Fourteen CIEA locals were joined by seven BCGEU locals and sixteen employers. The parties started bargaining in March, took a break in May for the summer; resumed in September and carried out a strike vote at all participating locals. With only a few hours before a province-wide strike in late October 1998, the parties reached an agreement for the first Common Agreement. 

The Agreement included the following: Art 2 – Harassment; Art 3 – Employer-Union Relations with  1/4 Union release; Art 4 – Prior Learning Assessment; Art 5 – Copyright & Intellectual Property; Art 6 – Regularization; Art 7 – Leaves; Art 8 – Parental Leaves; Art 9 – Benefits & a Joint Committee on Benefits Administration; Art 10 – Pensions; Art 11 – ERIs; Art 12 – Provincial Salary Scale & Secondary Scale Adjustment; Art 13 – Superior Benefits; LOU on Distributed Learning Committee; and LOUs specific to FACNC, MFA & Selkirk secondary scales (negotiated at the 11th hour).