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Agreement reached with members of Professional Employees Association in public service

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:45 PST, Wed November 23, 2022

Members of the Professional Employees Association (PEA) employed by the B.C. Public Service have ratified a new agreement under government's Shared Recovery Mandate.

The PEA represents nearly 1,300 people working as foresters, engineers, agrologists, geoscientists, psychologists, and others throughout B.C.

Key priorities of the 2022 mandate include:

• protecting the services that people in British Columbia depend on;

• improving health care and preparing for future needs and challenges; and

• supporting a strong economic recovery that includes everyone in B.C.

Negotiations are focused on providing a fair and reasonable offer to public-sector workers that includes significant inflation protection, while ensuring that government has the resources to continue to invest in building a stronger province for everyone.

The ratified agreement includes a three-year term and a negotiable “flexibility allocation” of up to 0.25 per cent in the first two years to support mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties.

It also includes general wage increases of:
• Year 1: a flat increase of $0.25 per hour, which provides a greater percentage increase for lower paid employees plus 3.24 per cent

• Year 2: 5.5 per cent plus a potential cost of living adjustment to a maximum of 6.75 per cent

• Year 3: two per cent plus a potential cost of living adjustment to a maximum of three per cent

Important achievements for both the parties in these negotiations include recruitment and retention issues addressed by improvements to wage grids and hiring practices.

Other language to support employee health, safety, and mental health in the workplace were also negotiated, in addition to provisions that provide Indigenous employees with access to paid leave to engage in activities that connect them to their culture and language.

Currently, there are more than 230,000 public-sector employees covered by tentative or ratified agreements reached under B.C.'s Shared Recovery Mandate.

To learn about public sector bargaining in B.C., visit gov.bc.ca/psecbargaining.

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