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Time Off For Employees to Vote October 24, 2020

A provincial election will be held Saturday, October 24, 2020. Pursuant to the sectoral collective agreements between CSSEA and the Community Social Services Bargaining Association and the Election Act, employees are entitled to a minimum number of hours off without loss of pay during voting hours. Polls will be open 8 am to 8 pm on Election Day.

Employees Covered by Collective Agreements

According to Article 20.5 (Elections) in the collective agreements:

Any employee eligible to vote in a federal, provincial, municipal, First Nation or other Indigenous election or a referendum shall have four consecutive clear hours during the hours in which the polls are open in which to cast their ballot.

Employers are not obligated to grant each employee four hours off work to vote where unnecessary. Rather, employers must provide sufficient time away from work to make up a four hour block of time during the period that the polls are open.…

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Oct. 6, 2020 - Update on New Federal Pandemic Support Programs

This is an update to the CSSEA Info published on April 24, 2020 regarding the various federal programs to support employees and employers during the pandemic. This CSSEA Info focuses on three new programs to replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and support employees facing employment challenges during the pandemic.

On October 2, 2020, the COVID-19 Response Measures Act (formerly Bill C-4) received Royal Assent. Part 1 of this Act is the Canada Recovery Benefits Act, and it creates three new temporary recovery benefits to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19. These benefits will be in place for one year beginning September 27, 2020 and expiring on September 25, 2021. As of October 5, 2020, employees will be able to apply for the following benefits through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). These benefits will be paid on a weekly basis, and employees will have to apply for each week they are eligible.

1. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for employees unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. Key eligibility requirements include:…

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2020 Annual Report Now Available

CSSEA’s 2020 Annual Report, containing excerpted highlights from our approved audited financial statements, is now available.

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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Sept. 24, 2020 - Important Update on Temporary Pandemic Pay Submissions

Further to CSSEA’s communication on September 16, 2020 instructing employers on how to submit their claims for BC’s Temporary Pandemic Pay program, CSSEA has been notified by government of several significant updates:

  1. The email address originally provided is invalid. Claims must be re-submitted to the correct address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you already submitted a claim to the email address that was previously communicated, it will not be received or validated.
  2. Service providers with approved subcontractors are responsible for submitting one claim that includes the eligible hours for the subcontractor’s eligible employees – this is added on a separate line and by program(s). Providers will need to coordinate this directly with their subcontractors to ensure the accurate number of employees and hours worked during the 16-week period. Once validated, providers will also be required to ensure the funding is accurately disbursed to subcontractors to pay the employees claimed. Arrangements for this are entirely the responsibility of the service provider.

The Excel claims template and instructions can be found here. Submissions will be accepted until October 31, 2020. If you have technical questions on the Excel template, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .…

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Sept. 18, 2020 - Municipal Pension Plan: Important Time-Sensitive Information

BC’s Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) has come to an Agreement in Principle (AiP) with its plan partners − who represent both employers and employees and share oversight of the plan − on a number of proposed changes that, if approved in spring 2021, will come into effect on January 1, 2022. The proposed changes are intended to improve overall plan equity and align benefits with how a majority of members use them, while not increasing costs. They include improvements to the lifetime pension (excluding the Bridge Benefit to age 65) and should result in a reduction in pension costs for employers.

From now until October 23rd, MPP is actively engaging with members on the proposed changes and asks for employers’ support in sharing information. The primary communications vehicle is a comprehensive project website https://www.mppredesign.ca/ which includes materials, FAQs and an online calculator for Group 1 active members, which covers all CSSEA member employees.

As CSSEA does not have a representative on the MPP Board, you are asked to direct your comments and questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , who has been assigned by MPP to answer queries from our sector. General questions can also be directed to a call centre, which will operate from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Monday to Friday until October 23, 2020. The call centre can be reached at 1.877.251.0997. A succinct summary, including links to a number of key resources created by the MPP Plan Partner Working group, can also be accessed here.…

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Register Now for Virtual 2020 Conference

CSSEA is pleased to invite you to register for this year’s virtual conference, “Community Social Services (CSS) Resilience in Uncertain Times - COVID-19.” This year’s conference will be a condensed one-day event that will take place on October 14, 2020 from 9:30am to 3:00pm. Given the continued need to understand the implications of the pandemic on our sector, as well as discuss ways to mitigate potential future waves, CSSEA and the member Conference Planning Committee felt it was important to devote the entire conference to the subject. The following are just some of the topics that will be covered:

  • WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Guidelines for the Community Social Services Sector
  • Mental Health Challenges and Experiences
  • The Front Line Experience – Delivering Essential Services During a Pandemic
  • The New BC Community Social Services Health & Safety Council – Vision and Mandate


Sponsored by WorkSafeBC

CSSEA would like to acknowledge and thank WorkSafeBC for sponsoring this year’s virtual event. Because of their generous support, we are able to offer access to the conference free of charge and will be making the session open to the community social services sector. We encourage you to register early in order to secure your spot. Registration can be completed online and a link to access the conference will be emailed to all registrants one day prior to the event.…

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Aug. 6, 2020 - PPE Available for Purchase Through Provincial COVID-19 Supply Hub

Due to the availability of a stabilized supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the province, through The Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit, is now working to buy and distribute PPE and cleaning supplies to those delivering certain public services and serving vulnerable British Columbians, including contracted social services providers.

Products now (or soon) available for sale on the COVID-19 Supply Hub include masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, industrial cleaner, disinfectant cleaner, bleach and hand sanitizer. Additional products may become available and details can be found on the province’s website

Members are eligible to purchase the products required to operate safely, in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety regulations and guidance from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer. These products are intended to supplement, not replace, your current supply sources.…

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Register Now for Virtual 2020 AGM

Following discussion with and approval by the Board, CSSEA will be holding this year’s AGM virtually due to continued provincial restrictions on large in-person gatherings. Registration is now open and Executive Directors and CEOs (or their voting designates) are encouraged to participate. This year, we will be holding the CLS and GS Divisional Sessions one week prior to the General Session in order to mitigate technical complexities and potential timing issues. Dates are the following:

Divisional Sessions:
October 6, 10am to 12pm: CLS Divisional Session
October 6, 1pm to 3pm: GS Divisional Session
Indigenous Services members will be contacted directly once a Divisional Session meeting date has been agreed

General Session:
October 13, 1pm to 3pm: Entire Membership

Get Involved

In addition to attending the AGM, we strongly encourage members to consider getting involved with CSSEA’s governance by running for a position on their respective panels. Those who are interested in putting their name forward are asked to fill out a Candidate Form and return it to CSSEA by September 4, 2020. Members who have questions on panel member responsibilities and workload are welcome to contact their panel chairs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of General Services, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Community Living Services, and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Indigenous Services for further advice.…

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July 2, 2020 - Sector-Specific COVID-19 WorkSafeBC Guidelines Now Available

WorkSafeBC recently posted COVID-19 guidelines that are specific to the community social services sector for both non-residential and residential settings.

The guidelines were developed with input from the sector’s Community Social Services Health & Safety Council. We encourage members to continue to comply with provincial COVID-19 guidelines and carefully add these resources, where applicable, to existing plans and practices.

If you have any questions please contact your Consultant or Advocate.

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Final Reminder: 2020 Compensation and Turnover Report

CSSEA requires your input in the 2020 Compensation and Turnover Report, which is available online for completion until June 30, 2020.

Your agency’s inclusion in this survey is critical, as it will form the sector’s annual total compensation base, which will be submitted to PSEC and utilized by government as the basis for making future funding decisions. In other words, your agency’s data will contribute to defining our sector’s overall needs and impact provincial budget allocation. Seeing as 2021 will also begin preparations for 2022 collective bargaining, including the development of government’s next bargaining mandate, it is crucial that we obtain a complete and data-driven picture of sectoral needs and challenges so we are able to convey that picture factually to government. In addition, CSSEA will be using this year’s data to support our discussion with employers and the union on distribution of the 2021 Low Wage Redress funds. Those discussions are set to take place beginning in the fall.

CSSEA is available to assist members on the completion of the survey. If you have any questions, please contact our Research and Knowledge Management department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .…

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FAQs - June 17, 2020: Vacation Scheduling in 2020

Was an agreement reached on how to manage excessive vacation credits accrued during the pandemic?

Yes. CSSEA and the Bargaining Association of Unions reached an agreement on how employers and employees may manage unused credits in 2020 due to vacation scheduling challenges arising from COVID-19. Access a copy of the Letter of Understanding here.

What led to this agreement?

Since the order of the Solicitor General in March 2020 under the Emergency Program Act deemed workers in the community social services sector to be essential, many employers withheld approval of vacation (or even cancelled vacations that were approved) in an effort ensure that services could continue to be delivered. At the same time, some employers were still able to grant vacation requests based on their assessment of service needs. Most employers now appear ready to lift any suspensions on approving vacations as the staffing challenges arising from the pandemic are better known. However, due to the suspensions, vacation credits may have accrued to unusually high levels and created significant liabilities, and some employees may have been prevented from taking sufficient vacation time to rejuvenate.

As a result, the bargaining agents (CSSEA and CSSBA) have agreed to support flexibility in the management of these credits, and agreed that certain principles could apply, on a without prejudice basis, until December 31, 2020. These guiding principles allow for a menu of possible options that do not strictly follow the terms of the vacation provisions under Article 18. They are intended to enable employees and employers to reach their own agreements on how to utilize accrued vacation credits in the remainder of this calendar year within prescribed parameters and in ways that work for both of them.…

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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.