CSS Bargaining Update: Wages, compensation and Indigenous rights dominate contract talks this week

As negotiations for the new collective agreement continue, talks are heating up between the Community Social Services Bargaining Association and representatives of the employers’ association.

This week, the Committee countered the employers’ wages and compensation offer. The Committee has heard loud and clear from members across the community social services sector that protection against the rising cost of living is a key priority.

There is still significant work to do at the table to achieve a fair and equitable compensation package, including wage increases, as both sides are quite far apart.

Talks are also focused on meaningful recognition of the rights of Indigenous workers across all three subsector collective agreements -- Community Living, General Services, and Indigenous Services.

Community social services is the only public sector with a specific subsector collective agreement for Indigenous Services. These workers support individuals, children, and families in communities across the province in roles including family preservation workers, social workers, counsellors, support workers and so much more.

We cannot reach an agreement that does not fully recognize these workers and bring them parity with their counterparts, specifically those who are directly employed with the provincial government in non-Indigenous agencies.

The bargaining team is scheduled to be back at the table for more talks next week. The Committee is making progress on shared priorities including improvements for safer and healthier workplaces, better mental health supports and recognition of the diversity of members. But we are going to continue to fight hard for a compensation package that recognizes the value of the work done by members.

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