Surrey school trustees have voted themselves a 2.6% raise for this September. Evidently, they don't believe they fall under the "net zero" mandate even though they too are public servants. They are joined by Abbotsford trustees, who also voted themselves an increase of 4.8% over two years, beginning in December.
Meanwhile, the Trustee's bargaining agent, BCPSEA (BC Public School Employer's Association), is offering teachers 0% and 0%.
The myth of the mandate continues. While government claims it applies to all public sector workers, it has not been applied uniformly. The first major discrepancy was the nurses agreement, which provided 3% increases over the same term that the mandate is supposedly in place (2010 - 2012). Then came a variety of settlements in the public sector where government was not the direct employer. In some cases, such as Vancouver Island University and Langara College, these public sector employers insisted the mandate was in place. Yet for others, it apparently wasn't. Just a few examples: Saanich police: 8.45% over two years, Port Alberni Firefighters: 2% over four years, plus 5% in the last year. New Westminster City Council provided increases to guarantee a "living wage" for all of it's employees. Richmond gave city workers a 17.5% increase over five years.
With inflation hovering above 3%, the mandate is not fair. And as these various agreements show, it has not been applied fairly. The government needs to act in good faith and let all it's bargaining agents bargain.