Community social service members to receive new bonus payment

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HEU members working in community social services will be receiving a new bonus payment – equal to about one per cent of their 2008 earnings – before the end of March, 2009.

The bonus comes from a $3.9 million surplus in the Early Incentive Bonus fund, secured in 2006 bargaining by HEU and its partners in the Community Social Services Bargaining Association.

These payments will be preceded by the distribution of full or topped-up bonus payments in November for members on LTD and/or maternity leave who did not receive a bonus in 2006, or who only received a partial bonus.

Calculations for this second and final bonus payment will be based on an employees’ income for the 2008 tax year, as reported by their employer on the T4 tax form, issued at the end of February, 2009.

The additional payments were made possible by a unique feature of the 2006 contract settlement in the community social services sector, which included an audit of the bonus fund and an agreement that any surplus monies would be returned to workers.

The Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA) rejected earlier union proposals to use surplus funds to increase wages or sick pay to address the sector’s growing retention and recruitment problems.

Planning for 2010 bargaining in the community social services sector is already underway.