BC Ferries highlights staffing challenges

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BC Ferries has submitted an update to its estimates and plans due to the elevated risk of recession, coupled with higher inflation and cost pressures. The supplemental filing outlines challenges including a forecasted mild recession in 2024, an expected decline in ferry traffic, staffing issues and increased maintenance costs.  BC Ferries has experienced steadily increasing turnover amongst its casual, regular and exempt employees over the last two years: approximately 15.5 percent in total, with 7.9 percent amongst its licensed deck and engineering positions and 20 percent (15 percent excluding retirements) amongst exempt personnel. This is a 52 percent increase in turnover across all employees and a 65 percent increase in turnover for licensed roles.  Over 15 projects have been cancelled as part of the update, totalling approximately $24 million.  The update comes on the heels of the Province’s $500 million commitment to BC Ferries to mitigate fare increases for people who rely upon the coastal ferry service.

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