Our next Union meeting will be:
Meetings are held at the Union Hall,
Unit 27 – 8980 Fraserwood Court, Burnaby.
The GVRD Employees Union was certified in 1946, but existed under other banners before that, and serves the employees of Metro Vancouver (formerly the Greater Vancouver Regional District). As the region grew, and more and more office staff were hired, a second union, the VMREU (Vancouver Municipal and Regional Employees’ Union) was formed, which grew into a large union, but was later dissolved into Teamsters 31 and CUPE 15.
Our Union continued to serve the outside workers of Metro Vancouver. Today, we represent well over 500 Members, with seasonal peaks near 650, as Metro Vancouver Operations hires summer temporary workers. We represent Members who work in the operation and maintenance of water treatment, distribution and disinfection; watershed management; watershed security; social housing across the region; regional parks; wastewater collection and treatment; and construction.
The GVRD Employees’ Union has several programs and services available to its Members. First and foremost, we represent, when requested, the Members in any dealings they may have with Metro Vancouver Management, as under law, the Union is the sole bargaining agent for all of its Members. Also, we produce Membership information bulletins during Bargaining, a custom made calendar featuring our Members, a scholarship award for students, and every year we invite Santa to a party for our Members’ children. Less directly, we actively educate our Shop Stewards by enrolling them in courses in the Labour Movement through Capilano College Labour Studies program, in order to increase their ability to provide reliable information to the Membership at large and effectively represent them to management.
We negotiate our own Collective Agreements. The President of the Union (elected from the Membership) has taken many courses in labour negotiations and as well has had several years of experience at the bargaining table, in Labour Relations Board hearings, labour arbitrations and in mediation. The Bargaining Committee is also elected from the Membership, and also includes the rest of the Executive, most of whom have also sat for many years at the bargaining table, and all of whom have led this Union through various forms of labour dispute, in addition to successful Collective Agreement bargaining. We see clear advantages to in house bargaining, not the least of which is economics; additionally, as the bargaining committee all come from the Membership, they will have to live and work under the terms and conditions of the new collective agreement that they have negotiated and endorsed, alongside of their fellow Members to whom they made the endorsement.