Workers of the world united against the workers of the world

British Columbia Government Employees' Union staffers will be in a legal position to strike at 2:00 on Friday, Public Eye has learned. Mediation between the government employees' union and its staffers, who are represented by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 467, broke down this afternoon. According to insiders, the primary issue of disagreement concerns wages. Initially, the government employees' union offered their staffers a zero percent pay increase over the next three years. Today, that offer was sweetened a dollop, with a two percent increase promised in the third year. But that wasn't enough for the union's 120 or so staffers, which includes their political organizers. After all, government employees' president George Heyman recently said a proposed wage freeze for college supporters workers was "an insult to our members." Staffers earlier voted 98 percent in favour of strike action.

35 Comments

Do as I say, not as I do.

Do you think they were dickering over 43 million dollars versus 49 million for salaries caps?

I don't support the BCGEU on all fronts but the union has to show restraint in times when members have wages restrained.

Do you think if the BCGEU offered their staff a 20 % wage increase - the rank and file would get that from Campbell. Dont't think so.

hahahahahahahaha! *breathe* hahahahahahahaha!

Thank you BCGEU staff. You made my day

The staff referred to are the front line workers when you have a grievance or need help. We rely on these people, and they deliver. Without them, nothing would get done. I'm disgusted by my unions position on this. As far as I'm concerned, these folks are worth whatever they're asking for, and I'm behind them 100%. I've sent George Heyman 2 faxes now, telling him exactly what I think of him: he's a hypocrite and an embarrassment. If he had any integrity whatsoever, he'd resign now, but then, I've said the same thing about Jim Sinclair, and we're still stuck with him, too. I urge other BCGEU members to flood GEU headquarters with faxes and phone calls supporting local 467.

Just what was the upcoming raise recommended for the judges? 22%????????

I hope they blockade Heyman's kids from going to school like the BCGEU is doing to mine and maybe the dirtball would understand what it feels like to get bent over Union style.

Greed:

Dont be ridiculous. The government is spending like drunken sailors right now. The public sector has tightened their belts at 0-0-0 during last 4 years. If the government has all this money to throw around, surely they can offer the employees a raise. Inflation has gone up - so can the wages.

Is the "golden decade" only for the private sector? Just goes to show you who the Liberals grab their ankles for. They should be ashamed.

BTW - I am not in a union.

One thing that should be considered when saying the Libs are spending like drunken sailors; the majority of the spending is for one time injections of funds. Wage increases are long-term funding. If government increases wages to public sector employees and the economy takes a hit next year, government is faced with having to clawback funds from other areas like health care, education or other social areas. Who would cry the loudest if this happened, the public sector unions. Basically, any government in this province is in a no-win situation when it comes to public sector unions. The Libs just happen to be the ones in power right now.

Parkhurst are you comparing the value of a judge to that of a cafeteria worker? Good one, the cafeteria worker defiantly has more training and experience than the judge. Why are you looked down on in this province if you have educated and dedicated yourself to something in order to reach the pinnacle of your career?

Yes this is the Golden Age of the private sector. The last 30 years have been the golden age for the public sector why isn't it the private sectors turn to have a little bit of success. Tell me why the Liberals should be ashamed. Is it because they stick up for all British Columbians and not just the union members? Unions care about no one but themselves and take any and all opportunities to hold the public hostage.

That's a good joke at the end of your last post sugar. Why is Greeds post ridiculous? The union is holding students hostage again, it happens every year. But, I forgot, they’re looking out for the students best interests. If you believe that you are obviously brainwashed.

If the recent Mustel poll holds true, it may be the end of the age of the private sector on May 17th.

In commenting on Mr. Parkhurst's comments I would like to paraphrase Gordon Wilson from 1991

"and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the NDP should never be elected in British Columbia."

In case Parkhurst and his ilk have forgotten--the private sector pays for the public sector.

Maybe he should go to Saskatchewan and see what happens when the private sector dies.

I really enjoyed seeing this in Monday Magazine yesterday. Thanks for adding to it!

Classic makes an excellent point. It's too bad they don't care who pays for it. I guess they've found the elusive money tree.

If you are interested in more details on this story, check out the link.

http://cep467.blogspot.com/

It is worth noting that the Liberals - and the NDP before them - end up paying judges so much because they rely upon them for protection from the public.

We do not have an independant judiciary here in BC, rather we have simply another government department - this one run by "judges" - with the mandate of protecting the government bureaucrats and politicians from the public who try - naively - to use the courts to protect their rights and legal interests in the mistaken belief that they will be treated equally and fairly under the law. They won't. The judges will not bite the hand that so generously feeds them.

Our judges are predisposed to back up the government & the state bureaucrats no matter what the circumstances of the case. Even in the unlikely event that one rebel judge accidentally gets out of line and makes a ruling in favour of the citizen - his/her decision will be taken to the Appeals Court where the judges are even more tighly bolted to the ass of our ruling politico's. Then this judges future will be bleak indeed.

This is the kind of "justice" common in most third world socialist countries and BC is no different.


Government workers on the other hand have no remaining employment bargaining rights. There is only one employer - the state - and this employer has unlimited power to dictate wages and to impose legal punishments on workers who refuse to obey their unilateral demands. Government workers only option is - the Garry Bettman offer - "take it or leave it" i.e; shut up and work on my terms or quit.

It would be nice to see smaller bargaining units on the labour side together with a full right-to-strike returned to those individuals so that the market could properly dictate fair market value and salaries for workers.

It would also be nice to see the position of BC Attorney General be made into an independant position akin to that of the Auditor General. If this was done, judges could be chosen on their merit and fairness instead of their political connections and willingness to prostitute themselves for their political masters.

Giver: I own my own business that can thrive with any government. I enjoy that because I don't get ravenous over political leaders like you do. I just dont see what is wrong with a labour union exercising it's right to strike. If they are asking for a small percentage increase in wages - all of a sudden they are militant and hostile?

My dislike for the Liberal government has nothing to do with public/private or union/non-union. It had to do with my parents being forced apart in the interior when Campbell and his hitmen took over. I had to shell out thousands just so they could live together - despite a terminal illness. I think I have a right to be mad and if you were in the same situation, I'm sure you would be too. You will probably make some stupid arrogant remark about this post too. Come the election, I can assure that it won't all be union people that vote for the NDP.

I feel sorry for you.

What HYPOCRITS! Demand the same things from taxpayers that they don't want to give their own staff when it's their money - not taxpayers money - that they're spending.

I can't understand why people would want them (THE NDP) running this province ever again.

What HYPOCRICY! When it's not taxpayers dollars, it's their own money, it's a surprise how what "responsible spending" means changes for the joined-at-the-hip BCGEU and NDP. Why anyone would want them running our province again I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND.

I always find it hard to believe when a supposed business owner says they will vote for a party that does everything in their power to handicap business. One question, wouldn't you lose more money voting the NDP back in than you would paying for your parents? No one is saying that the Liberals made all the right choices, but one thing is for certain, the Liberals offer up a better future and vision for all British Columbians than the NDP. Speaking of the NDP what is their vision? You say, what’s the big deal about a union exercising their right to strike? Wait till the Olympic venues start getting built, can you say billion dollar over runs due to strikes. It’s coming and I guess you condone it. A vote for the NDP is a vote for failure. I'm sorry I can't grasp a pro union business owner, you would be the first one I have heard from.

you're obviously a one man show or deal in bankruptcies to be in business and support the NDP sugar. I have never met anyone in business who has employees and would like to see their employees unionized. anyone who does obviously has no clue.

it's not about oppressing the workers or wanting to see them make as little as possible, it's about not handing control of the company to a union, who despite what they preach, are in for no one but the union executive. They don't give a damn about their members, except when they lose them and their dues.

Sugar:

I can certainly understand why you would be angry and upset. Anyone who felt their parents were not being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve would feel the same way.

But I have to ask you. How much blame should you lay at the feet of the BC Liberal government and how much at the feet of our enormous, bloated, nearly impossible to manage public health care system?

Don't you feel that the exact same thing could and probably would have happened under any other government of any other political stripe?

From where I sit, I have to congratulate the BC Liberals for at least trying to make some positive, long-term changes in health care. They slashed the positively goofy number of the health care authorities - what was it 50 something - that the NDP had set up down to six. They are training more doctors and I think more nurses.

I just really don't know why you think the NDP would have done a better job.

I'm going to be on strike and this has nothing to do with the Liberals. It has to do with my Employer.

Linkages will be made and assessments will be part of our job action. I do not intend to do that here.

Politically, I am very pleased that my Employer opposes and speaks out against the Campbellites. Such a horrible government must be replaced.

As much as anything, you people should take note of the fact that myself and my colleagues are free to organize and strike, but the Liberals changed the laws to deny other workers the same true choice.

Think and be sure not to be swept in by the bs. The economy for example has only now made it BACK to its shape when the social-dems lost power and we still have 3 years of dark ages to address/pay for.

i think you have spent too much time in the cold out on the picket line with your little sign, p.

come back inside, reality beckons.

Th BCGEU represented the communty social service sector where the mediator basically screwed the meembership with wage rollbacks and gutting of the collective agreement.There were no wage increases and in fact entry level workers are coming in at significantly reduced wages.
The workers at B.C. Place are making $12 an hour and the employer was still asking for wage rollbacks.
If workers do not fight back they will continue to get this kind of treatment.
It is not greed but trying to make a living.That is why the students who understand the issues are supporting the workers.Perhaps the pressure and anger may be better directed at the ones who are threatening people's livelihoods , the Fiberals.However that may take some thinking and attempts to not make knee jerk judgements on your fellow citizens.
I also hope that those who hate unions and are working for a living do not have to seek protection under the current Employment standards act.
Pointdexter, you are indeed tweedly dumb.Just waiting for tweedly ditz, Kevin Larsen to give us his fiberal spin on unions.

I am not pro-union and I am not anti-union. Perhaps if I had a workforce of more than 15 that wanted to certify I may have different feelings. My business didn't suffer or prosper under the Liberals, nor did it under the NDP. I guess it comes down to trust. I don't trust most politicians and Campbell is one who's credibility is piss poor since taking office. He lied through his teeth on a number of issues and I don't respect a leader who can do that time and time again. I voted Liberal last time and I won't this time. Perhaps because I think Campbell will win anyways and I think a healthy democracy needs a healthy opposition. When government can create legislation to suit their agenda, there's something fundamentally wrong with that. With respect to my employees, I don't pay them $8/hour so I didn't benefit from the $6/hour slave wage that Campbell offered me. Believe it or not, I find that regardless of who's n power - I treat my employees well and I get productivity in return. You don't need an MBA to figure that out.

Lastly, I have some friends who belong to unions and believe it or not they're intelligent, productive members of society. Not all unions have members that are table thumping militants. That's just my experience anyways.

I do find it encouraging that Campbell lovers do acknowledge there were mistakes made. If only one or two of the elected Liberals in power could do the same, it would go a long way in building credibility instead blaming the previous government. They've had 3.6 years - take some damn responsibility.

Students understand because they have yet to enter into reality, kind of like the public sector unions. When you are brainwashed by socialists, teachers, for 20 years what do you expect. This employers abusing employees rhetoric is just that. Unions keep harping on benefits achieved in the 50's. What have you done since then? If they are such skilled workers that just happened to be getting screwed by their employer why don't they get another job? Because they’re unskilled and their only way of increasing their take home pay is by taking the public hostage. You know your low on substance when you sink to personal attacks and union rhetoric. Why is it just because you’re born your entitled to mooch off the public trough. Maybe if entry wages are low enough it will discourage people from mooching of the government. Unions only care about one thing and that’s themselves.

I'll tell you one thing when a union comes in and attempts to certify and you cannot inform your employees of the pros and cons of joining a union then you may get concerned. Especially when something you worked your whole life for goes down the drain right in front of your eyes just so Jim Sinclair can make a few extra dollars. This paying people minimum wage and the 6 dollar wage is a myth for the most part. Most employers do not pay their employees minimum or else they would have a constant turnover, and subsequently it's impossible to survive paying unskilled labor $20 an hour plus benefits. The only people who can afford union labor are large corporations and guess who unions and the left try and drive out of our province, kind of ironic.

Paul S.--your comment about judges is nothing but a breathtakingly ignorant, cheap shot. We are very lucky in Canada to have a truly impartial judiciary. Often judges slam the government. The thing about judges being impartial is that they don't please everyone all the time.

Sugar--I can certainly understand why would would be upset about the fact that your elderly parents were separated as a result of policy decisions made about allocation of resources for long term care for seniors. As a BC Liberal I can say without hesitation that there are lots of decisions the government made that weren't good. Overall, though I think they've moved in the right direction. My own mom was seriously in need of long term care and it took a very long time to get her into care back in the 90s. My dad on the other hand wasn't yet in need of such care. I'm going to guess that for every decision made by this government in placing people in long-term care, with priority given to those in greatest need, there was one very happy family that their loved one was going to get the care he or she needed, and likely another family that was unhappy. I think it is fair to say that for every elderly person placed in long term care, who was not actually in need of long term care himself or herself, but was placed to be with his or her ailing spouse, there was another elderly person who had to wait for care because the spot that might have gone to him or her went to a healthy spouse. The other thing you have to throw into the mix is that there was a large inventory of disgusting long term care spaces that were not longer acceptable and that had to be replaced with better ones. That rebuilding doesn't happen overnight.

How we as a society treat our parents and grandparents says a lot about our character. And we all have a vested interest in making the right decisions. After all, as my teenage daughter likes to tell me, "Be nice to me, I get to choose your old folks' home."

sb! tweedle dumb here. so what you're telling me is those poor, overworked people behind the concession stand cooking hotdogs and hamburgers at BC Place are working for the slave labour wage of $12 an hour?! I wonder what their counterparts in the PRIVATE SECTOR at McDonalds, Burger king etc would say about that?

This is not about being mean spirited, or cruel, or wanting to see people make 8 bucks an hour, but let's be realistic here. We're not talking mathematical calculations, heavy machinery operation, or even fax machine operation here (which can definately be complicated).

What we have here is people doing unskilled labour, in a public sector union, that are being paid out of step with the private sector and reality. Same reason the HEU was rolled back. It's not competitive with the private sector. End of story.

I know that can be a difficult concept for the die hard socialists, but it's fact. So suck it up and get used to it.

If you want to get ahead in life, you have to consistently improve yourself in your work and education, and cooking hotdogs at BC Place ain't the way to do it.

tweedledum out.

This is really super simple. I still don't understand how people don't understand it. Employers and employees have different interests. Period. The hotdog flipper may have a family he/she would like to provide a better life for, and will struggle to have his/her wages maximized. That is the bottom line. The employer is doing the same. Both will will form associations to try and increase their advantage. They both form unions to live better. In this case, the BCGEU will act as an employer. That is what they are, as well as being a service organization for their membership. Obviously. I don't understand why this story draws any heat, other than than it is obvious flamebait for some of the rightwingers who just can't resist.

So Bryan do you spend your whole life demanding things for yourself - claining it's your RIGHT to have - that you don't believe others should have that same RIGHT to have?

Who is talking about me? This is just the "law of self interest". I have been on both sides of this equation, and I believe in a democracy, people have a right (some would say responsibility) to associate for personal and collective betterment. Simple.

I had to leave BC in 86 to find work in Ontario( through a union hiring hall). I came back to BC in 89, and there was lots of work in the "decade of destruction". I found a steady job with a large manufacturing plant in 97, which was expanding (NDP gov`t), so maybe things weren`t all that bad in the 90`s. For myself, the 90`s were quite good financially. I`ve always been a member of a union, except once, and that sucked.

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