Community social service workers rotating strike action continues in B.C.
Vancouver (13 Nov. 2012) - Caring professionals from agencies that support children and adults with developmental disabilities and provide numerous other community services will be on strike this week in the Okanagan (Vernon, Armstrong) and the Cariboo (Quesnel, Williams Lake).
Striking workers want to send a message to the B.C. Liberal government: stop putting vulnerable families last!
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.
To find which agencies are on strike and the corresponding locations, consult the union's website here.
Each strike will last 24 hours.
Community social service workers are on strike for better wages, which have declined over the last decade. 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.
The government is insisting that any wage increases be funded through cuts elsewhere in the collective agreement.
Since October 16, rotating strike action in community social services has impacted agencies across British Columbia.
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 B.C. (HSABC) and five other unions, which together make up the Community Social Services Bargaining Association.
Essential services levels are being 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