Community social service workers ratify three-year agreement, includes wage increases and significant money for low wage redress

Community social service workers have voted by 85.7 per cent in favour to ratify a new collective agreement that provides significant compensation increases for workers in this sector, while meeting the government mandate of improving the services British Columbians count on.

Community Living workers ratified the tentative agreement by 82.3 per cent. General Services ratified by 95.8 per cent. Indigenous Services (previously Aboriginal Services) ratified by 50.9 per cent. The weighted average ratification vote for all three sub-sectors was 85.7 per cent.

“Our members voted in favour of an agreement that represents a significant step forward – not just in terms of fair compensation, but also in recognizing the value of our sector and the vital work we do to support the health and well-being of so many British Columbians,” says Andrea Duncan, BCGEU, Chair of the negotiating committee. “Although we still have work to do, we will continue to build on this achievement.”

Highlights of the General Services and Community Living sub-sector agreements include:

  • General wage increases of 2% in each year, plus significant money for low wage redress to address recruitment and retention issues in the sector

  • Strong improvements to occupational health & safety including a Provincial Occupational Health and Safety Council

  • The restoration of statutory holiday pay for part-time and casual employees

  • A non-provincially funded childcare commitment from government to look at fair compensation for early childhood educators

  • An improved process to assist the parties in better labour relations

  • Enhancements to health and welfare benefit plans to start closing the gap with the health sector

  • The renewal of the labour adjustment education fund and funding for health and safety and violence prevention training

Over 1000 HSA members were represented at the bargaining table by staff negotiator Sharon Geoghegan and Kerry Hammell, a youth and family counsellor at John Howard Society.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association is made up of 16,000 members working around the province and represented by the following unions: BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA, CSWU, UFCW, USW, SEIU, CLAC and BCNU.

The new collective agreement will be in effect from April 1, 2019 until March 31, 2022. Please share this update with your co-workers.