Frequently Asked Questions

BC Hydro Contract Extension: BC Hydro has proposed a two-year extension of the current collective agreement. The final decision remains yours.

  1. Does ‘contract extension’ mean the same thing as ‘roll-over’?
  2. Who is PSEC or the Public Sector Employers' Council? Why do they get to dictate bargaining terms to BC Hydro?
  3. Instead of a two year extension, can we agree to only one year instead?
  4. Does the two year wage freeze start this year or next year?
  5. Will we still get our step increases as per the current schedule of steps and anniversaries?
  6. I believe there are other items in the collective agreement that need to be addressed. Can’t we deal with those?
  7. Why do we have to agree to an extension? Doesn’t the current collective agreement stay in effect until we sign a new agreement?
  8. Who is on the MoveUP Bargaining Committee?

 

If you have any questions that are not addressed here, please email bchbargaining@moveuptogether.ca

1. Does ‘contract extension’ mean the same thing as ‘roll-over’?

Yes. You may hear your co-workers and union staff referring to either the extension or the roll-over. It means the same thing – a two year extension of the current collective agreement.

2. Who is PSEC or the Public Sector Employers' Council? Why do they get to dictate bargaining terms to BC Hydro?

Public Sector Employers' Council (PSEC) is the government-appointed body that sets the bargaining mandate for the public sector. They tell each of the public sector employers what they can – and can’t – bargain during collective agreement negotiations.

PSEC was established over a decade ago to co-ordinate human resource policies and collective agreement negotiations throughout the provincial government.

But in recent years PSEC’s powers have been extended to set financial constraints for all public sector bargaining. The provincial government changed the law to take the all of the public employers’ bargaining certificates away and put those certificates in PSEC’s hands.

PSEC therefore has the final right to ratify collective agreements for public employers. All public sector employers are bound by PSEC’s terms as PSEC has the legal right of approval.

Visit the PSEC website: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/psec/

The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia has an excellent article on PSEC, its mandate and history.

3. Instead of a two year extension, can we agree to only one year instead?

No. PSEC has mandated a two-year wage freeze for the entirety of the public sector. After one year we would face exactly the same situation.

PSEC has taken a very hard line with negotiations. They’ve said there’s no money anywhere for two years – not for cost of living increases, not for benefits or for wage adjustments.

4. Does the two year wage freeze start this year or next year?

The wage freeze is for 2010 and 2011.

5. Will we still get our step increases as per the current schedule of steps and anniversaries?

Yes. You will receive the step increases you are entitled to as per your current collective agreement.

6. I believe there are other items in the collective agreement that need to be addressed. Can’t we deal with those?

If we extend the collective agreement the MoveUP and BC Hydro will agree on a process to deal with the other issues during the term of the collective agreement. Both parties will agree to a process with timelines to deal with these issues.

We currently have a letter from BC Hydro committing them to Gainshare if we extend the agreement. If we go into collective bargaining we will not have this commitment. Furthermore PSEC will see it as a monetary proposal and may not approve it.

Gainshare is worth up to a 5% increase on your salary.

7. Why do we have to agree to an extension? Doesn’t the current collective agreement stay in effect until we sign a new agreement?

Yes, the ‘continuation clause’ means that the current agreement stays in effect until a new agreement is signed. But the Gainshare agreement expired on March 31st, 2010. Hydro has agreed to extend Gainshare for 2010 and 2011 if the membership agrees to the extension.

Gainshare is worth up to a 5% increase on your salary per year.

8. Who is on the MoveUP Bargaining Committee?

Your MoveUP bargaining committee is

  • Gwenne Farrell, MoveUP Vice President
  • Brad Bastien, Senior Union Representative
  • Sharon Thomas, BC Hydro member
  • Patty McCann, BC Hydro member
  • Roger Trip, BC Hydro member
  • Tiberius Busu, BC Hydro member
  • Brent Wilson, BC Hydro member
  • Calvin Jonas, BC Hydro member
  • Linda Koopman, BC Hydro member

You are welcome and encouraged contact your Bargaining Committee by emailing bchbargaining@moveuptogether.ca

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