Society for Community Living

Wage Equity Update #21

March 31, 2008

To:                  All Spectrum Employees

From:              Ernie Baatz, Executive Director


We have received confirmation of funding increases for 2008 and 2009, allowing us to provide 2% increases to our wage grids effective April 2008 and again in April 2009.   


Spectrum Society is committed to fair wages for our employees.  Although our funders provided the increases to address “cost pressures” we have continued to apply all of this new funding to wage increases.


How much of an increase will Spectrum be getting?      A three-year funding plan has been approved, with 3.2% being added to the total service contract amount on April 1, 2007, approximately 1.6% more on April 1, 2008 and April 1, 2009.  Approximately 80% of Spectrum’s funding goes toward wages.  As we will be applying all of the new funding to wages, this works out to about a 2% wage increase this year, and 2% increase next year, after last year’s 4% increases.

How will the wage increases be determined?       Wage increases could be applied in a variety of ways.  This will be determined by Spectrum’s Policy Committee on April 16, 2008.  Some of the ideas already suggested at the last Policy Committee meeting in January included:

·        Across the board increases to each pay rate

·        Higher starting wage – less of an increase at the top end

·        Lower starting wage – bigger increase to employees with 4,500 hours or more

·        Focus some of the increase specifically to the asleep overnight rate

·        Add more to benefits / less to wages – increase Spectrum’s contribution to RRSP to a maximum 4% matching contribution instead of the current 3% matching amount

Will I have any input?        A web survey is available for Spectrum employees to give input on which options they prefer.  We encourage you to complete this survey before April 16.  The survey is available on the Policy Committee website, or  Click Here for a direct link.  THE NEW WAGE RATES will be applied effective April 9, 2008.

Is the funding for the April 2009 increase guaranteed?  CLBC always reserves the right to change funding decisions until government has announced the budget in February each year.   While the first few years of community living funding in this decade were much more volatile, CLBC has seemed to provide a more stable environment for our funding increases.

What are the future plans for wages and benefits for Spectrum Employees?  Spectrum is working with other non-union employers from across the Province to form a new association of employers dedicated to ensuring that we get equitable funding increases so our employees can receive similar wages and benefits to others in the Community Living sector.  This new association is called Community Living Agencies Network (CLAN) and has a website at www.clanbc.ca .  They are just getting started, but will be ensuring that as government begins negotiating collective agreements for April 2010 with unionized employers, they are also negotiating funding increases for non-union employers.  The other priority for CLAN is the introduction of a pension plan for unionized employees.  CSSEA and employers are beginning to discuss the April 2010 implementation with their employees, and we are committed to ensuring our employees have equivalent options. 

If you have questions or concerns, please speak to your Policy Committee representative.  Thank you all for your support, and congratulations to everyone on our successful advocacy efforts.                                                                                                                                 

Policy Committee Website:  www.spectrumsociety.org/policy

Community Living Agencies Network: www.clanbc.ca