labour-reporter.com
May 31, 2011

B.C. social service workers vote to strike

15,000 caregivers for British Columbia’s most disadvantaged could walk off the job

British Columbia community social service workers are 82 per cent in favour of striking.

The 15,000 employees work in 205 agencies across the province and are part of nine different unions. Together, the unions form the Community Social Services Bargaining Committee (CSSBC). They have been without a contract for 18 months.

The key demands the CSSBC are making are centred on wage increases for the lowest paid workers and improvements to sick leave. The union also wants stronger job security for its members to guarantee continuity of care for clients.

“This seriously impacts the quality of care and support we are able to provide to some of our most vulnerable citizens,” says James Cavalluzzo, bargaining association chair. “This strike vote comes at a time of deepening crisis in community social services.”

If a strike proceeds, the group will have to decide how to ensure essential services coverage is guaranteed.

Community social service workers in British Columbia provide assistance to disadvantaged families, and offer support to women, children and seniors with physical and mental disabilities.

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