Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BCGEU members in the public service ratify agreement #bcpoli

Nov. 5, 2012
Ministry of Finance

BCGEU members in the public service ratify agreement

VICTORIA - The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union members working in the public service have ratified a two-year agreement that provides for modest wage increases within existing budgets, Finance minister Michael de Jong announced today.

The new agreement covers approximately 26,000 BCGEU members employed in the B.C. public service working in occupations that provide direct government services, including health care, public safety, social services, environmental management, and others.

Under the agreement, employees will receive four separate one-per-cent wages increases on April 1, 2012, Aug. 15, 2012, April 1, 2013, and Dec. 1, 2013. Savings from existing budgets are being found to fund the increases, in part by undertaking Lean initiatives across the public service.

Lean is a process improvement method that focuses on saving time by removing unnecessary steps in processes and on delivering value to clients. Although the focus is not solely on cost, Lean is a proven technique and by saving time in a process, quality improvements and cost savings are often a result.

There are currently 47 Lean projects underway across government this fiscal year, with each ministry undertaking at least two projects. Most of the projects are in the initial stages, however early results are promising, such as a review of how the Public Service Agency processes long-term-disability applications.

This program supports employees when a disability keeps them from working. The new process is expected to decrease adjudication time by at least 20 per cent. One quick win identified that will result in cost savings has been to enable email applications.

The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after Dec. 31, 2011. The Cooperative Gains Mandate provides public sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases funded from savings found within existing budgets, not adding costs to taxpayers and ratepayers, and not sacrificing services.

Settlements under the 2012 mandate are expected to be unique between sectors and between employers in some sectors.

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