Firm No to ‘Net Zero’ from Social Service Workers: Years at bottom of public sector pay built anger, a strike is likely, say union leaders

Tom Sandborn,

Community social services workers earn so little that one out of three “have to take extra jobs to make ends meet, and many of them also have to use food banks,” said Cheryl Colborne of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in British Columbia.

“This is no way to run a system,” said James Cavalluzzo of the B.C. Government Employees Union (BCGEU).

Colburne, Cavalluzzo and the workers in their unions are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any longer. On Feb. 27, unionized community social service workers in B.C. will wear red to work — a style statement aimed at the agencies that employ these workers, and to the B.C. government which dictates their wages and contract terms.

The message is that these workers, who have lived with a wage freeze for several years and are the lowest paid public employees in the province, are not willing to sign a “net zero” contract again this time. If the message is ignored, they are almost certain to strikeā€¦.

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