CUPE Press Release

Tentative agreements reached for General Services and Community Living

BURNABY—The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is pleased to announce that, after four weeks of negotiations and a 95-hour push over the last six days for a deal without concessions, a tentative agreement has been reached for General Services and Community Living with the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA).

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Community Social Services Bargaining Association and Employers to begin negotiating new contract for members in Community Social Services (CSS)

BURNABY—The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) has agreed to begin negotiations with the Community Social Services Employers’ Association of BC (CSSEA) aimed at concluding renewal collective agreements with members in Community Social Services.

Along with CUPE and the lead union, BCGEU, the bargaining association members are HEU, HSA, USW, UFCW, CSWU, CLAC, BCNU, and SEIU. The Community Social Services sector consists of collective agreements for Community Living Services, General Services, and Aboriginal Services.

The existing contracts between the CSSEA and CSSBA expire on March 31, 2019. They cover approximately 3,000 CUPE members among a total of more than 15,000 unionized workers within the provincial bargaining sector.

“We’re pleased to be entering into early contract negotiations,” says CUPE bargaining committee member Sheryl Burns. “The Community Social Services sector has been in crisis for over a decade. We look forward to improving the working conditions and lives of our members and caring professionals who provide support to some of the most vulnerable British Columbians.”

CUPE has been preparing for a return to the bargaining table since late last year, identifying priorities through member surveys and bargaining meetings.

Bargaining will commence on May 15, 2018.

We will post more information as it becomes available. Please make sure your contact information is up to date by e-mailing CUPE Community Social Services Coordinator Louise Oetting at

Recent win: driver’s licence arbitration

In 2012, the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) successfully argued at arbitration that Clause 28.12 (Required Certificates) of the Community Social Services sectoral collective agreements required Community Social Services employers to reimburse employees the costs associated with renewing their Class 4 driver’s licence. Arbitrator Vince Ready ruled that if an employee is required to hold a Class 4 licence as a condition of employment, then the employer is required to reimburse the following:

  1. ICBC License renewal fee;
  2. ICBC Medical form processing fee; and
  3. any remaining physician costs paid to the physician to complete the ICBC Medical Form not otherwise covered by the employee benefit plan up to the amount outlined in the MSP fee schedule.

The CSSBA obtained a second favourable arbitration award involving Clause 28.12 and employers are now also required to reimburse employees the $75 ICBC renewal fee for renewing their Class 5 driver’s licence.

The Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) appealed this decision and submissions were made to the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB). The LRB reached a decision on the appeal on February 21, 2018 and decided to dismiss CSSEA’s appeal.

What does this mean for you?

If you renewed your Class 5 driver’s licence on or after June 12, 2017, and you are required to hold a Class 5 driver’s licence as a condition of employment, you may submit your receipt for the $75 ICBC renewal fee to your employer for reimbursement.

It does not matter if you also use your driver’s licence for personal use. If you are required to hold a Class 5 licence as a condition of employment, you are entitled to have the $75 ICBC renewal fee reimbursed by your employer.

International Day Against Racism & Bigotry March 24 at 1 PM – 5 PM Thornton Park 1166 Main Street, Vancouver

The annual International Day Against Racism & Bigotry March, will be held in Vancouver starting at Thornton Park (Main Street Skytrain Station) on the occupied, traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples – specifically the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

We will march through the Downtown Eastside and Chinatown and back to Thornton Park. This is where Indigenous, Black, Chinese, Japanese and South Asian people lived historically.

The International Day Against Racism and Bigotry is observed annually to remember the 69-people killed by police at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly of the United Nations called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

1. To help us create a scent-reduced event space, please refrain from wearing perfumes or any scents the day before the rally, as well as during it. Please also reduce scent from tobacco or incense.
2. ASL interpretation is in the process of being booked. If you require ASL interpretation, please let us know by people to confirm ASL interpretation March 19th at 1:00pm by emailing us at
3. Gender neutral and wheelchair accessible washroom locations along the march route are to be confirmed.
4. Also to reduce cell phone frequency, please turn of your cell phones at the march and rally if possible as people do have sensitivity to cell phone frequencies.

Supported by: Coalition Against Bigotry – Pacific, Solidarity Against Fascism Everywhere (SAFE), Stand Up To Racism – Metro Vancouver, Vancouver District Labour Council (VDLC), Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society (CARES), UBC Social Justice Centre, Radical Desis, Latinos In Action, Salaam Canada, Siraat, LGBTIQ2S+ Health Equity Collaborative, Young Communist League, International Socialist, Peace Bearers, The Anti-Oppression Network, BC Teachers Federation, Surrey Teachers Association, South Asian Network for Secularism, Democracy (SANSAD), Vancouver Pride Society, Critical Muslim Voices, Vancouver Tenants Union, Right to Remain, Dowtown Eastside SRO Collaborative, Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), the Surrey Community Alliance (SCA), and the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU).