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NEWS RELEASE · 13th May 2010
Ministry of Finance
An agreement has been ratified with the Province's professional employees on a two-year contract extension under the Province's 2010 negotiating framework, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

The agreement covers about 1,400 members of the Professional Employees Association, who provide professional expertise in a wide variety of occupations that ensure British Columbians continue to enjoy the services they rely on including health care, public safety and environmental management.

"The progress we're seeing shows that negotiators on both sides of the table understand the Province's fiscal situation and need for restraint," said Hansen. "With about half of public-sector employees now covered by negotiated agreements that would have expired in 2010, this ratification is another example of parties reaching a voluntary deal in this difficult economic environment."

The agreement is a two-year extension of the existing 13th Master Agreement and meets the Province's "net zero" mandate. Union members ratified the agreement today

"B.C. Public Service professional employees both support and deliver a wide range of services to the public," said Citizens' Services Minister Ben Stewart. "The ratification of this agreement demonstrates our professional employees' continued commitment to delivering those services to British Columbians."

The BC Public Service is an award-winning employer with national recognition. The BC Public Service was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers and Canada's Most Family Friendly Employers in 2010 and was named one of B.C.'s top 55 employers for the third consecutive year.

Government has already announced its intention to control spending on wages during this round of bargaining. To preserve vital services British Columbians depend on, government does not have any funding for new wage increases as collective agreements are renewed.

More than 200,000 workers are covered by contracts that expire between March 31, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010.

Updated bargaining information is available at http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining2010.