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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2010FIN0032-000725

June 16, 2010

Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Community and Rural Development

 

 

BC ASSESSMENT AND CUPE REACH AGREEMENT

 

VICTORIA – Negotiators for BC Assessment and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Local 1767) have reached a tentative two-year agreement under the government’s mandate, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

 

“We remain committed to ensuring we provide the best services for taxpayers’ dollars,” said Hansen. “I’m happy to hear that negotiators have reached another tentative agreement within the Province’s 2010 mandate. Although the economy is showing signs of recovery, we are maintaining fiscal restraint until government revenues increase.”

 

BC Assessment is a provincial Crown corporation established in 1974 and governed by a board of directors. It has the mandate to produce more than 1.9 million uniform and efficient property assessments on an annual basis for all property owners in the province.

 

The agreement covers almost 600 people working as appraisers, clerical support, administration and property inventory collectors, located in 18 field offices around the province. The contract also covers staff who work at the head office in Victoria in the areas of mapping, auditing, communications, legal, finance, appraisal, research, administrative and programming support staff.

 

Ratification on the agreement will take place over the next four weeks.

 

“This agreement is an important milestone for BC Assessment staff members and the property owners who depend on the high-calibre services they provide,” said Community and Rural Development Minister Ben Stewart. “BC Assessment has a long history of delivering fair and transparent services to the public. This tentative agreement will help ensure this strong legacy continues.”

 

“I am very pleased that we have been able to reach this agreement,” said Connie Fair, president and CEO of BC Assessment. “This fair contract gives our employees the certainty they need for the future. It will ensure that BC Assessment continues to produce high-quality property assessments and provide excellent customer service to the public.”

 

Government has already announced its intention to control spending on wages during this round of bargaining. To protect jobs and preserve vital services British Columbians depend on, government does not have any funding for new wage increases as collective agreements are renewed.

 

There are approximately 310,000 unionized workers in occupations throughout B.C.’s public sector, the great majority of which have agreements that expire between March 31, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010. Just over half of B.C.’s public sector employees have now re-negotiated agreements that were set to expire in 2010, including major agreements in the health sector and the public service.

 

Updated bargaining information is available at http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining2010/.

 

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Media Contacts:

 

Sarah Harrison

Communications Director

Ministry of Finance

250 356-2821

John Barry

Manager of Communications

BC Assessment

250 595-6211 local 277

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.