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Tentative deal reached in BC Community Social Services

Mar 4, 2013 04:47 PM
 

After a marathon bargaining session of 13 days, the multi-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has reached a tentative collective agreement with the employer.

The two-year proposed agreement is fair and reasonable and achieves our members’ key priorities, including an across-the-board wage increase while protecting health and welfare benefits. Highlights include:

  • A wage increase for all employees
  • 1.5% on April 1, 2013;
  • 1.5% on January 1, 2014;
  • An extra 1% wage increase for all step 1 employees on April 1, 2013;
  • A labour market adjustment review for all General Service and Community Living classifications.

Further details will be announced shortly. The proposed agreement covers community-based social services workers in community living and general services only. Aboriginal Service workers remain at the bargaining table.

“Despite the government’s restrictive mandate, our bargaining committee fought to get the best agreement possible for the caring professionals that support vulnerable B.C. families in our sector,” says CUPE’s community social services coordinator Cheryl Colborne.

The bargaining committee is unanimous in recommending that members vote in favour of the proposed settlement.

“We continue to believe that the government must provide proper funding for the programs that support vulnerable families in B.C., and the workers that provide them,” says Colborne.

“Our three months of rotating strike action sent a clear message to government. We want to express our gratitude and thanks to all the workers who took to the picket lines in support of our sector and our bargaining objectives.”

The multi-union bargaining association will now seek ratification by members in the month ahead.

Members will receive detailed information about the tentative agreement and the ratification vote process in due course. The full ratification bulletin will also be posted to the union’s website and at www.cssfairdeal.ca.

Workers in community social services were without a contract since March 31, 2012 and are the lowest paid in the broad public service.

Community living workers are represented by BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA and six other unions, which together make up the Community Social Services Bargaining Association. There are 15,000 unionized community social servicesworkers, and two-thirds of them work in community living.