CSS strike action moves to Tri-Cities on November 1

Bargaining bulletin

Caring professionals from three agencies that support children and adults withdevelopmental disabilities and provide numerous other community social services will be on strike in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam on November 1.

Striking workers will also be protesting outside B.C. MLA Douglas Horne’s office at 130 Brew Street, Port Moody on Thursday, November 1 from 10:30am to 1pm. Their 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 people with developmental disabilties, vulnerable women, at-risk youth, and children and infants in community-based programs across the province.

The following Tri-Cities not-for profit community agencies will be on strike and behind picket lines on November 1:

  • SHARE Family & Community Services Society – 25 King Edward Street, Coquitlam, B.C. - is a non-profit community-based organization providing programs in response to the social needs of the residents of the Tri-Cities, New Westminster and adjacent communities. These workers are represented by the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSA BC).
  • Community Integration Services Society - 2175 Mary Hill Road, Port Coquitlam, B.C. - offers day programs for adults with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The 40 CISS life skill workers at CISS are members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU).
  • Community Ventures Society - #200- 1024 Ridgeway Ave.
Coquitlam, B.C. – supports children and adults with developmental disabilities. CVS workers are represented by CUPE BC.

Community social service workers have faced a decade of declining wages. 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 percent wage cut.

There are 15,000 unionized workers in the community social services sector,represented by BCGEU, CUPE, the Hospital Employees' Union, HSA and five other unions, which together make up the Community Social Services Bargaining Association.

Essential services levels are being maintained.