Friday, March 30, 2012

BC Liberals: You reap what you sow...

Today the BCGEU, representing provincial government employees in BC, announced they will be holding a strike vote. They are seeking wage increases of 8% over 2 years and the government has offered only 3%. The BCGEU rightly argue that their members should not take permanent wage cuts because of the recession. They have lost purchasing power due to the net zero contract under Mandate 2010 and the rising inflation rate in BC.

They also point out that private sector workers in BC are receiving reasonable increases. Average weekly earnings in BC are up 3.2%, as reported by Statistics Canada. Why should government workers a) get any less and b) not get a catch up for lost purchasing power under net zero?

The independent commission that looked at judges salaries made the same argument. If judges receive net zero for two years because of a recession, they should be entitled to make up that loss subsequently. The Liberals didn't listen, and legislated zeros.

The government's extension of net zero into Mandate 2012 shows their real agenda and it has nothing to do with the deficit. They want to permanently reduces wages for public sector workers. At the same time, they continue to provide obscene increases to those in the top echelons of power. As just one recent example, the "mediator" appointed under Bill 22 to force a contract on teachers will be earning $2000 a day. On top of his other salary.

Also in the news today is the pending job action by BC's anesthesiologists. Yet another group of workers frustrated by a government that rules by dictat, rather than fair and reasonable negotiating. And again, the government is relying on the courts and an injunction to prevent this group from exercising their right to a slow down as a form of job action.

This is a government in free fall, and a government incapable of coming to a resolution with practically anyone, in any area. Ten years of draining the public coffers through tax cuts to the wealthy are finally coming home to roost as the people who provide our public services stand up for fair treatment.

1 comment:

  1. I'm convinced that more people will support the BCTF walking out than not. People may pick up the government and media talking points about belt tightening, obeying the law, etc, but they wonder when the rich are going to pay their share. People are looking for inspiration, for who's going to stand up against the bully. I think we can do it.