Chilliwack Community Services braces for job action Wednesday

Rotating job action by the B.C. Government Employees Union is scheduled to hit Chilliwack Community Services Wednesday.

Rotating job action by the B.C. Government Employees Union is scheduled to hit Chilliwack Community Services Wednesday.

Not all services will be impacted by the 24-hour strike that starts at 12 a.m. Wednesday (midnight) and ends on 12 a.m. Thursday.

The services closed in Chilliwack will be immigration services at the Mary Street office and the downtown Family Place office on Wellington Street. The Sardis Family Place office on Vedder Road will be open to renters and independent contractors.

Community-based sites operated by employees will be closed, but sites operated by volunteers or independent contractors will remain open with regular hours.

The CCS main office on Wellington Street will be open with managers on site, as will the Work BC site, Youth Services and The Village on School Street.

CCS board president Luke Zacharias said in a news release that replacement workers will not be hired to perform the duties of the workers on strike, and that normal operations will resume on Thursday after the 24-hour strike.

“On Thursday we will welcome all employees back after the strike,” he said. “Our wish will be to adopt a ‘business as usual’ attitude and continue to focus on the people we are here for, our clients, and fulfill our mission: ‘To create opportunities with people to make positive change in their lives.’”

The BCGEU served notice of escalating job action in January “to highlight the scope” of community services delivered by union members including community living, women’s services, aboriginal services, family services, youth services and more.

“The actions will back (the union’s) overarching demand that government commit to improved funding for community-based social services programs and a fair and reasonable wage increase for the workers who provide them,” BCGEU officials said in a news release.

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