Unions call on B.C. government and employers to protect community jobs
VANCOUVER, May 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Frontline community social service
workers across British Columbia have given their bargaining committee
an 82% strike mandate. The vote follows more than 18 months of
protracted contract talks that broke down on March 30.
"This strike vote comes at a time of deepening crisis in community
social services," says James Cavalluzzo, bargaining association chair.
"We are seeing group home closures, cutbacks in agencies that serve
women in crisis, families, people with disabilities, children with
special needs and many others who rely on these community-based
At issue are increased layoffs, job security, and a chronic recruitment
and retention problem. "This seriously impacts the quality of care and
support we are able to provide to some of our most vulnerable
citizens," says Cavalluzzo.
The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) says it is
time for the provincial government and its employers to step up and
provide the respect and resources needed to stabilize services and
improve working conditions.
In the meantime, CSSBA is working to establish essential services levels
to protect client health and safety in the event of job action.
Community social services workers provide a wide range of assistance to
people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, including child care for
families, employment and housing support for people with developmental
disabilities, specialized services for immigrants and First Nations
families, substance abuse and addiction-related services, support for
women dealing with violence, and much more.
The CSSBA includes nine unions representing about 15,000 workers
employed by 220 agencies across British Columbia.
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
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