Community social services: Tentative deal reached

After a marathon bargaining session of 13 days, the multi-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has reached a tentative collective agreement with the employer.

The two-year proposed agreement includes an across the board wage increase while protecting health and welfare benefits.

Highlights include:

  • A wage increase for all employees:
    • 1.5% on April 1, 2013;
    • 1.5% on January 1, 2014;
    • An extra 1% wage increase for all step 1 employees on April 1, 2013;
  • A labour market adjustment review for all General Service and Community Living classifications.

Further details will be announced shortly. The proposed agreement covers community-based social services workers in community living and general services only. Aboriginal Service workers remain at the bargaining table. Most of HSA's community social service members are covered by the "general service" and "community living" contracts.

HSA's board of directors will soon be meeting to discuss a recommendation for members regarding ratification of the contract.

Workers in community social services were without a contract since March 31, 2012 and are the lowest paid in the broad public service.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is the multi-union bargaining committee for BC's unionized community social service workers. The CSSBA includes ten unions with a combined membership of about 15,000. HSA members are represented at the negotiating table by Margaret Blair-Cook (supported child development consultant, Central Okanagan Child Development Association) and Sharon Geoghegan (labour relations officer). The BCGEU is the largest union in the community social services sector. The bargaining association also includes HSA, CUPE, HEU, UFCW, and other unions.