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Province, BCGEU and BCRB reach tentative agreement

May 18, 2017

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A tentative agreement has been reached between the Province, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association and the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU) on labour succession in 27 highway maintenance service areas, ensuring job security and improved maintenance service levels on the highway network.

"Highway maintenance companies and the approximately 2,000 workers they have maintaining our roads and bridges around the province perform jobs with significant implications for the safe movement of people and goods on our highways and we value the work they do", said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. "This agreement will result in increased maintenance standards on our roads by using savings within the terms of the collective agreements valued at 3% of the contract price, or $180 million over the next 15 years."

Twenty-seven service area contracts will be tendered before they expire starting in 2018, as part of an open, competitive bidding process. Once awarded, the successful contractor must honour the terms of the collective agreement, which includes labour savings and efficiencies.

All bidders will be using the same labour terms to reduce the uncertainty of labour costs, which will result in the best prices from the bidders.

The savings of $180 million over 15 years will be reinvested in increased maintenance standards resulting in enhanced winter maintenance, increased sweeping along cycling routes and increased communication with the public as to rapidly changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents affecting travel on B.C. roads.

"BCGEU's highways bargaining committee is pleased to have reached agreement with the government and the B.C. Road Builders," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "Maintaining successorship ensures that well-trained, experienced workers will continue to keep the travelling public safe throughout the province." "The BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association is pleased to have reached an agreement with the BC Government and Service Employees Union and fully supports the Province's decision to re-invest the savings into improved maintenance service levels," said BCRB president Kelly Scott. "Long-term contracts and extended labour peace provide reduced uncertainty, resulting in best prices to the public."

This provision also will mean labour stability for the 2,000 workers in the 140 communities throughout the province.The Province will tender contracts with a 10-year term, and an optional five-year extension, which will provide continuity of services and extended labour peace.

The contract for Service Area 11 was tendered last year and awarded to the successful proponent and incumbent, Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting LP. The contract, $16.7 million annually over a seven-year term, was awarded following an open, competitive tendering process.

Quick Facts: - Road and bridge contractors maintain 47,000 kilometres of roads, 2,700 structures and provide employment to approximately 2,000 people. - Fourteen companies provide maintenance in 28 Service Areas, with an annual contract value of over $400 million.