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

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

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Bay man’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Blue Moon Marquee from Duncan will be featured at the 2021 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival on June 28. (Submitted)
Blue Moon Marquee to play Vancouver Jazz Festival

What’s coming up in the A&E scene

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read