The B.C. government and its employee union have reached five-year tentative agreements for 50,000 workers including community health and community social services workers.
The agreements will see wage increases in four of the five years, plus "Economic Stability Dividends" that will generate added wage increases in years when the provincial GDP growth exceeds projections, market adjustments and contract language to protect jobs.
“We entered into negotiations seeking fair and reasonable wage increases, market adjustments and job security for our members,” says BCGEU president Darryl 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.”
B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the deal, including the economic stability dividends, is a different approach to public-sector negotiations.
"An agreement that, if ratified, would extend for five years is pretty novel by B.C. standards — and an agreement that purports to share the benefits of economic growth is pretty novel by just about any standards."
De Jong says that the deal shows long-term negotiated deals are possible.
The five-year agreements, which still need to be ratified by BCGEU members, would expire on March 31, 2019.