The best deal for government is 3 percent in the final year of the 4 year contract while the best deal for government workers is 3 percent in the first year of the contract. So, why not split the difference and have a 3/4 percent increase each of the 4 years for unionized workers with managers getting a 1/2 percent increase as they don't pay union dues.
To save money they could do the following: have the civil service and health care workers adopt the less lucrative long term service award formula as the teachers while for the teachers they could phase in a contribution towards their health care costs of 5% each year of the contract until they are the same as other workers in the public sector. This should be about sustainability and equity not about attacking public sector workers.
If this seems unreasonable to both sides then lets send it to arbitration where a neutral third party can sort out the issues.
Hopefully at some point in the future we can move to a more rational process with real GDP and CPI being used to identify the appropriate change in compensation and avoid the bickering and have a fair process which respects the rights of workers and sensitivity to the fiscal challenges faced by government. —Lets give workers a fairer 3 percent