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The task of creating a single bargaining association for the community social service sector’s 13 unions - as mandated by provincial legislation last spring - is now complete and preparations for bargaining are well under way.

On September 2, the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) served notice to the newly formed Community Social Services’ Bargaining Association (CSSBA) that bargaining must commence within the 10-day period required by the B.C. Labour Code.

CSSBA’s negotiating committee will begin meeting September 5 to draft a negotiating protocol for presentation to CSSEA and to prepare proposals that will ultimately merge all the sector’s current collective agreements into a single agreement in each of the three sub-sectors: community living services; aboriginal services and child and family services.

While it is anticipated that some current contract language will change as a result of this process, the priorities developed by Hospital Employees’ Union and Canadian Union of Public Employees members last December are expected to be consistent with those of our partner unions in the new association.

The membership of CSSBA’s negotiating committee is as follows: 15 voting representatives from the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (the largest union in the sector); six from CUPE; three from HEU; two from the Health Sciences Association and three to be elected from the remaining nine unions. The committee’s representation will be reviewed annually.