BCGEU deal drops plan to privatize liquor stores

The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union has recommended acceptance of a two-year agreement with a four per cent raise.

  • Oct. 2, 2012 6:00 p.m.

The provincial government reached a tentative agreement last week with its largest employee group, as the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union has recommended acceptance of a two-year agreement with a four per cent raise.

Premier Christy Clark announced the settlement Friday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, after talks broke down in the spring and the BCGEU staged a series of strikes at liquor stores and government offices around the province.

BCGEU president Darryl Walker said the government dropped its proposal to sell the Liquor Distribution Branch warehouse and delivery system, which was “huge” for the union and a step towards privatizing government liquor stores as well.

“We think this is the spine of the system,” Walker said. “Without this we would perhaps have lost the whole system.”

Clark said the settlement meets the government’s “cooperative gains” bargaining mandate, where savings and efficiencies cover the costs of pay increases, but offered few details.

In Kelowna to open a new health sciences building at UBCO on Sept. 20, Clark told the media there was “zero” room for any increase that would be absorbed solely by taxpayers.

Clark said efficiencies in department spending would have to be found to facilitate any wage increase.

Walker said the 26,000-member union agreed to work with the government to reduce sick days and find new efficiencies in operations that include ministry operations, social workers, and provincial prison and court services.

The union dropped its proposal to open more liquor stores on Sundays to increase revenue. Walker said that was to protect members whose distribution jobs were going to be privatized. “Now that (privatization) is gone, we think we can talk to this government and in fact the next government about what it means to build revenues, and if we can find a way to do that by opening stores, then I think it’s win-win,” Walker said.

Just Posted

Kelowna and Lake Country popular stories from the week

The Capital News and Calendar highlight popular stories every Saturday afternoon

Cook kicks off byelection campaign in West Kelowna

The campaign office will be open seven days a week in the Westbank Shopping Centre

Kelowna students complete D.A.R.E. program

Students at Heritage Christian School received their certificates Friday

Dual-credit film program approved for Central Okanagan students

The Central Okanagan Public Schools is developing a program with the Vancouver Film School

Kelowna youth wellness centre receives $10,000 donation

The Foundry received a cheque from the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise Friday

Disappointing turnout for Kelowna women’s march

The Kelowna Women’s March on Washington was held Saturday, Jan. 20

Rockets take down Royals

Kole Lind has four points and Jack Cowell scores twice as Rockets rebound from 7-2 loss at Seattle

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read