Finance Minister Mike de Jong reported a substantial surplus for the last fiscal year

B.C. government unions to get ‘modest’ raises

Economic growth exceeds forecast, triggers extra pay for 300,000 teachers, health care and social services staff in February

Most unionized provincial employees in health, education and other jobs will get an extra raise of just under one half of one per cent in February.

About 80 per cent of B.C. public sector unions have signed employment contracts under the province’s “economic stability mandate.” That gives them raises of 5.5 per cent over five years, plus a share of economic growth in each year it exceeds the independent forecast used in the provincial budget.

Statistics Canada has finalized the growth of the B.C. economy at 3.2 per cent for 2014, substantially more than the finance ministry’s independent forecast council estimate of 2.3 per cent. That triggers the contract provision to increase pay for provincial employees by 0.45 per cent starting in February.

In dollar terms, the finance ministry calculates that a grade one medical technologist will see an increase of $300 a year, or $970 over the rest of the contract term. A teacher will get $346 a year, and an education assistant gets $109 a year.

[List of affected unions here.]

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the growth of gross domestic product reflects a strong year for exports and some employment growth in 2014. Business investment was also up 5.4 per cent last year, and there was a 3.5 per cent increase in household consumption spending province-wide.

The outlook for the current year does not look as good for additional increases, he said, but the agreements are “one way” and there are no reductions for employees if the economy under-performs. Over the past 14 years, the B.C. economy has outperformed forecasts about half the time.

The province and its agencies such as universities and Crown corporations employ 387,000 people, of which about 313,000 are unionized. About 20 per cent of those employees have not yet settled agreements under the economic stability mandate, with the largest group being the 42,000-member B.C. Nurses’ Union.

About 10,000 staff at University of B.C., Simon Fraser and University of Victoria have also not signed new agreements.

 

Just Posted

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

The Big Read: Vancouver Island mom calls for more mental health services as son battles OCD

T.W. Paterson column: From ‘Old Dobbin’ to ‘King Gasoline’ — to bust

The late Jack Fleetwood loved to tell how he and his brother Doug bought six used cars — for $10!

Special weather statement forecasts hot weekend ahead on mid Island

Environment and Climate Change Canada advises residents in Nanaimo and Duncan to take precautions

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Readers have plenty to say about Greyhound putting on the brakes

“It is a sad day for a once proud company”

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Most Read