VANCOUVER, July 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Community social services workers
around the province have voted strongly in favour of job action to back
their bargaining proposals. Members in General Services have voted 85
per cent in favour of strike action. Members in Community Living
Services voted 90 per cent in favour.
"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," says Darryl Walker, BCGEU president.
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
men and women, children and families, youth, people with physical or
developmental disabilities and First Nations in towns across British
Columbia. They are the lowest paid workers in the broad public sector.
Outstanding issues include: wages, benefits, sick leave and reimbursable
expenses. The employer is also demanding concessions and wanted to
remove improvements negotiated in the last round of bargaining.
"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," says James
Cavalluzzo, chair of the multi-union bargaining association.
The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is the
multi-union bargaining committee for BC's unionized community social
service workers. The CSSBA includes ten unions with a combined
membership of about 15,000. The BCGEU is the largest union in the
community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of
workers. CUPE, HEU, HSA are the next largest followed by UFCW, CSWU,
USW, SEIU and CLAC.
The provincial government's Community Social Services Employers'
Association (CSSEA) represents 220 agencies in the sector.
SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Evan Stewart BCGEU Communications 604-291-9611