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April 22, 2013

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Community Social Services collective agreement ratified

Community Living and General Service workers ratify agreement – Aboriginal Services ratification vote ongoing

BURNABY—Community social service workers have voted in favour of a two-year contract that provides a wage increase while protecting health and welfare benefits.

Community Living workers ratified the tentative agreement by 71 percent. General Services ratified by 84 percent.

The Community Social Services Employers Association has also ratified the Community Living Services and General Services collective agreements. Both collective agreements are now in effect.

Highlights of the new agreements include:

  • A wage increase for all employees:
    • 1.5% on April 1, 2013;
    • 1.5% on January 1, 2014;
    • An extra 1% wage increase for all step 1 employees on April 1, 2013;
  • A labour market adjustment review for all General Service and Community Living classifications.

The agreement covers workers that support adults with developmental disabilities, youth-at-risk, infant and child development, women services, substance addictions, First Nations, and employment services, among others.

“Community social service workers have voted in favour of an improved contract, but it took three months of rotating strike action to get a deal,” said CUPE BC President Mark Hancock.

In late January 2013, nearly 3,400 community living workers went on strike. The following week, nearly 500 family service workers were picketing. Rotating strike action first started in October 2012 and impacted communities across the province.

“We continue to believe that the provincial government must reinvest in community living and other critical services that support vulnerable families across British Columbia and value the work of our caring professionals,” said Michael Lanier, CUPE bargaining member.

A separate tentative agreement has been reached for Aboriginal Service workers. Ratification vote results in this subsector are expected April 29.

Community social service workers are represented by BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA and six other unions, which together make up the multi-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association.

There are 15,000 unionized community social service workers in British Columbia, and two-thirds of them work in community living supporting adults with developmental disabilities.

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