News

Community living workers in Kamloops joining province-wide strike action on Thursday, January 31

Community Living workers who support people with developmental disabilities at agencies in Kamloops will be on strike on Thursday, January 31.

Nearly 100 BCGEU members employed at Kamloops Association for Community Living and Prime Enterprises Ltd. will be on strike. There will be pickets at 521/523 Seymour Street and 175 Leigh Road all day.

“Community living workers are caring professionals who make sure the people with developmental disabilities participate in their community and enjoy the best quality of life possible,” says BCGEU Community Social Services Chairperson Patsy Harmston.

“But many workers can’t make ends meet. Starting wages are $15 an hour, a dollar less than 10 years ago. Many of us have had to take on second jobs or are having to leave the work we love,” says Harmston.

The B.C. government must show some commitment to community living and other community-based social services, and improve funding for the services and a fair and reasonable wage increase for the caring professionals who support some of our province’s most vulnerable citizens.

Some employers are now voluntarily paying above collective agreement rates because of recruitment and retention issues.

The Kamloops strike is part of larger job action taking place at several locations across B.C., including 740 community living workers represented by HEU going on strike in Victoria, and CUPE members going on strike in Trail, Castlegar, Salmon Arm, and Creston. Workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers will be striking in Kamloops and Vanderhoof tomorrow.

For more information about community living job action in Kamloops, contact:

Oliver Rohlfs, BCGEU communications, 778-318-9164 – oliver.rohlfs[at]bcgeu.ca