BC General Employees' Union issues strike notice on behalf of 33,000 public servants

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BURNABY, B.C. — The union representing about 33,000 staff in the B.C. Public Service Agency has issued a strike notice to the government.

BC General Employees' Union president Stephanie Smith issued a statement saying wage protection is the workers' top concern amid high inflation.

The most recent collective agreement between the union and Public Service Agency expired on April 1 and, while negotiations for a new agreement began on Feb. 8, bargaining reached an impasse on April 6 and stalled again in July when talks briefly resumed.

It says the Public Service Agency invited the union back to the table earlier this week, but after discussions, the bargaining committee unanimously decided a return to the table would "not be fruitful at this time."

The union says job action could begin as soon as Monday afternoon but has not revealed what form it could take.

The B.C. Public Service Agency says in a statement that it respects the union’s prerogative to take job action during bargaining, and it remains committed to the collective bargaining process and reaching a fair agreement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press