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About 40 members at Sunshine Valley Community Services in Grand Forks, BC are cheering their return to CUPE.

After its election last year, the BC Liberal awarded a contract for the delivery of community services to a new employer, with the right to hire from outside the union. This required CUPE to recertify the workers who then applied for recognition of their former contract provisions.

“There has never been a successful bid for successorship in social services,” says Tim Rezansoff, chair of CUPE 3999-47. “But this is pretty close to it without actually calling it by that name.”

The members won all their former provisions with the exception of the job protection language that was gutted by Bill 29. Members won retroactive recognition of their seniority and service-related benefits going back to the date of hire with their previous employer, and the statutory holidays and overtime lost during the time the agreement wasn’t in effect,

“We even won back the jobs of the three employees who weren’t rehired,” Rezansoff says.

Holiday pay almost doubled for the most senior employees and people with six or seven years of service who had been reduced to minimum holiday benefits won their proper entitlement.