Members of the local chapter of the Professional Employees Association rallied today to call attention to ongoing worker contract bargaining with the province.

Union members rally in Terrace

Terrace members of the Professional Employees Association rallied in front of Skeena MLA Robin Austin's office today.

  • Oct. 16, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Terrace members of the Professional Employees Association rallied today to bring attention to upcoming contract negotiations with the provincial government.

Union officials say members have been working without a contract since March 31 and that bargaining to date has proved unsuccessful.

The union is looking for wage increases for its members and it also wants an eye put on what officials say is a declining number of professionals employed by the province.

There are about 2500 members of the union across B.C. and 21 members in Terrace — each is a professional employed by the province.

Registered psychologists, licensed veterinarians, professional engineers and professional foresters are some of the titles that fall under the designation of professional worker.

Workers haven’t seen wage increases in four out of the last eight years, said local PEA rep Gail Campbell, adding the PEA sees 3 per cent as a fair increase.

We’re concerned about the diminishment of our members,” said Campbell. “We’ve lost 10 per cent of our members in the last two years and 26 per cent in the last decade.”

This can be attributed to a scale back in government workers and professional jobs increasingly being done by technicians, said Campbell.

The difference between a professional and a technician is the level of training, she said, adding a professional designation requires more training than a technical one, often differentiated by university degrees and college diplomas.

Local PEA member Kevin Derow works as a tenures forester for the forest ministry here and says he’s noticed a decline in professionals working in his office in Terrace.

He raised concerns about the government monitoring of forestry practices here, adding many forestry management practices were turned over to the private sector in 2005.

There is still a need for government to monitor the private sector,” he said. “It’s increasingly difficult to do so without highly trained professionals.

It’s more challenging for the public interest to be met effectively if we don’t have enough professional to be monitoring the private sector.”

Contract negotiations have been ongoing with 24 active days of bargaining to date, of which four of those were mediated sessions.

The union is set to sit again with the province at the bargaining table starting tomorrow.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Cullen demands better leadership over salmon crisis

MP urges ground-level cooperation amidst grim estimates of sockeye, chinook returns

Runners get festive in Terrace St. Patricks Day Run

Nearly all decked out in green, more than 160 people ran the first Terrace St Patty’s Day Run today

Junior Rage takes fifth in Super Series

The Terrace 16U girls won five and lost one game, making an impressive comeback in their final match

Terrace daycare at the centre of debate in B.C. Legislature

MLA for Chilliwack-Kent asked if new NDP health tax would apply to daycares like Willow Creek

One more clue to Skeena River tea cup mystery

Longtime Terrace Co-op employee digs out tea cup twin

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Northwest B.C. pellet plant to provide energy to Asia

Pinnalce Renewable Holdings and West Fraser Timber approve construction of plant in Smithers.

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Most Read