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Bargaining to resume Thursday in community social services sector

The four unions representing striking community social services workers around the province have agreed to return to the bargaining table this Thursday, April 22 in an effort to reach a contract settlement.

"We have been advised by the employers' bargaining agent, the Community Social Services Employers' Association, that they intend to table a new financial mandate when we meet on Thursday," said Cliff Andstein, chief negotiator for the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU).

"We are hopeful and optimistic that a settlement can be reached that is fair and acceptable to the 10,000 women and men in this sector who care for society's most needy and vulnerable people.

"We have cleared our calendars. We're prepared to continue negotiating as long as progress is made."

Community social services workers belonging to four unions - BCGEU, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Hospital Employees' Union, Health Sciences Association - have been involved in escalating job action around the province since March 8, 1999. The key issue in the dispute is wage and benefit discrimination.

Community social services workers work in a variety of community agencies providing support for community living, family and children's services, services to women, and child care. Most of the 10,000 workers in this sector have been without a contract since March 1998.

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For more information contact:
Rebecca Maurer, Director of Communications
(604) 439-0994 

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