CSS Bargaining Update: Monetary priorities tabled by committee
The Community Social Services (CSS) Bargaining Committee is back at the bargaining table and has begun to discuss monetary priorities with the employers’ association.
The monetary package was thoughtful and reflective of the priorities identified for the CSS negotiating committee. During the first two years of the pandemic, community social service workers were there and are still there supporting children, families, and individuals in our communities across the province that have needed us the most.
The bargaining priorities reflect the values that we bring to the work that members do. The package includes mental health supports, more accessible and affordable services to people who need them.
We want to create safe and healthy workspaces, including training and language in the collective agreements that recognize diversity and is inclusive.
The committee is also pushing for meaningful and tangible Indigenous recognition and reconciliation to be reflected in the Indigenous Services subsector agreement, and for all Indigenous workers across all three subsector agreements, including Community Living Services and General Services.
We are working hard to re-establish professionalism for the sector. In 2004, the community social services collective agreements were under attack by the BC Liberals and were stripped of wages and entitlements through threat of job loss and re-tendering service contracts to the lowest bidder. Members who remained in the sector have never forgotten the impact of this change and what was lost. In every round of bargaining since, members have fought to restore what was taken and make meaningful gains to reflect the value of our work to our communities. We deserve to be recognized as professionals and compensated at the same level as other public sector workers who do the same or similar work.
The bargaining committee is united, and stands together while pushing forward member priorities. We are prepared to have challenging conversations at the table in order to reach a tentative agreement that is reflective of these priorities.
The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (the CSSBA) represents more than 17,000 workers from ten unions including BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA, LiUNA 1611, CSWU, CLAC, USW 1-417, UFCW and BCNU. The committee is negotiating agreements for workers in Community Living Services, General Services and Indigenous Services sub-sectors. A collective agreement outlines the terms and conditions of employment including wages, benefits, and working conditions, including your rights as a union member.
As we continue the bargaining process, you can expect to hear updates about what will come next in the process. The bargaining committee is continuing to meet with the employers’ representatives this week, and have dates set up for later this month.