An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THERE’S NEVER A GOOD TIME for unions to strike but certain times are worse than others.
The B.C. General Employees’ Union is in the middle of a contract dispute with their government employer that so far includes the targeting of B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch centres — including Kamloops — and, as of a couple of days ago, a ban on non-emergency overtime.
So far, the public has been only slightly inconvenienced, having to contend with limited liquor supplies. But the BCGEU represents a wide range of employees, including corrections officers, court clerks, liquor and cannabis store workers, highways maintenance workers, casino employees and others — 33,000 in all.
The government has offered almost 11 per cent in pay increases over three years, plus $2,500 signing bonuses — not bad but not good enough, says the union, which is insisting on further adjustments for inflation.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.