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Community social services return to bargaining table

Talks restart after two successful weeks of large-scale job action

Last Friday, after two successful weeks of large-scale job action in community living and family services, the employer invited the multi-union bargaining association back to the bargaining table.

The job action last week by nearly 3,400 community living workers affected the two largest community social service agencies in the province -- the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) and PosAbilities -- but also agencies in Victoria, Prince George, the Kootenays, Coquitlam, Surrey and Vancouver.

On January 30, DDA's Executive Director spoke out to the media in support of the striking workers, improved pay and better government funding for the sector. The strike generated considerable media coverage, including television, radio and Globe and Mail, The Province and regional media. To view a photo gallery of the community living job action, click here or see HSA's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hsabc.

The bargaining committee wants to express thanks to the hundreds of members who were out on the picket lines. The pickets were a strong display of solidarity.

The committee believes that the escalating strikes finally caught the attention of provincial government, which in turn has urged the employer - the Community Social Services Employers' Association (CSSEA) - to return to the table to find a deal.

In order to send a message of good faith, your bargaining committee has committed that members will not engage in any strike action this week and while the committee is bargaining with the employer during the weeks of February 18th and 25th.

The bargaining committee is hopeful that this return to the table will result in a fair and reasonable tentative agreement, including a wage increase for the caring professionals in our sector.

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