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Monetary proposals tabled at the B.C. Community Social Services bargaining table – awaiting employer response: June 4 bargaining week will be critical.

The multi-union bargaining committee presented its monetary proposals to the employer during the latest week of bargaining, including wage and benefit demands and all proposals related to the Aboriginal Services sector.

The employer will table their wage and benefit proposals and respond to ours when bargaining resumes the week of June 4.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has made it clear that Community Social Service workers deserve a fair and reasonable deal, including a wage increase. They are also pushing back on concessionary demands by the employer, including revisiting improvements gained in the last round of bargaining with respect to job selection and bumping.

However, the employer – the Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA) – has already indicated that they are bound by the government’s “co-operative gains” mandate, whereby modest wage increases can be found only by finding savings within existing budgets.

Regarding health and welfare benefits improvements, your bargaining committee has now finished reviewing proposals for improvements. As part of their due diligence, the CSSBA met with several benefit carriers, as well as with WorkSafeBC - the Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C.

Essential service levels for all the agencies and all the worksites will be completed very soon.

In summary, it appears that the parties may be far apart, especially on monetary issues. Even with bargaining dates scheduled until end of June, it is clear that the next bargaining session scheduled for the week of June 4 will be critical.

Accordingly, it is particularly important that your union has up-to-date contact information for all members– especially home email and phone numbers.

The CSSBA is the multi-union bargaining committee for unionized community social service workers in B.C. The CSSBA includes ten unions with a combined membership of about 15,000. The BCGEU is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. CUPE, HEU, HSA are the next largest followed by UFCW, CSWU, USW, SEIU and CLAC.

The Community Social Services Employers’ Association represents 220 agencies in the sector.