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.
February 16, 2005