VANCOUVER, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Aboriginal Service workers and social
workers from Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society
(VACFSS) will be on strike on Tuesday December 4. Striking workers want
to send a clear message to the B.C. government: stop putting vulnerable
Aboriginal families last!
Since 2004, the B.C. Liberal government has cut $300 million in funding
for programs that support vulnerable aboriginal families, recent
immigrants, the developmentally disabled, at-risk youth, and children
and infants in community-based programs across the province.
Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society head office at
471 East Broadway in Vancouver will be picketed on Tuesday December 4
from 8:30am until 4:30pm.
"Aboriginal service workers perform the same work as government social
workers and support staff. The work is the same, but the employment
conditions are not, and they want parity," said BCGEU Community Social
Services Component Chair Patsy Harmston. Aboriginal workers have
inferior benefits relative to direct government social workers.
"Government social workers also just received a two percent wage
increase for the next two years. Community social service employers -
including Aboriginal Services - have not even made a monetary offer at
the bargaining table after six weeks of rotating strike across the
province," Harmston said.
Aboriginal services are government social services devolved to
aboriginal agencies that support Aboriginal families across B.C. They
offer a wide variety of services, such as child protection, family
preservation/reunification, foster care, guardianship, and more.
Aboriginal service workers are counselors and social workers for
families, addiction-related issues, stop the violence programs, but
also program managers, settlement and integration workers, and more.
BCGEU represents over 200 Aboriginal service and social workers at
VACFSS and four other Aboriginal Services agencies across B.C.
including La société de les Enfants (Métis Family Services) in Surrey,
Island Métis Family and Community Services Society (Victoria), Lii
Michif Otipemisiwak Family & Community Services (Kamloops), Haida Child
and Family Services Society (Massett and Skidegate) and Northwest
Inter-Nation Child and Community Service Society (Prince Rupert and
Contract negotiations in Aboriginal Services broke off on August 17 and
have not resumed. Over 86% of Aboriginal workers support taking job
Since October 16, rotating strike action in community services has
impacted agencies around British Columbia, including in Vancouver,
Kamloops, Prince George Victoria, Nelson, Vernon, Williams Lake, and
SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Media, please contact Oliver Rohlfs, Communications, 778-318-9164