Workers at the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) at UBC voted to become members of CUPE 1936 in a BC Labour Relations Board vote conducted on February 22.

“We are very pleased to welcome this group of workers into our local,” said CUPE 1936 President Sheryl Burns. “We represent many agencies that serve women, and we look forward to working with our newest members who provide vital support for those who have experienced gender-based violence.”

CUPE 1936’s newest members at SASC do advocacy and support work, give information, provide referrals and connect students to services. They advocate for housing, counselling, and academic performance, to name a few.

“We are gender inclusive and serve the UBC community – including students, faculty, and staff of all genders – who have experienced gender-based violence,” said Nazanin Moghadami, a support worker at SASC. “We also help those who are supporting others or who suspect that someone they know has experienced gender violence.”

The gamut of services SASC provides runs from accompanying people to hospital, to safety planning and education on topics such as relationships and consent, to running a support group for survivors.

“We’ve always operated collectively so it feels natural to belong to a union,” said Moghadami. “Job security was important to us because staff wanted to make sure we could keep working at our jobs and providing services.”

CUPE 1936 represents 1200 members who provide social services in Greater Vancouver, including general services (encompassing women’s services, addiction services, and counselling), community living, and child care.