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Wednesday’s rally in Kelowna, British Columbia, by community social services workers and their supporters outside a provincial meeting of the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) sent a strong message to the employer that CSS workers deserve fairness and respect, and they need a settlement after a full year of contract negotiations.

“A fair deal from our employers isn’t too much to ask,” said Michael Lanier, president of CUPE 1936 and a member of the Community Social Services Bargaining Association. “We know - and frankly the employers know too - that the absence of a fair deal is hurting recruitment and retention of workers in our sector. Morale is nearing an all-time low, and we simply don’t understand why the employer refuses to address, or even discuss, our needs for healthy and safe workplaces, fair practices and employment security.”

Community social services unions and CSSEA will go back to the bargaining table on October 26, 2010.