Social services workers vote for strike action

Community social services workers around the province have voted strongly in favour of job action to back their bargaining proposals. Members in general services voted ...

Community social services workers around the province have voted strongly in favour of job action to back their bargaining proposals.

Members in general services voted 85% in favour of strike action, while members in community living services voted 90% in favour.

Darryl Walker, BCGEU president, said, "Our members have given their bargaining committee the strong strike mandate it needs. That should send a clear message to the provincial government that these members are prepared to stand up for a fair and reasonable settlement."

Negotiations broke down in early June between the provincial government, employers and the 10 unions representing B.C.'s 15,000 community social services workers.

Community social service workers provide services to adults, children and families, youth, people with physical or developmental disabilities and First Nations in towns across B.C. They are the lowest-paid public-sector workers.

Outstanding issues include wages, benefits, sick leave and reimbursable expenses.

James Cavalluzzo, chair of the multi-union bargaining association, said, "We are asking for a fair and reasonable deal, one that reflects the important work our members do. Up until now the provincial government has had nothing to offer the caring professionals in community social services. Our members cannot keep falling behind."

jharrison@biv.com

@JHarrisonBIV

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