B.C. social service workers to take strike vote

Failed negotiations may affect services for disadvantaged British Columbians

Over 15,000 B.C. community social service workers will be taking a strike vote after “last ditch” talks between the union and employers ended yesterday.

The B.C. Government and Services Employees’ Union (BCGEU) issued a release stating that their most recent effort to reach an agreement failed and that a strike vote needs to take place so that the employers take negotiations more seriously.

“We have been at the bargaining table with the employer for over 18 months where the issues have been debated extensively,” BCGEU president Darryl Walker said in the release. There is no word on a strike deadline.

The union says its main demands are for job security and a guarantee of the continuity of service for the clients the employees work with. 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.

BCGEU has over 10, 000 members and is the lead union in the Union Bargaining Association, which represents over 15,000 workers in nine unions at 220 agencies throughout the province.

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