VICTORIA, BC, Aug. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Government Licensed Professionals that work for the Province of BC and are members of the Professional Employees Association (PEA) will be taking one-day job action on Monday, August 20, 2012 in five locations: Burns Lake, Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Nelson and Prince George.
BC's Government Licensed Professionals hold professional designations and include: professional foresters, engineers, agrologists, veterinarians, mines inspectors, licensed psychologists and others. Among a wide array of professional services, they provide expert response to floods and landslides, keep bridges and roads safe and provide an independent, science-based perspective in contributing to the stewardship of public resources, such as forests and lands.
Public service professionals taking job action is a first for BC as August 7, 2012 was the first time job action has been taken in the PEA's 38 year history. The PEA has been at the bargaining table with the provincial government since January.
"The main issue for our members is the Government's marginalization of professional practice in the public service," said Scott McCannell, Executive Director of the PEA. "Our professional members have in almost all cases chosen public service because of their commitment to serving the public interest. Without some protections to stop a clear trend of downsizing professionals or replacing them with non-professionals, the public interest will not be served." The number of professionals employed by the Province has decreased by 26% over the last decade and 10% in the last two years.
The PEA is seeking wage increases that match the cost of living. PEA members have been without a wage increase since 2009 and have had wage freezes in two of the last three rounds of bargaining. A market study by a world renowned compensation company shows that PEA wages lag other comparable public sector and private sector professional jobs by between 9 and 43%, depending on profession.
"Government needs to reconsider their position and resume negotiations with a mandate that will allow the parties to reach a fair and reasonable settlement," said McCannell.
About the Professional Employees Association:
The Professional Employees Association (PEA) is a labour union representing professional employees. The PEA represents over 1200 licensed professionals employed directly in BC's public service, including Mines Inspectors, Forest Research Scientists, Bridge and Geotechnical Engineers, Flood Hydrologists, Wildlife Veterinarians, Petroleum Geologists and Foresters.
Find out more about the PEA at http://www.pea.org.
SOURCE: Professional Employees Association
For further information:
Scott McCannell, Executive Director
Direct: 250-385-8791 ext. 202