BCGEU strike hits Prince George Monday
City residents will see picketers downtown Monday as local B.C. Government Employees Union workers take to the streets protesting their lack of a collective agreement with their employer, the provincial government.
About 265 union members are expected to strike at the Plaza 400 during regular office hours. These employees work for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Children and Family Development and Service BC
BCGEU president, Daryl Walker, will join them on the picket line in Prince George Monday.
"We've been bargaining with the provincial government on a new collective agreement since January," Walker said.
When talks stagnated a mediator was brought in to help, and although the process was somewhat successful, a collective agreement still was not achieved. Walker said BCGEU employees have gone three-and-a-half years with no pay raise.
"They've fallen behind considerably simply because of cost of living," he said. "We don't think what the employer has offered is adequate for our members."
A strike vote among members passed. After that strike action was taken in various cities. Monday's action will be the third time members have been out picketing in the province.
"We're trying to raise the profile of the issue," Walker said. "We want to let the general public no what the concerns are, and perhaps put some pressure on local MLA's to encourage a settlement."
If that doesn't work, job action will be escalated, though the form that action will take has yet to be identified.
"So far the government hasn't gone back to the table with a renewed mandate, so we haven't sent the message yet," Walker said.