Login Form

2024 Compensation and Employee Turnover Report Form Now Available.
For a copy of the Report form, user guide, other information or to register for a session Click Here

BC to Observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in 2022

In August 2021, we issued a CSSEA Info that communicated with employers the BC Government’s observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by recognizing September 30th as a holiday for all employees who are normally entitled to provincial and federal holidays. The holiday would be interim while the province began a consultation process with residential school survivors and Indigenous partners, as well as the labour and private sector business communities, on how BC can observe September 30 in that year and beyond.

As the consultation and engagement process is still ongoing, and based on collective agreement provisions granting federal statutory holidays concerning the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, provincial public sector employers should plan for September 30 to once again be observed as a holiday this year (2022) on a without prejudice basis for all employees who are normally entitled to provincial and federal statutory holidays. More information can be found in this Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation update; employers are encouraged to share this update with their employees.

CSSEA is working with the Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat on how to address this matter in bargaining. If you have any further questions, please contact your HRLR Consultant or Advocate.

Read more

2022 Community Social Services Awards of Excellence to be Presented in Person!

CSSEA is excited to announce that it plans to once again present the 2022 Community Social Services Awards of Excellence in person, after a two year pause in large gatherings. While we appreciate that the public health situation may change, CSSEA is buoyed by current Provincial Health Officer guidelines that allow for indoor gatherings at 100% capacity, and will hold the event as long as it remains safe to do so. Nominations for the awards are now being accepted until 5pm on April 22 and CSSEA encourages all members and associates to consider nominating an outstanding individual working in BC's publicly funded community social services sector.

CSSEA is particularly thankful for the continued, generous support of event sponsor TELUS, who has maintained incredible support of the event throughout the pandemic.

Four Award Categories

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

Read more

February 11, 2022 - CSSEA and CSSBA Commence Sectoral Bargaining

On February 2, 2022, CSSEA commenced bargaining with the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) to amend the sector’s three collective agreements, which are set to expire on March 31, 2022. Negotiations are being held in Burnaby in a hybrid format, with CSSEA Bargaining Team members participating both virtually and in person, in order to facilitate safe distancing.

The first two weeks of discussions, while constructive and collaborative, consisted mostly of developing housekeeping frameworks. The parties exchanged opening statements and agreed to a bargaining protocol, as well as the adoption of an interest-based bargaining approach. Both CSSEA and the CSSBA tabled housekeeping proposals and ended this week with a number of agreements on housekeeping-related language.

Working Within Government’s Shared Recovery Mandate

Over the past year, CSSEA has consulted with members to obtain their key bargaining objectives and service delivery priorities in order to inform the creation of its 2022 Bargaining Plan. Led by a Bargaining Team that includes members from all three membership divisions, CSSEA will be working to achieve sustainable and collaborative agreements that incorporate sectoral objectives with the provincial government’s Shared Recovery Mandate. The mandate supports the provincial government’s three key priorities for public sector negotiations:…

Read more

January 18, 2022 - FAQs on New Sick Leave Standards

Update: Some details contained here have now been replaced by Bill 19, which amended minimum sick leave provisions under the Employment Standards Act. For the latest information, consult these CSSEA Infos from March 31, 2022 and April 13, 2022.

On November 29, 2021, a CSSEA Info was issued to announce government’s introduction of five annual paid sick days starting on January 1, 2022. Since then, CSSEA staff have fielded a number of questions on the interpretation and application of this new minimum benefit under the Employment Standards Act. The most common questions, and their answers, follow.

Q: In the CSSEA Info, it stated that “…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.” Our non-union employees are covered by a policy that mirrors the CSSEA collective agreements. So would our policy also apply in full to our non-union employees?

A: No. The Employment Standards Act provisions apply to all employees, except unionized employees covered by a collective agreement that has provisions relating to sick leave (and some other topics) that, “when considered together, meet or exceed the requirements, when considered together, of the…” new sick leave provisions under the Act (ref. Section 3(2)). So, while CSSEA believes the sick leave provisions in the agreements remain unaffected, the minimum standards now apply to non-union employees as they are not covered by a collective agreement. The “meet or exceed” test does not apply to them.

Q: Does that mean that the portion of our policy that pays sick days at 80% pay to our non-union employees does not apply?

A: Correct. As non-union employees are covered by the new sick leave sections of the Act, they are entitled to those minimum standards. That means they are entitled to the first five days of sick pay per year based on an “average day’s pay” instead of at 80% pay. (See the formula in Section 49.1 of the Act.) Sick days available in excess of five days per year would continue to be paid at the rate (eg. 80%) established under your policy. In other words, non-union employees would not be entitled to an additional five sick days per year; rather, their first five days of sick leave per year would be paid out as an “average day’s pay.” (See example of calculation below)…

Read more

January 12, 2022 - Latest PHO Order Requires Employers to Re-Activate COVID-19 Safety Plans

On January 7, 2022, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) announced an order requiring employers to re-activate their COVID-19 Safety Plans. This replaces the previous requirement for employers to have communicable disease prevention plans in their workplaces.

While communicable disease prevention plans and COVID-19 Safety Plans share some of the same fundamental principles, COVID-19 Safety Plans are formal written plans that address specific details such as occupancy limits, physical distancing, and barrier in workplaces.

Re-Activating your COVID-19 Safety Plan

Many employers had COVID-19 Safety Plans earlier in the pandemic, and may have maintained those plans. All employers are advised to review their COVID-19 Safety Plans to ensure that they are current and aligned with all guidance and orders from the PHO.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

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:…

Read more

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:…

Read more

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.…

Read more

Communications Contact

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