NEGOTIATIONS between the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and the provincial government’s Public Service Agency (PSA) will be resuming after a 15-day break. The current agreement between the parties, which covers more than 32,000 union members, expires on March 31.
“We always say ‘where there’s talk, there’s hope’ so getting invited back to the table is definitely positive,” said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith on Friday. “Our members have been clear from the beginning that cost-of-living protection for wages was a top priority this round of bargaining and they haven’t wavered on that. We’re hopeful that the employer’s invitation is a sign that they have heard that message.”
Prior to the stall, the parties had made significant progress on a range of important issues including improved processes to resolve member issues and complaints, stronger language around bullying and sexual harassment, as well as improvements to occupational and health and safety language.
Talks between the two parties stalled on March 10 over a significant gap in wage proposals. The union’s bargaining committee is ready to return to the negotiating table on short notice as soon as the PSA has a revised wage proposal to bring to the table.
Dates for upcoming bargaining sessions have not yet been set.