CSS bargaining committee meets with employers' group, tables proposals

The union bargaining committee for community social services workers met with the employers group this week in Richmond.

The union bargaining committee tabled a comprehensive package of proposals aimed at making gains and restoring rights after years of cuts and concessions. Among other demands, the committee is seeking better sick leave provisions and wage parity with the community health sector.

The Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA) tabled its own concessionary package offering no monetary gains.

Community social services workers are the lowest paid workers in BC's public sector. The unions bargaining committee is working to change that.

Josef Rieder represents HSA at the bargaining table, with HSA bargaining team chair Lynn Kelsey. -Were looking forward to restoring hard-fought rights and making real gains in this round of negotiations," Rieder said. -The union bargaining team asks for the continuing support of all members in the sector." Rieder is a senior labour relations officer at HSA. Kelsey works as a Safe Home Coordinator and Woman's Support Worker at South Okanagan Women in Need Society.

More bargaining dates are set for June. The current agreement -- which expired on March 31, 2010 -- remains in effect while a new collective agreement is being negotiated.

Members can register on HSAs website for bargaining updates by email.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association bargains on behalf of 15,000 unionized community-based social services workers in BC, including 800 HSA members. The BCGEU is the lead union at the table.

Municipal Pension Plan

In 2006, community social services workers finally won access to the Municipal Pension Plan. Members became eligible to enrol starting April 1, 2010.

Members who enrolled should receive a 'Welcome' package confirming your enrolment in the Municipal Pension Plan. Check to ensure you have named a beneficiary.

Members who declined to enrol in the pension plan can change their mind at any time. Simply inform your employer. Casual and part-time employees are eligible to enrol in the pension plan in most cases.

Unions representing members in the community social services sector have developed a short -Frequently Asked Questions" leaflet.

The union strongly encourages members to stick with the pension plan ... a pay cheque for life.

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