April 20, 2012
Following a month-long break, your bargaining committee – the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) – returned to the negotiating table on April 16 for four days of contract talks with the Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA). CSSBA reports that progress has been frustratingly slow. Your bargaining committee is working hard to make the case for a fair and reasonable deal, including a wage increase. And we have made it clear that there is no support for revisiting improvements gained in the last round of bargaining with respect to job selection, bumping and the grievance procedure. The multi-union bargaining committee also worked toward finalizing compensation and classification proposals in preparation for discussions when talks resume April 30. In early May, the CSSBA will meet with benefit providers to discuss costs regarding improvements to health and welfare benefits. Meanwhile, bargaining representatives from Aboriginal Services are preparing to meet with employers to table proposals specific to this sub-sector. We are also busy negotiating essential services levels at the local level, and are currently in discussions regarding strike headquarters. Additional bargaining dates have been set for May through June. Please make sure your union has up-to date-contact information – especially home email and phone numbers – and stay tuned for further updates from the bargaining table. More than 300,000 public sector workers are at the bargaining table in 2012 including health care, education, direct government service, and many other independent employers and crown corporations. The CSSBA includes nine unions representing 15,000 community social services workers. CSSEA represents 220 agencies.