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February 8, 2013

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CSS unions return to bargaining table after two successful weeks of large-scale job action

After latest strike action impacting 3,900 members, employer invites CSSBA back to the table

After two successful weeks of large-scale job action in community living and family services, the employer has invited the multi-union bargaining association back to the bargaining table.

Last week, nearly 3,400 community living workers went on strike. The job action affected the two largest community social service agencies in the province, the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) and PosAbilities, but also agencies in Victoria, Prince George, the Kootenays, Coquitlam, Surrey and Vancouver.

On January 30, DDA’s executive director spoke out to the media in support of the striking workers, improved pay and better government funding for the sector. The strike generated considerable media coverage, including television, radio and Globe and Mail (, The Province ( ) and regional media. This week, nearly 500 family service workers were on strike in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Kamloops, Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Cranbrook, and Vernon.

To view photos of the community living and family services job actions, visit the gallery (

“The bargaining committee wants to express its thanks to the hundreds of members who were out on the picket lines, the picket captains and others who made it all happen. The pickets were a strong display of solidarity,” said CUPE’s community social services coordinator Cheryl Colborne.

“Our high profile job action has resulted in the employer inviting us back to the bargaining table. We believe that the escalating strikes finally caught the attention of provincial government, which in turn has urged the employer - the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) - to return to the table to find a deal.”

The multi-union bargaining committee is currently establishing possible bargaining dates, and will keep members informed when it returns to the table. In order to send a message of good faith, the bargaining committee has indicated to the employer that it will not engage in any strike action next week and while bargaining with the employer during the weeks of February 18th and 25th.

“We are hopeful that this return to the table will result in a fair and reasonable tentative agreement, including a wage increase for the caring professionals in our sector,” says Colborne.


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