Nearly 500 family service workers to go on strike

Proper government funding needed for programs that support vulnerable families. Picketing will occur in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Kamloops, Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Cranbrook and Vernon on February 6 and February 7.

Vancouver (06 Feb. 2013) – Nearly 500 family service workers across British Columbia will be striking on February 6 and February 7.

"Striking workers want to send a clear message to the B.C. government: stop putting the squeeze on family services and other community-based social services," says B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) Community Social Services Chairperson Patsy Harmston. "Proper government funding is needed for programs for vulnerable families and the workers who support them."

"We enjoy helping families participate in their community and enjoy the best quality of life possible," says Harmston, "but many of us can't make ends meet. Starting wages are $15 an hour, a dollar less than 10 years ago. Many of us have had to take on second jobs or are having to leave the work we love."

Family service workers work with vulnerable families. They intervene when children or youth are at risk. They help with substance addictions. They work with teenage or single parents trying to make ends meet. They provide family counselling, vocational and life skills training, job placement services, assessment, therapy, infant and supported child development, and autism intervention.

This family services strike follows last week's strike by 3400 community living workers across British Columbia.

Members should consult the BCGEU/NUPGE website to find the affected agencies. Essential services at all striking locations will be maintained.


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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