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UNIONS REPRESENTING community social services workers are urging employers to remain at the bargaining table rather than lock out workers and cause major disruption to clients and families.

“We’re hoping saner heads prevail,” said Chris Anderson, lead negotiator for the 13-union bargaining association, in response to the employers’ 73 percent lockout vote.

“It makes no sense whatsoever to lock out workers and deny services to our most needy and vulnerable citizens when both sides are still making progress at the bargaining table,” Anderson said.

“Nobody else wants a lockout - not workers, families in crisis, people with developmental disabilities, poor and disadvantaged people, and certainly not women fleeing violence. The unions are prepared to bargain day and night for as long as it takes to reach a fair contract settlement. We urge the employers to do the same.”

Employers must serve 72-hour notice and essential service negotiations must be negotiated and filed with the Labour Relations Board before they can lock out employees.

The unions are hoping to resume mediated talks this week with the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA).

For the latest updates on bargaining, check out the UBA website at www.cssinfo.ca.