'Our members need to see real gains after years of concessions and crumbs. We won't settle for an agreement that includes no improvements and no employment security.'
Vancouver (28 Sept. 2010) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says the province's community social services employers have dropped the ball in the current round of contract negotiations.
Despite being offered an opportunity by negotiating unions to "get serious" about a new collective agreement, the Community Social Service Employers' Association (CSSEA) continues to demand that employees accept their "zero mandate", the union says.
“They just don't get it,” argues James Cavalluzzo, chairperson of the BCGEU Community Social Services component. “Our members need to see real gains after years of concessions and crumbs. We won't settle for an agreement that includes no improvements and no employment security.”
So far the employers have offered two more years of:
- No wage increases (meaning that – adjusted for cost of living erosion – real wages would decline an estimated 5%).
- No net benefit improvements.
- No employment security during lay-offs.
- No significant collective agreement changes to make the workplace fairer.
The parties will meet again for three days of negotiating starting October 26.
"We’re looking for a contract that delivers fairness in our workplaces and employment security," says Cavalluzzo.
The provincial government's CSSEA bargaining committee includes representatives of the following employers:
- AiMHi in Prince George
- Tri-Cities Women's Resource Society
- Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion PossAbilities (formerly MAPCL)
- John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland
- Powell River and District Association for Community Living
- Vancouver Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society
- North Shore Disability Resource Centre
- Vancouver Island Metis Family Services
- Interior Metis Child & Family Services
Six major unions and several smaller unions are at the bargaining table. They include BCGEU and the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE).
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE