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Strike action continues among social services workers in B.C., as members of CUPE and HEU join workers from BCGEU and HSA in rotating 24-hour walkouts. They’re pressing govern-ment to send their negotiators back to the bargaining table with a mandate to settle a fair collective agreement that includes wage and benefit parity with health sector workers who do similar work. This week, CUPE members in the Okanagan, Prince George, Nanaimo, Victoria and other communities have joined in rallies at government offices, walked off the job and refused overtime in an escalating series of actions to press for a fair settlement.

Low wages and few if any benefits are the norm among this group of workers. Despite countless promises that the unjust situation will be rectified, the employers’ association has not moved.

“The provincial government is acting without conscience on this issue by continuing in silence as these workers are forced into the most radical action for what should be considered basic justice,” said CUPE representative Bill Harper.

CUPE represents 2,500 members and HEU 800 among the 10,000 striking workers employed by community living associations, family and children’s services, services to women and child care.