Decision delays justice for community social services workers

But Labour Relations Board dismisses employer charges of unfair labour practices against HEU and other unions A preliminary decision brought down by the B.C. Labour Relations Board means that the finalization of new certifications in the community social services sector will continue to be put on the backburner. The Nov. 18 decision dismissed a number of unfair labour practice complaints levelled against HEU and other unions by a group of community social services employers led by the North Shore Association for the Mentally Handicapped. The LRB dismissed the employers contention that the unions use of the new standard agreement in community social services organizing was coercive. But the LRB also decided that further hearings were needed to rule on whether the employers other complaint — that the governmentís funding practices for unionized and non-unionized agencies in the sector is an unfair labour practice — had any merit. No dates for these hearings have yet been set. "It's unfortunate that the LRB has taken an action which futher delays the right of workers to unionize and receive the protections and benefits they deserve," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. "The employers' LRB complaint is designed to frustrate the desire of their own workers to unionize and the sooner the board deals with this matter the better," added Allnutt. "Justice delayed is justice denied." In the meantime, HEU will continue to insist that the new community social services standard agreement be applied to all new certifications.