percent each on April 1, 2012, Aug. 15, 2012, April 1, 2013, and Dec. 1, 2013, and ends a plan to privatize part of the liquor distribution system.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus