Nearly 500 family service workers to go on strike

Proper government funding needed for programs that support vulnerable families. Picketing will occur in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Kamloops, Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Cranbrook and Vernon on Wednesday and Thursday 

BURNABY, BC, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Nearly 500 family service workers across British Columbia will be striking on Wednesday February 6 and Thursday February 7.

"Striking workers want to send a clear message to the BC government: stop putting the squeeze on family services and other community-based social services," says BCGEU Community Social Services Chairperson Patsy Harmston. "Proper government funding is needed for programs for vulnerable families and the workers who support them.

"We enjoy helping families participate in their community and enjoy the best quality of life possible," says Harmston, "but many of us can't make ends meet. Starting wages are $15 an hour, a dollar less than 10 years ago. Many of us have had to take on second jobs or are having to leave the work we love."

Family service workers work with vulnerable families. They intervene when children or youth are at risk. They help with substance addictions. They work with teenage or single parents trying to make ends meet. They provide family counselling, vocational and life skills training, job placement services, assessment, therapy, infant and supported child development, and autism intervention.

This family services strike follows last week's strike by 3400 community living workers across British Columbia.

The following agencies will be on strike, but essential services will be maintained:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Community Agency Picket location & time Union Members
impacted
Vancouver WestCoast  Family
Centres
8am-5pm
2780 East Broadway (at
Kaslo St.)
BCGEU 55
Vancouver WestCoast Child
Care Resource
Centre
8am-5pm
2780 East Broadway (at
Kaslo St.)
BCGEU 19
North
Vancouver
North Shore Crisis
Services Society
8:30am-12:30pm
145 East 15th Street (at
Lonsdale)
BCGEU 35
North
Vancouver
North Shore
Disability Resource
Centre Associations
8:30am-12:30pm
145 East 15th Street (at
Lonsdale)
CUPE 108

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Community Agency Picket location & time Union Members impacted
Kamloops Interior Community
Services (ICS)
8:30am- 4:30pm
396 & 765 Tranquille Rd.
12-1 pm: action on the
Overlander bridge
BCGEU/
UFCW
90+26
Nelson Kootenay Kids 9am-4pm 312 Silica St. BCGEU 35
Castlegar Castlegar & District
Community Services
8:30am - 4:30pm
1007-2nd Street
BCGEU 15
Trail Canadian Mental
Health Association
for the Kootenays
7am - 7 pm
1200 Hospital Bench
BCGEU 5
Trail Trail Family &
Individual Resource
Centre Society
(FAIR)
8am-8pm
2079 Columbia Avenue
BCGEU 35
Cranbrook Canadian Mental
Health Association
for the Kootenays
9am-1pm
39-13th Avenue South
BCGEU 10
Cranbrook Community
Connections of
Southeast BC
(including
Cranbrook Women's
Resource Centre)
9am-1pm
39-13th Avenue South
BCGEU 5
Vernon North Okanagan
Youth & Family
Services
8:30am-1pm
3100-32 Avenue
CUPE 50
Total members impacted 488

BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA and six other unions, which together make up the Community Social Services Bargaining Association, represent family service workers. There are 15,000 unionized community social service workers, and about one-third of them work in general services, which includes family services.

 

SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information:

Media enquiries: Oliver Rohlfs, BCGEU Communications, (778) 318-9164 or oliver.rohlfs@bcgeu.ca