01/10/2014 01:20 EST | Updated 03/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Business group praises net zero details in Prince George municipal contract

KELOWNA, B.C. - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the City of Prince George and its CUPE workers are taking a welcome lead in the effort to control spending.

Prince George councillors and the city's municipal employees have ratified a four year contract containing a nearly five per cent wage increase over the life of the deal.

Workers will receive a wage boost of just under one per cent this year, along with two per cent increases in 2015 and 2016, but concessions elsewhere mean the deal amounts to a net-zero gain in the first two years.

CFIB government affairs director Mike Klassen says that is an incredibly important development for the entire province.

He says the cost of local government consistently tops the list of small business concerns and senior levels of government are also demanding municipalities control their spending.

Members of CUPE locals 399 and 1048 voted 88 per cent in favour of the agreement, while Prince George councillors ratified it unanimously. (CHNL, CKPG)