Striking community social services workers deliver message to MLAs

News release

joint release of BCGEU, CUPE, HEU and HSA

Community social services workers resume job action this week, and will focus on delivering their message to provincial politicians that it's time to end wage and benefit discrimination for workers in this sector.

Today, striking care-providers in the Lower Mainland will rally at Finance Minister Joy MacPhail's community office at 3:00 p.m. (2365 East Hastings, Vancouver).

"Community social services workers have waited far too long for fairness and justice," said Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager for the Hospital Employees' Union. "It's time for government to live up to its commitments to address low wages and substandard benefits in this chronically undervalued sector."

Last week, the four unions representing community social services workers - B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Hospital Employees' Union and Health Sciences Association - held a two-day strike. But government has not yet sent its negotiators back to the bargaining table with a mandate to negotiate an agreement that addresses wage and benefit discrimination in the sector.

Today, BCGEU members from Burnaby Association for the Mentally Handicapped, Simon Fraser Association for Community Living and Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living - all in the Lower Mainland - have put up picket lines. At 3:00 p.m., BCGEU members, along with HEU members from Western Human Resources of Richmond and Nidicarus Resources of Maple Ridge, will protest at MacPhail's community office.

Meanwhile, BCGEU members working at AIMHI and Prince George Receiving Home - both in Prince George - and HEU members at the Independent Living Housing Society in Victoria, are also off the job today.

Community social services workers belonging to the four unions will take their message to other MLAs throughout the week.

Community social services workers work in a variety of community agencies providing support for community living, family and children's services, services to women, and child care. Most of the 10,000 workers in this sector have been without a contract since March 1998.