Real progress continues to be made under the B.C. government’s Economic Stability Mandate for 2014 public sector negotiations, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
The first tentative agreement has been reached with a Crown corporation, and two agreements were ratified in the health and post-secondary education sectors. More than 150,000 public-sector employees are now covered by tentative or ratified agreements under the Economic Stability Mandate. Overall, this represents almost half of all unionized public-sector employees in B.C.
BC Hydro and COPE Local 378 have reached a five-year tentative agreement that covers approximately 1,750 administrative, financial and technical employees involved in planning, operating and maintaining the province’s power transmission and generation system. Further information will be available when the agreement is ratified by the parties.
The Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) ratified its agreement with the Health Employers’ Association of B.C., which covers approximately 43,600 unionized employees working in diverse areas of the health sector, including care aides, paramedics, dispatchers, ambulance drivers, cleaners and lab assistants, as well as nursing unit assistants and administrative/support staff.
The FBA consists of members of the Hospital Employees’ Union, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), as well as several other unions.
BCGEU Local 701 at Camosun College has ratified a five-year contract that covers 134 faculty members at the Lansdowne and Interurban campuses.
Both the FBA and BCGEU Local 701 ratified agreements are from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019, and provide a modest 5.5% wage increase over the five years of each of the terms, 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 agreements.
The government’s Economic Stability Mandate provides public-sector employers with 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. Settlements are expected to be unique between sectors and reflect government’s priorities of having labour stability, affordable service delivery and a balanced budget.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -
“These agreements show that when parties come to the bargaining table with reasonable expectations it is possible to reach deals that benefit employees and employers, and are affordable for taxpayers.”
“We are making steady progress towards five years of labour stability as more agreements continue to be reached and ratified in multiple sectors. Almost half of all unionized public sector employees are now covered by ratified or tentative agreements negotiated under the Economic Stability Mandate.”
Minister of Health Terry Lake -
“Under this agreement, British Columbia will now be able to fully explore community paramedicine. B.C.'s paramedics are health professionals with much to offer the overall health care system. Finding innovative ways to use their skills will allow for better health-care options - and better career opportunities for paramedics themselves.”
Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk -
“This is the first agreement covering faculty ratified under the Economic Stability Mandate. I would like to thank Camosun college and the BCGEU Local 701, which represents faculty, for working so hard to make this agreement happen.”
Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett -
“I applaud BC Hydro and COPE 378 for reaching a tentative agreement that will help keep rates as low as possible and ensure BC Hydro has the skilled and dedicated workforce necessary to make investments in our electricity system that will support our growing population and economy.”
- The new 2014 Economic Stability Mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expired on or after Dec. 31, 2013.
- If the province’s real GDP growth exceeds forecasts over the terms of these agreements, the agreements provide 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 budget.
- For example if real GDP growth is one percentage point above forecast real GDP growth, then a 0.5% wage increase would result, beyond whatever wage increase had been negotiated in the contract.
- There are ratified agreements in place between the BCGEU and the Public Service, with Community Health, Community Social Services and the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association, the Facilities Bargaining Association and tentative agreements with K-12 support staff represented largely by CUPE and with BCGEU at four colleges in the postsecondary sector.
Updated bargaining information is available at: http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Energy and Mines
Ministry of Advanced Education
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)