CSSEA won't budge on concession demands

Bargaining bulletin
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It was deja vu all over again at the bargaining table this week.

While the Union Bargaining Association tabled proposals on employment continuity, the employers' representatives continued to dig in with demands for concessions.

Observers say the talks this week reminded them of negotiations two years ago, when BC's community social services workers took major cuts.

They are frustrated that the Community Social Services Employers' Association (CCSEA) refuses to address the growing retention and recruitment crisis in the sector.

Low entry-level wages and cuts to services have made it increasingly difficult to find and keep staff in the community social services sector. Existing staff are overworked.

The 13-union UBA tabled proposals this week aimed at restoring some of the job security that was taken away by the BC Liberals through Bill 29.

Despite three weeks of bargaining, the employers' are still putting forward what they call "modest" proposals including:

  • 24-hour live-in shifts (up to 96 hours per week at less than minimum wage)
  • Split shifts (especially those scheduled at less than four hours)
  • Assigning regular employees extended hours.

Four bargaining subcommittees were struck this week - bumping and layoffs, scheduling and hours of work, local issues negotiations, and violence in the workplace. The UBA is preparing to table monetary items by the end of next week.

Talks are scheduled to resume in Burnaby on Monday.

Backgrounder #2