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NEWS RELEASE · 14th December 2012
Ministry of Energy and Mines
Two tentative agreements have been reached between the BC Oil and Gas Commission and the BCGEU, and BC Hydro and the IBEW Local 258 under the 2012 Mandate, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman announced today.

The tentative agreement was reached between the commission and the BCGEU.

It covers approximately 160 employees working as inspectors, community relations and communications staff, First Nations liaisons, technical advisers, enforcement officers, file clerks, and information technology and human resources personnel at the BC Oil and Gas Commission.

A tentative agreement was reached between BC Hydro and approximately 2,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 258 involved in the electrical and related utility trades at BC Hydro, including power line technicians and electricians, who support the operation and maintenance of the province's electrical system.

Both two-year agreements provide for modest wage increases, which are being funded from savings found within existing budgets, as required under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.

There are now six tentative and ratified agreements at provincial Crown agencies.

The ratification process by the parties will proceed in the coming weeks. Further details on the agreement will be available following the ratification process by members.

The B.C. government has been clear that there is no new money to fund wage increases and there is no desire to download these costs onto families or future generations. The Cooperative Gains Mandate provides public sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases funded from savings within existing budgets, while not adding costs to taxpayers and ratepayers, and not sacrificing services.

Settlements under the 2012 mandate are expected to be unique between sectors and between employers in some sectors.

Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman -

"I am pleased to hear that both BC Hydro and IBEW Local 258, as well as the BC Oil and Gas Commission and its BCGEU employees have reached tentative agreements under the Cooperative Gains Mandate."

"I would like to thank the negotiators on both sides of the table for their hard work in making these agreements happen."

"This and other agreements continue to show that the Cooperative Gains Mandate can lead to negotiated settlements with Crown agencies."

Quick Facts:

* The new 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public sector employers whose collective agreements expired on or after Dec. 31, 2011.

* About 300,000 unionized workers are employed in the public service, at Crown corporations and agencies, and in the kindergarten - Grade 12, post-secondary, health and community social services sectors.

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