CSSEA offer falls short #98-44

Bargaining bulletin

HEU is urging members to reactivate their strike and essential services committees

The social services health sector union bargaining association and the Community Social Services Employers’ Association met on Sept. 15, 16 and 17. Although they made progress, talks ended on a sour note after the employer refused to move off their position on important language issues and tabled an incomplete monetary package.

“The offer they tabled is a partial, very general social services sector-wide, monetary package based on a flawed job evaluation scheme that would see some of our members receive less than their current wages,” said bargaining spokesperson Juli Rees.

Meanwhile, the unions and CSSEA have signed off on other important clauses: language dealing with aggressive and violent clients; the right to refuse unsafe work; stronger workload language; time off with pay for evening and night shift workers if required to attend arbitration meetings during the day of their shift; maternity leave of 52 weeks; accommodation of pregnant workers by assigning them other work when possible; new contracting out language that requires an employer/union committee to explore the feasability of “contracting in” services that are presently contracted out; and an indemnification article requiring that any employee property damaged by a client must be replaced regardless of cost.

Rees stated that while progress has been made, there are still important outstanding issues to sign off. “They have said no to our proposal on successorship and employment security and say they are finished discussing it, although we made it clear that these issues must be addressed or there is no agreement,” she said.

The employer is taking a strong stand on rolling back workers’ rights to request and be granted leaves.

Because the negotiations have slowed to a stand still, the union in requesting all members in this sector to attend their next scheduled union meetings and to activate their strike and essential services committees. Talks are scheduled to resume on Oct. 1, 6, 7 and 8.