PEA members ratify tentative agreement with the BC Public Service

VICTORIA, Dec. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Professional Employees Association (PEA) members who work for the BC Public Service have ratified a two-year tentative agreement. Members voted 92 per cent in favour of accepting the agreement.

The two-year agreement expires March 31, 2014.  Wages will increase four per cent over the term of the agreement and there are improvements in professional fee reimbursement. A joint committee on licensed professionals in the public service is established. This joint committee entails various commitments of the employer to engage in meaningful, information-based discussions with the PEA about the role of professionals in the public service. The B.C. public service has reduced the number of licensed professionals by 26 per cent over the past decade.

"This agreement provides some modest improvements for our members and provides the PEA with opportunity to impress upon Government the serious impact on public safety and stewardship of public resources that results from shedding professional PEA members who work for the BC Public Service," said Executive Director, Scott McCannell.  "This was a very challenging round of bargaining where PEA members took job action for the first time in their 38-year history because of concerns about the impact of government continuing to shed professionals in the public service."

PEA members who work for the BC Government are licensed professionals including: foresters, engineers, geoscientists, agrologists, veterinarians, mines inspectors, licensed psychologists, pharmacists and others. They provide expert response to floods and landslides, keep public highway bridges and roads safe, counsel troubled youth, help prevent the transmission of disease and provide an independent, science-based perspective in contributing to the stewardship of public resources, such as forests and lands.

The GLP bargaining committee would like to thank members' for their patience and engagement over the past year throughout the collective bargaining process.

SOURCE: Professional Employees Association

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