Contract talks have resumed between the B.C. government and the province’s largest public-sector union, as members of other unions line up to demand wage increases and improved benefits.
The B.C. General Employees’ Union said talks with Public Service Agency negotiators resumed today, although neither the union nor the government side have provided details.
The BCGEU set up pickets outside liquor distribution warehouses last week and this week began banning overtime in a bid to pressure the province to return to the bargaining table.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has also been in talks with the government for a deal, while the Hospital Employees’ Union has paused negotiations, and the BC Nurses’ Union is readying itself for potential bargaining in the fall.
The BCGEU has said job action will continue until further notice, but the Public Service Agency maintains there hasn’t been any negative impact of the overtime ban so far.
The hospitality industry has raised concerns that employees in restaurants and cannabis stores will end up losing their jobs if negotiations with the 33,000-member union drag on after a 95 per cent strike vote in June.
Finance Minister Selina Robinson said after the BCGEU was invited back to the bargaining table that she was hopeful a fair agreement can be reached in line with the government’s fiscal plan.