BC Government Employees Union members walk the picket line at Liquor Distribution Branch on East broadway in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tuesday July 3, 2012.
Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
"We've not taken the decision to strike lightly," said BC Government Employees' Union (BCGEU) president Darryl Walker. "Our last strike in direct government was over 20 years ago."
The BCGEU will be joined by close to 800 members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union walking off the job at select ICBC offices, and the Professional Employees Association representing 1,200 licensed government professionals. It will be the first strike action ever taken by the latter.
"We're looking for a fair and reasonable agreement, but the government is not listening," Walker said.
After two years of wage freezes, the union is seeking a two-year deal with a 3.5% wage increase in the first year and a cost of living increase in the second. The last government offer was for 3.5% over two years.
Walker added the strike will show the public just what services are at stake as a result of government spending caps and cuts.