06/09/2014 09:58 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:07 EDT

B.C. school support staff reach 5-year deal

As B.C.'s teachers prepare to vote on a full scale strike, the government has reached a tentative deal with 34,000 education support staff in the province.

Union members and the B.C. Public School Employers Association still have to ratify the five-year deal, which has not yet been publicly released, but the government says it provides wage increases "in keeping with its economic stability mandate."

That means bus drivers, education assistants and custodial staff could see more money if the province's economy exceeds annual forecasts.

B.C.'s Minister of Education Peter Fassbender said "both sides were realistic, flexible and willing to find solutions at the table."

Economic Stability Mandate

According to a government news release the 2014 Economic Stability Mandate applies to all public-sector employers whose collective agreements expired on or after Dec. 31, 2013.

- "If the province's real GDP growth exceeds forecasts over the terms of these agreements, the agreements provide for the sharing of some benefits of that growth with the public sector employees who work on behalf of British Columbians and help make that growth possible."

- "Under this proposal, employees would receive a conditional, incremental wage increase equal to half of any percentage point gain in real GDP growth above the Economic Forecast Council's forecast published in the budget.

- "For example if real GDP growth is one percentage point above forecast real GDP growth, then a 0.5 per cent wage increase would result, beyond whatever wage increase had been negotiated in the contract.

- "There are ratified agreements in place between the BCGEU and the Public Service, with Community Health, Community Social Services and  the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association."