Strike action in B.C. community social services starts

Members will be conducting strategically targeted strike action on specific days in specific communities around B.C.

Vancouver (16 Oct. 2012) - Targeted job action in community social services has started, beginning with a protest at Christy Clark’s constituency office in Vancouver on Tuesday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. (see BCGEU/NUPGE photos from rally here).

The bargaining committee assures members and the public that it has not taken the decision to strike lightly, but believes that job action is necessary to send a message to the B.C. government:

stop putting the squeeze on community social services!

We need a fair and reasonable deal, including a wage increase.

Members will be conducting strategically targeted strike action on specific days in specific communities around B.C. The one-day job action in Vancouver will be followed by one-day job action in Kamloops on October 17 and Prince George on October 18. Further targeted job action will be announced in due course.

Workers will be contacted directly if their agency or workplace is a target for job action.  Plan is to target specific worksites in each community for each day of action.

The bargaining committee is focusing strike efforts on the B.C. government because the workers and the families they serve need a commitment from the government to recognize the vital role community social services– and the workers who provide them – play for vulnerable families in communities across the province. 

The Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA) has not made a monetary offer at the bargaining table due to the restrictive bargaining mandate imposed by Victoria that dictates that all public sector workers must find “savings” in their collective agreement to fund any wage increase. The provincial government's CSSEA represents 220 agencies in the sector.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is the multi-union bargaining committee for BC's unionized community social service workers. The CSSBA includes ten unions with a combined membership of about 15,000. The British Colombia Government and General Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE) are the next largest.

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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