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NEWS RELEASE · 16th January 2013
Ministry of Energy and Mines
BC Hydro, IBEW Local 258 and COPE Local 378 members have now ratified two-year agreements under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman announced today.

The agreements provide modest wage increases funded from savings found within existing budgets, as required by the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.

More than half of the people working in B.C.'s public sector now have tentative or ratified agreements settled under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. This represents about one-third of all agreements.

Ratification occurred in mid-December for approximately 2,000 COPE Local 378 members employed as administrative staff and financial analysts, as well as technical and environmental specialists involved in planning, operating and maintaining the province's power system.

Members of the IBEW recently ratified their agreement. There are about 2,000 IBEW Local 258 members employed in electrical and related utility trades, including power line technicians and electricians, who support the operation and maintenance of the province's electrical system.

BC Hydro's board has also ratified the agreements.

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 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate provides public-sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases funded from savings within existing budgets, 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.

Quotes:

Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman -

"These ratifications by BC Hydro's board, IBEW Local 258 and COPE Local 378 mean that bargaining under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate at BC Hydro is now concluded."

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

Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -

"These agreements show the significant progress that is being made under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. More than half of unionized employees are now covered under negotiated settlements, despite the tough fiscal environment."

"This mandate gives employers and unions the opportunity to find creative solutions, and this means no two settlements are going to be alike. We are going to see unique settlements in every sector and with each employer."

Quick Facts:

* The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public sector employers whose collective agreements expire 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.

Learn More: Updated bargaining information is available at:
http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining/index.htm