FACTSHEET: How cooperative gains differs from net zero

Friday, March 23, 2012 10:12 AM

  • Under the 2010 Net-Zero Mandate, negotiators were seeking to move money from one part of the compensation package to another - any improvements in a collective agreement had to be offset by savings generated from changes to other parts of the collective agreement. Under net zero, there were no net increases in compensation.
  • In the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate, cost savings found outside of the collective agreement can be applied to contract improvements.
  • The key feature of the Cooperative Gains Mandate is that it provides public sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases through productivity gains or through savings within existing budgets, resulting in actual increases in compensation.
  • Employer savings plans can propose savings that are much broader than under the previous Net Zero Mandate. For instance, employers will be looking for changes in how work is performed, efficiencies, productivities, cost reductions or new revenues that will support compensation increases without additional government funding. 
  • Collective agreement improvements are not limited to wage increases, but could also include job security provisions, benefit plan changes or other improvements that are attractive to employees.
  • Public-sector employers are working closely with respective ministries to determine eligible savings that can be used at the bargaining tables with unions.
  • Collective agreements reached under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate must not add pressure to government's bottom line, must not add costs for taxpayers and ratepayers, and must not sacrifice services to British Columbians. 
  • Any savings proposed by employers under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate must undergo a savings review process performed by the Ministry of Finance.
  • Negotiations under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate are underway across B.C.'s public sector, including with the public service, at the health-sector tables and in community social services.


Janet Stewart
Ministry of Finance
250 356-9872

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