BC Employers in community social services scuttle chance of agreement | National Union of Public and General Employees

BC Employers in community social services scuttle chance of agreement

"The employer's frequent assertion that they want to establish a new relationship with unions has been exposed as hollow," says James Cavalluzzo, chair of the BCGEU bargaining committee.

Vancouver (December 18, 2009) - Talks initiated by the Community Social Services Employer's Association aimed at reaching an early collective agreement have ended without any deal.

"The employer's frequent assertion that they want to establish a new relationship with unions has been exposed as hollow," says James Cavalluzzo, chair of the BCGEU bargaining committee. "In effect, they tabled an ultimatum without seriously addressing any of the concerns brought forward by the CSS Bargaining Association."

Employers offered no improvements to wages, sick leave, transportation allowance (mileage) and shift premiums. They refused to continue the current language on employment security and protection from contracting (continuity of service and employment memorandum ). They offered no significant improvements in collective agreement language, and nothing on job selection (Article 24).

The employer put forward a complicated scheme in which they would keep 60 per cent of funding intended for pensions of those workers who decline enrolment in the Municipal Pension Plan.

Some progress was made on language to address bullying and harassment, but the employers are demanding that agency Executive Directors be shielded from harassment complaints.

"The employer simply failed to respond in any meaningful way to the comprehensive and focussed package of proposals tabled by the CSSBA," says James Cavalluzzo, "and just repeated they "lacked the capacity" to respond.

Unions in the CSS Bargaining Association will meet in the new year to determine how to proceed. In the meantime BCGEU members should not engage with managers or excluded staff about essential services and the potential for strike action. The collective agreement remains in effect until we achieve a new one.

Keep informed by attending meetings, reading the BCGEU bulletin board in your worksite and check the BCGEU web site.

All eligible community social services workers should seriously consider enrolling (or not revoking their enrolment) in the Municipal Pension Plan. Casual and part-time employees may be eligible for the MPP. Members should report to your local chair, or the union's area office any effort by managers to discourage you from enrolling.

Information meetings on the pension are planned for the spring. In the meantime check: http://www.pensionsbc.ca for information about your entitlement.

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