Provincial Bargaining Update #5
April 7, 2022 Provincial wage offers to public sector unions
Earlier today, the B.C General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) announced that it’s bargaining committee has declared an impasse in bargaining with its employer- B.C’s Public Service Agency. K-12 Support Workers stand in solidarity with BCGEU and its members across the province in this critical stage of their bargaining.
We can confirm the monetary offer made to the BCGEU- which they made pubic with a communication to their membership- is the same tabled by the B.C Public School Employers’ Association with the K-12 bargaining committee last week.
The BCPSEA’s latest wage proposal is for a three-year agreement, with general wage increases in each year- 1.75 percent in the first year plus a $0.25 per-hour rate increase, 2 percent in the second year, and 2 percent in the third year. It also includes a prorated $1,000 signing bonus.
The K-12 bargaining committee has been clear that the starting point to addressing the needs of school support workers are wage increases that reflect the rising cost-of-living in line with current inflation rates. The BCPSEA proposal falls far short.
In the February throne speech, the provincial government committed to “leave no worker behind.” The BCPSEA wage offer does not live up to this commitment and does not address the mounting financial pressures being faced by school support workers and their families. Rising costs of housing, groceries, childcare, energy and other essentials means it’s becoming unaffordable for school support workers to continue to live and thrive in the communities they serve. They must do better.
The K-2 bargaining committee is committed to continuing our bargaining with BCPSEA. Our collective agreements do not expire until the end of June, so we are not at the same stage of bargaining as the BCGEU.
Local bargaining remains paused until we reach a provincial framework agreement. We remain hopeful a provincial framework agreement centred on a fair wage settlement can be reached that reflects the value and importance of our work to students, families, and communities.
We will continue to work closely with our union allies to achieve fair contracts for all public sector workers, who have been on the frontlines serving our province every day throughout the pandemic.