February 6, 2015 – Local 258 IBEW Business Manager Doug McKay and the union’s negotiating committee representing workers at BC Hydro are scheduled to return to the bargaining table for two more days of talks, currently scheduled for February 19th and 20th.
“We look forward to returning to the table for further negotiations to achieve a fair and equitable contract for our members working at this public utility,” says McKay. “This round of negotiations has been very tough. And it’s frustrating when we can’t engage in free collective bargaining directly with this employer, a member of the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC). Even though Hydro’s bargaining committee is in the room it’s obvious they are not able to freely negotiate as they are being stifled by the government’s “Economic Mandate” issued to PSEC. But we are intensely committed to these negotiations and hope to achieve as many improvements as possible for our 2,000 members who work at BC Hydro.”
The previous collective agreement expired at the end of March, 2014, and since then both sides have met a number of times for contract talks. In December, the union filed a statement of claim in the BC Supreme Court that the Charter Rights of its’ members are being violated due to interference by PSEC with these contract negotiations.
“Our highly skilled members work very hard at all times of the day and night to keep the power on in this province and deserve to be recognized with a fair wage, decent working conditions and a reasonable collective agreement,” says McKay. “With families facing increased costs for everything from groceries to property taxes, we look forward to this employer being able to freely negotiate and come to the understanding that our members deserve a decent contract.”
Local 258 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers provides quality union representation for 4500 members working in BC’s electric utility, private power line, utility arborist, electrical manufacturing and traffic control industries.