Monetary items remain outstanding, strike action likely

Strike action in Community Social Services is likely in the coming weeks, unless the government mandate regarding monetary issues changes significantly.

B.C.’s Minister of Finance, Mike de Jong, made a pessimistic pronouncement about the state of the province’s finances last week, indicating the deficit is on the rise and costs have to be contained. In the government’s quarterly financial update on September 13, de Jong said the province will be reviewing its current bargaining mandate, which dictates that all public sector workers must find “savings” in their contracts to fund any wage increase.

On September 17 and 18, your multi-union bargaining committee met with the employer, the Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA). Progress was made on non-monetary issues, and the committee was able to fight off a number of concessions.

Because of the government mandate, CSSEA has not presented any monetary offer. Monetary items such as wages, benefits and employment security that were identified as important by the membership, remain outstanding.

We have established a strike coordinating committee that is preparing for job action and planning other actions in support of a fair deal. The September 13 rally in support of community social service workers was a great success. Photos are available on the BC Community Social Service Workers Facebook page.

We will keep you posted of future actions, but remember - these will be your chance to be heard!

In the event job action begins, your bargaining committee will be looking for your support at local level. Please make sure that

  • your contact information is up to date;
  • you read communications from your union;
  • you participate in local meetings;
  • spread the word!
  • post bargaining bulletins;
  • talk to coworkers.
  • Be clear. With all the other sectors bargaining at this time, remember that we are the Community Social Services sector. 

 

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