BC’s public sector unions are currently locked in negotiations with the province over new collective
agreements covering much of BC’s public sector. A key area of contention across several tables – in
health care, education, and the provincial public service – is the rising level of price inflation overtaking
the provincial economy. It is this situation that has many unions taking a new look at using cost-of-living
adjustment (COLA) clauses as a hedge against unpredictable increases in consumer prices. The response
from BC’s government to the call for negotiated COLAs has been less than enthusiastic. As things
currently stand, there is no clear mandate guidance from BC’s Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC)
for employers to include these kinds of provisions in new collective agreements.