VANCOUVER — British Columbia's largest public-sector union says it has accepted the government's invitation to resume talks following limited job action that began over a week ago.
The B.C. General Employees' Union says it is expecting to return to the bargaining table "soon" as part of its negotiations with the Public Service Agency.
The union says the resumption of contract talks, which went off the rails last spring, is the result of pressure from employees who set up pickets around liquor distribution centres last week before imposing an overtime ban this week.
It says in a release that job action will continue until further notice for the union as it fights for wage protection against inflation as well as mental health supports.
The Public Service Agency says no negative impacts of the overtime ban have been reported so far, but essential-service requirements are in place for positions involving children and families as well as mental health and corrections.
Finance Minister Selina Robinson says she welcomes the news that the BCGEU has accepted an invitation to return to the bargaining table.
"I am hopeful that talks this week will lead to a fair and reasonable collective agreement for members, the people of British Columbia and our government's fiscal plan so that we also have the resources to continue delivering the services and support that everyone in B.C. depends on," she said in a written statement.
Union president Stephanie Smith has said the 33,000-member union broke off talks after an "insulting" wage offer, before nearly 95 per cent of members voted in favour of job action in June.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2022.
The Canadian Press