Mar 11, 2011

BCGEU forces vote to reconstruct negotiating committee

BURNABY— The community social services bargaining committee for the BCGEU today tabled and passed a proposal for a special negotiating subcommittee which sets minimal limits on bargaining member representation.

Under the GEU’s proposal, which passed under the endorsement of the Health Sciences Association, UFCW and CLAC, the negotiating subcommittee would be comprised of four members from the BCGEU and only one member from each of the other unions.

The GEU tabled the proposal “for the purpose of bringing back to the Negotiating Committee for approval a recommendation for tentative settlement for a renewal (of the) Collective Agreement in Community Living Services and General Services.”

“The GEU has informed that, in order for us to return to the table, CSSEA’s expectation is that we will agree to meet the government’s net zero mandate. CUPE could not support this position, because that is contrary to the wishes of our members,” said CUPE’s social services coordinator Cheryl Colborne.

“CUPE chose not to participate in the vote because each and every bargaining member was elected by their locals to bargain a new collective agreement through the full participation of all six elected bargaining members and the servicing rep. This proposal inhibits our ability to do so. Ethically speaking, we felt that participating in the vote would have violated our members’ trust.”

The Hospital Employees’ Union voted against the proposal.

COPE 491