Community social services ratification votes postponed

Bargaining bulletin

CSSEA flip-flops on definition of residential care worker A last minute flip-flop by CSSEA on the definition of residential care workers (RCW), has led to the postponement of this week's ratification votes scheduled for HEU community social services members in Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, Port Alberni and Richmond, and the union is considering postponing the June 28 vote for HEU Nidicarus members in Maple Ridge. Cranbrook Society for Community Living members in the Kootenays are unaffected and their vote will go ahead as planned June 29. CSSEA claims an expanded group of HEU workers do not qualify under the RCW definition, making them ineligible for some wage increases. Itís a reversal of the position they held previously. The tentative agreement gives the lowest paid workers in the sector - residential care workers or equivalent, a category the union contends includes most HEU members - immediate and retroactive wage increases. "CSSEA appears to be more interested in playing games than restoring labour stability and letting members get back to working with and caring for their clients," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. HEU union negotiators are working hard to resolve this latest about-face in a long line of employer snafus that plagued more than 14 months of community social services sector bargaining. Affected members will be notified of re-scheduled ratification votes upon resolution of this situation. News is also available on the HEU Bargaining Hotline and on HEU's web site.