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Wage protection against inflation part of BCGEU’s three-year collective agreement

53.4 per cent of eligible members who cast ballots voted to ratify the deal
BCGEU members in the cannabis and liquor distribution industry rallied outside Finance Minister Selina Robinson on April 14, 2021. (LDB Anonymous/Twitter)

The biggest union representing public service workers in British Columbia has ratified a new collective agreement with the provincial government that includes wage protection against inflation.

The B.C. Government Employees’ Union says 53.4 per cent of eligible members who cast ballots voted to ratify the deal that followed two weeks of strikes and eight months of negotiating.

The union has more than 30,000 members including people working in social services, environmental management, corrections and liquor stores.

It says in addition to wage protection, the three-year agreement includes improvements to occupational health, safety and mental health in the workplace, employment security and equity.

The B.C. government says in a statement the deal includes various pay adjustments for select occupations to respond to recruitment and retention challenges and will protect health care and other services.

It says wage increase includes a flat raise of 25 cents per hour plus 3.24 per cent in the first year, plus up to 6.75 per cent in the second year and three per cent in the third.

Another 0.25 per cent “flexibility allocation” is possible in each of the first two years too.

Among the other agreements, the government says a provision gives Indigenous employees access to paid leave to engage in cultural and language activities.

RELATED: BCGEU, province reach tentative deal in collective bargaining after 2 weeks of job action