CUPE Community Social Services
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June 16, 2009

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Community social services workers win settlement

BURNABY—CUPE is part of a four-union settlement with the BC government that provides compensation for community social services workers who lost job security provisions under the Liberal government’s 2002 contract-breaking legislation known as Bill 29. The settlement amounts to $425,000 divided among four unions.

Settlement Funds are for members and former members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, the Hospital Employees’ Union, the Health Sciences Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Locals 389, 523, 1936, 3941, 3897, 3999 and 4309 (the "Plaintiff Unions") who may have been impacted by Part 3 of Bill 29 and for professional development education for employees in the Community Social Services sector.

CUPE Community Social Services Sector Coordinator Cheryl Colborne says that CUPE is pleased to have the settlement finalized. “CUPE locals will use the funds to support professional development and education. It is an important step to move beyond a very difficult and damaging piece of labour relations history in this sector and in this province.”

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Charter right to freedom of association had been infringed because key provisions of unions’ collective agreements were torn up under Bill 29. Following that ruling, the BC government in 2008 paid a settlement of $85-million to the unions whose health worker members had been impacted by Bill 29.

At issue under this latest community social services settlement was the BC government’s removal of job security provisions from negotiated collective agreements that specifically affected workers.

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