Tentative agreement reached between BC and BCGEU

Published on September 6, 2022 by David Wylie

Photo: Contributed
Talks between the BCGEU bargaining committee and the Public Service Agency resumed last week and appear to have resulted in a tentative deal.

It appears the BCGEU and the province have a reached a tentative agreement.

The contract dispute cut off cannabis supply for about two weeks in August when the BC Government Employees’ Union started job action, setting up picket lines outside of liquor and cannabis distribution centres.

According to an email communication from the the BCGEU to its members the bargaining committee worked through the weekend on the details and signed off on the agreement Tuesday afternoon.

“Following seven months of negotiations and a historic job action lasting over two weeks, your bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with your employer – B.C.’s Public Service Agency (PSA),” it says.

“This will be your collective agreement, and ratification will be your opportunity to have your say!”

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The BCGEU says highlights of the agreement will be sent to the 33,000 union members working in direct government service in a bulletin Wednesday, with full text of the tentative agreement available early next week.

Timelines and details for the ratification vote haven’t been confirmed yet, says the BCGEU.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) workers whose solidarity on the picket line was instrumental in pressuring your employer to invite us back to the bargaining table in late August—more than five weeks after talks broke down in July,” says the BGCEU email.

“We would also like to acknowledge and thank the workers across components who turned down a significant amount of overtime work (therefore money) to support our job action.”

Dozens of private cannabis stores were forced to close and/or lay off workers during the job action.

The email was first posted to the r/BCPublicServants community on Reddit.