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    • 18 OCT 18
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    Bargaining: The Realities of Round 18

    Bargaining: The Realities of Round 18

    As the FSA’s Collective Agreement Committee ramps up our preparations for bargaining, we are learning more about the political realities facing public sector unions in this round of bargaining.

    “The expectations will be high among unionized workers, because they have a more friendly government in Victoria, but that involves some very large expenditures, and this is a government that is going to be cautious about those kinds of things. So, it’s not going to be an easy round of negotiations. They’d like the workers to get a little more money, but if the government makes an exception for one group, there’s a dozen others in line behind them, saying they should have an exception.” Mark Thomson, Professor, UBC. Source: CBC.

    At the time of posting this, the BC government has settled a few influential agreements with the public service. All of these agreements have complied with the Public Sector Employers’ Council mandate. From those sources and our relationships with the broader BC labour community, we’ve learned that pattern looks like this:

    • Wage increases of 2% per year for 3 years
    • Small amounts of money available for low wage redress
    • Small amounts of money available for labour market adjustment
    • Minor improvements to benefits
    • “Modest funding” for service improvements (innovations, modernizations, efficiencies)
    • Willingness to consider changes relating to equity and inclusion and the implementation of UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

    What we don’t know still is:

    • What does low wage redress look like in post-secondary education
    • How are benefit improvements costed
    • How much room will be allowed for bargaining that addresses the local needs of an institution
    • What are the equity impacts of our collective agreement provisions

    With salary increases still not keeping pace with inflation, the mandate provides little room to move. The FSA seeks outstanding employment conditions for all of our members. We know that conditions for many members are far from outstanding. We will fight in this round of bargaining to make gains that support your commitment to providing high-quality, public education. Making the gains that our members need will be very difficult within this mandate.

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