Community social services workers opening talks

Discussions planned this week on key issue of essential services.

Vancouver (3 Nov. 2010) - Unions bargaining on behalf of 15,000 community social services workers across British Columbia meet this week with the employer to begin discussions on essential services.

'Essential services' is the labour relations term to describe which services must be maintained during a strike or lockout by both employees and employers.

Typically, services that are vital to protecting the health and safety of vulnerable people are considered essential. For example: some basic residential services will still be provided for the developmentally disabled.  

To help members of all unions provide support for their bargaining team, a kit has been mailed to stewards in the community social services sector. It contains 'Fairness' lapel stickers, a copy of an open letter to employers (which can also be viewed at (http://www.communitysocialservicesmatter.ca) and copies of recent polling data showing that the public supports adequate funding for effective community social services.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) represents nearly 15,000 frontline workers. They are members of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE), the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Hospital Employees' Union (HEU), the Construction and Specialized Workers' Union (CSWU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada), the United Steelworkers of America (USW Canada), BC Nurses' Union (BCNU) and the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC). The BCGEU is the lead union in the association.

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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

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