Premier Christy Clark told municipal government elected officials at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention she wants rising municipal pay rates to be an issue in the Nov. 15 elections.
Clark pointed to an Ernst & Young report released by the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation just before the UBCM that showed unionized municipal staff in B.C. received – on average – 38 per cent hikes between 2001 and 2012.
The report noted it was double what unionized provincial staff earned and more than the 23 per cent rate of inflation during the same period.
The premier told convention delegates she wants them to toughen up on negotiations with their union staff the way her government did with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, and added the province will be talking to the municipalities about next steps after the Nov. 15 elections.
“We’re not having those issues here,” said District of 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall.
“In actuality, we have done some cutting. We’re in the middle of the road as far as wages go.”
“I wouldn’t want the province negotiating for us. They need to get their own [house] in order before the come looking at us.
“I watched the way this government negotiates and I wouldn’t treat my employees like that. And, I’m sorry, but I would not want them negotiating for me.”
The mayor says the District has cut staff by 25 per cent and is getting more work done because they have found better ways to do it, and is equipping employees with better tools.