Government announces new negotiating framework for public sector contracts

DAWSON CREEK – The BC Government released a new negotiating framework so public sector contracts can be settled in a more flexible and creative manner.

The new framework is supported by $5.7-billion in funding that will support public sector compensation agreements through 2009/2010. It replaces the previous mandate but still ensures that affordability, sustainability and better services for taxpayers? dollars are the guiding principles for compensation agreements.

?This is a very innovative and progressive framework that we have laid out for the upcoming negotiations,? said Lekstrom. ?Our public sector workers are among the best in the country and they are going to be compensated appropriately.?

The framework doesn?t set down specific, across-the-board annual percentage increases, rather it provides for flexibility in compensation agreements to vary due to specific and relevant labour market conditions.

?The new framework is only possible because of the tremendous growth our economy has experienced over the past few years,? says Lekstrom. ?The framework, and the amount of money that is available for new compensation packages, recognizes the contribution public sector workers had in our province?s economic turn-around.?

The new framework also promotes certainty and stability through innovative features that encourage agreements to be reached early and that those agreements last four years. Collective agreements for nearly 90 per cent of public sector employees will be up for renewal over the next eight months. For more information, visit Blair Lekstrom?s web site: