26 September 2023

CANADA: Unions and Government return to talks

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The union representing Public Servants in the Canadian Province of British Columbia is standing down from two weeks of job action after the Government agreed to resume bargaining talks.

The action by the British Columbia General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) included pickets at liquor distribution centres, which prompted the Government to impose a purchase limit.

The BCGEU, which represents about 33,000 employees, also imposed an overtime ban after saying the Province’s Public Service Agency had not invited it back to the bargaining table since talks broke down earlier in the year.

The resumption of talks was greeted with relief by a group representing British Columbia’s restaurant and bar industry who said it would avert further “mental stress” for workers and owners already reeling from uncertainty.

Premier, John Horgan said he was relieved to hear a tentative deal was in the offing for the sake of the hospitality industry and “for all British Columbians”.

“This will be the beginning of a template for further negotiations with other critical employees that service British Columbians ā€” nurses, teachers, support staff, all of the other public sector workers that are so important to us,” Mr Horgan said.

Minister for Finance, Selina Robinson said she was pleased at the apparent progress the BCGEU and the Government were making at the bargaining table.

ā€œIā€™m looking forward to getting a deal done as soon as possible,” Ms Robinson (pictured) said.

Victoria, 2 September 2022

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