Community social service workers ratify contract with wage increases & low wage redress

Social service workers represented by the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) voted  85.7 per cent in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement with significant compensation increases.

CSSBA is the bargaining agent for 10 unions, including UFCW 1518, representing about 15,000 members working in the community social services sector across British Columbia.

“I am pleased there are some long overdue improvements to this collective agreement,” said Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak. “Our members who work in community social services around the province are incredibly dedicated and committed to provide the best care to their clients. We are proud to represent them in the work that they do in the workplaces and their communities.”

Highlights of the agreement includes:

  • General wage increases of two percent in each year, plus significant money for low wage redress to address recruitment and retention issues in the sector.
  • Strong improvements to occupational health and safety including a Provincial Occupational Health and Safety Council
  • The restoration of statutory holiday pay for part-time and casual employees
  • A non-provincially funded childcare commitment from government to look at fair compensation for early childhood educators
  • An improved process to assist the parties in better labour relations
  • Enhancements to health and welfare benefit plans to start closing the gap with the health sector
  • The renewal of the labour adjustment education fund and funding for health and safety and violence prevention training.

Secretary-Treasurer Novak acknowledged there is still more work to be done: “But we’re going to take this agreement and build upon it.”

The new collective agreement will be in effect from April 1, 2019 until March 31, 2022.