One year later – no deal in sight for Community Social Services

Unions, employers to set essential services levels
Bargaining bulletin
Bargaining Bulletins

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It’s been one year since negotiations began for new collective agreements in the community social services sector, but talks to date have yet to make any significant progress according to HEU’s bargaining representatives in the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA).

Although some minor non-monetary items were secured during three days of negotiations on October 26, 27 and 28, the Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA) has steadfastly refused to discuss any proposals they claim to have potential monetary implications.

While employers continue to hold to the B.C. Liberal government’s “zero-zero mandate” for public sector bargaining, union representatives say that they too go to the table with a mandate – to improve working and caring conditions in the sector.

In addition to addressing low wages and inferior benefits in the sector, the CSSBA’s bargaining mandate includes employment security during a time of lay-offs; safe, healthy and respectful workplaces; and fair work practices.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume in December. In the meantime, union bargaining representatives will meet with the employers’ association on November 4 to begin discussions on essential services in the event of a strike or lockout.

Established guidelines, commonly known as “global orders”, govern the level of service unions are required to provide in the event of job action. Those orders allow for a balance between effective withdrawal of service, while still providing for the health and safety of clients and residents.

Locals negotiate the staffing levels associated with essential services, with the assistance of their union servicing representative, on a site-by-site basis.

Members are encouraged to keep in touch with their local executives and provide any help or assistance they can with organizing tasks required in the coming weeks.