Major labour deal reached with B.C. unions 0
Finance Minister Mike de Jong laid out the province’s financial plan on Tuesday in Victoria. (SCREEN GRAB)
British Columbia has signed tentative deals with a massive portion of the province’s public sector workers, giving them at least 5.5% in pay increases within five years.
The agreement signed with the B.C. Government Employees Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Hospital Employees Union, Health Sciences Association and others covers more than 51,000 workers.
The five-year deal includes the possibility of an economic growth-sharing dividend mentioned during last week’s second quarterly report.
Minister of Finance Mike de Jong said the dividend would increase along with the province if it met and exceeded its projected growth once the budget is tabled.
“When the concept is fully explained I haven’t heard from too many people who see that as a negative thing,” de Jong said.
He said the growth goes up about $200 million for each percentage point and the money would be shared with public workers.
BCGEU president Darryl Walker said his union’s bargaining committees have all recommended a yes vote on the deal.
Walker said the growth sharing is uncertain, but pointed out that in six of the last 12 years the union would have gotten more had such a scheme been in place.
“I think that like anything else you take a chance when you sign a collective agreement,” said Walker.