Workers at the Campbell River Forest Ministry Office on Dogwood picketed Tuesday in support of a province-wide one-day strike to focus attention on the BCGEU’s dispute with the province.

Government workers hold one-day strike

Workers marched along Dogwood Street near Merecroft Road, waving their bright yellow and blue union signs

Fifty government employees walked off the job at Campbell River’s forest ministry office Tuesday as the battle between the BC Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU) and the province heats up.

Workers marched along Dogwood Street near Merecroft Road, waving their bright yellow and blue union signs and carrying placards that read ‘On Strike.’

Doug Kinna, union spokesperson, was in Campbell River for the one-day strike to focus the public’s attention on the union’s issues.

“We want a fair and reasonable agreement,” Kinna said. “This is our first strike since 1988 – we’re not strike happy. We’ve been able to negotiate fair agreements in the past.

“Maybe we should bring (former premier Gordon) Campbell back. At least he knew what he was doing when it came to collective bargaining.”

The BCGEU has followed the province’s wage freeze mandate, not having a pay increase since 2009. The union’s contract expired on April 1, 2012 but the union and the province first sat down at the bargaining table in January. The BCGEU is asking for a 3.5 per cent wage increase this year and a raise equivalent to the cost of living increase for 2013.

The union has already rejected the province’s offer of a two per cent pay increase for 2012 and another 1.5 per cent next yet.

On Wednesday it was announced that the province had withdrawn that offer, which the BCGEU turned down just prior to its first strike at liquor distribution warehouses in Kamloops, Vancouver and Victoria on July 3.

Kinna did not indicate when and if there will be future strikes, but the union did announce weeks ago it intended to stage a series of rotating strikes without hurting the public.

“We’re trying to get our government’s attention without negatively affecting British Columbians,” Kinna said.

The BCGEU has issued two proposals to the province that Kinna said have the potential to generate close to $300 million per year for the government.

“We’ve proposed opening liquor stores on Sundays and putting deputy sheriffs on road patrol,” Kinna said.

“That would be a $280 to $300 million increase in revenue without raising taxes. They’ve had lots of time to review these and they’ve rejected them.”

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon disagrees with the BCGEU’s numbers and said having liquor stores open on Sundays would maybe save $11 million – not enough to fund the increase the union wants – because employees would have to be paid overtime.

Falcon also said it would take away sales from private liquor stores that operate on Sundays.


Just Posted

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read