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.
Vancouver (25 July 2012) - Community social services workers in British Columbia have voted strongly in favour of job action to back their bargaining proposals.
"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, B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) 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 services 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.
“These members 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,” said Reid Johnson, President of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE).
The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is the multi-union bargaining committee for B.C.'s unionized community social services workers. The CSSBA includes ten unions with a combined membership of about 15,000. The BCGEU/NUPGE is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Hospital Employees Union (HEU), HSABC/NUPGE are the next largest followed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Construction & Specialized Workers' Union (CSWU), the United Steelworkes (USW), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC).
The provincial government's Community Social Services Employers' Association (CSSEA) represents 220 agencies in the sector.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE