More than 14,600 community social service workers in British Columbia have signed a new five year contract under the B.C. government's Economic Stability Mandate for 2014 negotiations, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
The negotiations were between the Community Social Services Employers' Association and the Community Social Services Bargaining Association which represents members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union, CUPE, HEU, HSA and the Canadian Labour Association of Canada.
This agreement was reached four months in advance of the current agreement's expiry on March 31, 2014, and covers unionized employees working in Community Living Services, General Services and Aboriginal Services throughout the community social services sector.
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.
The 2014 mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2013. Currently, there are approximately 71,000 public sector employees covered by ratified agreements negotiated under the Economic Stability Mandate. This represents 23 per cent of all unionized employees in B.C.
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 social services sector will continue to be delivered at an affordable cost that doesn't impinge upon government's ability to deliver balanced budgets.
"I encourage all public sector employers to enter into negotiations as early as possible to reach similar long-term agreements that provide an opportunity for employees to participate in B.C.'s future economic success."
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae -
"Community social service agencies throughout the province provide valuable support to some of our most vulnerable citizens. I appreciate the work done by all parties involved in achieving this long-term agreement."
- 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.
- In the case of a worker earning $50,000 a year, that is an additional $250 per year if the economy outperforms the expectations of the forecast council by one percentage point.
- There are about 311,000 unionized employees 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