Union solidarity strong in community social services - #9

Bargaining bulletin

HEU members asked to serve on joint committee

Though talks collapsed last November, HEU’s community social services members continue to be active on several fronts away from the bargaining table.

To raise the profile of the services they provide in the community, and to reinforce radio ad messages that aired earlier this month, activists wrote letters to local newspapers describing their work, their clients, and their poor wages, benefits and working conditions.

And the four unions currently bargaining in the sector—HEU, CUPE, BCGEU and HSA—are working together behind the scenes. They’re developing a global job action strategy to unmask employers’ claims that equitable treatment of community social service workers comes at the expense of their clients.

“It all comes down to a basic issue of fairness,” said HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “Victoria needs to step in and meet its commitment to equitable treatment for workers in the community social services sector.”

The unions have also collaborated on an employment security proposal that includes successorship protection and hope to take it to the government in the near future. And, they’ve forged a framework agreement to jointly develop a sector-wide job evaluation plan (JEP). The four unions will begin negotiations with CSSEA on this plan in the near future.

HEU community social services members interested in working on a joint committee to develop the JEP should contact Bob Wilson in the Victoria Regional Office by phone at: 1-800-742-8001 or 250-480-0533 (Victoria), or by fax at: (250) 480-0544.

“The strong inter-union solidarity evident throughout last year’s health sector bargaining continues in the community social services sector,” said Allnutt. “The progress on a global job action strategy, an employment security/successorship protection proposal, and the sector-wide job evaluation plan demonstrates the depth of our unity.”