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BURNABY—Unions in the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) are concerned that an approach from employers for early talks is already stumbling, and the possibility of an early settlement may not materialize.

The CSSBA responded to an employer offer to explore options that could lead to an early settlement. In the community social services sector compensation has fallen behind that of comparable workers in health care, education and other public services and the sector is experiencing serious recruitment and retention problems. As well there are outstanding concerns with language in the current collective agreement.

Given the pressing issues, unions are committed to making progress on important issues for members, and are concerned that apart from an initial offer, there has been a frustrating lack of movement on priorities.

CUPE members will be kept fully informed of the outcome of these discussions and any settlement will be subject to membership for ratification. If nothing is achieved in this early round of bargaining, more formal talks will resume sometime in the New Year.

CUPE’s 2,500 community social services members are part of the CSSBA which comprises ten unions that represent more than 15,000 workers.