B.C. will chop public service jobs by one-tenth over the next three years as the province seeks to trim costs amid consecutive budget deficits, B.C.’s finance minister revealed yesterday.

Budget 2010, unveiled in Victoria yesterday by Finance Minister Colin Hansen, forecasts deficits of $1.7 billion in 2010/11, $945 million in 2011/12 and 145 million in 2012/13, returning to balanced budgets in 2013/14.

The province will cut roughly 3,500 full-time jobs, reducing its public service down to 27,700 in 2012/13, from its current level of 31,300.

“These cuts are relatively deep,” said Darryl Walker, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union.

“We’re talking better than 10 per cent of the public sector, and we’re already the leanest public sector in this country.”

In addition to cuts to the public service, B.C. has also implemented a “net zero” bargaining mandate.

In the next nine months, about 180 collective agreements, representing more than 200,000 public sector employees, will expire. The net zero mandate means that future wage-increases must be offset by savings in other parts of the agreement.