B.C. government, public-sector workers hammer out five-year labour pact

By Tiffany Crawford, www.vancouversun.com December 3, 2013

B.C. government, public-sector workers hammer out five-year labour pact

B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced a tentative 5-year deal has been reached with public-sector workers.
Photograph by: Darryl Dyck , CP

VANCOUVER — BC’s Finance Minister Michael de Jong says a five-year labour deal has been reached with the province’s public-sector workers.

Details of the tentative agreements, which affect 51,000 workers, are vague but de Jong says they will include modest fixed wage increases.

The deal covers a five-year term from April 1, 2014 to March 2019.

De Jong said if ratified, the agreements settled months before the contracts are up would be a “novel” step for B.C.

“It’s unprecedented… Longer-term agreements are possible,” de Jong told a news conference in Vancouver Tuesday.

“Five years of stability for taxpayers, for workers — that’s good news for B.C.”

BCGEU president Darryl Walker said the executive approved the early talks with the government.

“We entered into negotiations seeking fair and reasonable wage increases, market adjustments and job security for our members,” said Walker. “In these uncertain economic times these tentative agreements are an investment in public services in our province and the women and men who deliver them.”

The five-year tentative agreements include:

• wage increases in four of the five years of the agreement;

• market adjustments in all three sectors;

• job protection language;

• in addition to the negotiated wage increases, an economic stability dividend will generate added wage increases in years when the provincial GDP growth exceeds projections.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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