Media Release: 300 BC Government Lawyers to Join the Professional Employees Association

May 11, 2023 (Victoria) – With the news that Bill 5 was given Royal Assent today, the Professional Employees Association (PEA) looks forward to working with the BC Government Lawyers Association (BCGLA).

The PEA has always supported the BCGLA in their right to unionize and bargain their own collective agreement. The Minister of Finance introduced Bill 5 in February and its passing amends the Public Service Labour Relations Act so that, once it comes into force, government lawyers will be part of the Government Licensed Professionals Bargaining Unit, one of three units within government.

Although this was not the outcome the BCGLA wanted, when the legislation comes into force, the PEA will support the lawyers as their union by defending their rights and ensuring they are given fairness, security, and respect at work.

“The PEA is BC’s union for professionals,” said Scott McCannell, PEA Executive Director. “We represent the Government Licensed Professionals employed in the BC public service, but also over 100 lawyers in four different bargaining units including those who work for Legal Aid BC and the Law Society.”

“We appreciate all of the solidarity the labour community has shown us during this process,” said Gareth Morley, BCGLA President. “The PEA has been a strong ally through this entire thing, and we have a strong relationship. The BCGLA will be challenging Bill 5 as contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is not a criticism of the PEA or its representation of its existing members, but our principled stand for the right of workers to choose their own union.”

About the PEA
The Professional Employees Association is a labour union for professionals. Formed in 1974 to represent the Government Licensed Professionals employed in the BC public service, the union has grown to represent professionals in the education, legal, union and health care sectors.

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Media Contact
Jordana Whetter, Senior Communications Officer
Phone: 250-385-8791 ext. 210

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