Interim contract agreement reached for government employees

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The British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union and the Public Service Agency say a tentative agreement has been negotiated for more than 30,000 unionized government workers in the province.

The Public Service Agency says the agreement covers workers who provide basic government services, such as social services, environmental management and public safety, including sheriffs and corrections officers.

The agreement also covers unionized members of the Liquor Distribution Branch, as well as certain employees of the BC Pension Corporation, Destination BC and the Royal BC Museum.

The agency says the deal was brokered under the shared recovery mandate, supporting key government priorities to improve public services and the health care system, while supporting the continued economic recovery of Province.

The PSA asked the BCGEU to return to the negotiating table at the end of August; more than five weeks after talks collapsed in July.

BCGEU President Stephanie Smith said the 95% strike vote, nearly two weeks on strike and nine straight days at the bargaining table gave union members a peek at the government offer.

Smith says she is proud of the work of the bargaining committee and the hundreds of members who walked the picket lines and refused overtime to support their demands.

The union wanted a contract that offered wage increases and wage protection against rising costs.

The BCGEU indicates that the dates for the ratification vote will be confirmed in the coming days.

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