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December 9, 2021 - Mandatory Vaccination Policies

This CSSEA Info follows up on the ones issued November 23, 2021 and October 22, 2021 outlining the expansion of the mandatory vaccination PHO Order to CLBC and health authority contracted service providers, respectively.

This CSSEA Info will address employer policies and related documents that:

  1. Flow from the two expanded PHO Orders covering CLBC and health authority contracted service providers (and possibly additional employees covered by the PHO Order where it is not operationally feasible from an occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective to separate the additional employees from application of the Order);
  2. Are implemented where there is no PHO Order in effect, and where employers, in their particular circumstances, find it appropriate to implement a mandatory vaccination policy.…

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December 1, 2021 - New Web-Based Training Program Now Live!

CSSEA is excited to announce the official launch of our new online learning hub, which will provide community social services workers with valuable and cost-effective training on labour relations and leadership. This innovative and comprehensive training, developed in collaboration with The EQ Development Group, includes online courses, monthly live webinars and managed discussion forums that have been designed to complement the workloads of individuals employed in the sector. Courses range from one to three hours and consist of five to 15 minute video lessons. They are designed to be flexible, self-directed and completed at each learner’s own pace. There are currently 15 courses on offer – six on labour relations, three on emotional intelligence and six on leadership. New courses are in development and will be added in 2022.

The learning hub includes the option to participate in a cohort-based curriculum, meaning registrants join a cohort of other students in a 12-month guided learning process that will include assigned learnings and a monthly group coaching call. This model will keep learners engaged with the content and allow for interaction with fellow cohorts through features like the discussion forums. The labour relations courses, however, are not cohort-based so individuals can access and complete those sessions independently. Students will always be able to access all courses through their dashboard.

Pricing Options

The learning hub works on a subscription model and those who register will have access to all course offerings and additional learning features. The cost is $225 per three-month quarter per registrant and that rate is discounted to $200 if an agency registers five or more leaders. An additional 10% discount is currently being offered for annual registrations.…

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November 29, 2021 - Five Paid Sick Days Coming January 1, 2022

In May 2021, the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) was amended by adding a temporary paid COVID sick leave, ending December 31, 2021. It also added a paid sick leave for personal illness or injury commencing January 1, 2022, with the amount of days to be determined following consultation. The consultation process has concluded and on November 24, 2021, the BC Government announced there would be five paid sick leave days available annually that constitute the minimum employment standards under the ESA.

Unlike the paid COVID leave, there will be no government funding for this new leave.

As this is a minimum standard, it applies to all employees (except those exempted from the ESA) in community social services, whether full-time, part-time or casual. As unionized employees under the sectoral collective agreements already have access to sick leave benefits in excess of this new minimum standard, it is CSSEA’s view that the collective agreement provisions will continue to apply to the unionized employees, and no part of the new minimum standards would apply to them.…

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November 23, 2021- CLBC Mandatory Vaccination PHO Order

On November 18, 2021, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) added Community Living BC (CLBC) and its funded programs and “care locations” to its mandatory vaccination status Order (Order) that applies to health sector funded programs and “care locations.” The Order is found here.

CLBC posted a bulletin on November 19 announcing the expanded Order and the scope of its application to CLBC funded programs (note that home share providers are not covered). Please see that bulletin here, as well as this CLBC Update.

CSSEA also posted a CSSEA Info on October 22, 2021 explaining the application of the Order for employers in the community social services sector that operate health sector funded programs at “care locations” where employees must attend as part of their jobs; the Order applies to these employees. The principles outlined in that bulletin have equal application to CLBC funded programs at “care locations” under the expanded Order, although the timing for implementation is adjusted.

CLBC funded service providers must now prepare and implement plans and cannot permit staff to work unless they comply with the following:…

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November 15, 2021 - Planning for Further Mandatory Vaccination Orders

Further to our last CSSEA Info dated October 22, 2021, and the potential for new PHO Orders being issued for additional segments (e.g. CLBC programs), CSSEA recommends that employers should plan for how they will deliver services in the event of a reduced workforce. Depending on the magnitude of the potential impacts, they may need to discuss the service delivery implications with their provincial funders.

If your agency has implemented the Vaccination Status Collection Policy from the CSSEA Info dated August 26, 2021 or the recent Mandatory Vaccination Status PHO Order, you will have a fairly good understanding of the vaccination status of employees at your agency. Based on this information, you will be able to assess the potential impact that unvaccinated employees being placed on unpaid leave might have on your services. If the potential impact appears significant, you will want to consider what services must continue to be delivered in full, in part, or not at all in response to additional mandatory orders being issued. One way to inform this assessment is to refer to previous essential services orders reached in the event of previous labour disputes (note that essential services levels for labour disputes do not have direct application to this situation but may still be instructive of what your agency deems to be critical services to be maintained).

Guidance was provided early in the pandemic when there was a concern over employees not showing up for work based on health and safety concerns. You may recall that in an April 27, 2020 letter addressed to employers’ associations CEOs, PSEC Secretariat provided guiding principles that employers should consider when making decisions on business continuity. Many of the same guiding principles are paraphrased below, and should be applied in the circumstances potentially facing employers now. Specifically:…

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October 22, 2021 - PHO Order on Mandatory Vaccination Status

On October 21, 2021, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) issued the Hospital and Community (Health Care and Other Services) COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order (the Order), amending the October 14, 2021 Order.

The Order includes proof of vaccination status requirements and directs employees in both health care and at providers that contract for services with the health authorities to be vaccinated in order to continue active employment. According to information just received from the Provincial Health Office, this includes employees working in specific programs delivered by community social services employers where the programs are funded by the health authorities. A number of health authorities have directed some community social services employers to implement this Order in writing over the past several days. Please follow those directions.

Scope of the Order

The scope of the Order lists a number of health sector employers and their contractors and covers their employees wherever they are deployed, listing a number of “care locations.” CSSEA continues to make inquiries of the PHO Office, government, ministries, and legal counsel to get clarity on the scope of the Order. As a result, this CSSEA Info intends only to address at this time employees who work under service contracts with the health authorities as communications with the PHO Office indicate that this is the intended current scope for community social services employers. The Order may be extended by employers in their reasonable discretion to cover other employees of an employer funded by non-Ministry of Health/health authority sources if there is integration between health and non health-funded employees such that it is not operationally feasible from a health and safety perspective to restrict the application of the Order to the health funded programs only. We are advised by the PHO Office that the Order is not currently intended to cover other community social services employers, for example, Community Living employers that do not have service contracts with Health, although expansion is being considered.…

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October 15, 2021 - Vaccination Policies - Update

As you may be aware, the Provincial Government issued a directive to its employees last week establishing a late November deadline for public service employees to be vaccinated ahead of an expected return to work later in the fall. Those working in core government or ministry roles will be asked to present proof of full vaccination using the BC Vaccine Card. As this mandate covers direct employees of government only, it does not apply to any employees working in the Community Social Services sector, despite employers having direct service contracts with the provincial government. According to the BC Public Service Agency (PSA), exemptions to the vaccination requirement are still under consideration, as are consequences for non-compliance with all its LR implications. Another communication is expected from the PSA by early November with more details. For more information from the PSA, please see this FAQ.

Over the past week, other employers across the province have considered their own positions on mandatory vaccination and some have also declared an intention to implement mandatory vaccination policies later this fall. CSSEA has been, and will continue to be, in discussion with member agencies, public health, relevant ministries, CLBC, other stakeholders and unions. In addition, we have retained legal counsel to consider these developments further and respond.

In the interim, there are concrete and timely steps that CSSEA members may choose to take, in light of the PHO’s broad position statement that has been issued for our diverse sector.…

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Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancements - Directions to Community Social Services Employers


As part of the Provincial Government’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, front-line Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) working in eligible licensed child care facilities receiving Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) will be eligible to receive a $2 per hour increase to their ECE Wage Enhancement (ECE WE), bringing the total wage enhancement to up to $4 per hour. This increase follows the $1 per hour increase that was available as of September 1, 2018, and the additional $1 per hour increase that was effective April 1, 2020. Additional funding for Statutory Benefits[1] has been, and will continue to be provided. The $2 per hour increase to the ECE WE will be effective in March 2022, with payments retroactive to hours worked from September 1, 2021.

Front-line ECEs (as defined in the Funding Guidelines, including those who are also owner/operators of a licensed child care facility, are eligible for the wage enhancement if they are directly employed by a licensed child care facility that:

  • Receives Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) and has opted in to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI) if eligible to do so;
  • Receives Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) but is not eligible for CCFRI funding (i.e., preschools, school age facilities that do not have continuous kindergarten enrolments, and facilities that do not charge parent fees); or
  • Has been approved as a Universal Child Care Prototype Site.…

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2021 Annual Report Now Available

CSSEA’s 2021 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. , Director of Communications.…

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Government Seeks Further Feedback on Permanent Paid Sick Leave

Further to government’s initial request for employers to complete a survey on permanent paid sick leave, which is set to launch in BC in January 2022, the province has now moved onto the second phase of its public consultation process. This phase involves an online “Options Paper,” which consists of paid sick leave options that were informed by employer and employee survey responses. Employers are invited to review and provide feedback on possible options for the new permanent sick and can do so until 4:00 pm on October 25. A link to the Options Paper can be found here.

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Final Days to Register for AGM and Conference with Discounted Early Bird Rate

There are just three days remaining to take advantage of the early bird rate for CSSEA’s 2021 AGM and Conference, Resilience Builds Strength, which will take place virtually from October 19-21. The conference early bird rate of $79 is set to expire on September 24, after which date the regular registration fee will be $99. This year’s conference will cover a range of important topics, including a survey of this year’s top HRLR issues, social services mergers, building Indigenous relationships, and more. You can view the full Schedule of Events here and register for the event here.

Special Note about CSSEA’s 2021 AGM

We encourage all voting members to attend CSSEA’s Annual General Meeting, taking place October 19 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Registration is required for voting purposes but the AGM alone is free. Please note that if you register for the AGM General Session on October 19, you will also automatically be registered for your respective Divisional Session, taking place prior to the General Session. Participation links to all meetings will be e-mailed to participants one day prior and dates for Divisional Sessions are as follows:

Indigenous Services – October 5, 1:00 to 2:00 pm
General Services – October 12, 10:00am to 12:00 pm
Community Living Services – October 12, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm…

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Communications Contact

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