Striking community social services workers disrupt LRB business - #17

Bargaining bulletin

Mass demo April 8 in Victoria to highlight Week 5 on job action

MORE THAN 500 striking community social services workers braved unseasonably cold temperatures to walk an early morning picket line March 26 at Vancouver's Library Square, the site of a BCGEU-certified child care centre and the Labour Relations Board. Lower Mainland HEU care-providers from Nidicarus and Western Human Resources joined members from CUPE, HSA and the BCGEU to effectively shut down regular business throughout the complex.

“Together the workers sent a clear message — it's time for government to recognize the value of the services provided by community social services workers and send its negotiators back to the table with a mandate to settle a fair collective agreement,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“And despite CSSEA's claims that it tabled a generous monetary package, the fact is that talks broke off after the employer continually refused to make a concrete and specific offer on wages and benefits. There was no proposal to end wage and benefit discrimination.”

And that message was brought directly to politicians on March 30 when more than 100 HEU community social services workers rallied at the legislature as the government prepared to table its 1999/2000 budget. There, HEU president Fred Muzin reiterated the call on Victoria to honour its commitment to end wage and benefit discrimination in the sector.

HEU Port Alberni and Nanaimo locals returned to work March 30 after five consecutive days of job action while all HEU Victoria locals except Independent Living Housing Society stayed off the job March 29-31. In the Lower Mainland, Nidicarus and Western Human Resources were at essential services levels March 29 and the Cranbrook Society for Community Living was on the picket line March 31.

Mark your calendar — plans are being finalized for a mass demonstration in Victoria on Thursday, April 8. Call the HEU Bargaining Hotline or check our web site for details of this upcoming event.