11/28/2013 04:00 EST | Updated 01/27/2014 05:59 EST

B.C. finance minister floats new plan for public-sector wage hikes

VICTORIA - The B.C. government is pitching a new approach to bargaining with unionized public-sector workers who will be seeking new contracts next year.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the government is prepared to offer public-sector workers a combination of set-wage increases and pay hikes that are connected to economic growth.

The minister says the growth-sharing wage increases would be for unions prepared to sign long-term agreements and would be equal to half of any percentage point gain in the provincial gross domestic product.

De Jong says a current tentative five-year deal with the Health Sciences Association contains elements of growth sharing.

He says the approach aims at including workers in the government's attempts to spur economic growth.

De Jong made the comments after announcing second-quarter revenues are down and job growth has stalled, but the budget surplus is on track.

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