June 22, 2022 (Victoria) – The Government Licensed Professionals (GLP) who work for the BC public service have voted 92% in favour of a strike. There are currently over 1,200 licensed professionals working across 11 ministries in vital roles as agrologists, engineers, foresters, geoscientists, pharmacists, psychologists, veterinarians and more.
The Professional Employees Association (PEA), the union representing the GLP, entered bargaining with the Public Service Agency on April 11 but quickly reached impasse on May 16 when wage proposals were tabled that failed to address the rising cost of living.
“Our members are the scientific experts relied on to keep the province safe and they deserve wages that reflect the critical work they do,” said Melissa Moroz, Labour Relations Officer with the PEA. “This strike vote result shows that these professionals are willing to take action to back up their demands for reasonable compensation. They aren’t willing to take a pay cut.”
Government licensed professionals provide knowledgeable oversight of forestry, mining, and fossil fuels, but also BC’s infrastructure, forests, and farms. During the devastating wildfire and flooding of 2021, they were a critical part of the emergency response, rebuilding bridges and roads, forecasting flooding impacts, joining wildfire response teams, and helping farmers evacuate.
“The BC government already faces significant recruitment and retention issues and failing to provide fair wages that address inflation will make these issues more acute, which will impact the services British Columbians count on,” says Moroz. “With climate change and emergencies an ever-present reality, now is the time for the province to invest in public service professionals.”
The PEA will begin planning job action but remains committed to getting back to the table once the government provides a meaningful offer that recognizes the value of workers in the public service. Essential services are currently being negotiated.
Learn more about the work of Government Licensed Professionals: www.glpbargaining.ca
About the PEA
The Professional Employees Association is a labour union for professional employees. The union was formed in 1974 to represent the Government Licensed Professionals employed in the BC Public Service and has since grown to represent professionals in the education, legal, union and health care sectors.
– 30 –
Jordana Whetter, Senior Communications Officer
Phone: 250-385-8791 ext. 210