'We're honoured that they've chosen our union as the organization that can help them address their concerns.' - Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (1 Feb. 2010) - More than 90 health care and homeless shelter staff in two employee groups have joined the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
The new members include 70 frontline caregivers in occupations such as licensed practical nurses (LPNs), 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 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 job security issues are important for both groups. The union will soon start bargaining to achieve a first contract between the Renfrew workers with their employer, Retirement Concepts.
Meanwhile, Walker says he expects Helping Hands staff to 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.
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