Health care workers, homeless shelter staff join BCGEU

VANCOUVER, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - More than 90 health care and homeless shelter staff in two separate employee groups have joined the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union to make their workplaces better.

New union members are 70 frontline caregivers including Licensed Practical Nurses, registered care aides, and activity aides who work at the Renfrew Care Centre in East Vancouver.

Also voting to join BCGEU are 20 staff at the Squamish Helping Hands Society who operate a homeless shelter in the Howe Sound community. The shelter has recently become a year-round 24-hour per day operation.

"We extend a warm welcome to both groups of new members," says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "We're honoured that they've chosen our union as the organization that can help them address their concerns and improve working and caring conditions."

Walker says that job security issues figure prominently for both groups. He says the union will soon start the bargaining process for a first contract for Renfrew Care Centre workers with their employer, Retirement Concepts.

Meanwhile, he expects that Helping Hands staff will be included in the existing contract that covers more than 10,000 community social service workers in B.C.

Last year close to 1,300 new members from a variety of workplaces joined BCGEU. "We are doing more than any other union in the province to bring the benefits of union membership to the many B.C. workers who want to make their workplaces better," Walker says.

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information: For further information: Stephen Howard, BCGEU communications, (604) 992- 0105

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