HEU social services locals prepare for strike vote to back demands #98-48

Bargaining bulletin

Talks bogged down by employer’s unreasonable position on monetary issues

Two days of negotiations last week between HEU and the Community Social Services Employers’ Association were virtually a waste of time as CSSEA tabled an unrealistic response to the union’s Oct. 8 monetary proposal.

The union was expecting a comprehensive response on monetary issues but instead was confronted with a package that offered less than the employer’s original stand. CSSEA’s counter proposal remains incomplete and based on a flawed job evaluation scheme that would see some workers receive less than their current wages.

“It’s clear that CSSEA lacks the necessary authority, or perhaps the innovation, to make reasonable decisions regarding money and other cost items,” says HEU’s bargaining spokesperson Juli Rees. “We’ve pulled no punches in our reply—CSSEA’s response to our second monetary proposal was totally unacceptable.”

HEU’s bargaining committee suggested that CSSEA go back to the social services sector funding bodies and policy makers and emphasize the seriousness of the stalled negotiations, and the need for immediate and fair solutions.

“The only package that could form the basis of a settlement,” says Rees, “is one that contains genuine steps toward standardization and wage and benefit parity with facilities sector health care workers.”

The single positive move in the two days of talks was agreement on casual logs.

Nov. 18 is the next scheduled bargaining date. However, if no marked progress results, HEU will be forced to go to the members for a strike mandate. Locals have been preparing for this eventuality since the end of September by activating their strike and essential services committees. Bargaining Bulletin Index General Index