More than 15,000 community health workers in British Columbia have a new five-year contract in place under the B.C. government's Economic Stability Mandate for 2014 negotiations, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
The Community Bargaining Association is comprised of members of the BC Government and Service Employees Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Hospital Employees Union, CUPE and the PEA.
The association members have ratified the agreement negotiated in November. This agreement was reached four months in advance of the current agreement's expiry on March 31, 2014.
The term of the new agreement is from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019. It provides for a modest 5.5 per cent wage increase over the five years of the term, with potential for additional increases if the B.C. economy exceeds the annual forecasts set by the Economic Forecast Council during the last four years of the agreement.
This agreement covers more than 15,000 community health employees, including home-support workers who help the elderly in their homes, alcohol and drug counsellors, staff at adult-day centres and child-development centres and those working in mental-health group homes.
The 2014 mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2013. Currently, four agreements have been negotiated under the 2014 mandate. Three of them have been ratified and one is still in the ratification process.
The government's Economic Stability Mandate provides public-sector employers the ability to negotiate longer-term agreements within a fixed fiscal envelope, and offers employees an opportunity to participate in the province's economic growth through the Economic Stability Dividend. Settlements are expected to be unique and to reflect priorities negotiated to ensure labour stability and affordable service delivery throughout B.C.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -
"This five-year agreement benefits all British Columbians by ensuring the services provided by those working in the community-health sector will continue to be delivered effectively and at a cost that is affordable to government and taxpayers."
"The new agreement for members of the Community Bargaining Association provides guaranteed modest wage increases for employees, as well as the possibility of additional increases if the province's real GDP growth exceeds forecasts in the last four years of the agreement."
Minister of Health Terry Lake -
"The more than 15,000 community health employees involved in this agreement do important work in this province. They help our seniors continue to live at home, help people recover from addictions to alcohol and drugs, and support people with mental-health challenges."
"This is the second agreement in health reached under this bargaining mandate. I am encouraged by the positive work being achieved at the bargaining tables."
- If the province's real GDP growth exceeds forecasts over the term of the agreement, the agreement provides for the sharing of some benefits of that growth with the public-sector employees who work on behalf of British Columbians and help make that growth possible.
- Under this proposal, employees would receive a conditional, incremental wage increase equal to half of any percentage-point gain in real GDP growth above the Economic Forecast Council's forecast published in the February Budgets.
- For example, if actual real GDP growth is one percentage point above forecast real GDP growth, then a 0.5 per cent wage increase would result, beyond whatever wage increase had been negotiated in the contract.
- About 302,000 unionized employees are working in the public service, at Crown corporations and agencies, and in the K-12, post-secondary, health and community social services sectors.
Updated bargaining information is available at: http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/
Ministry of Finance