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October 23, 2012

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Community Social Services strike action a success; continues this week

Rally to be held today at Social Development Minister Moira Stillwell’s office


  • High profile targeted strike action by community social service workers took place in Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George last week, with considerable public support and excellent media coverage;
  • Political action will take place on Tuesday October 23 starting at 10am, at Social Development Minister Moira Stillwell’s Vancouver-Langara constituency office opposite Oakridge mall in Vancouver;
  • Further targeted job action will take place late this week, with details to be announced.

Last week

Over 100 striking community social service workers from various unions rallied outside Premier Christy Clark’s office in Kitsilano on Tuesday, October 16 calling on the government to make vulnerable families higher priority by improving funding for community-based social services. The multi-union strike message is focused on the government and the critical services CSS workers provide to vulnerable families. For more details, please refer to our strike leaflet.

Last Tuesday, protestors at Christy Clark’s constituency office carried picket signs, waved flags, and called on the provincial government to ensure a fair and reasonable deal that shows respect for community social services and the workers who provide them. The rally received considerable public support – honking, sirens, and more - and good media coverage. To view rally pictures, see the galleries on this website, on Facebook and Flickr.

Interior Community Services in Kamloops was the target of a full day of job action on Wednesday, October 17. Striking workers took their message to Liberal MLA Terry Lake’s office in North Kamloops calling on the government to fund community social services. Pictures are available here.

Forty workers from AimHi headquarters were on strike on Thursday, October 18 on a cold day in Prince George. Striking workers brought our strike message to MLA Shirley Bond’s office at midday. Pictures are available here.

Job actions in Kamloops and Prince George received front-page regional media coverage. Last week also saw multi-union radio and print ads being rolled out across the province in support of our bargaining objectives. We have also updated your bargaining committee’s website at

The multi-union bargaining committee thanks all the workers who participated in last week’s job action. This has “crystallized” the strike vote, putting the committee in a position to issue job action notice to any Community Living Services or General Services employer with 72 hours advance warning.

The bargaining committee plans to continue using strategically targeted job action in the weeks ahead.

This week

The multi-union bargaining committee will be taking political action today (Tuesday, Oct. 23) by rallying from 10 am at Social Development Minister Moira Stillwell’s office.

  • What? Political action / rally calling for a fair deal for community social service workers;
  • Where? Social Development Minister Moira Stillwell’s office at 5740 Cambie Street, Vancouver (opposite Oakridge mall)
  • When? Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 10am to 2pm
  • Why? Social Development Minister Stillwell is responsible for key parts of our sector: Community Living, Employment Programs and Labour Market Services.

There will be no job action associated with this specific rally. Instead, a community social service worker has been invited to speak before the employer’s annual general meeting, which is also taking place this week. The worker will portray the very real challenges workers face in this sector to employer and government representatives directly.

Further job action is likely later this week, with details to be announced. Workers will be contacted directly if their agency or workplace is a target for job action. Specific worksites will be targeted in each community for each day of action. Workers are not to take job action unless directed to do so by their union.

What you can do to show your support

  • Take action! Thirty seconds is all it takes to tell the Premier that the government must stop putting the squeeze on community social services!
  • Download, print, and share the CSS strike leaflet
  • Keep informed!
    • CSS members should make sure their contact details are up to date with their union;
    • “Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter.

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