B.C. government workers plan 1-day strike

27,000 unionized workers set to walk off the job Sept. 5
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 08/30/2012

Government workers across British Columbia are set to hit the picket lines on Sept. 5 for a one-day strike

About 27,000 members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), Professional Employees Association (PEA) and Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 378 will go on strike in 153 communities and 1,785 government worksites.

"We are looking for a fair and reasonable agreement, but the government is not listening. We have no choice but to send a clear message on Sept. 5: there can be no more falling behind for all government workers." said BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "We've not taken the decision to strike lightly. Our last strike in direct government was over 20 years ago."

The unions said that, 2010, government workers in the province have suffered a “real wage cut” of five per cent. The last offer from the province — which has been withdrawn — wouldn’t have kept up with inflation, the unions said.

"Without some protections to stop a clear trend of downsizing licensed professionals in the public service, the public interest will not be served,” said Scott McCannell, PEA executive director. “Our members will be taking job action for the first time in their 38 year history to send a message to the government that this issue needs to be addressed and that we need a fair settlement."

The BCGEU represents 25,000 direct government workers. The PEA represents more than 1,200 licensed professionals employed directly in B.C.'s public service. COPE 378 represents about 4,600 workers at the Insurance Corporation of BC, a crown corporation.

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