Robust B.C. economy results in pay raise for public sector workers

Public sector workers will receive a modest 0.75 per cent wage increase beginning in February

Unionized government employees are about to the reap the benefits of a robust B.C. economy.

Statistics Canada says B.C. economy grew 3.8 per cent in 2017, exceeding the provincial budget forecast of 2.3 per cent provided by the Economic Forecast Council (EFC). The Ministry of Finance says that has triggered an economic growth-sharing clause, officially known as the Economic Stability Dividend (ESD), in government contracts which will result in public sector workers receiving a 0.75 per cent wage increase beginning in February.

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Economic Stability Dividend was negotiated in 2014 as part of B.C.’s Economic Stability Mandate. To activate the ESD clause, real gross domestic product growth for B.C. must exceed the forecast provided by the independent EFC for the calendar year.

“The wage increase is calculated based on 50 per cent of the positive difference between the EFC forecast for real GDP growth and actual growth as reported by Statistics Canada,” the ministry said.

The ESD clause has been triggered every year since the deal was reached, resulting in a pay raise of 1.95 per cent for unionized workers, that is on top of the baseline 5.5 per cent wage increase that was included in the mandate.

Wages are not rolled back if B.C.’s economic growth falls short of the budget forecast.

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