Unionized BC Ferries Workers to Receive 7.5% Wage Increase

Image: BC Ferries.

Unionized BC Ferries workers are expected to receive a 7.75% wage increase for one year, with many getting additional “special increases” such as an extra 10% increase for some licensed mariners, the British Columbia ferries operator announced March 28.

The increase, retroactive to Oct. 1, 2023, is expected to be in place through March 31, 2025 as part of a labor settlement.

Bargaining unit wages are expected to be negotiated two more times over the next 18 months, “with a second wage reopener in April 2025 and the full collective agreement in October 2025,” according to BC Ferries.

The ferry operator said it that proactively wanted to reopen wage talks six months earlier to tackle pay disparities.

The organization, which says that it has hired more than 1,000 new workers in the last 12 months, said it has already seen a 37% drop in cancellations caused by crewing shortages.

“We know wages haven’t kept up for our people and that more was needed for us to get back to being an employer of choice,” BC Ferries President and CEO Nicolas Jimenez. “I’m grateful to our people for the patience they demonstrated over the last few months.”

Getting to this point has been a long time coming, Jimenez said.

“The offer we put on the table six months ago was a very good one then, and it’s still a very good one today – even more so when you consider it’s a one-year increase,” he said. “In fact, it’s one of the largest increases in the company’s history and certainly one of the biggest in Canada in recent years for a company our size.”

By Karen Robes Meeks