Note: It's anticipated that a comprehensive report on the agreement will be in members' hands in early September and votes will be scheduled between September 7 and October 5. Please stay tuned for details.
A tentative agreement has been reached for British Columbia’s 15,000 community-based social service workers, thereby averting a strike. Talks went into the weekend to avert looming job action.
Key bargaining demands were met, as the tentative agreement improves job security and fair work practices for workers, such as bumping language and anti-bullying provisions. In addition, the government has approved a $600,000 retraining grant for workers in the sector.
The multi-union bargaining association recommends the settlement.
Union members showed tremendous patience and solidarity throughout a very lengthy and often frustrating process. To back-up their bargaining demands, members returned an 82% strike mandate on May 30.
Employers and union members will now have an opportunity to ratify the tentative agreement. Details of the agreement and the ratification process will be released next week. Your bargaining committee is developing a comprehensive report to members and a timeline for ratification.
The tentative agreements cover community social service workers in Community Living Services and General Services. Negotiations to conclude the outstanding issues for the Aboriginal Services collective agreement will commence in late September.
HEU has about 1,500 members in the sector. BCGEU, CUPE, HSA, CLAC, UFCW, USW, CSWU and BCNU also represent members in this sector. There are 220 employers represented by the Community Social Services Employers’ Association.