ICBC Union Employees Ready to Drive a New Mandate



ICBC Union Employees Ready to Drive a New Mandate  

Telephone Town Hall Shows Workers Disgruntled With Exec Pay, Net Zero Mandate

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2011

Burnaby – Frustrated and fed up with unresolved issues like workload and wage freezes, over 1,300 unionized employees at ICBC participated in a telephone town hall last night to discuss bargaining with their union, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (MoveUP). MoveUP is about to restart bargaining with the public insurer.

“Telephone town halls are a new method of getting feedback the membership,” says MoveUP President David Black, “and it’s important we check in with our members as we go back into bargaining. We’ve always tried new and innovative means of getting feedback from our members, and I’m happy with the result.”

“The turnout was quite phenomenal – over one in four ICBC members joined the town hall,” said MoveUP Vice President for ICBC, Jeff Gillies. “I’m pleased so many of our members joined us, and I think it reflects how concerned and engaged they are in this upcoming round of negotiations.”

Despite ICBC’s profitability MoveUP members’ wages have been frozen for two years, and B.C. drivers haven’t seen a rebate in over 5 years. But in the last two years, ICBC executives, lawyers, auto body shops and other business partners have all received pay increases. And the provincial government is diverting about a billion dollars out of ICBC’s coffers into general government revenue.

“We heard about many things on our call last night, “said President David Black. “People are struggling under onerous workloads, while the cost of living goes up and their wages stagnate. But at the same time ICBC executives received an average pay increase of 5% last year alone. Our members are angry. They can’t understand why it’s one set of rules for them but another for executives and ICBC business partners.”

The telephone town hall came hot on the heels of an animated online video released by the union, titled Driving a New Mandate, which can be viewed at moveuptogether.ca/icbc-driving-new-mandate. In a light-hearted but straightforward way, the video explains how much of ICBC’s profits are being diverted and distributed, while ICBC workers and B.C. drivers are left out of the dividends.

MoveUP has dates to meet and bargain with ICBC in October.