Questions surround wage raises under B.C. mandate

Public-sector workers getting raises; it’s hard to say where savings are coming from: Critics
By Melissa Mancini
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 03/18/2013

Public-sector employees in British Columbia can get raises this year, as long as cost savings can be found to cover the increases.

At least that’s how the province’s new collective bargaining mandate is supposed to work. Critics say it’s hard to determine whether this is actually the case.

The new practice is a move from the government’s last collective bargaining mandate, called net zero. Under the former mandate, negotiators could move money from one part of a union’s collective agreement to another. Any increases in one area of the compensation package had to be offset by other parts, according to a backgrounder from the B.C. government.