BCGEU steps up job action with overtime ban

BCGEU bans overtime

The BCGEU has escalated job action, declaring an overtime ban.

In a Monday morning press release, the union says its is declaring a ban on non-emergency overtime for members working in the B.C. public service, effective immediately.

The overtime ban will not apply to members employed in BC Wildfire Service for the duration of the current wildfire season, however.

In addition to the overtime ban, targeted job action at BC Liquor Distribution Branch distribution and wholesale centres remains in effect, says the union, which represents 33,000 BC General Employees' Union members across the province.

“BC’s public service has been reliant on our members’ overtime for far too long and dealing with the systemic issues behind that reliance is part of what we’re trying to achieve in this round of bargaining,” said president Stephanie Smith.

“We hope this escalation gives government the incentive they need to invite us back to the bargaining table and negotiate a deal that will ensure robust, sustainable public services for our province and a fair deal for BCGEU members and all public sector workers.”

The union says workers’ willingness to perform overtime in non-emergency situations can mask the impact of systemic issues including under-staffing, excessive workload and high turnover.

The union's most recent collective agreement expired on April 1.

Negotiations for a new contract started on Feb. 8, but reached an impasse on April 6. Members voted 95% in favour of job action on June 22.

The parties met again in July, but talks quickly broke down.

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