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.