The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) announced today that its members in the Community Social Services (CSS) sector voted by 85.7 per cent in favour to ratify a new collective agreement. The three-year contract provides significant compensation increases for workers while meeting the government mandate of improving the services British Columbians count on.
CSS consists of three collective agreements: Community Living workers ratified their agreement by 82.3 per cent; General Services ratified by 95.8 per cent; and Indigenous Services ratified by 50.9 per cent. The weighted average ratification vote for all three sub-sectors was 85.7 per cent.
"After 16 years of cuts and wage restraint leading the sector into crisis, this agreement with a government that wants to put people first provides a foundation to build on," says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. "We are pleased to see substantial gains to support the vital work CSS workers do. However, the low support among the membership for the Indigenous Services contract demonstrates how much more needs to be done. Over the next three years, the union will continue to work with CSS members to further strengthen support for the sector."
The ratified agreement is the result of negotiations between the 10-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) and the Community Social Services Employers' Association (CSSEA).
"While our negotiating team did the very best it could, we know there is still some distance to go in getting a deal that receives strong support by all sub-sectors," says BCGEU Vice President, Component 3, Andrea Duncan. "This is the work of our union – to continue making progress and fighting for the wages and working conditions we deserve."
The new collective agreement will be in effect from April 1, 2019 until March 31, 2022.
The BCGEU is the lead union in the sector, representing two-thirds of the unionized community social service workers in British Columbia. These caring professionals provide supports, services and resources to adults and children with developmental disabilities, women and children fleeing violence, Aboriginal families in need, at-risk youth, those with substance addictions, and more.
For more information contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications Officer at 604-719-4713 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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