CEO Update

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CEO Update - June 2017

2017 AGM and Fall Conference

Registration for this year’s AGM and Fall Conference, “Strength in Diversity,” is now open. The conference will be taking place at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna from October 24-26. Highlights of this year’s exciting program include keynote speaker Mark Brand, the election of the 2019 Bargaining Committee and a plenary session on HRLR issues. Details on the full program, speakers and hotel reservations can be found on our conference website. We look forward to welcoming all delegates to the Okanagan.

 

Provincial Election Update

The BC Legislature is scheduled to be recalled on June 22, when the first order of business will be to elect a Speaker and hold a confidence vote. Given the continued uncertainty in our province’s government, I don’t anticipate developments that would immediately impact our sector until the Fall, and will continue to monitor any news as it arises.…

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CEO Update - May 2017

Virus/Ransomware Advisory – Action Required

Members may have read about the global ransomware campaign known as “WCry,” “Wana,” “WCrypt,” “WanaDecryptor” or “WanaCry.” This ransomware impacts all versions of Windows before Windows 10 and those who do not update their software are at risk of having all files on an infected computer and network encrypted and recoverable only by restoring from a backup. To protect your networks, please ensure all systems are up to date with Windows updates and antivirus.

For Windows (7, 8.1, 10) and Windows Server (2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 r2): Run Windows update on your computer to ensure you’ve installed the recent Microsoft Monthly Security Rollup updates.

For Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003: If your product is “custom support only” and no longer receives updates, download and install this link.…

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CEO Update - April 2017

Enhanced Criteria for Determining Benefits Equivalency


The January issue of my report notified members about a decision by Arbitrator Wayne Moore on the ongoing equivalency of benefit providers, specifically, concerns about some providers not being willing or able to provide the benefits agreed upon in the collective agreements. As directed by Arbitrator Moore, and in an ongoing effort to safeguard members’ choice of benefit providers, ensure new providers can deliver on the terms of the collective agreement and to protect members from financial risk, CSSEA and the CSSBA met and agreed to strengthen the process for evaluating equivalency.

A new potential benefit provider must now give notice to both CSSEA and the CSSBA and request a review under the new equivalency process. This will allow CSSEA to conduct an independent assessment on whether the provider will comply with Article 27 and Information Appendix A of the sectoral collective agreements, as well as adhere to CSSEA’s data reporting requirements. In addition, a third party consultant will review the underwriting model and provide a recommendation on the level of risk for the member(s) and sector.


The new equivalency process was discussed and endorsed at the March Board and Panel meetings and came into effect on March 31. CSSEA is asking any agency who is contacted by a benefit provider not yet deemed equivalent to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before purchasing any benefits.…

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CEO Update - March 2017

Nominations for Awards of Excellence Now Open

We are now accepting nominations for our third annual BC Community Social Services Awards of Excellence and encourage anyone who knows an outstanding individual working in the sector to put their names forward. Aside from ensuring that dedication is recognized, the awards are a meaningful way to build organizational pride. For full details on the awards and nomination process, visit our Awards Website. Nominations will be accepted until April 19.

Election of 2019 Bargaining Committee

CSSEA’s Board and Panels met in Vancouver last week. The Board reviewed and approved the housekeeping changes to CSSEA’s Constitution and Bylaws and Board Policies, as required under the new Societies Act. The Constitution and Bylaws will be presented for final approval at CSSEA’s AGM on October 24, 2017 in Kelowna.

The Board and Panels also endorsed the election of the 2019 Employer Bargaining Committee at the AGM. Those interested in sitting on the Bargaining Committee are asked to contact their respective division chairs.…

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CEO Update - February 2017

Wage Increases

On February 1, wage increases of 0.35% stemming from government’s Economic Stability Dividend came into effect for employees covered by collective agreements settled under the Economic Stability Mandate. In addition, Community Living Services (CLS) and General Services (GS) employees received a 1% General Wage (GWI) Increase effective February 1, while Aboriginal Services (AS) employees received a 1% GWI effective February 5 (with an additional 0.5% GWI effective April 2 for Delegated positions).

On April 1, the Comparability and Classification Anomaly Wage Increases will also take effect for eligible employees. CSSEA and the CSSBA have recently agreed on the distribution of funds, which will provide a 2.5% wage increase for 98.3% of all FTEs. The intention of the Comparability Adjustment is to close the wage gap with the comparator classification in community health. Further details and updated wage grids can be found in a recently distributed CSSEA Info.

Upcoming Vision Care, Transportation and Meal Allowance Increases

Employers are reminded that as of April 1, a number of increases are set to come into effect. Per Article 26.9 of the collective agreements, the transportation allowance will increase to $0.47/km for CLS and GS members and $0.51 for AS members. Meal allowances will also increase per Article 26.10 for employees conducting business away from their worksites. Eligible employees will be entitled to reimbursement for meal expenses incurred to a maximum of: $10.41 for breakfast; $12.75 for lunch; and $22.11 for dinner.…

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CEO Update - January 2017

Do You Work With an Outstanding Colleague?

What better way to start the year than by thinking about nominations for the 2017 BC Community Social Services Awards of Excellence. This year the awards will be presented in Kelowna at the Delta Grand Okanagan on October 25. Nominations for the four categories — Rising Star, Hero, Leader and Legend — will be open in early March and details on the requirements, nomination process, as well as recent winners, can be found on our awards website. 

Benefits Equivalency Arbitration

Arbitrator Wayne Moore recently issued a decision on a matter referred to him by the CSSBA regarding the ongoing equivalency of benefit providers. The matter stems from concerns about some providers not being willing or able to provide the benefits agreed upon in the collective agreements, putting employees and employers at risk. In his decision, Moore required CSSEA and the CSSBA to meet and discuss criteria and a process for establishing and maintaining suitability of benefit providers. The decision also directs the parties to discuss evaluating equivalency and determining a process for resolving issues when they arise. CSSEA is currently working on the implementation of the decision and on an equivalency process that protects employers and employees and respects members’ right to choose providers. CSSEA recognizes the rising cost of benefits is of concern to members and we continue to work with accredited benefit providers and the CSSBA to control those cost. 

2017 HR Practitioners’ Meetings

Dates have been set for this year’s HR Practitioners’ Meetings: April 7, September 15 and December 8. Online registration details will be sent as they become available and in the meantime, members are invited to note the selected dates.…

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CEO Update - December 2016

Funders Meeting

CSSEA recently hosted the 2017/18 Collective Agreement Funders Meeting in Vancouver. Amongst those in attendance were myself; Janice Barr, Board Chair; Eric Peraro, Executive Director, Finance, Research and Knowledge Management and various representatives from PSEC; the Ministry of Children and Family Development; Community Living BC; the Ministry of Health; BC Housing; the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General; and the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. The meeting focused on the upcoming general wage increase, Economic Stability Dividend, Comparability and Anomaly Adjustment, increases to the transportation and meal allowance and various increases to extended health coverage. In addition, we highlighted other fiscal realities facing the membership and discussed learnings from last year’s roll-out. Members can access a copy of the presentation here



BC Pharmacare Changes to Reference Drug Pricing

BC Pharmacare recently updated its Reference Drug Pricing (RDP) program. The program designates one or more drugs to be considered a cost “reference,” which renders the daily cost of the drug as the maximum daily amount covered by PharmaCare. Individuals prescribed a higher-cost drug will be covered up to the cost of the reference drug. Effective December 1, Pharmacare expanded RDP categories to include three new categories of drugs: angiotensin receptor blockers, proton pump inhibitors and statins. Members can access a full listing of the affected drugs and changes to coverage by referencing this Pharmacare poster.

JJEP Updates

CSSEA has been working jointly with the CSSBA to review and update 62 benchmarks, and recently released a revised joint Benchmark and Benchmark Ratings document. The document can be accessed on CSSEA’s website by logging in, clicking on the Members/Joint Job Evaluation Plan tabs and scrolling down to the Resources section. Anyone with questions should contact Eric Peraro, Executive Director of Research and Knowledge Management, at 604.604.3104, 1.800.377.3340 ext. 104 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .…

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CEO Update - November 2016

2016 AGM and Conference

Thanks to everyone who joined us at CSSEA’s 2016 AGM and Conference, Creating Opportunities, Building Connections. Both CSSEA staff and I enjoyed connecting with attendees and hope members benefited from our professional development offerings and networking events. All conference presentations can now be accessed on the Speaker Presentations page of the conference website.

I would also like to congratulate our newly elected panel member, Deborah Joyce of District 69 Family Resource Association (General Services) and newly elected Board Vice-Chair, David Young (General Services). A full list of our 2016-17 Board and Panel members can be found on our website.

Mark your calendars for CSSEA’s 2017 AGM and Conference, which will take place in Kelowna from October 24-26 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort.…

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CEO Update - August 2016

HR Practitioners Meeting

The next HR Practitioners’ Meeting is set for September 14, from 10 am to 3 pm, on the 11th floor of CSSEA’s office, at 555 Burrard Street. Among some of the topics on the agenda, we will be addressing union disclosure requests, our aging workforce and claims management. As usual, attendees will also have the opportunity to network with consultants over lunch. Those interested in attending or participating through webinar are asked to register online.

WorkSafeBC Webinar

CSSEA will be co-hosting an upcoming webinar with WorkSafeBC on rate consultation. The webinar is scheduled for September 20, from 10am to noon, and will provide employers with an update on the preliminary 2017 classification rates that have been proposed for the community social services sector; to present background information/data on how the sector is performing; and to provide information on WorkSafeBC resources that are available to support employers. Registration details are forthcoming.

2016 AGM and Fall Conference

Don’t forget to register early for Creating Opportunities, Building Connections, this year’s AGM and Conference, taking place at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre from October 18-20. Delegates who submit their registrations before August 31st will have their names entered into a draw for one of two prizes of a complimentary one night’s stay at the conference venue. Good luck to all registrants.…

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CEO Update - July 2016

 

2016 AGM and Fall Conference

Online registration for this year’s AGM and Fall Conference has now launched. We are proud to unveil the program for “Creating Opportunities, Building Connections,” taking place at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre from October 18-20. In an effort to expand on our green initiative, we have transitioned to a full conference website, which houses all details about the program, venue, speakers and registration. We encourage all members to register early and are offering a chance to win one of two prizes of a complimentary night’s stay at the hotel for those who register before August 31st. We look forward to welcoming all delegates to Vancouver.


Be a Part of CSSEA’s 2016 Annual Report

As we begin work on this year’s Annual Report, we are inviting all members to send high resolution photos of their staff delivering services, participating in community events, engaging in team functions etc. for potential inclusion. While we can’t promise every image will be featured, we will make every effort to showcase members across our three service divisions. Those interested in submitting photos are asked to email Doris Sun at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by August 15. Please note the Annual Report is a public document that will be printed and posted online so please ensure anyone featured in your submissions have consented to their image being made public.


Minimum Wage Increase

Members are advised that the first of two scheduled minimum wage increases is set to come into effect in British Columbia soon. Effective September 15, 2016, the first increase of 40 cents will take place, bringing the minimum wage rate to $10.85 per hour. On September 15, 2017, a second increase of 30 cents plus an amount based on the 2016 Consumer Price Index (estimated to be 10 cents) will be applied, bringing the minimum wage rate to approximately $11.25.…

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CEO Update - May 2016

Benefit Providers

We recently held meetings with all the benefit providers and reviewed the Early Intervention Program guidelines and performance data.
I’d like to remind members that currently, there are only three benefit providers — CSBT, The Federation Association Benefit Plan and HBT — that have been deemed ‘equivalent’ by both CSSEA and the union bargaining association in our sector. If you are contacted by any benefit provider other than the three noted, please direct them to CSSEA and inform your consultant. For more information, please visit the CSSEA website, using your login credentials to gain access to the Health and Welfare Benefits page.

CSS WorkSafeBC Pilot Project Update

CSSEA, in partnership with The Federation and WSBC and under the auspices of the Innovation and Sustainability Initiative, continues to work with pilot employers on improving injury prevention, return to work practices and improving employers’ rate experiences. The year 1 Interim Pilot Project Report is currently being finalized and will be available on our website. A best practices summary on occupational safety and health and disability management is also being completed. In addition, the pilot is working with WSBC to develop sector-specific resources on injury prevention and return to work.

Detailed pilot project updates can be found on CSSEA’s website or by contacting Satvinder Basran, Project Manager, at 604.601.3127, toll free at 1.800.377.3340 ext. 127 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Awards of Excellence Selection Process Now Underway

The Awards Committee is hard at work reviewing all the nominations received for this year’s Awards of Excellence and will be meeting in Vancouver at the end of the month to shortlist the candidates. Awards will be presented in four categories: Rising Star, Hero, Leader and Legend. Following the compilation of a shortlist, an external judging panel made up of representatives from the private and public sectors will convene to select winners for each category. We thank all who submitted nominations and wish the nominees best of luck.

HSA Dues to Increase in July

CSSEA was notified by the Health Sciences Association (HSA) that, under Article 5 of the Collective Agreement, union dues for employees belonging to HSA are to increase. Those agencies are advised to increase union deductions of gross earnings from 1.60% to 1.85% starting July 15 for HSA employees.

2016 Compensation and Employee Turnover Survey Update

Thank you to all those who completed the 2016 Compensation and Employee Turnover Survey. I am delighted by the strong early response and encourage those who have not yet completed it to do so before the deadline of May 31, 2016. The survey and User Guides can be accessed on the CSSEA website and completed surveys can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For further information, please contact Eric Peraro at 604.601.3104, toll free at 1.800.377.3340 ext. 104 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or David Lin at 604.601.3132, toll free at 1.800.377.3340 ext. 132 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Communications Contact

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