CEO Update

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CEO Update - July/August 2021

2021 AGM and Conference

CSSEA invites all members to attend this year’s AGM and Conference, Resilience Builds Strength. While the conference will once again take place virtually, we are confident the event will be engaging and yield important learnings. Members attending this year’s General AGM session on October 19 are encouraged to discuss issues of importance in the sector with their divisional panel members and may submit resolutions. CSSEA will be accepting resolutions from individual members until September 15 and asks that they be sent via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . To register and learn more about this year’s lineup of sessions, please visit our conference website. In our current virtual world the conference is modestly priced to encourage participation. In addition, we are offering a discounted early bird conference rate of $79 that will be effective until September 24.

Consider Joining CSSEA’s Panels

This year’s Divisional Sessions will once again be taking place one week prior to the AGM General Session, on October 12, for logistical reasons. If you registered for the General Session, you will automatically be registered and receive a participation link for your respective Divisional Session in early October. The divisional sessions will handle divisional business, including the selection of new panel members and, if required, discussion of resolutions and holding of elections. I encourage those who have never served and are interested in being involved with CSSEA’s governance to consider putting their names forward for a potential position. To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of panel members, as well as how to run, consult the AGM page on our conference website.

Permanent Paid Sick Leave Survey

In preparation for upcoming paid sick leave legislation that is slated to come into effect January 1, 2022, government will be consulting with employers about their views on permanent employee paid sick leave. The PSEC Secretariat will provide further details when they are available, but in the meantime, employers are encouraged to fill out this survey to assist in developing options for the consultation process. The survey is intended to help government understand how many workers have paid sick leave, what types of paid sick leave is offered, and how the new legislated paid sick leave will affect employers.…

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CEO Update - May/June 2021

Board and Panel Meetings

On June 7, CSSEA held its second Board and Panel meetings of 2021. The meeting began with a moment of silence in remembrance of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were uncovered in Kamloops. Our collective hearts go out to their families, Indigenous communities across the country and anyone who has been impacted by this profound loss.

Topics discussed included changes to the Employment Standards Act and how it impacts our sector; Bargaining 2022; the Community and Social Services Health and Safety Council; and CSSEA’s participation in the MCFD Social Sector Advisory Committee and the Social Services Sector Roundtable. Finally, we discussed the upcoming AGM, Conference and Awards of Excellence that will be taking place Oct. 19-21, and the hope it will be the last one to be held virtually.

Employment Standards Act and Sick Leave Pay

By now, members should be aware of further provincial government amendments to the Employment Standards Act (ESA). The latest amendments provide employees with up to three days of COVID-19-related paid sick/isolation/exposure leave until December 31, 2021. This constitutes new minimum standards for all employees in the province, except those covered by a collective agreement where the sick leave provisions “meet or exceed” this new minimum standard. CSSEA issued a comprehensive communication detailing if and how these amendments will affect both unionized and non-unionized employees. The communication also addressed future paid sick days that will come into effect on January 1, 2022 on a “go-forward” basis. You can access details of the May 2021 ESA amendments here.…

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CEO Update - April 2021

Awards of Excellence – Deadline Extended

Due to internal issues that affected our Awards of Excellence website, we are extending the deadline to nominate from Friday, April 16 at 5pm to Friday, April 23 at 5pm. Members who have partially completed nominations or who plan to start a nomination are encouraged to finalize them as soon as possible. The Community Social Services Awards of Excellence, sponsored by TELUS, are a meaningful way to honour outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond in their roles – especially in light of the challenging year we have all had. The nomination form, as well as full details of the awards initiative, can be found on our website:

2021 Compensation and Employee Turnover Report

Members should now have received both a mail-out and e-mail containing details on how to complete the 2021 Compensation and Employee Turnover Report. As we prepare for 2022 bargaining, your input into this year’s report will be of critical importance, as the data gathered will be particularly significant in informing government on funding for the public sector. To assist members with efficient completion, CSSEA has begun holding a series of online orientation webinars to provide agencies with information and tips on how to accurately complete the report. To register for one of the remaining sessions, please sign up at: The report form and user guide can be downloaded from CSSEA’s website. We thank all members in advance for completing the report prior to the deadline of June 30, 2021.

COVID-19 – Latest PHO Order

By now, employers should be aware of the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) latest order, which gives WorkSafeBC prevention officers the ability to serve a closure order on businesses with a known COVID-19 outbreak. Once served, the closure order will be in effect for 10 days or more, as prescribed by the health authority’s medical health officer on a case-by-case basis.

When serving the closure order, the WorkSafeBC prevention officer will discuss and advise on the employer’s COVID-19 safety plan. When the workplace is permitted to re-open, the prevention officer will conduct an inspection to review the employer’s updated COVID-19 safety plan. For more information on the latest PHO orders, click here. You can also refer to your regional health authority for more information about specific closure orders. For other resources on keeping workplaces safe, consult WorkSafeBC’s COVID-19 website.…

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CEO Update - March 2021

Community Social Services Awareness Month

The month of March is particularly special for our sector because it is now recognized as Community Social Services Awareness month. I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all employers and their staff for their tireless efforts in serving vulnerable British Columbians in need of support, compassion and a sense of community. The work you do is impactful and we should all be proud that the province is shining a spotlight on our efforts.

Awards of Excellence

Nominations for the 2021 Community Social Services Awards of Excellence are now open. CSSEA is excited to hold the awards again this year, after a one-year pause due to the pandemic. Although we remain aware that members’ operations continue to be affected by the implications of COVID-19, I encourage everyone to consider acknowledging colleagues, friends or outstanding employees who have gone above and beyond, especially in these challenging times. Nominations will be accepted until 5pm on April 16 and full details, including the nomination form, can be found on our Awards Website.

Bargaining 2022

The Bargaining Committee held an introductory virtual meeting on February 26th. While the Committee prepares for 2022 bargaining, we thank all members who have already sent their bargaining objectives to CSSEA since my last CEO Update. We continue to accept member feedback on issues that are of foremost importance as we prepare for the next round of collective bargaining. We ask that you e-mail your bargaining objectives and/or suggestions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Board and Panels Meeting

The Board and Panels met on March 1 and during that meeting, the Panels received a presentation from Satvinder Basran on the revised priorities for the CSS Health & Safety Council for 2021. The focus this year will be completing the governance structure to enable the Council to become an independent society and establish foundations for training and education resources by June 2021.

The Panels also discussed upcoming changes to Extended Health Care Plans coverage, which are set to take effect on April 1, as well as the final $20 million allocation of Low Wage Redress funds that will give most classifications parity with health.

The issue of excluded compensation, which is outside CSSEA’s scope under the Public Sector Employers Act, was also raised. Employers reiterated the impact that compression and inversion are having on recruitment, retention and the morale of managers and supervisors.

The Panels also brought up the topic of risk insurance, specifically the possibility that changes to risk coverage, may occur. Members are encouraged to follow up with their risk insurance providers to determine if changes are being contemplated.

The Board meeting included a discussion on CSSEA’s data collection and PSEC’s request that CSSEA continue collecting data for non-union agencies for the sixth year. Also deliberated was cost recovery of this government initiative.…

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CEO Update - January/February 2021

Bargaining 2022

As members are aware, CSSEA elected its 2022 Bargaining Committee at last October’s AGM. Besides electing the committee, engaging the panel and the HR practitioners, another important part of preparing for the next round of bargaining would involve CSSEA travelling around the province to discuss issues and collect members’ foremost bargaining objectives. Given our continued inability to hold meetings face to face, CSSEA has created an e-mail for members to send their bargaining-related comments. CSSEA will be monitoring the e-mail diligently and will be compiling all bargaining objectives as it continues to develop its bargaining plan and strategy. We ask that you e-mail your bargaining objectives and/or suggestions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Upcoming General Wage Increase and $20 Million Low Wage Redress

Members are reminded that, effective the first full pay period following April 1, 2021, both the general wage and third (and final) instalment of the $20 million Low Wage Redress increases will take effect. The increases are agreed to by CSSEA and the CSSBA and are meant to reduce the difference in pay between Community Social Services jobs and similar jobs in the Health Sector. More details, including updated wage grids, can be found in this CSSEA Info, which was sent to members in December 2020. 

Minimum Wage Increase

Effective June 1, BC’s minimum wage will be increasing from $14.60 per hour to $15.20 per hour. Minimum wage applies regardless of how employees are paid – hourly, salary, commission or on an incentive basis. If an employee's wage is below minimum wage for the hours they worked, the employer must top up their payment so it's equal to minimum wage. For more information on this upcoming increase, consult the Province of BC’s website.…

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CEO Update - December 2020

Funders Meeting

Early this month CSSEA hosted the annual Funders Meeting to review the final round of sectoral wage increases in the 2019-2022 Collective Agreements, including the final allocation of Low Wage Redress (LWR). Also discussed were upcoming changes to extended health benefits, as well as additional funding pressures from statutory and pension cost increases. Although outside the scope of CSSEA’s mandate, we relayed the increasing pressure agencies are under to respond to management and excluded salary inversion and compression, and the negative impact it has on the ability to recruit and retain qualified managers and ensure continuity of service. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Ministry of Child and Family Development, Community Living BC, PSEC Secretariat, BC Housing, health authorities, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Jobs and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

April 1, 2021 Wage Grids

By now, members should be aware that CSSEA and CSSBA have agreed on the distribution of the April 1, 2021 Low Wage Redress, effective the first full pay period following April 1, 2021. These wage increases represent the final increases as negotiated in the 2019-2022 Collective Agreements, and for a majority of classifications, closes the wage gap significantly with the health sector. Updated wage grids can be found here and the CSSEA Info outlining the agreement can be found here. A special thanks to the Classification Tech Group and Employer Advisory Committee for their work these past three years in finalizing the allocation of LWR. 

CSSEA Fact Book

CSSEA’s 2019 Fact Book has now been released. This comprehensive publication provides a detailed overview of the funding, employment and compensation statistics of the entire sector, its service divisions and employee groups. In addition, it provides a breakdown of these figures by geographic region. Members can expect to receive a hard copy of the Fact Book by mail. It can also be accessed online.…

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CEO Update - October/November 2020

This is a year of many firsts and we all had to adapt to continue to deliver on the goals and mandates of our organizations. October saw CSSEA suspending its Community Social Services Awards of Excellence and holding its first virtual conference and AGM. We missed the coming together of the sector, the networking, the open exchange of ideas and the celebration of the Awards of Excellence event; hopefully, 2021 affords us the ability for in-person gatherings once again.

2020 Virtual Conference

I thank all those who attended CSSEA’s 2020 virtual conference, Community Social Services Resilience in Uncertain Times COVID-19 Session, which was generously sponsored by WorkSafeBC. The event drew 294 participants from 151 organizations, making it one of our most well-attended events to date. Given the new and unanticipated challenges of moving an in-person conference to a virtual event under short notice, CSSEA is pleased with members’ feedback on the event. Of the 115 participants who responded to the post-conference e-evaluation:

  • 90% of respondents rated the Flow/Timing of the event rated between Good to Excellent.
  • 81% of respondents rated the Virtual Platform for the event rated between Good to Excellent.
  • 77% of respondents rated they were Likely to Extremely Likely to Attend Future Sessions.
  • 87% of respondents rated relevancy of materials presented at the event rated between Good to Excellent.
  • 81% of respondents rated the Speakers Lineup for the event rated between Good to Excellent.…

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CEO Update - July/August 2020

This has been a busy and most unusual time for the sector and more than usual I want to be concise in my report. This month’s focus is providing an update on various programs and initiatives and inviting the membership to register for our first virtual AGM in October.

Isolation Pay

At CSSEA’s recent Board Meeting, the issue of expenses relating the reconciliation process of pandemic-related isolation pay was discussed. Further clarity was sought with government and CSSEA has been advised that members with expenses associated with isolation pay should be discuss them with their funding ministry or agency as part of the existing service contracts. Members with further questions should contact their respective contract manager.

Temporary Pandemic Pay

Provincial funders are currently working with the Ministry of Finance to create a streamlined approach for agencies to receive pandemic pay funding for eligible employees, and anticipate more details will be available by mid-August. In the meantime, employers are asked to begin gathering the following information for the period March 15 to July 4, 2020:…

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CEO Update - May/June 2020

As the province moves to phase two of the pandemic plan there have been a number of initiatives announced by various ministries, including the Ministry of Health, on how we will move forward in safe and measured ways. Employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with those plans, which include the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19: Going Forward, as well as the Province of BC’s COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy.

Temporary Pandemic Pay

In follow-up to our recently distributed FAQs on May 28, 2020 regarding the provincial government’s temporary pandemic pay program, CSSEA has now confirmed specific job classifications that are eligible to receive those funds. Click here to view the list of included and excluded classifications. Note that Integrated, Unique and Layered Over jobs are included but the following classifications are excluded:

  • Child care Resource and Referral Worker
  • Crisis Line Coordinator
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Early Childhood Educator Assistant
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Senior Employment Counsellor
  • ESL Instructor…

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CEO Update - April 2020


Since my last communication, the world around us has changed dramatically with the COVID -19 pandemic, and it has impacted the community social services sector profoundly. In this new reality, CSSEA has endeavoured to keep the membership informed of evolving government policies and more specifically, relevant updates and strategies from the office of the Provincial Health Officer, as well as resulting implications to the sector. We have also continued to work with individual unions and the bargaining association to build workforce flexibility and resiliency to enable continuity of service, and remain in close regular contact with WorkSafeBC, ministries, CLBC and other key stakeholders as the situation is fluid and continues to change weekly, and sometimes daily. One of our primary directives is to provide sector data and analysis to inform discussions in government and with the Provincial Health Officer so we can quantify the impact of decisions and anticipate unintended consequences. I am gratified and impressed with the resiliency of the sector and the selfless sacrifice of our staff in the face of a national shortage of PPE. I also continue to be impressed with how the sector is working together to ensure continuity of service for our clients and employment security for our employees.

During the past weeks we have sent numerous communications articulating government’s position and providing clarification and interpretations of Provincial Health Officer orders. We have heard from some of our members that “we don’t communicate enough” and from others that “we communicate too much.” Both points of views are valid, as our communications strive to be relevant to a broad base of our membership who, frankly, are very individualized and often have specific needs. CSSEA has made the conscious decision to be timely with its communications and to focus on providing advice that is directly applicable to members’ operations including: relevant human resources and labour relations direction; interpreting and providing clarity on applicable Provincial Medical Health Officer orders; and keeping members informed of WSBC guidelines and how they apply to the social services sector during COVID-19. With everyone working at full capacity, we are mindful of only adding relevant, timely information to the discourse.

On a sad note, we express our condolences to Shannon Crofton and the staff at Richmond Society for Community Living who lost a staff member to COVID-19. As you are likely aware, our benefit plans do not include survivor benefits language. To that end, CSSEA has had discussions with the three benefit providers about the feasibility of offering survivor benefits, limited to extended health and dental, for families of COVID-19 victims for the duration of the provincial health emergency. The Federation Plan and CSBT have indicated the costs to the agency would be minimal and if employers are interested in providing the additional coverage for their staff they should contact them directly.…

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CEO Update - February/March 2020


With the spread of COVID-19 continuing to be a fluid situation, CSSEA is actively monitoring provincial health updates. At this time, the risk of spread continues to remain low and we are recommending that employers, first and foremost, increase cleaning and hand hygiene availability at their worksites, and to make employees aware of the organization’s protocols when dealing with virus outbreaks. Employers are also advised to plan for allowing employees to work remotely if necessary and where it is feasible. Employees displaying flu-like symptoms should be encouraged to stay home and those who have travelled to affected areas should contact the public health unit in their region to determine if quarantine is the appropriate course of action. CSSEA is coordinating our strategies with health and the broader public service and as further information becomes available, we will notify the membership.

Awards of Excellence

CSSEA is now accepting nominations for the sixth annual Community Social Services Awards of Excellence, sponsored by TELUS. We encourage anyone who knows an outstanding representative of BC’s publicly funded social services sector to complete the brief online nomination before April 3, 2020. To access the nomination form or to obtain more information on eligibility and previous winners, go to our Awards website. Anyone with questions are asked to contact Doris Sun, Director of Communications, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Your Input is Needed in 2020 Compensation and Employee Turnover Report

The 2020 Compensation and Employee Turnover Report is now available to complete. Government discussion of the next mandate will begin in 2021, and this year’s data will be the basis of all costing and analysis. Therefore, it is very important that all members complete the report. The deadline for completion will be May 31, 2020.…

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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.