BURNABY - CUPE BC president, Barry O’Neill is calling on Carole Taylor to live up to her promises to fix a bargaining system that has been broken for some time.
Thousands of CUPE members have been trying to negotiate collective agreements within a time frame imposed by government, but it seems like the government’s front line employers don’t have the authority or the desire to move things along.
“It’s time for Ms. Taylor to crack the whip on employers if she wants settlements in a timely fashion and without job actions,” says O’Neill. “CUPE members want settlements but they don’t want to be insulted.”
After offering doctors a settlement that includes in excess of 19 per cent in wage increases over four years, the government is sitting back while Community Social Services Employers (CSSEA) offer a pittance to groups of people who are caring for citizens with serious issues from developmental and physical disabilities to those with serious addictions and women and children who suffer from various forms of abuse.
“We know that employers in the Social Services sector are having trouble hiring and retaining the well-trained and highly skilled workers they need, yet government compensation offers, including basic benefits like sick leave, are embarrassingly low. How can we expect people to bring their high skill levels and care to these low wage ghettos.”
Community Social Services workers in CUPE and other unions were subjected to 15 per cent wage rollbacks and statutory holiday pay cuts during the last round of bargaining.
“Carole Taylor, I challenge you to deal with the realities of people who are truly working on the front lines. Bleeding heart statements after tragedies occur are not good enough!”
The CUPE BC president feels that if CSSEA employers don’t have the financial authority to pay these workers what they deserve. “Perhaps it’s time for Ms. Taylor to change that.”
Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC President 604.340.6768
Michael Lanier, CUPE BC Vice President and President of CUPE 1936 Greater Vancouver Community Social Services 778.834.7164
Louise Leclair: Communications Representative 778.838.0699