Oct 18, 2012

Strike action in community social services starts next week

Members will be contacted directly if their workplace is a target for job action

BURNABY—Targeted job action in community social services will start next week, starting with a protest at Christy Clark’s constituency office in Vancouver on October 16.

The multi-union bargaining committee has not taken the decision to strike lightly, but believes that job action is necessary to send the message that the B.C. government must stop putting the squeeze on community social services. The sector’s workers—including 2,500 CUPE members—need a fair and reasonable deal, including a wage increase.

“We are focusing our strike efforts on the B.C. government because we need a commitment from Victoria to recognize the vital role community social services– and the workers who provide them – play for vulnerable families in communities across the province,” says CUPE’s community social services coordinator Cheryl Colborne.

Community social services workers are conducting strategically targeted strike action on specific days in specific communities around B.C. The one-day job action next Tuesday in Vancouver (to be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.) will be followed by one-day job action in Kamloops on October 17, and Prince George on October 18. Further targeted job action will be announced in due course.

Workers will be contacted directly if their agency or workplace is a target for job action. Specific worksites in each community will be targeted for each day of action. Workers are asked not to take job action unless directed to do so by their unions.

For more information, please refer to the attached leaflet.

As job action progresses, the multi-union bargaining committee will be looking for members’ support. CSS workers are asked to ensure that:

  • Contact information is up to date;

  • Members read communications from the CSSBA and post bargaining bulletins on worksite union bulletin boards;

  • Members spread information and talk to coworkers.

Union members can stay informed about strike action by:

  • Checking the bargaining updates on this website, CUPE local websites and/or;

  • Liking “BC’s Community Social Services Workers” and/or

  • following CSSFairDeal on Twitter.

The Community Social Services Employers Association has not made a monetary offer at the bargaining table due to the restrictive bargaining mandate imposed by Victoria that dictates that all public sector workers must find “savings” in their collective agreement to fund any wage increase. The provincial government's Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) represents 220 agencies in the sector.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) is the multi-union bargaining committee for B.C.’s unionized community social service workers. The CSSBA includes ten unions with a combined membership of about 15,000. The BCGEU is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. CUPE, HEU, HSA are the next largest followed by UFCW, CSWU, USW, SEIU and CLAC.

For information on Tuesday's rally please refer to the attached poster.

The multi-union bargaining group has launched an ad campaign in support of striking community social services workers:

Newspaper ad

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