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CRD services impacted as staff walk picket lines in Williams Lake

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BCGEU employees have started strike action outside of the Cariboo Regional District office in Williams Lake May 13, 2024. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) employees are on strike May 13 in Williams Lake in front of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) office.

Services are being impacted in Williams Lake as members walk with picket signs and flags after members voted to reject the CRD’s offer on Friday, May 10, for an 11 per cent raise over three years.

The CRD issued a news release May 13 as well, noting picket lines have only been set up at the Williams Lake office and the CRD’s other offices have not been impacted.

“The situation may change daily. We will continue providing updates as information becomes available, and will provide information about any locations which are being impacted by picketing,” noted the release.

Regular CRD business will continue to be conducted from the Quesnel and 100 Mile House offices.

Fire Departments will not be affected, because they are staffed by volunteer firefighters and contract fire chiefs, and will continue with training and fire protection efforts.

Landfills and transfer stations will not be impacted because they are operated by independent contractors, whose employees are not party to the CRD’s collective agreement with BCGEU. Transfer stations and landfills will continue to operate at regular hours, and services will not be impacted by the strike, noted the release.

Operations, maintenance, and emergency repairs will continue to be provided to customers of the CRD’s 16 water and sewer systems. Please note that emergencies can be reported after hours by calling 1-800-665-1636 and select option 5 from the automated menu.

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue will operate normally, as it is staffed by volunteers.

The Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will still function in the event of an emergency. Work will also continue to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season and respond to current wildfire activity.

CRD libraries remain closed to the public though library staff with scheduled shifts are continuing to work. Libraries were closed on May 9 to ensure the safety of staff in rural and remote areas in the event of a full walk-out, and will remain closed until further notice. Library support services staff working from the Williams Lake office are participating in the current picket line.

The following services are impacted by the picket lines in Williams Lake:

Board meetings will continue for the duration of the strike. Agendas and minutes for Board Meetings are available online through the CRD website. Livestreamed audio will also be available for the duration of the board meeting, however no recordings of these meetings will be available afterwards. Please note that an active picket line should be expected for the duration of the strike, and access to the board room may be impacted.

Building Permit Applications

Williams Lake only:

Building permits can be submitted digitally to building@cariboord.ca. Due to limited staffing, no customer support is available to assist in completing Building Permit Applications.

Visit the Building Department’s web page at www.cariboord.ca/building to find out what is required as part of your permit application.

Building Permit processing will be completed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Quesnel and 100 Mile House:

No impacts. Building permit applications and supporting documents can be submitted and processed at 100 Mile House and Quesnel offices.

Building Inspection Requests

Building inspection services will not be accessible from our Williams Lake office due to the strike. Building Inspection staff working from the Quesnel and 100 Mile House offices will continue to complete building inspections and file reviews as scheduled.

For more information on how to access services, go to the CRD website.

READ MORE: Union rejects Cariboo Regional District’s Final Offer ahead of strike

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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