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December 3, 2013

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Five-year tentative agreement reached in community social services

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has reached a tentative agreement for the 11,000 union members working in community-based social services across the province. The CSSBA entered into early talks with the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) as part of a multi-sector bargaining strategy with bargaining associations representing workers in community health and the provincial government.

Among other things, the five-year agreement closes the wage gap between workers in community social services and those with equivalent positions in the community health sector.

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

• Wage comparability adjustments over five years for members with occupations similar to those covered by the Community Health agreement. These wage adjustments will affect about three-quarters of all workers in the sector, plus;

• Four general wage increases of one percent each over the term of the agreement, plus;

• Wage adjustments to address specific job classifications within the joint job evaluation plan, plus;

• Modest improvements to health benefits, including vision care. Also agreed to by the parties is the establishment of a Joint Benefits Working Group that will monitor and make recommendations to control the costs of benefits in the community social services sector;

• Modest increases to mileage and meal allowance reimbursements;

• Current provisions for employment security are maintained for the five years of the agreement.

The CSSBA is recommending adoption of the tentative agreement.

The new community social services agreement expires March 31, 2019.

CUPE community social service workers will receive a more detailed report and information on ratification balloting in the coming days.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association bargains on behalf of 11,000 unionized community-based social service workers that work with vulnerable British Columbians. The bargaining association includes CUPE, BCGEU, HEU, HSA and six other unions.

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