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Multi-union CSSBA, employers agency to commence talks during week of February 27.

Community-based social service workers across British Columbia are returning to the bargaining table in 2012. The current collective agreement expires on March 31, 2012.

The Community Social Services Union Negotiating Committee held meetings last week in order to formalize the Unions’ bargaining demands for one proposal package and to prepare for bargaining to commence. Our members have made it clear that, in this round of bargaining, the B.C. Liberal Government must negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement that includes no concessions and improvements to wages and allowances, health and welfare benefits (e.g. sick leave), job security, and general working terms and conditions.

Community Social Services workers are caring, community minded, trained, and skilled professionals who provide a range of services for British Columbians in need,” said CUPE CSS Coordinator Cheryl Colborne, citing such critical services as residences and day programs for people with disabilities, supports for family and youth, quality child care, employment services, counseling and support for immigrant families and aboriginal people, and services for women.

Taking inflation into account, these are very fair and reasonable demands for workers who are the lowest paid and compensated public sector employees in the province,” added Colborne.

The Community Social Services Union Bargaining Association (CSSBA) comprises all the unions certified by the BC Labour Relations Board to represent the 15,000 workers in the community social services sector in our province: CUPE, BCGEU, HEU, HSA, CLAC, UFCW, USW, CSWU and BCNU. There are 220 employers in community social services divided in three sectors: Community Living, General Services and Aboriginal Services.

To ensure smooth communication during bargaining, please ensure that your contact details are up-to-date with your local union – especially your home email and phone numbers.