More than 3,000 community living workers in B.C. on strike

Employees ‘can’t make ends meet’: BCGEU

About 3,400 community living workers who support people with disabilities are going on strike for 24 hours on Jan. 30 to pressure the British Columbia government to loosen the financial strain on community-based social services.

The one-day job action will affect the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) in Richmond, B.C., and PosAbilities in Burnaby, B.C. The members, who are represented by the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), will also be picketing at other agencies around the province.

“We enjoy working with people, but many of us can’t make ends meet,” says BCGEU community social services chairperson Patsy Harmston. “Starting wages are $15 an hour, a dollar less than 10 years ago. Many of us have had to take on second jobs or are having to leave the work we love.”

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