By Anthony Capkun
July 14, 2015 – The board of BC Hydro says it and IBEW have ratified an agreement negotiated under British Columbia’s Economic Stability Mandate.
According to IBEW Local 258, this agreement follows “more than a year of difficult negotiations, with both sides being restricted by the constraints of the government’s Economic Stability Mandate”.
The 5-year agreement—effective April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019—covers about 1900 BC Hydro employees who work in electrical and related utility trades, including powerline technicians and electricians who support the operation and maintenance of the province’s grid.
The agreement provides a 5.5% wage increase over the five years of the term with potential for additional increases should the B.C. economy exceed the annual forecasts set by the Economic Forecast Council during the last four years of the agreement.
“The union’s Bargaining Committee was successful in fighting back concessions and other language being put forward by [BC Hydro], a member of the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC),” added IBEW Local 258.
The government says its Economic Stability Mandate gives public-sector employers the ability to negotiate longer-term agreements within a fixed fiscal envelope, and offers employees an opportunity to participate in the province’s economic growth through the Economic Stability Dividend.
Featured in the new agreement is a market review of wages at the two-year stage, explains Local 258, “and the union is looking forward to the opportunity to gain improvements with this mechanism”.