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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

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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Temporary Pandemic Pay FAQs - June 4, 2020

Further to CSSEA’s May 19 and May 28 FAQs regarding the federal/provincial temporary pandemic pay initiative, CSSEA has further details to share with employers.

Eligibility

What employees are eligible for temporary pandemic pay?

To be eligible, an employee must work

  1. straight-time paid hours at any point during the 16 week period starting on March 15, 2020 and ending on July 4, 2020;
  2. in an eligible sector (health, social services or corrections),
  3. in a workplace and role delivering in-person, front-line care; or, provide additional support and relief to front-line workers by working in ways that directly serve vulnerable populations.…

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Temporary Pandemic Pay FAQs - May 28, 2020

On May 19, 2020 the provincial government announced a temporary pandemic pay program. What are the details?

This flows from the May 7 federal announcement in which provinces and territories were asked to develop plans to cost share wage top-ups for their essential workers. The Government of Canada committed to provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. Each province or territory that chooses to participate in the program must bear some of the cost and is individually responsible for determining eligible workers. The May 19 provincial announcement also provided additional details on the temporary pandemic pay program. See the province’s news release with further details provided at: www.gov.bc.ca/pandemicpay

To receive temporary pandemic pay, an employee must:

  • Have been working straight-time hours at any point during the 16-week period starting on March 15, 2020, at the height of the province’s response to the pandemic. Casual, on-call, and part-time workers who have worked straight-time hours during this period are also eligible.
  • Work in an eligible sector, workplace and role delivering in-person, front-line care in health, social services and corrections.
  • Provide additional support and relief to front-line workers by working in ways that directly serve vulnerable populations.

Most employees in the community social services sector are eligible for pandemic pay provided that they:…

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May 19, 2020 - BC's Temporary Pandemic Pay Program Announcement

Overview

On May 7th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all provinces and territories have confirmed, or are in the process of confirming, plans to cost share wage top-ups for their essential workers. The Government of Canada committed to provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. Each province or territory is individually responsible for determining eligible workers within the available funding envelope.

Today the Province announced and provided details on how BC employees, including those working in community social services, can access the federal and provincial governments’ cost-shared plan that will provide temporary pandemic pay for essential workers.

BC’s approach focuses on:…

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COVID-19: HRLR Update May 13, 2020

PSEC Secretariat Letter on Service Continuity

The PSEC Secretariat’s direction to public sector employers in March was to maintain service and employment continuity until the end of April, enabled by the continuation of government funding. An updated direction was issued on April 27 to provide guiding principles to public sector employers on business continuity, moving forward during the pandemic. Specifically, employers are urged to consider service and staffing options in consultation with funders, in compliance with Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC guidance, and with their unions. Discontinuance of programs and layoff of staff will continue to be the least preferable option in responding to the challenges of the pandemic, and only after discussion with the funder(s) as requirements will vary from program to program. Safe redeployment of qualified staff remains the recommended option for employers prior to proceeding with layoffs.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Children & Family Development and the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction (and CLBC) have issued recent statements to their contracted service providers that they are able to receive incremental funding to cover increased costs due to staff shortages, increased overtime, etc. for an extended period of time, now until May 31, 2020. The Ministry of Children & Family Development has more recently indicated that incremental funding will not continue past May 31. For reference on PSEC Secretariat's guiding principles, consult the April 27 letter, which can be found here.

BC Housing Emergency Funding Program for Safe Staffing

On April 30, BC Housing announced that an emergency fund would be made available for April and May 2020 to address current staffing pressures that are making it difficult to maintain service levels and meet increased service requirements in critical, frontline roles supporting vulnerable populations in the non-profit housing sector.…

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April 28, 2020 - PSEC Secretariat Provides Guiding Principles for Public Sector Employers

In follow-up to PSEC Secretariat’s direction to public sector employers in March that employment continuity be maintained until the end of April, it provided updated staffing and service delivery principles post April 30. In a letter addressed to employers’ associations CEOs, PSEC Secretariat provided guiding principles that employers should consider post-April when making decisions on business continuity; specifically, that they should do so in consultation with funders, in compliance with Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC guidance, and in collaboration with unions. This follows the Ministry of Children & Family Development and the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction’s recent statements that contracted service providers are able to receive incremental funding to cover increased costs due to staff shortages, increased overtime, etc. for an extended period of time, from April 30, 2020 to May 31, 2020. 

Union Activity

CSSEA continues to meet regularly with the union bargaining association as we look for solutions in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Recently, we have been in contact with the BCGEU following its issuing of letters directly to employers requesting that it be notified if an employee, client or visitor tests positive for contracting COVID-19. CSSEA has responded to affirm employers’ paramount commitment to the health and safety of employees and that employers will continue to follow the guidance for reporting from public health. Employers can read a copy of CSSEA’s response here. We ask employers with questions related to union requests to contact their HRLR Consultant or Advocate to enable CSSEA to determine if a coordinated response on behalf of the sector is required.

Update on Survivor Benefits Option

Since the release of our latest CEO Update on April 23, 2020 CSSEA is pleased to confirm that, in addition to Federation Plan and CSBT, Health Benefit Trust (HBT) is also able to provide survivor benefits for extended health and dental for the duration of the COVID-19 provincial health emergency. Employers who are interested in providing the additional coverage for their staff can contact their benefit provider directly.

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April 24, 2020 - Federal and Provincial Assistance Programs Available to Employers and Employees

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the federal and provincial governments have been regularly introducing new and updated programs to assist individuals and businesses in managing financially as best as possible. This CSSEA Info outlines the key initiatives from both levels of government that may assist employers and employees in this sector to meet their financial challenges. Website links to the programs are provided throughout this communication and employers and employees are encouraged to consult them for more detailed information and new developments.

Federal Programs

1. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides supports to employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, with the aim of protecting employment. At this time, the CEWS will likely have greatest application for non-provincially funded (NPF) employers that are beyond the scope of the provincial government’s efforts to maintain the delivery of community social services.

The CEWS generally covers 75% of employees’ wages – up to $847 per week per employee, for those employers who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.…

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Communications Contact

Doris Sun
Director of Communications
604.601.3110
604.319.5010
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.