VANCOUVER – Talks broke down yesterday between the provincial government, employers and the ten unions representing B.C.’s 15,000 community social services workers. As a result, there will be a strike vote for all unionized workers in the sector.
Outstanding issues include: wages, benefits, sick leave, reimbursable expenses and concessionary demands by the employer, including revisiting improvements gained in the last round of bargaining.
“We are asking for a fair and reasonable deal, including a wage increase. The provincial government has nothing to offer the caring professionals in Community Social Services, which is why we are calling on our members to support their bargaining demands with a strike vote,” says James Cavalluzzo, chair of the multi-union bargaining association.
“We need members to come out and vote. We need your voice to be heard. Over the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to members through strike vote information meetings, telephone town halls and by other means. We absolutely need a strong strike mandate. That will send a message to government that we are standing up for a fair and reasonable settlement,” added Cavalluzzo.
In light of the breakdown in talks, the unions involved in the talks have organized strike votes at worksites around the province. Strike vote meetings will begin next week, and meeting notices will be sent by separate notice. Information regarding the telephone town halls will follow.
The schedule of information briefings and balloting information will be posted on your union website. For more information and resources regarding Community Social Services bargaining, please visit www.cssfairdeal.ca
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. The BCGEU is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. CUPE, HEU, HSA are the next largest followed by UFCW, CSWU, USW, SEIU and CLAC.
The provincial government’s Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) represents 220 agencies in the sector.