Community social service workers in Kootenays strike

Since October 16, rotating strike action in community social services has impacted agencies in Vancouver, Kamloops, Prince George and Victoria.

Vancouver (08 Nov. 2012) - Caring professionals at agencies that support children and adults with developmental disabilities and provide numerous other community services will be on strike this week in Terrace and the Kootenays. Their message to the B.C. Liberal government: stop putting vulnerable families last!

On November 8, members at the Creston and District Society for Community Living (CLBC) at 105 8th Avenue S, Creston will be on strike. Supporters will march from the worksite to the Creston CLBC office at 224 10th Avenue North for a 12 p.m. rally.

Also on strike are workers at the Kootenay Family Place - 767 11th Avenue, Castlegar; Neighbourhood House and Hobbitt Hill Childcare; Trail Family & Individual Resource Centre Society (TrailFAIR) - 2079 Columbia Avenue, Trail; Nelson Community Services Society - 201-518 Lake Street, Nelson and Cicada Place Youth Services and Housing - 605A Lake Street, Nelson.

Since 2004, the B.C. Liberal government has slashed $300 million in funding for programs that support the developmentally disabled, vulnerable women, at-risk youth, and children and infants in community-based programs across the province.

Community social service workers have faced a decade of declining wages. The current starting wage for a residential care worker is $15.54 an hour. In 2002, it was $16.83. Factoring in inflation, that’s a 22 per cent wage cut over the past decade.

Since October 16, rotating strike action in community social services has impacted agencies in Vancouver, Kamloops, Prince George and Victoria.

There are 15,000 unionized workers in the community social services sector, represented by the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Hospital Employees' Union (HEU), the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSABC) and five other unions, which together make up the Community Social Services Bargaining Association.

Essential services levels are being maintained during this job action.

NUPGE

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

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