BCGEU president Darryl Walker speaks as COPE president David Black watches.

One-day strike hits government Wednesday

'No more falling behind' vows BCGEU president Darryl Walker

A one-day strike Wednesday will see 27,000 unionized government workers walk off the job in a bid to apply more pressure in negotiations with the province.

Courts, jails, ICBC offices and government liquor stores are among more than 1,700 affected worksites, although essential services will be maintained.

The Sept. 5 job action was ordered by leaders of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU), the Professional Employees Association and the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union.

“We do not take this action lightly,” said BCGEU president Darryl Walker. “There will be no more falling behind for government workers.”

The BCGEU is seeking a 3.5 per cent pay hike this year and a cost of living increase in 2013, following the expiry of its last contract on March 31.

The province had offered two per cent in the first year and 1.5 per cent in the second – a package Victoria has since taken off the table.

The union contends its members lost ground against inflation over the past two years due to the previous contract signed in 2010 under a net-zero mandate as B.C. was struggling to recover from recession.

“We took two zeros in 2010 and 2011 that really look at a wage cut of around five per cent when you look at the cost of living,” Walker said.

The government has countered it made a fair and reasonable offer given that B.C. remains under fiscal pressure due to the lacklustre global economy.

Smaller single-day strikes have been staged at more selective public sector targets earlier this summer.

The BCGEU has also proposed fiscal reforms such as Sunday liquor store openings and the use of sheriffs for traffic enforcement.

Just Posted

‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

IHIT confirms male arrested in connection with Paul Prestbakmo’s death no longer in custody

Groovy South Surrey wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

FOOTBALL: 50 years of Bronze Boot battles in Surrey

With Jean McPherson, Joe Connelly helps plan annual tournament, set for Aug. 24-25

Police apprehend ‘armed and barricaded man’ after standoff in Surrey neighbourhood

Surrey RCMP say the suspect was taken into custody under the Mental Health Act

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Border agents carry out raid at Hastings Racecourse

Dozens were spoken to, witnesses say

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

Most Read