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March 5, 2012

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Contract talks now underway in Community Social Services

Proposals exchanged during first week of negotiations

BURNABY—By the end of the first week of negotiations in the community social services sector, the unions’ bargaining team and the employer had reached agreement on a bargaining protocol.

The protocol determines the process the two parties will use to negotiate a new collective agreement for B.C.’s 15,000 unionized community social services workers.

The multi-union bargaining committee and the employer also exchanged proposals during the week long talks, which commenced on February 27. The next bargaining dates have been set for March 12 to 16.

Representatives of the multi-union bargaining committee say they are committed to achieving a fair deal at the bargaining table – one that respects and values the work  our members do.

“We’ve heard our members loud and clear, and it is their mandate we will seek,” said CUPE’s CSS bargaining coordinator Cheryl Colborne.

“As public service workers, we cannot afford to continue to purchase our own improvements. We have been doing so for over ten years.”

Although the Community Social Services collective agreement expires on March 31, 2012, all provisions will remain in force until a new agreement is ratified.

Members are asked to make sure the union has up-to date-contact information - especially home e-mail and phone numbers – and to stay tuned for further updates from the bargaining table.

You may also get regular bargaining updates by


For more information about the current bargaining climate in B.C., watch the video of CUPE’s recent strategic bargaining conference http://www.cupe.bc.ca/news/videos/2488.

The Community Social Services Union Bargaining Association includes nine unions. 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 and CLAC.

The Community Social Services Employers’ Association represents 220 agencies.

Cope 491

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