Public Sector Bargaining

Public Sector and Union Relationship Diagram

Government is ultimately accountable to taxpayers for the costs and service delivery outcomes that result from bargaining and non-union compensation.  Provincial mandates in B.C. lay out the broad terms for collective bargaining, consistent across all sectors. 

The Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (PSEC Secretariat), as a central agency, coordinates union and non-union compensation across the public sector. 

Through this centralized model, the PSEC Secretariat coordinates bargaining with unions through sectoral employers’ associations. It also protects the interests of taxpayers by ensuring public sector compensation costs are aligned with the fiscal plan through the budget objectives set by government. 

Public Sector Employees in B.C.

Currently, there are over 422,000 people in British Columbia’s public sector working in the core public service, at Crown corporations and agencies, in health and community social services, K-12 education, post-secondary, and research universities.

Of those people, more than 326,000 are unionized employees.

The government and provincial public sector employers spend about $29.1 billion on compensation. This makes up more than half of the Province's budget.

An increase of 1% in total compensation for all non-union and management employees costs approximately $291 million.

The majority of agreements reached under the 2014 mandate expire in 2019.