BURNABY— This week, the Community Social Services bargaining committee offered employers an opportunity to finally get serious about negotiations for a new collective agreement - and they promptly dropped the ball.
“They just don't get it,” says Michael Lanier, President of CUPE Local 1936 and a member of the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA). “Our members need to see real gains after years of concessions and crumbs. We won't settle for an agreement that includes no improvements and no employment security”.
Employers, represented by the provincial government's Community Social Service Employers' Association (CSSEA), continue to insist that community social services workers accept their “zero mandate”.
Employers have so far offered only two more years of:
• No wage increases (with the cost of living, this amounts to a erosion in your real wages of as much as 5%)
• No net benefit improvements
• No employment security during a time of lay-offs
• No significant collective agreements changes to give you a fairer workplace
The Community Social Services bargaining committee is standing by to return to the bargaining table. They are looking for a serious commitment and a serious effort from CSSEA. They are looking for a contact that delivers fairness in our workplaces and employment security.
The provincial government's CSSEA bargaining committee includes representatives of the following employers:
AIMHI in Prince George
Tri-Cities Women's Resources Society
Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion PossAbilities (formerly MAPCL)
John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland
Powell River and District Association for Community Living
Vancouver Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society
At the table on the union side are the BCGEU, HSA, HEU, CUPE, UFCW and several other unions representing smaller certifications.
Watch the union bulletin board and website for important information in the coming weeks about how members can take action to support your bargaining committee.
Activists who were involved in determining and scheduling essential services in 1999 should contact the union as soon as possible. Members and activists should not discuss essential services with any employer representative.