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Social-service workers walk off the job; One-day strike held to highlight staff who say they are among lowest paid public servants, despite caring for province's most vulnerable residents

December 14, 2012
Times Colonist (Victoria) Workers who care for the disabled, counsel battered women and provide support to sexual-assault victims walked off the job at 13 agencies in Greater Victoria Thursday to push for higher wages. It was the largest job action since 15,000 community social-service workers across the province began a series of rotating strikes Oct. 16. The 10 unions that represent the workers say they are among the lowest paid in the public service, despite caring for the province's most vulnerable citizens.

Social services workers on strike

December 13, 2012
Times Colonist (Victoria) Workers from 13 community social services agencies will be off the job today in the largest job action since rotating strikes began two months ago. The workers will be at Centennial Square between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with a rally at noon. Agencies targeted for job action include Victoria Women's Transition House Society, Community Living Victoria, Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre and the Garth Homer Society. Essential services levels will be maintained where required.

Strike puts workers behind coats and coffee, not pickets

December 13, 2012
Nanaimo News Bulletin Instead of picketing group homes, social services workers in Nanaimo opted to back their demand for better wages by giving away coats, blankets and coffee Thursday. The job action happened at Diana Krall Plaza downtown, where Hospital Employees' Union and Health Sciences Association members gave away clothing, cookies, hot chocolate and coffee to people in need.

Scholarships and bursaries available for HSA members and their families

December 13, 2012
HSA is offering scholarships and bursaries to all members and their children.  Ten scholarships will be awarded for full-time studies, twenty bursaries for full-time studies and four bursaries for part-time studies.  Two aboriginal scholarships will be awarded to aboriginal students in BC. The criteria and details are set out on the application forms (below). Completed application forms and transcripts must be emailed to the HSA office no later than Friday, February 28, 2013.

Community social services: Thirteen in Victoria targeted for strike action on Thursday, December 13

December 13, 2012
Thursday saw the largest strike action undertaken by Community Social Services workers since they began rotating job actions almost two months ago. Workers from thirteen agencies are off the job December 13, sending a strong message to government: stop putting vulnerable families last, and provide the resources needed to improve wages and working conditions. A multi-union event took place from 10 am - 2 pm on Douglas Street at Centennial Square, where members served hot food and distributed warm clothing. Supporters joined them at noon.

Union backs off hospital job action

December 13, 2012
South Delta Leader  The union representing health science professionals in B.C. has called off job action that cancelled or postponed some medical procedures at Delta Hospital last week, but workers remain without a contract with the province. The Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC) triggered a job action across the province last Thursday and Friday, despite the fact both sides have agreed to mediation.

Job action isn't hitting local labs; New offer enough to stall walk-out, but not enough to end bargaining

December 13, 2012
Westside Weekly  Laboratory services are running normally this week, Interior Health says. Unionized health-care workers have decided not to withdraw their services to back contract demands. Members of the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association had threatened to walk off the job, leaving only emergency service levels in place at IH labs.

Job action shuts hospital imaging for the day; Non-essential procedures cancelled last Friday as Delta Hospital targeted in rotating work stoppages

December 12, 2012
The Delta Optimist Delta Hospital was targeted for job action last Friday Patients scheduled for medical imaging procedures were notified their appointments had been cancelled. The Health Sciences Association (HSA), represented by the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA), last week said rotating strikes at various facilities would take place on Thursday and Friday.

Firefighters who refuse flu shot can don masks; Region's fire departments offer options to protect public safety

December 12, 2012
Times Colonist (Victoria) Expect to see some Greater Victoria firefighters wearing surgical masks this flu season. Greater Victoria fire chiefs have endorsed a policy patterned after one used by the B.C. Ambulance Service, in which members who choose not to get flu shots are required to wear surgical masks when attending to ill people, the elderly or when entering patient care facilities. The requirement to wear a mask will be in effect only during flu season, which runs from late November through March.