Stronger than forecast economic growth of 3.3% in 2015 will give unionized employees throughout B.C.’s public sector a modest salary increase from the Economic Stability Dividend, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
Statistics Canada data shows the B.C. economy grew by 3.3% in 2015, exceeding the Budget 2015 forecast of 2.6% provided by the Economic Forecast Council (EFC). The wage increase is calculated based on 50% of the positive difference between the EFC forecast for real GDP growth and the data released by Statistics Canada. That means approximately 310,000 unionized provincial public-sector employees covered by agreements settled under government’s Economic Stability Mandate will receive an additional pay increase of 0.35% starting February 2017.
This is the second Economic Stability Dividend activated by above-forecast growth. Last fiscal year, public-sector employees received a 0.45% increase. Both dividends are ongoing and cumulative in employees’ compensation. Combined, the two dividends amount to an additional 0.8% over the remaining terms of agreements, in addition to the 5.5% general wage increases negotiated as part of the mandate.
Government committed to introducing a shared benefit with public-sector employees as part of the 2014 Economic Stability Mandate. By settling longer-term agreements, the Province benefits from greater labour stability that contributes to economic growth.
Since 2014, the Province has reached tentative or ratified agreements with public-sector unions representing about 99.9% of all unionized employees.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong –
“For the second year in a row, the benefit of B.C.’s strong economy is again reflected in a specific gain for public-sector workers who have helped make that growth possible. While modest, this permanent, ongoing pay increase acknowledges the important role these employees and long-term labour stability play in supporting B.C.’s strong economy.”
- This is the second of four potential Economic Stability Dividends designed to share the benefit of higher-than-forecast economic growth with the public-sector workers who help make it possible.
- The increase is cumulative, and is in addition to a basic wage increase of 5.5% over five years negotiated in each agreement under the 2014 Economic Stability Mandate.
- The dividend is paid if the Province’s real GDP growth exceeds EFC forecasts in the last four years of each negotiated agreement.
Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (PSEC): http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining/index.htm
PSEC supports government in setting and co-ordinating strategic directions in human resource management and labour relations for the broad public sector.
A backgrounder follows.