February 13, 2020 – Local 258 IBEW members working at BC Hydro will get an immediate wage hike of two-percent and a further 2% wage increase starting April 1, 2020, as Brother Doug McKay, the Local’s Business Manager/Financial Secretary, has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the employer to rollover the previous contract that was ratified in 2014 and expired on March 31, 2019.
The MoA replaces the wage scales and expiry date from the previous agreement with 2% annual wage increases over three-years, retroactive to April 1, 2019, and will expire on March 31, 2022.
All other terms and conditions remain unchanged.
McKay said the Union went into bargaining almost a year ago with a mandate and understanding from the membership to “get what we could” given the government’s restriction on limiting wage raises to two percent in each year of a three-year agreement.
“In the avalanche of phone calls, emails, text messages and in-person conversations with me or my Assistant Business Managers, members have been saying they voted to reject the tentative agreement because they didn’t want to see a modified work week and early start times in their workplaces,” said McKay. “Since then, we’ve also heard that if everything in that agreement was predicated on getting that modified work week and early start times, then go ahead and get us the best wage increases you can.”
Brother McKay extends his thanks and appreciation to all of the members who have come to their Unit meetings, have communicated with phone calls, sent emails, or contacted our Union through the Local 258 IBEW website. He also reminds members to attend your next Unit meeting if you have any questions or concerns.
Additional information for Local 258 IBEW members
Frequently Asked Questions about
Local 258 IBEW – BC Hydro Collective Bargaining
What is PSEC – the Public Sector Employers Council?
Published in the Hotline magazine, January, 2020:
As a public sector employer, BC Hydro is bound by law first established in 1993 – the Public Sector Employers Act – that places restrictive bargaining conditions and limitations on public sector employers in negotiations with unionized employees.
BC Hydro is a member of the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC), and are bound by the “2019 Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate”, as they were with the “2014 Economic Stability Mandate”, the “2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate” and the “2010 Net Zero Mandate”.
What is the 2019 Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate
The Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate applies to all public sector employers with unionized employees whose collective agreements expire on or after December 31, 2018.
- The Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate is about improving the delivery of services for people in B.C., and balancing the need for fair and reasonable wage increases with outcomes that are affordable and managed within the fiscal plan.
- The Mandate is designed to support government’s core priorities and enhance and modernize the delivery of services that British Columbians rely on.
- It ensures the fiscal sustainability of our province while providing fair compensation.
Elements of the 2019 mandate:
- Three-year term
- General wage increases of 2% in each year
- Ability to negotiate conditional and modest funding that can be used to drive tangible service improvements for British Columbians. An example would be targeted funds to address existing, chronic labour market challenges where employers need to meet service delivery commitments or changes that achieve service enhancements such as innovations, modernization or efficiencies.
Bargaining timeline and communication with members:
FYI: A total of 14 emails were sent to members registered on the website between commencement of bargaining and the results of the vote. Three issues of the Hotline magazine were published in that same time frame that featured articles about the bargaining, and a total of 7 articles were published on the website with 5 news articles on the password-protected website and 2 articles posted on the public side.
In late 2018, the Local sought dates with BC Hydro to commence collective bargaining and they indicated they weren’t prepared at that time.
In December 2018, “member suggestion” forms were distributed by Shop Stewards, with the Union seeking replies via OCS to Brother McKay, Business Manager. About 300 “issues” were received and then reviewed by the Union’s bargaining committee prior to the first meeting. Commonalities and priorities were identified.
On December 9, 2018, an email was sent to Local 258 IBEW members registered on the Union’s website, advising of “Economic Stability Mandate” dividend wage increase and notice of BCH contract expiry March 31, 2019.
Dates secured in February, 2019 for commencement of collective bargaining.
On March 8, 2019, an email was sent to Local 258 IBEW members registered on the Union’s website announcing bargaining to commence March 18, 2019, with additional dates confirmed for April.
Bargaining Round #1 – took place March 18, 19, 20, 2019; bargaining news update article posted to password-protected website on March 31, 2019.
Bargaining Round #2 – took place April 8, 9, 10, 2019; Local 258 IBEW members registered on the Union’s website were advised with updates sent via email news on April 8 + April 24, 2019. The Hotline member news magazine, published in May 2019, included lengthy detail about bargaining to date and information about the Sustainability Mandate, in the Business Manager’s report on page 3. Additionally, a feature article appeared on page6 about BCH bargaining, including about the Sustainability Mandate.
Members registered on website received news updates via emails sent May 5 + June 10, 2019, advising no new dates had been set for the next round of bargaining.
Bargaining Round #3 – took place July 5, 6, 7, 2019; Local 258 IBEW members registered on the Union’s website were sent email news on July 9, 2019, advising “the “union bargaining committee continues to engage in extensive discussions”.
Additional email news was sent on August 28 + October 2, 2019, advising that dates to resume bargaining had been set for late October, 2019, including that members could attend upcoming meetings if they had questions.
The Hotline magazine published in September 2019 included the Business Manager’s Report on page 3: “we have been very accommodating yet very disappointed with the lack of progress and the unreasonable demands.”
Bargaining Round #4 – took place October 22, 23, 24, 2019. A news article was posted on the Union’s password-protected website October 26, 2019, advising of contentious issues and notifying about the next round of dates to return to bargaining table had been set for December 10. A detailed email was sent to Local 258 IBEW members registered on the Union’s website on Nov. 7, 2019. Members further received an email “reminder” about upcoming bargaining, sent Nov. 29, 2019.
Bargaining Round #5 – took place December 10, 11, 12, 2019 where a Tentative Agreement was reached. A news article was posted to the Union’s website and emails were sent to Local 258 IBEW members registered on the Union’s website on Dec. 16, 2019.
The Hotline member news magazine published January 2020 included a feature article about the tentative agreement on page 8, that included “Limitations imposed by the government’s economic mandate for public sector workers affected the ability to negotiate more than the 2% annual wage increase in a three year agreement”, and an inset article about PSEC and it’s history.
The Union will continue to work with this employer to secure additional improvements to the collective agreement throughout the term.
We will return to the bargaining table in early 2022.
Members should sign up to the website to get on the mail list.