Employer-initiated contract talks in community social services collapse

Talks initiated by the Community Social Services Employer's Association aimed at reaching an early collective agreement ended late last week without any deal.

Employers offered no improvements to wages, sick leave, transportation allowance (mileage) and shift premiums. They refused to continue the current language on employment security and protection from contracting (continuity of service and employment memorandum ). They offered no significant improvements in collective agreement language, and nothing on job selection (Article 24).

The employer put forward a complicated scheme in which they would keep 60 per cent of funding intended for pensions of those workers who decline enrolment in the Municipal Pension Plan.

Some progress was made on language to address bullying and harassment, but the employers are demanding that agency executive directors be shielded from harassment complaints.

Unions in the CSS Bargaining Association will meet in the new year to determine how to proceed. The collective agreement remains in effect until a new one is achieved.

HSA represents almost 800 members who work at agencies around the province covered by the CSS collective agreement.

All eligible community social services workers should seriously consider enrolling (or not revoking their enrolment) in the Municipal Pension Plan. Casual and part-time employees may be eligible for the MPP. Information meetings on the pension are planned for the spring. In the meantime check: http://www.pensionsbc.ca for information about your entitlement.

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