It's time to invest in strong public services.
Public workers deliver services our communities rely on in challenging times.
Whether it’s fighting wildfires, protecting at-risk children, staffing the court system, or running liquor and cannabis stores, the B.C. public service is there for us.
But as the cost of living skyrockets, these workers are falling behind.
Now is the time to invest in sustainable public services, for our future
The pandemic has proven public service workers are the glue that holds us together. It has shone a spotlight on how critically important public service workers are to British Columbians. These workers have faced very challenging circumstances and need to be recognized.
— Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president.
Meet the Workers
Our province’s ability to respond to and recover from today’s challenges relies on public services and the workers who deliver them. Stronger, safer, more sustainable public services are a choice and necessity. Governments can find the money when they choose to. That’s why BCGEU members are calling on the government to choose strong public services in this round of collective agreement bargaining.
Leo, Wildfire Initial Attack Crew Leader
As a public service wildland firefighter, Leo is concerned about recruitment and retention issues that are prohibiting the BC Wildfire Service from becoming the year-round service that our province needs for the 21st century.
Teresa, Correctional Officer
Throughout the pandemic, Teresa and her fellow members pushed for strong health and safety measures in provincial correctional facilities with the goal of keeping everyone safe: the workers, the inmates, and their surrounding communities. But she is concerned that the pandemic has taken a huge mental health toll on her colleagues as well and wants to see stronger supports.
Donna, Child & Youth Mental Health Clinician
Child & Youth Mental Health Clinicians provide no-cost mental health assessments and treatment to children, youth and families. Public services like these are integral to the wellness of B.C. communities, but with the rising costs of living it's becoming harder to fill positions. Donna is concerned about what this means for families that need these services.
Content Warning: This video discusses self-harm and suicide.
Reshma, Call Centre Shift Lead
When call volumes began to surge at her HealthlinkBC 8-1-1 call centre in March of 2020, Reshma and her coworkers stepped up to help thousands of British Columbians navigate the COVID-19 virus, and they haven’t stopped. Reshma and her colleagues did not receive pandemic pay premiums, as other front-line workers did, and they are now seeing the cost of living skyrocket.
Orson, Warehouse Worker
Orson, a warehouse worker at the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, recalls the fear and uncertainty he and his colleagues faced while working through the pandemic. Despite their work being deemed a necessary service – in a sector that contributes over $1 billion per year to provincial budgets – LDB workers did not receive pandemic pay premiums, and are now seeing the cost-of-living skyrocket.