Stable economic growth pays dividends to BC public-sector employees

imageBritish Columbia’s public-sector workers will see a modest salary increase reflecting stronger-than-expected economic growth in 2014, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced on Tuesday.

Statistics Canada recently reported that the BC economy grew by 3.2% in 2014, exceeding the forecast provided by the independent Economic Forecast Council of 2.3%. That translates into an additional increase of 0.45% for unionized provincial public-sector employees who have reached agreements under the government’s Economic Stability Mandate for collective bargaining.

“The premise is simple – public-sector employees did their part to support a strong economic future by providing labour stability and certainty for British Columbia,” said Finance Minister Mike de Jong. “And they deserve to share in the benefits when economic growth exceeds expectations. While global economic uncertainty continues, the BC economy has proven its resilience and outperformed expectations.”

Most employees will see the increase applied to their paycheques in February 2016. This will be the first time BC public-sector employees have directly benefited from economic growth that exceeded independent forecasts.

As part of the 2014 Economic Stability Mandate, government committed to introducing a shared benefit that activates an ongoing wage increase when GDP growth exceeds Economic Forecast Council forecasts. The wage increase is calculated based on 50% of the positive difference between the EFC forecast and the data released by Statistics Canada.

Since 2014, the Province has reached tentative and ratified agreements with public-sector unions representing over 250,000 employees, or about 80% of all unionized employees. BC’s real GDP growth of 3.2% for 2014 is the second highest among all provinces.

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