CSS Bargaining

Click here for the latest information:  www.cssfairdeal.ca


Memo from CUPE National:
CSS Tentative Agreement and Info Sessions

Hello everyone,
Attached is a detailed Comprehensive Report from the CSSBA regarding changes to the Collective Agreement that were agreed to during bargaining.

Locals will receive information about voting later this week.

The CUPE members on the Provincial Bargaining Committee have decided to offer online info sessions that all members may attend.
Please click on the Memo from CUPE National  to see the schedule and registration links.

Members, staff and elected officials MUST register in order to attend a zoom session, as there is a limit of 300 participants per session.



November 29, 2022

The nine-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has not been back to the negotiations table since the last update that we shared with you in early November, but we wanted to let you know what is happening with the negotiation of your new collective agreement in the Indigenous Services, General Services, and Community Living sub-sectors.

As you know, we have been hard at work for many months, negotiating with the representatives of the employers’ association, and bringing forward the priorities that you identified. These priorities include fair and equitable wages to address rising costs, meaningful recognition of rights for Indigenous workers and your ability to address your own health needs, including mental health supports.

We have made progress at the table and have made many agreements on monetary and non-monetary priorities. However, at this point, we remain significantly far apart from the employers on a few key priorities in all three sub-sector community social services agreements.

We are working towards true reconciliation which means that all Indigenous workers are respected, and their cultural needs are valued. Our work at the negotiations table is in line with a shared commitment to reconciliation, and we believe that this should be reflected in improvements to your collective agreement.

We will continue to fight for the best collective agreement that values you and the work that you bring to your workplace and to your community. We are working towards an agreement that not only puts more money in your pocket but enables you to take care of your health and have a safe workplace.

We are also working to address a systemic issue with our community social services sector: recruitment and retention. We are working hard to bring all of your priorities to the table and to make your work more supported and attractive to new workers in the sector.

What comes next?
We had hoped to be able to schedule additional bargaining dates before the end of this calendar
year, but due to scheduling challenges, that is not possible. We are now looking at bargaining
dates in the New Year and we will keep you in the loop as we move forward.
In the meantime, it is critical that you keep your contact information up-to-date with your union
stewards along with your workplace contacts so we can keep you informed as we move forward.

And please, share this bulletin with your co-workers to make sure that everyone in your workplace has a signed union card.

We thank you for all of your support!

In solidarity,
Your Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) Negotiating Committee:
Andrea Duncan, CSSBA Negotiating Committee Chair
Angela Reed, BCGEU
April Duffield, BCGEU
Brian Calderwood, BCGEU
Jessica Daigneault, BCGEU
Kari Bepple, BCGEU
Katelynn Banky, BCGEU
Linda Rowley, BCGEU
Melissa Linn, BCGEU
Pamela Pye, BCGEU
Patricia Phillips, BCGEU
Rene Francis, BCGEU
Tammy Lewis, BCGEU
Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU
Sheryl Burns, CUPE
Gabrielle Cameron, CUPE
Bob Crozier, CUPE
Lee-Ann Lalli, CUPE
Valeria Mancilla, CUPE
Mike Varga, CUPE
David Heuspe, HEU
Cheryl McLachlan, HEU
Loise Peloquin, HEU
Colin Brehaut, HSA
Dawn Marie Goodmurphy, HSA
Shelley Moore, LiUNA! Local 1611
Michael Reed, CUPE Staff
Christina Lloyd-Jones, HEU Staff
James Coccola, BCGEU Executive Vice President
Selena Kongpreecha, Lead Negotiator

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Collective bargaining resumed between the nine-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) and the provincial Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) this past week to negotiate a new contract for 17,000 unionized workers in the sector.

However, on Monday, talks were suspended after the latest proposal put forward by the employers’ association failed to meet the needs identified by workers in the sector.

Members have been clear about their priorities and what they want representatives at the bargaining table to bring forward. These priorities include a fair and equitable compensation package that will help lighten the pressure of rising costs, meaningful recognition of rights for Indigenous workers and the ability to address members’ own health needs, including mental health supports.

Community social services sector workers support some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The bargaining committee is working hard to bring us all a contract that will take care of us as workers, and that enables us to provide quality care for the people that we support in our work.

As we are negotiating, the global health pandemic is entering its third year and your workplaces are critically short-staffed. During the pandemic, many members were required to remain at work. Now we are pushing for them to be considered as important at the bargaining table too.

Unfortunately, we are still not there. This past week, our discussions have been challenging and we are still not reaching an agreement on some of the most fundamental priorities that we believe will make the difference for members.

We are working towards true reconciliation which means that all Indigenous workers are respected, and their cultural needs are valued. We are seeking improvements that recognize the cultural capacity and competency that is required to support Indigenous families when working in Indigenous agencies. These improvements should reflect the value our members bring to communities. Government has expressed a strong commitment to reconciliation, and we believe this commitment should also be reflected in your Collective Agreement.

We are not prepared to bring an agreement back to members that does not value our work and addresses our basic needs and priorities. We are working towards an agreement that not only puts more money in members’ pockets but enables you to take care of your health and have a safe workplace.

We are still fighting for a compensation package that protects against rising costs and addresses a root problem in our sector: recruitment and retention. If our communities are going to keep the skills and experience we already have in our sector and recruit the next generation, we need a compensation package that is attractive and competitive.

The employers’ association have different ideas to address the systemic issues in the sector.  But we have heard from members about the priorities that will make the difference in the workplace and at home and we continue to find way to ensure that these priorities are reflected in the agreement we bring back to members.

What comes next?

We will be back to the negotiating table at a later date to continue this fight. And we will keep you in the loop as we continue these discussions.

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Bargaining begins for Community Social Services, Community Health workers in B.C.

BURNABY—Bargaining has begun for more than 17,000 community social service workers and more than 21,000 workers in the community health sector in B.C., with bargaining association representatives for both sectors commencing contract talks this week.

Formal negotiations between the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) and Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) began Wednesday (February 2). This followed a CSSBA bargaining conference last week in which bargaining committee members brought forward proposals from the membership and finalized bargaining priorities.

“We look forward to this round of bargaining, and we expect talks to be both constructive and productive in making positive gains for our members, who are the heart and soul of our communities,” said CUPE Community Social Services coordinator Michael Reed, noting that the bargaining committee will be seeking improvements in wages and benefits as well as addressing workload and recruitment and retention issues.

“We know the public supports our issues. No one wants to see community social service workers get left behind during these difficult times, when clients need them most.”

In Community Health, talks began yesterday (February 3) between the Community Health Bargaining Association (CBA) and the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) after a similar conference by the CBA to set its bargaining priorities.

“Members have told us they want a fair deal that will help close the gap in wages and benefits compared to other health agreements, allow for better care of their mental health, and give members greater control over their working conditions,” said CUPE Health coordinator Tanya Paterson.

“The pandemic has shown the public how badly understaffed the health sector is, and the impact that has had on workers and clients. So we hope to make real improvements in this round.”

CUPE represents 2,331 workers in the Community Social Services sector and 1,489 workers in Community Health under the CBA contract.