Community social services: job action continues this week

Aboriginal Service workers and social workers from Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS) are on strike on Tuesday, December 4. Striking workers want to send a clear message to the BC government: stop putting vulnerable Aboriginal families last!

Since 2004, the BC Liberal government has cut $300 million in funding for programs that support vulnerable aboriginal families, recent immigrants, the developmentally disabled, at-risk youth, and children and infants in community-based programs across the province. No HSA sites are affected by job action this week.

Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society office at 471 East Broadway (at St. George Street) in Vancouver are being picketed on Tuesday December 4 from 8:30am until 4:30pm.

Aboriginal service workers perform the same work as government social workers and support staff. The work is the same, but the employment conditions are not, and they want parity. Aboriginal workers have inferior benefits relative to direct government social workers.

Aboriginal services are government social services devolved to aboriginal agencies that support Aboriginal families across BC.  They offer a wide variety of services, such as child protection, family preservation/reunification, foster care, guardianship, and more. Aboriginal service workers are counselors and social workers for families, addiction-related issues, stop the violence programs, but also program managers, settlement and integration workers, and more.

Contract negotiations in Aboriginal Services broke off on August 17 and have not resumed. More than 86% of Aboriginal workers supported taking job action.

Since October 16, rotating strike action in community services has affected agencies around British Columbia, including in Vancouver, Kamloops, Prince George Victoria, Nelson, Vernon, Williams Lake, and many others.

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