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Kiwassa Neighbourhood House Services Association - Your New Collective Agreement - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

In December 2022, your Employer applied to join the Community Social Services Employers' Association (CSSEA). If approved, you would join the General Services Collective Agreement. The first step was for the BC government to add your Employer's name to the Community Social Services Employer Regulation through a BC Order in Council (OIC).

The Government has issued the OIC, which means the non-monetary parts of the collective agreement are now in effect as of February 27, 2023.

The monetary parts of your new collective agreement will take effect four months after the OIC is issued on June 27, 2023. This includes your wages and benefits.
On Monday March 13, 2023, we held a zoom membership meeting and here are some of the common FAQ's that were discussed.
Your collective agreement spells out your legal rights at work. Your agreement is a sectoral agreement negotiated between workers in community social services represented by an association of unions (CSSBA) and an association of your Employers. We negotiate with the collective power of 19,000 community social service workers to achieve higher wages, benefits and better working conditions than a small workplace could get on their own. Our strength is in numbers.
You can read your collective agreement here. Talk to stewards at your workplace to learn more about your agreement and how it applies to you and your co-workers.  
A tentative agreement has been reached for General Services Collective Agreement you can read more about it here and in the FAQ.
In solidarity,
Alix Born, Staff Representative
Carol Wood, Staff Representative, Organizing Department
P.S. Stay up to date on union news by signing into BCGEU's Member Portal. Access it with your login at or, if you haven't logged in before, you can sign up for an account here:

Download PDF of notice here

Download FAQ's here

Kiwassa Neighbourhood Services Association 
Transition to Community Social Services FAQ

On March 13, 2023 we held a membership meeting on zoom, here is some of the information we discuss as well as some FAQ. 

Important dates: 

  • February 27, 2023 the non monetary provisions of the General Services Collective Agreement apply.
  • June 27, 2023 the monetary provisions of the General Services Collective Agreement will start.   

How do I know where I will be placed on the wage grid of the General Services Collective Agreement?

Here is a very helpful document that shows the steps of the classification and wage grid placement process. 

  • Every worker will get a copy of their own “current” job description to review 
  • It is VERY IMPORTANT that each worker review their job description and ensure it’s accurate, this is how your placement is determined, based on the work you do. 
  • Stewards and staff will help make sure all workers have input into their job descriptions
  • The Union’s classifications department will connect with each worker to review the job descriptions and proposed placement on the wage grid to ensure the placement is done correctly. 

When will I see the new wage grid come into effect?

  • Anything that costs the employer money from the Collective Agreement comes into effect on June 27th 2023
  • If we go through the classification process and your grid level is lower than your current pay, you will be “red-circled”, which means your pay doesn’t go backwards but it will be frozen until general wage increases exceed your red circle wage.

Municipal Pension Plan Information 
Here is the Pension presentation for comparison between RRSP and the Municipal Pension Plan. 

  • A union member can have input into what their pension fund does by putting a motion through their local to the BCGEU leadership, who can bring it to the Pension Board
  • The responsibility of the pension corporation is to ensure everyone has money (fiduciary duty) and this restricts their decisions. 
  • An individual can opt out of the pension plan by filling in paperwork at the time of enrollment. 
  • Once you opt out, you can opt back in, but you start from that moment – you can’t buy back the service 
  • Once you’re in, you can’t get out unless you’ve quit your job or want to pull out after 55
  • If you quit, if the amount you’ve put in (commuted value) is small, they will give you amount in taxable cash.
  • If the commuted value is larger, you can take it as taxable cash or move it to an RRSP.
  • Bear in mind, any money you take out will be taxable
  • If you check the cbi website, you can see what sorts of things the pension fund is invested in
  • Can non-unionized folks participate? Yes, the Municipal Pension Plan authorizes the Employer as a contributor, the ER can decide who to put in the plan, so it could be managers or non-unionized folks

What is our ability to negotiate with our employer now that we are in the sectoral agreement?
Your Staff Representative, with member assistance, will negotiate a Local Issues Agreement. The Local Issues Agreement contains things more specific to your workplace such as hours of work, assignment of additional hours, casual call-out procedure, seasonal employees, special project employees, etc.  The Union will seek protection of superior benefits as part of the Local Issues Agreement. 

When do we start paying union dues?
Once the monetary provisions start on June 27th, 2023, the Employer will start to deduct dues.  Dues payment is not retroactive!  

Isn’t there a new collective agreement being negotiated?
Yes, there is a new tentative agreement for your sectoral collective agreement that has been negotiated. It is in the process of being voted on by all Community Social Services members across the province. You can find more details here but these are some highlights: 

  • Low-wage redress* increases, retroactive for all employees (past and present) to April 1, 2022
  • $0.25/hour increase to all wage grids, retroactive for all employees (past and present) to April 1, 2022
  • 3.24% increase to all wage grids, retroactive for all employees (past and present) to April 1, 2022
  • At least a 5.5% general wage increase, effective the first pay period after April 1, 2023
  • At least a 2% general wage increase, effective the first pay period after April 1, 2024
  • 100% paid sick leave, effective April 1, 2024
  • Improvements to health and welfare benefits, leave provisions, safety and health, layoff and recall, bullying and harassment language.

We’ve been unionized for a few months – have there been some gains?

  • You have been covered by the Harbourview collective agreement since July 2022. LTD premiums should be 100% Employer paid. A grievance has been successful in achieving repayment of any payroll deductions for these entitlements.  Repayment should be received in April.
  • We brought forward the statutory holidays for Sept 19th and 30th - Kiwassa made good on that and remedied the violation. 
  • Negotiated a 2% increase for Harbourview Daycare retroactive to April 1, 2022. 

Are the entitlements the same under this new sectoral agreement?
We have put together this comparison document for your information. 

If I have questions, where can I go for answers?

Your worksite stewards are: 

  • Blain Butyniec
  • Giovana Feijao
  • Jesus Gonzalez
  • Joanna Nellas
  • Omri Haiven
  • Kitty Jones 

You also have Occupational Health and Safety Representatives who will be meeting regularly with the Employer Reps: 

  • Giovana Feijao,
  • Pia Yu
  • Tessa Abetkoff 
  • Elza Lam 
  • Daya Herr 
  • Blain Butyniec
  • Maria Cervino 

These Union Representatives will all be receiving training in the next few months, and stewards can call on their BCGEU Staff Representative, Alix Born for further assistance. 

Download PDF of notice here