A new three-year agreement has been approved by members of the BCGEU working in the public sector.
Over the two week voting period, 71% of eligible members voted. 53.4% voted in favor of the deal.
The agreement was reached with B.C.’s Public Service Agency on September 6.
Year one of the deal will see a flat increase of $0.25/hour, plus a 3.24% wage increase. Year two will see 5.5% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 6.75%. Year three will be 2% plus a potential Cost of Living Adjustment to a maximum of 3%.
“This ratification marks the end of a long, challenging round of bargaining,” said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith, who also serves as Chair of the Public Service Bargaining Committee. “And this agreement is the beginning of a renewed investment in public services and the workers that provide them that will ultimately benefit everyone in B.C. But the result is a clear message from our members that our work is not over.”
BCGEU says other highlights include improvements to occupational health and safety, improvements to mental health in the workplace, employment security, equity and worker’s rights, and improved and more flexible leave provisions
The agreement is now fully in effect, and BCGEU says a number of terms are retroactive to April 1st, 2022.
The previous three-year agreement expired in March of this year. Strike notice was issued once in August, with picketing at liquor distribution warehouses. The strike escalated to an overtime ban and shortly after, bargaining resumed.
Meanwhile, 31,000 public sector BCGEU members are still engaged in bargaining under the Community Social Services, Community Health, Post-secondary instructors and support, and Health Science Professionals agreements.