The Professional Employees' Association, representing staff at the University of Victoria, has ratified a two-year agreement with the university under the government's mandate, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.
"With about half of public sector employees now covered by negotiated agreements that would have expired in 2010, this ratification is another example of parties reaching a voluntary deal in this difficult economic environment," said Hansen.
The agreement covers more than 810 members of the Professional Employees Association, who include administrative officers, systems specialists, program co-ordinators, academic assistants, laboratory instructors, and many other classifications working in a broad range of university departments and programs.
"I'm happy to hear that UVic's professional employees have ratified an agreement," said Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Minister Moira Stilwell. "These employees fulfill an important role in the operations of our post-secondary system in B.C.; this agreement demonstrates our professional employees' continued commitment to keeping that system running for British Columbians."
Government has already announced its intention to control spending on wages during this round of bargaining. To protect jobs and preserve vital services British Columbians depend on, government does not have any funding for new wage increases as collective agreements are renewed.
There are approximately 310,000 unionized workers in occupations throughout B.C.'s public sector, the great majority of which have agreements that expire between March 31, 2010 and December 31, 2010. Just over half of B.C.'s public sector employees have now re-negotiated agreements that were set to expire in 2010, including major agreements in the health sector and the public service.
Updated bargaining information is available at http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining2010/