ICBC reaches deal with unionized workers

Executive ranks thinned as auto insurer restructures management

Unionized ICBC workers have ended their limited strike action after a tentative deal was reached on a new contract.

If ratified, they will get an immediate one per cent pay hike retroactive to July 1 and then another three per cent added in stages through 2013.

The 4,600 workers there had been without a contract since the spring of 2010 and the new four-year deal is to expire in mid-2014.

“The wage increases will keep our members from falling further behind and they will, at long last, get maternity and parental leave top-up,” said David Black, president of local 378 of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union.

Workers at ICBC offices had staged one-day strikes and were refusing overtime or training.

Ratification votes are taking place this week and the union recommended acceptance.

The deal came after ICBC announced Nov. 2 it will eliminate 250 jobs, mostly in management, as part of a major restructuring.

Five executives have been chopped,  leaving a nine-member executive, and a total of six executive or vice-president roles have been eliminated.

Officials said the changes go beyond the recommendations of a government review of ICBC this year, cutting the staff complement to below 2008 levels.

The review criticized the public auto insurer’s easy bonuses and generous expense policies, noting it had 54 senior managers making more than $200,000 a year – a more than four-fold increase from 2007.

ICBC responded with a pledge to cut its operating budget by $50 million.

The latest changes were announced by interim president and CEO Mark Blucher, who took over after the resignation of former president Jon Schubert.

The corporation is not in financial trouble. It routinely rings up big profits, to the point it now hands over annual dividends of around $165 million to the provincial government after amassing a nearly $4-billion reserve fund.

Just Posted

Craft beer hop farm on Seabird territory preparing for first harvest

Founders have plans to become one of Canada’s largest hops suppliers

UPDATE: Man with gunshot wound drives into ditch on Chilliwack River Road

Serious crimes investigators believe early morning shooting to be targeted

No red flags in expense audit, says former Fraser Health boss who fired Murray

Wynne Powell said report showed need for tighter rules, but didn’t suggest abuse of expense claims

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

News Recap – March 23

Local climber remembered, speculation tax, avalanche risk and more

Gas prices likely driving Canadians to US pumps

Customs say cost of fuel, nice weather, spring break are contributing factors of uptick of traffic

VIDEO: Hockey tournament remembers young fan

Hundreds take part in annual Jordan Owens memorial in Lower Mainland

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Most Read