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May 15, 2012

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Limited progress at Community Social Services bargaining table

BURNABY—Community Social Services bargaining resumed for the week of April 30, with limited progress.

The multi-union bargaining committee – the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) – is continuing to make the case for a fair and reasonable deal at the bargaining table, including a wage increase. It is also pushing back on concessionary demands by the employer.

The multi-union bargaining committee decided to hold off presenting monetary proposals to the employer until health and welfare benefits options have been thoroughly examined. The committee is in the process of meeting with the main benefit carriers to discuss improved health and welfare benefit options for workers in the sector.

Meanwhile, the CSSBA has signed a framework agreement with the employer – the Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA) – with regard to job action headquarters and communications. The deadline for completing essential service level evaluations for all the agencies and all the worksites has been extended to May 15.

The CSSBA also organized a solidarity event for union bargaining committee members representing the 300,000 direct and indirect public sector workers who are currently at the bargaining table across the province. This was an opportunity to meet bargaining committee members from different sectors and to share experiences. B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair attended the event.

Additional Community Social Services bargaining dates with the employer have been set through to the end of June.

The CSSBA includes nine unions with a combined membership of about 15,000. The BCGEU is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. CUPE, HEU, HSA are the next largest followed by UFCW, CSWU, USW and CLAC.

The Community Social Services Employers’ Association represents 220 agencies.

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