Login Form

2018 Compensation and Employee Turnover Survey Now Available.
For a copy of the survey, user guide, other information or to register for a session Click Here

Nominate Now for 2018 BC Community Social Services Awards of Excellence!

If you know an outstanding individual working in BC's publicly funded community social services sector, do not miss the chance to honour him/her by submitting a nomination for the fourth annual BC Community Social Services Awards of Excellence, presented by CSSEA and sponsored by TELUS.

Four Award Categories

The Awards of Excellence celebrate four individuals who provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The award categories are:
Rising Star: An individual with less than five years of experience who demonstrates early success.
Leader: An individual with more than five years of formal leadership experience who leads and mentors a team to achieve a common goal.
Hero: Someone who goes the extra mile to make a difference, not necessarily in a formal leadership role.
Legend: An ED or CEO with at least 15 years of experience who has made extraordinary contributions to the community and the sector.…

Read more

Final Decision on Class 5 Driver's Licenses Received

CSSEA informed the membership in late 2017 that it had filed an appeal to the Labour Relations Board (LRB) of an arbitration decision that ruled employers must pay the renewal fees of employees’ Class 5 driver’s licences when employers require employees to drive as part of their jobs. The LRB has dismissed our appeal, upholding Arbitrator Pekeles’ original decision. While CSSEA is very disappointed by the outcome, we acknowledge that the arbitration decision stands and must be fully implemented.

We encourage members who feel strongly about this or other issues to register for our Bargaining Consultation Sessions, which will be held around the province this spring. The sessions will provide employers with the opportunity to comment on the impact of this decision and whether they wish for us to propose changes to the collective agreement in the upcoming round of bargaining. Anyone with questions are asked to contact their HRLR Consultant.

Read more

Employers May be Eligible for Federal EI Reduction Program

The Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Reduction Program is available to employers who offer a short-term disability or cumulative sick leave plan to their employees and whose plans meet certain requirements. The program has been made possible by short-term disability plans, which reduce demands made on the EI program. Savings from reduced premiums are shared between the employer and employee. A minimum amount of 5/12 of the savings must be returned to the employee (employers can choose to return more if they wish), either in the form of a cash rebate (taxable and insurable) or new or increased employee benefits. Participation in this program is permitted under the sectoral Collective Agreements.


To be considered for a premium reduction, your plan must:

  • Be a weekly indemnity plan or cumulative paid sick leave plan.
  • Provide at least 15 weeks of benefits for short-term disability.
  • Match or exceed the level of benefits provided under EI.
  • Pay benefits to employees within eight days of illness or injury (the elimination period cannot exceed seven consecutive days).
  • Be accessible to employees within three months of hiring; and
  • Cover employees on a 24-hour-a-day basis.…

Read more

2.5% Classification Anomaly and Compensation Comparability Wage Increase Effective April 1, 2018

CSSEA and CSSBA have agreed on the distribution of the April 1, 2018 Comparability and Classification Anomaly Wage Increases (wage schedules outlining the hourly wages can be found here). The intention of the Comparability Adjustment is to close the wage gap with comparator classifications in Community Health. The agreement provides for the following wage increases:

  • 98.2% of all FTEs would be eligible for a 2.5% increase in wages effective April 1, 2018.
  • The comparability target has been met for Steps 3 and 4 for Program Coordinator 1 Grid Level 12A, and Volunteer Coordinator Grid Level 12A, and as such full 2.5% increases will only be applied to Steps 1 and 2.
  • The target has been met for Steps 2 to 4 for Crisis Line Coordinator Grid Level 13A and as such increases will only be applied to Step 1.
  • Paraprofessional Grid Level 13P classifications Steps 1 to 3 will receive additional $1.49 and $1.27 for Step 4 (to match the Step 4 rate of Health LPNs) on top of the 2.5% wage increase. This covers the LPN and Children Who Witness Abuse Counsellor Benchmarks.
  • Paraprofessional Grid Levels 17P, 18P, 19P and 20P classifications will receive an additional $0.50 on top of the 2.5% wage increase.

To be eligible for comparability money a classification must meet the following criteria to qualify for a wage adjustment:…

Read more

Federal Changes to Maternity Benefits

On December 3, 2017, the Federal Government implemented changes to parental leave benefits, allowing parents to choose to receive employment insurance benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate of 33% of average weekly earnings. Parental leave benefits still continue to be available at the existing benefit rate of 55% over a period of up to 12 months. These changes relate to federal EI rules only. BC legislation relating to parental leaves has not changed at this time. As a result, members should continue to look to their Collective Agreements and the Employment Standards Act (the ESA) for guidance on parental leaves and associated benefits.

Under Article 21.1 of the Collective Agreements and s. 50 and 51 of the ESA, an employee who provides notice that they will be taking 18 months of parental leave must still be granted maternity leave for a period of up to 17 weeks; in addition, the employee will be granted parental leave for up to 37 weeks following the birth her child. The aggregate leave for one employee taking both maternity leave and parental leave does not exceed 52 weeks, absent complications (there are other possible limited periods of leave).  During this time, the employer bears the cost of benefits. Once the first 12 months of the leave are exhausted under Articles 21.1 and 21.2, the additional 6 months of leave is already covered under Article 21.9, which provides for up to one additional year of unpaid leave of absence. The cost of benefits during this period are to be paid by the employee.

Read more

New Wage Grids Now Available

Updated wage grids that incorporate the recently announced Economic Stability Dividend (ESD) and general wage increase are now available for Aboriginal Services, Community Living Services and General Services divisions, as well as Aboriginal Services Delegated Programs.

The Minister of Finance recently announced the ESD, which amounts to a 0.4% wage increase for employees covered by collective agreements settled under the government’s Economic Stability Mandate. Both the 0.4% ESD and 1.0% general wage increase are effective February 1, 2018.

Aboriginal Services Delegated Programs

The 0.4% ESD and general wage increase of 1% will come into effect on February 4, 2018 for delegated positions. The ESD will amount to $0.1212 per hour for delegated positions. A second general wage increase of 0.5% will be effective April 1, 2018 for delegated positions only.…

Read more

Details on Upcoming Economic Stability Dividend

The province announced earlier in November that employees covered by agreements settled under the government’s Economic Stability Mandate — including those who work in the social services sector — will soon be receiving a wage increase.

The increase stems from the Economic Stability Dividend included in the 2014-2019 collective agreements, which allow for ongoing general wage increases when the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeds Economic Forecast Council (EFC) projections. The wage increase is calculated based on 50% of the positive difference between the EFC forecast for real GDP growth and the provincial GDP data tabulated by Statistics Canada.

The ESD wage increase will be effective February 1, 2018. CSSEA will be working with the unions to calculate the increases and will distribute new wage grids when they are finalized.…

Read more

Update on Class 5 Driver's License Arbitration

CSSEA recently informed members about a decision on a sectoral policy grievance filed by the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) on the payment of Class 5 driver’s licenses. The decision ruled that, as of June 12, 2017, employers must pay the renewal fees for Class 5 driver’s licences ($75 every five years) for employees who are required to drive their own vehicles as part of their jobs or who are required to confirm that they hold a valid Class 5 driver’s licence as a job requirement.

Appeal Filed

After a careful review of the award, CSSEA filed an appeal to the Labour Relations Board. Under the Labour Relations Code, there is no avenue for a full-fledged appeal of the Award that would result in a re-hearing of the arguments; instead, an appeal is restricted to whether there was a reviewable error made by the Arbitrator in the arbitration process. CSSEA appealed the Award on the basis that critical evidence of union acquiescence in employer practices of non-payment of the license fees was not properly considered by the arbitrator; similarly, a key argument that employers do not require employees to acquire the license, but instead the Motor Vehicle Act does, was not properly considered. The Labour Relations Board has not provided a time frame for when it will issue a decision on the appeal.

In the meantime, the arbitration award is binding on all employers covered by the three Collective Agreements. Employees who are required to hold a Class 5 licence for employer business purposes and who renew their licences on or after June 12, 2017 must be reimbursed $75 for the cost of the licence.…

Read more

2017 Annual Report Released

CSSEA’s 2017 Annual Report, containing excerpted highlights from our approved audited financial statements, is now available online.

If you have any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Manager of Communications.…

Read more

Implications of Recent Class 5 Driver's License Arbitration

The Decision

A decision was rendered regarding a sectoral policy grievance filed by the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) on June 12, 2017. The policy grievance claimed that employers must pay the renewal fees for Class 5 driver’s licences ($75 every five years) for employees who are required to drive their own vehicles as part of their jobs or who are required to confirm that they hold a valid Class 5 driver’s licence as a job requirement. In his decision released September 13, 2017, Arbitrator Robert Pekeles ruled in favour of the CSSBA.

Arguments Presented

The CSSBA argued that employers must reimburse employees for the Class 5 licence in the same way that they must reimburse employees for the cost of renewing a Class 4 licence, as determined in an April 12, 2012 arbitration award issued by Arbitrator Vince Ready. It further argued that the obligation on employers to pay for licences that they require employees to possess is clearly set out in Article 28.12 – Required Certificates, under the Collective Agreements.

CSSEA argued that the Class 4 licence award does not apply in this case and further, that there was no clear agreement reached by the parties under the language of Article 28.12 leading to a conclusion that employers would pay for the cost of renewing Class 5 licences. Given that the provision was not clear, other evidence of the parties’ practice should be used to assist the arbitrator in determining that they never intended the Class 5 licence fees to be payable by employers. CSSEA’s evidence and key arguments can be summarized in the following:…

Read more

Announcing 2017's Awards of Excellence Recipients

CSSEA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Community Social Services Awards of Excellence. The third annual awards recognizes four individuals working in various stages of their careers who have made outstanding contributions to the sector. On behalf of co-presenter TELUS, CSSEA’s Shortlisting Committee and our external judging panel, we congratulate:

Rising Star
Damian Brennan, Community Support Worker, Chilliwack Society for Community Living
A newcomer to the community social services sector, Damian has shown immense promise in working with individuals who display challenging behaviours. He uses his skills as a musician to connect with individuals and devotes much of his own time and resources to support them. This includes being available to family members at off hours, using his own networks to connect individuals to their community and being a generally upbeat person that colleagues can turn to.

Paulina Weslowski, Community Support Worker, Semiahmoo House Society
Paulina has been particularly passionate about building an inclusive and multicultural community throughout the Lower Mainland. Paulina’s efforts to share her Mexican heritage are notable in her involvement with the Mexican Migrant Farm Worker program at her church, as well as her facilitation of and participation in multicultural dance and Spanish language programs. Paulina is also an active volunteer and has lent her efforts at soup kitchens, a senior facility and thrift shop.…

Read more

Communications Contact

Doris Sun
Director of Communications
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.