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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd June 2010
Ministry of Finance
BC Transit's members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees (COPE) have ratified their agreement reached under the Province's 2010 mandate, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

"I'm pleased with the progress that negotiators are making having reached one more agreement within our current mandate," said Hansen. "While the signs of economic recovery are certainly encouraging, fiscal restraint is still needed until government revenues increase and I think negotiators on both sides of the table recognize that."

There are about 125 members of COPE Local 378 who are administrative workers and financial analysts, as well as technical and communications specialists. Members voted to ratify the agreement on June 17.

"I'm pleased that these important members of BC Transit's team have ratified their contract," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond. "These employees help keep transit services moving for British Columbians."

"I'd like to congratulate the negotiators of both the company and the union for their hard work in securing an agreement," said Manuel Achadinha, CEO of BC Transit. "This agreement recognizes the value of transit as a sustainable transportation option."

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

There are approximately 310,000 unionized workers in occupations Throughout B.C.'s public sector, the great majority of which have agreements that expire between March 31, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010. Just over half of B.C.'s public sector employees have now re-negotiated agreements that were set to expire in 2010, including major agreements in the health sector and the public service.

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