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Relive the CEU’s 40 year anniversary (held in 2014) with this celebratory timeline!
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WCBEU founded with Steve Kershaw as first President

Workers Compensation Board Employees’ Union (WCBEU) certifies 730 Members

95% Strike vote required to secure the first Collective Agreement – 1 year agreement

Steve Kershaw


50% Increase in Membership

50% increase in membership brings new problems

Board expands operations to other locations

Area offices open and Management picks names from a hat to move members – coined the “meat draw”

Management refuses to bargain second Collective Agreement


Bud McLennan
Becomes President

Second collective
agreement finally signed

Gained rights around transfers and relocation

Improved job posting process

Overtime now payable

More objective process for promotions

Bud McLennan


Third Collective Agreement Signed

Achieved LTD for members

Created new employee types that had different
hours of work – A-Type; B-type and C-type


David Haig
Becomes President

David Haig


Ralph Burrows
Becomes President

Ralph Burrows
1979 to 1980


K.C. Jones
Becomes President

K.C. Jones
1980 to 1984


Labour Relations Gets Hot

Labour Relations got hot as disputes arose over wage increments only being granted if you received a favourable performance review.

Union successfully arbitrated the issue and instituted a process that removed bias.


WCB Wage Controls

WCB under the same wage controls on Public Sector Unions

In 1982, through an Order in Council, Government decides to place WCB under the same wage controls that were being imposed on Public Sector Unions.

The infamous Public Sector Employer Council (PSEC) comes into being!


Operation Solidarity Movement

Fresh off a 1983 election win, the
provincial government tabled a series of 26 bills slashing social services, public schools, and the rights of trade unions.

These bills enabled increased governmental control over school boards and colleges, less enforcement of employment standards, the abandonment of the province’s human rights
commission, less Medicare, increased wage control, and the ‘gutting’ of union contracts in the public sector, meaning employees could be fired without cause or in respect to seniority.

A furious backlash took place from unions and other activists that became known as Operation Solidarity. WCBEU members voted 95% to join in the Operation Solidarity Movement


Les Corlett
Becomes President

Employer successfully takes away sick leave payout and fortnight

113 positions declared redundant with office closures announced for Williams Lake; Ft. St. John; Chilliwack and Prince Rupert

WCB froze increment steps blaming government wage controls

Les Corlett
1984 to 1987


Dues Increased to 1%

Union office expenses average $10,000/mth over income. Dues increased to 1%

COLA clause lost at


David Bradshaw
Becomes President

David Bradshaw


Gary Kreller
Becomes President

Member anger at their treatment built up over the years. This resulted in a first strike, yet there was no strike fund. It lasted 3 weeks.

Achieved: Wage increases; Layoff and recall rights; Better temporary employee language (this was 10% of the membership at the time); Vacation increase

Gary Kreller
1989 to 1991


Dues increased by 0.3%

Membership votes to increase dues by 0.3% dedicated to establishing a strike fund.

It cannot be used for any other purpose.

Name Changed to
Compensation Employees’ Union


Bill Hawkins
Becomes President

Bill Hawkins
1991 – 2003


New Collective Agreement

New Collective Agreement gains a Scheduled Day Off Program that gave members 9 extra days off per year by working extra time during the day

LTD language improved

Bumping procedures gained

Members rights under the
discipline process strengthened


Shoe Shop Contracted Out

1,000 outstanding Job Evaluations has Union and members frustrated with JE process

Defence fund established after 1989 strike reached the $1 million dollar mark.

EFAP program established following agreement in last round of Bargaining

Joint Harassment Policy being


Over 80% of Collective
Agreement Being Altered

Bargaining results in over 80% of Collective agreement being altered

Employment Security with Surplus
Language in place

Close to 100% of grievances are denied at Step one which resulted in an increasing backlog of grievances awaiting arbitration.
Over 300 grievances filed.

Board implements first Attendance
Management Policy

Article 5.04 Harassment Policy incorporated into the Collective Agreement

Expedited Job Evaluation Process begins
to get rid of the huge backlog


Job Changes in Claims

Claims Adjudicator to Case Manager; Claims
Officer 1 to CSR; and Claims Officers II to Entitlement Officer.

Board’s position was everyone would need to reapply and qualify for the new jobs. After much negotiation your Union is successful in securing an automatic rollover in to the new job, and an ability to opt “down”.

Assessments Department undergoes significant reorg with new “Employer Services Strategy” implementation

Union meets with Royal Commission on Workers Compensation

E-File system begins to roll out across the Province

Employment security renewed in early renewal bargaining

Expedited Job Evaluation Process begins to get rid of the huge backlog


Program Agreement Signed

Joint Voluntary Return to Work Program Agreement signed

Group life insurance increased to 3 times annual salary

Solved outstanding grievances on art 15.09 that brought 25 temps into permanent jobs

Legal Officers and articling students brought into bargaining unit

Defence fund reaches over$3.5 million

Rehab Center downsizing begins. Ten workshops reduced to four, with eventual closure coming in 2002.


CEU Becomes Part of the
House of Labour

CEU officially becomes part of the House of Labour as membership votes YES to signing an independent affiliation agreement with BCGEU.

CEU becomes active on the BC Federation of Labour Occupational Health & Safety Committee


SDO Program Ends

9 day Scheduled Days Off Program ends (SDO)

13 days ETO program starts

Secured payment for grievers to attend
their arbitration

S-type employee created

Longer restriction period on postings
(coined lock-down)

Lost employment Security

Employer closes Vernon, Campbell River, Williams Lake, Cranbrook after stating in
Bargaining no imminent changes.
About 500 redundancies declared.

Numerous arbitrations on processes agreed
to under the new Article 70.
Union succeeds on majority.


Sandra Wright
Becomes President

Sandra Wright
2003 to 2019


Blue Net Card Gained

Temps can now use seniority when
applying for job postings

Extended benefits lifetime max.
increased to $1 million

Employment Security regained – no layoff, Surplus lists process

Agreement to review Job
Evaluation System and make it Gender Neutral


Significant Increases in Extended Benefits

Significant increases in extended
benefits – paramedical, psychologist, vision care, Dental C; Hearing Aides & others

Grid Collapse from 25 Pay Groupings to 11- results in wage increases for many

Completed Gender Neutral Review of Job Evaluation Plan- results in wage
increases for many

$3700 signing bonus


Improvements in the Posting Process

Delinking of all paramedical under extended benefits results in increased access

White fillings added in dental

PSA testing paid for Moving expenses increase

Letter on the establishment of a
Joint Mental Health Committee

Improvements in the Posting Process

Additional extended family brought in under Bereavement Leave and Serious Illness Leave

R-Type and Graduated Retirement Pilot
agreed to


Achieved a Family Leave

Achieved a Family Leave – Removed
requirement to link to an illness

Introduced Elder care

Clarified rights to apply on temp postings
for those in a job share

Achieved a Letter Of Understanding on
Joint Mental Health Committee

Lost Employment Security- replaced
with bumping process outlined under
article 70- the language that was
arbitrated many times in 2002



2014-2019 Collective Agreement Ratified

CEU Members ratify the 2014-2019 Collective Agreement 1 year after expiry of the earlier contract, following an overwhelming positive strike vote and successful job action within the workplace.


CEU negotiates significant gains

CEU renegotiates and ratifies the 2019 – 2022 Collective Agreement. Significant gains are negotiated to items such as: standby rates of pay; extended benefits levels and coverage; and, the introduction of Workload language into the Collective Agreement.


New CEU President elected

Laura Snow is elected as President of the CEU

Laura Snow
2019 – Present


COVID-19 Pandemic impacts CEU Members

Over 90% of CEU Members begin working from home full-time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEU hosts virtual conferences and an online AGM for the first time in history.

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