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Unions charge CSSEA with unfair labour practice for withholding costing information

The four unions representing 10,000 striking community social services workers are charging the employers' bargaining representatives with bargaining in bad faith for withholding costing information.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Hospital Employees' Union and Health Sciences Association filed an unfair labour practice complaint today with the Labour Relations Board against the Public Sector Employers' Council (PSEC) and Community Social Services Employers' Association (CSSEA).

"The employers' representative is deliberately misleading the public about the cost of our wage and benefit demands," said Cliff Andstein, chief negotiator for the BCGEU.

"We know their estimates are erroneously based on inflated, unreliable or unavailable costing information using questionable methodology. We have repeatedly asked them to share their costing information. They claim that they don't have the necessary costing calculations to give to the unions, and yet have publicized the end result of their calculations. Both cannot be true!"

Andstein said while both sides agree somewhat on the cost of wage increases over the term of the contract, CSSEA's estimate of the benefit package is "ludicrous" and full of errors.

"CSSEA's refusal to share with us the basis of their costing is bargaining in bad faith. We can only assume they're hiding something. But they're also misleading the premier, Treasury Board, the media, the women and men who are on the picket line fighting for fairness and respect, and the public."

Community social services workers are on strike around the province in an effort to end wage and benefit discrimination in the sector. They work in a variety of community agencies providing support for community living, family and children's services, services to women, and child care.

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For more information contact:
Rebecca Maurer, Director of Communications
(604) 439-0994 

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