B.C. Association of Legal Aid Lawyers ratify agreement with provincial government

The flag of British Columbia. Photo: Canva/HR Law Canada

The Ministry of Attorney General, the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers and Legal Aid BC have ratified an agreement under the Shared Recovery Mandate.

Legal Aid BC is a non-profit organization created by the Legal Services Society Act in 1979 that provides legal information, advice and representation services. Legal Aid BC’s priority is to serve the interests of people with low incomes, but many of its services are available to all British Columbians. The Association of Legal Aid Lawyers is recognized by government as the exclusive bargaining agent for lawyers contracted to Legal Aid BC to provide tariff-based legal aid services. 

Key priorities of the 2022 mandate include:

  • protecting the services that people in British Columbia depend on;
  • improving health care and preparing for future needs and challenges; and
  • supporting a strong economic recovery that includes everyone in B.C.

These negotiations are focused on providing a fair and reasonable offer to public-sector workers that includes inflation protection, while ensuring government has the resources to continue to invest in building a stronger province for everyone.

The ratified agreement is consistent with the elements of the mandate:

  • three-year term – April 1, 2022, until March 31, 2025
  • general wage increases:
    • Year 1 – a flat increase of $0.25/hour, which provides a greater percentage increase for lower-tier rates, plus 3.24%
    • Year 2 – 5.5% plus a potential cost-of-living adjustment to a maximum of 6.75%
    • Year 3 – 2% plus a potential cost-of-living adjustment to a maximum of 3%
  • a negotiable flexibility allocation for as much as 0.25% in years 1 and 2 to support mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties.

Other achievements in this round of negotiations include investments aimed at addressing legal aid lawyer recruitment and retention challenges, particularly in remote locations and in family law; professional development; and a new policy engagement agreement with the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers.

Currently, more than 230,000 public-sector employees are covered by tentative or ratified agreements reached under B.C.’s Shared Recovery Mandate.

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