Ministry of Advanced Education, Economy Sector, Education Sector, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region, Kootenay Rockies Region, Northern B.C. Region, Provincewide, Thompson / Okanagan Region, Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region, Vancouver Island / Coast Region

Two support staff agreements ratified

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Economy, Education Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:00 AM


VICTORIA - The board of the Post-Secondary Employers' Association (PSEA) has ratified two support staff agreements reached under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate, Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology Minister John Yap announced today.

Each four-year agreement includes zero per cent wage increases for the first two years, consistent with the 2010 Net Zero Mandate, and four staged increases of one per cent over the third and fourth years, funded from savings found within existing budgets as required under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.

More than half of the people working in B.C.'s public sector now have tentative or ratified agreements settled under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. This represents about one-third of agreements.

Following local ratification by union members and college boards, the PSEA board provided the final sign-off on the agreements between College of New Caledonia and CUPE Local 4951, and Douglas College and its BCGEU Local 703. These agreements cover about 1,200 staff working in a variety of positions ranging from information technology, administration and lab support workers, to library technicians, facilities and other services that support students and the institutions.

The PSEA reached a template compensation agreement in December for support staff on behalf of 12 participating colleges and institutes, and their respective unions - including the BCGEU, CUPE and COPE - which organized as an association for the purposes of these negotiations. These two support staff agreements adopt that template.

The B.C. government has been clear that there is no new money to fund wage increases and there is no desire to download these costs onto families or future generations. The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate provides public-sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases funded from savings within existing budgets, not adding costs to taxpayers and ratepayers, and not sacrificing services.

Settlements under the 2012 mandate are expected to be unique between sectors and between employers in some sectors.

Quotes:

Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology John Yap -

"These agreements show that the Cooperative Gains Mandate is working and savings can be found within existing budgets to fund modest wage increases."

"I would like to recognize the efforts of the College of New Caledonia and Douglas College in reaching these agreements."

Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -

"More than half of unionized employees in B.C.'s public sector are now covered under negotiated settlements, despite the tough fiscal environment. These agreements show significant progress is being made under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate."

"This mandate gives employers and unions the opportunity to find creative solutions, and this means no two settlements are going to be alike. We are going to see unique settlements in every sector and with each employer."

Quick Facts:

  • The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2011.
  • About 300,000 unionized workers are employed in the public service, at Crown corporations and agencies, and in the K-12, post-secondary, health and community social services sectors.

Learn More:

Updated bargaining information is available at: http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/

Media Contacts:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Finance
250 356-2821

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology
250 952-6508

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