Monetary issues now the focus of community social services bargaining - #21

Bargaining bulletin

All non-monetary issues resolved, unions await government response on employment security, health benefits proposals

Community social services bargaining, with the assistance of government-appointed mediator Don Munroe, continued to progress this week. By April 27 all non-monetary language had been resolved and discussions regarding new certifications, 24-hour live-in arrangements and child care workers’ issues were underway.

Also under discussion are proposals that the four unions — HEU, HSA, CUPE and the BCGEU — had tabled on employment security and a jointly-administered health benefits plan. As well, the unions have put forward a paper outlining a framework for a community social services sector accord to address issues of workplace violence.

The Community Social Services Employers’ Association tabled a monetary proposal late on April 28. HEU negotiators will counter with their own comprehensive package April 29.

“We’ve made solid progress and are optimistic that we can successfully negotiate a deal on monetary issues,” says HEU acting secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic. “Our goal is to reach a tentative agreement within the next few days.”

Job action in community social services began March 8 for the 10,000 women and men in the sector who care for and support some of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens. Most workers have been without a contract since March 1998.