Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I don’t know where you sit within those wage averages, but I know where I do



I had to do a bit of digging to find out the following information about recent BCGEU contracts negotiated with the provincial government.

For starters, here’s a reminder of what the BCGEU negotiated with the BC Liberals in 2006:

  1. an average wage increase of 10 percent over four years
  2. additional market and recruitment and retention pay for targeted classifications
  3. AND a signing bonus of at least $4,019.40 for full-time employees (pro-rated for part-time employees)

The BCGEU also negotiated to have:
  • improvements to health and welfare benefits
  • improvements to premiums and allowances
  • additional wage increases for positions that had led to recruitment and retention problems
  • additional wage increases for workers the union & government agreed had been undervalued

The current two year agreement, which is now ending, was indeed for 0 and 0% wage increases … but again that was following what many would consider a very generous offer they had received in the 2006 contract.

Today the BCGEU members went out on a one day strike because … wait for it … they want more.  More than the 3.5% wage increase the government has offered for the coming 2 years.

IF this offer does eventually get accepted, this will mean that the average BCGEU member, for the time period of 2006 to 2014, will have received average wage increase of 13.5% … or 1.7% annually.  PLUS … don’t forget that $4,000 signing bonus.

Okay, I know this has been a bunch of number, but it is leading to something, and here it is:
... the average annual wage for workers in BC is $44,749
... the average salary for a BCGEU member is currently $62,252 per year

I don’t know where you sit within those wage averages, but I know where I do – and I think that BCGEU members are getting a good deal now, never mind an increase of 3.5%.

What are your thoughts?

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops, with the thoughts of one conservative.
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