Social service workers on strike

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Professionals at the Central Okanagan Child Development Centre walked off the job today.

The one-day strike is part of a rotating job action in the community social services sector. Workers are represented by the Health Sciences Association.

HSA President Reid Johnson said professionals providing these services deserve a fair deal.

"Our members at COCDA work with infants, children and families to provide support, therapy and counselling," he said.

Care providers include physiotherapists, supported child development consultants, speech language therapists, occupational therapists and autism interventionists.

"If your child has a speech delay and needs assessment and speech language therapy, your family comes to see us. If your infant is medically fragile and needs specialized care, you come to see us. The care and therapy our members provide can make a difference - so that your child can live a full and engaged life," said Johnson.

Johnson says since 2004, the province has cut $300 million in funding for programs that support people with vulnerabilities. He says it's time the government took another look at how much it costs organizations to provide services in these areas and the wages earned by professionals working there.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association represents 15,000 community social service workers in B.C. The BCGEU is the largest union in the community social services sector, representing about two-thirds of workers. HSA, CUPE and HEU are members of the association, as are UFCW, CSWU, USW, SEIU and CLAC.

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