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Community social services providers call on government to end wage discrimination against workers who provide services to women

Community social services workers will escalate their job action on Monday, March 29, setting up picket lines at various sites across the province, including several transition houses, a sexual assault centre and other agencies that provide services to women.

On Vancouver Island HSA members from six facilities, including four transition houses, will join the picket line at the main office of the Comox Valley Transition Society. HSA will also set up a picket line at SHARE Family and Community Services in Coquitlam. Transition house counsellors at the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) in Penticton will participate in a campaign targeted at MLAs and local media to raise the issues at their facility. SOWINS workers will not picket their employer as there is no main office, and they are committed to protecting the security of the shelter.

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, BCGEU members at Langley Association for Community Living, and the Salvation Armys Langley Community and Youth Resources and Chilliwack site of its Alcohol and Drugs Program, will be off the job for an indefinite period of time. Golden Ears Pre-school in Maple Ridge and Pooh Corner in White Rock will go on strike for two days.

HEU members from J. Garnons Williams Ltd. and KDJ Alliance in Nanaimo and the Roderick St. Jacques Society in Port Alberni continue on strike and will join the picket line at Comox Valley Transition Society. All HEU certifications in Victoria except the Independent Living Housing Society will be on strike. And HEU members from Western Human Resources (Richmond) and Nidicarus Resources (Maple Ridge) will be off the job for one day.

Please contact CUPE for information about their job actions.

"Our members provide critical services to women in need. They are often the first line of contact for women and children who are fleeing an abusive home, or have experienced other forms of violence," says HSA negotiator Julio Trujillo. "It is time for the provincial government to live up to the promise it made to these workers by ending wage and benefit discrimination in this sector."

The 10,000 community social services workers affected by this dispute are employed in four sectors: community living, family and children's services, services to women and child care. The BCGEU represents 6,500 workers in the sector; CUPE, 2,300; HEU, 850; and HSA, 800.

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

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