Another of the provinces’ festering, public sector wage disputes appears to have been put to rest.
Negotiators representing 4,600 employees at the Insurance Corporation of B.C. announced Friday that they will recommend union members accept terms of a new, tentative four-year deal with the publicly owned auto insurance company.
Members of Local 378 of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union had been staging sporadic job action since the summer to press their contract demands, including an overtime ban, selective walkouts and reducing workload levels to those established in 1996.
“Our members did a great job of keeping pressure on the employer, while minimizing impacts to the public,” local president David Black said, in a news release. “Our gains are a direct credit to our members.”
The union bulletin pointed to increased maternity and parental leave, the company’s commitment to a new workload study, maintaining “gain-sharing” contract language and added provisions for working from home.
However, the wage settlement does not include cost-of-living adjustments the union had sought for the first two years of the contract,
Instead, the union agreed to the government’s “net zero” mandate for those years, while accepting a four per cent pay hike over the following two years.
The proposed wage increases, applied in four, staggered boosts of one per cent, are similar to those accepted recently by more than 25,000 government employees belonging to the B.C. Government Service and Employees’ Union.
“They will keep our members from falling further behind and they will, at long last, get maternity and parental leave top-up,” Mr. Black said.
The union’s strike action was the first at ICBC in more than 30 years.
In recent months, teachers, nurses, doctors, direct government employees and now ICBC workers have agreed to new contracts.