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November 7, 2012

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Caring professionals at agencies in Terrace and the Kootenays striking this week

BURNABY—Caring professionals at agencies that support children and adults with developmental disabilities and provide numerous other community services continued strike actions this week, with an action in Terrace on Tuesday (Nov. 6) and the Kootenays today and tomorrow (Nov. 7-8). Their message to the BC Liberal government:  stop putting vulnerable families last!

The following community agencies are on strike and behind picket lines today and tomorrow:

Wednesday November 7

  • W. J. Stelmaschuk and Associates Ltd (WJS), several locations in the Kootenays
  • Kootenay East Youth Program, Cranbrook
  • Stepping Out Program, 34B 11th Avenue South, Cranbrook
  • Community Connections of SE BC, 100-125 10 Ave S, Cranbrook
  • Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays, 39 13th Avenue South, Cranbrook

Thursday November 8

  • Creston & District Society for Community Living, 105 – 8th Avenue S, Creston
  • Castlegar and District Community Services, 1007 2nd Street, Castlegar
  • Kootenay Family Place, 767 11th Avenue Castlegar
  • Neighbourhood House and Hobbitt Hill Childcare
  • Trail Family & Individual Resource Centre Society (TrailFAIR), 2079 Columbia Avenue, Trail
  • Nelson Community Services Society, 201-518 Lake Street, Nelson
  • Cicada Place Youth Services and Housing, 605A Lake Street, Nelson

In Creston, there will also be a march from the picket site to the CLBC building located at: 224 – 10th Avenue N, between 11 a.m. and 12 noon.

Since 2004, the BC Liberal government has slashed $300 million in funding for programs that support the developmentally disabled, vulnerable women, at-risk youth, and children and infants in community-based programs across the province.

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 per cent wage cut over the past decade.

Since October 16, rotating strike action in community social services has impacted agencies in Vancouver, Kamloops, Prince George and Victoria.

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

Essential services levels are being maintained during this job action.

Workers will be contacted directly if their agency or workplace is a target for job action. As specific worksites are being targeted in each community for each day of action, workers have been asked not to take job action unless directed to do so by their union.

Download strike information leaflet  

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