Meeting with AG & PS/SG Ministers on Corrections/Sheriffs Wage Crisis

Component 1 senior leaders met again with BC NDP Ministers of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, and Attorney General, David Eby, in back-to-back meetings.

After meeting with both Ministers in mid-September and presenting a detailed proposal from Component 1 that outlined a retention and wage crisis that must be addressed, BCGEU Vice President & Chair of Component 1 Corrections and Sheriff Services, Dean Purdy, & BCGEU Staff Rep, Mike Eso, conducted follow-up meetings yesterday. The proposal included:

  • Recruitment and retention statistics from both the employer and the union
  • National & provincial wage comparisons to Federal Corrections & Alberta Sheriffs as well as municipal police, South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service (SCBCTAPS) and RCMP
  • Training and overtime costs for new recruits for both corrections and sheriffs
  • BC Sheriffs exit interview numbers
  • Language in our contract that allows us to negotiate a Temporary Market Adjustment (TMA) at any time during the life of our current contract
  • A solution and detailed outline of where both corrections and sheriffs wages need to move to

Purdy made it clear to both Ministers that this problem won't go away until the huge wage gap between what corrections officers and sheriffs earn annually compared to their counterparts is addressed. This wage gap is widening at a steady pace and this must be fixed immediately.

We are now losing correctional officers in the two to four-year range that we have invested in through training and mentorship, only to see them leave for other higher paid police agencies.

Correctional officers continue to have an attrition rate of 14 per cent, while sheriffs are on pace to lose approximately 50 deputy sheriffs this fiscal year. With the courts already overburdened and short of sheriffs, we cannot afford to wait.

Purdy said that overall, the meetings continue to be very positive and both Ministers acknowledge that they are working on our issue with their respective senior ministry officials and have committed to getting back to us as soon as possible. We will continue to keep you updated as this moves along.