CEO Update

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CEO Update - May 2022

Community Social Services Health and Safety Association of BC

The Community Social Services Health and Safety Association of BC (Association) held its inaugural Annual General Meeting on May 4th, 2022, and affirmed its first slate of Board Members. They comprise union and non-union employers, workers and industry members, and together, will work to steer the Association through its critical early years. We congratulate:

  • Janice Barr - Community Living Society
  • Tanya Behardien - OneSky Community Resources
  • Brian Campbell - B.C. General Employees Union
  • J. Gordon Cote – Nanaimo & Area Resource Services for Families Programs Ltd.
  • Christine Fewtrell - Hulitan Family & Community Services Society
  • Chantel Foden - Spectrum Society for Community Living
  • Nina Hansen - Health Sciences Association BC
  • Diane Hong - SUCCESS (The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society)
  • Tammy Khanna - Independent Living Housing Society
  • Christina Lloyd-Jones - Hospital Employees Union
  • Jonny Morris - Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division
  • Pamela Pye - B.C. General Employees Union
  • Michael Reed - Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • Denise Subotin - WorkSafeBC
  • Judy Valsonis - Touchstone Family Association

I will continue to serve as Interim Board Chair while the Association recruits and confirms a permanent Chair.
The creation of this first-of-its-kind safety association covering 2,200 unionized and non-unionized employers is a monumental accomplishment and one that the community social services sector should be immensely proud of. I thank Association Director Satvinder Basran for his tactical leadership and also, our many sectoral partners whose collective vision turned a concept into reality: Rick FitzZaland – The Federation of Social Services of BC, Selena Kongpreecha – Community Social Services Bargaining Association, and Denise Subotin – WorkSafeBC.

2022 Bargaining

Collective bargaining is set to resume later this month, with dates scheduled from mid-May into June. CSSEA does not expect to have new agreements in place in the near term and is therefore taking prudent measures to prepare for essential services planning. Employers can expect detailed information regarding essential services to come at the beginning of June.

PHO Orders and Decisions to Terminate

A number of cases related to employees being terminated following a period on unpaid leave as a result of PHO mandatory vaccination orders are now being adjudicated. While the recent decisions are not specific to our sector, the findings are informative and provide excellent guidelines for social services sector employers in preparing for next steps prior to issuing termination. The key elements that need to be addressed in every case to maximize success in sustaining a termination include:

  1. Ensuring employers can clearly define operational challenges in continuing to maintain unpaid leaves under the PHO Order, and the relief that posting permanent positions would provide to the agency.
  2. Ensuring that employees are given an opportunity to explain personal circumstances for not being vaccinated, and addressing them.
  3. Ensuring that employees are given reasonable notice of termination, in the event that they may still change their minds about vaccination. If they don’t change their mind, then it would seem reasonable to conclude that they have no reasonable prospect of meeting the work eligibility requirements of the PHO Order in the foreseeable future.
  4. Confirming that any terminations are occurring pursuant to the PHO Order and that there are no other places of work to which employees on leave could be redeployed.

If and when deciding to terminate employees on leave as a result of the PHO orders, employers are faced with a number of operational, ethical, legal and financial questions. These decisions should be made on the facts of each individual case and even if upheld, terminations can be costly and are ultimately the responsibility of the agency.

2022 Compensation and Employee Turnover Report

To assist members in completing this year’s Compensation and Employee Turnover Report, CSSEA will be holding one final orientation webinar, on May 18, 2022, from 10am to noon. Members with any questions on report completion are encouraged to register for the complimentary session online. Alternatively, those with specific queries can e-mail their questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We thank all members for submitting their final reports by the due date of May 31, 2022.

Social Services Sector Compensation Standards (SSSCS) Project

CSSEA was selected by PSEC Secretariat to lead its Social Services Sector Compensation Standard (SSSCS) Project, which will aim to develop clear, consistent and appropriate compensation standards for non-union employees, managers and executives across both unionized and non-union agencies in the social services sector. Our role will be to undertake the detailed work associated with the creation of benchmark management job profiles and a management salary band hierarchy for the sector, as this sector does not currently have a Management Excluded Compensation Plan. The project will also include a high-level analysis of the total compensation differences (wages and benefits) between non-management, non-union (bargaining unit equivalent) positions and their equivalent unionized jobs under the Joint Job Evaluation Plan (JJEP) classification structure, and will provide recommendations for the future of the sector.

The SSSCS Project will involve engaging with a representative sample of social services agencies to gather information on existing management organizational structures, positions, compensation and benefits. Communication on the project will come from PSEC Secretariat and CSSEA will keep the membership informed about relevant news and key milestones related to this project when appropriate.

Awards of Excellence

Nominations for this year’s Community Social Services Awards of Excellence, sponsored by TELUS, are now closed. Nominations packages are currently with CSSEA’s member committee, who will be meeting this month to discuss and shortlist nominations in each category. Non-shortlisted nominees will be notified by June and winners will be selected in July. I thank everyone for submitting nominations and for shining a spotlight on the great work being carried out in our sector. I look forward to celebrating our four recipients with you on October 26 at the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver.

Communications Contact

Doris Sun
Director of Communications
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