Picketers from Kootenay Family Place were out on Columbia Avenue by 9th Street all day on Wednesday. The picketers, who are part of the BCGEU (B.C. Government Employees Union), are protesting being amongst the lowest paid workers in the public sector.
“We’re doing a 24 strike action,” said picketer Julia Stockhausen, who works at Kootenay Family Place in the infant developmnent program. “We’ve been negotiating for awhile. We want to let them know we’re not happy and we want to make a statement.”
“We have been bargaining for about eight months, but are not currently at the table,” said fellow picketer Teri Ferworn.
Ferworn says that since 2004, community social service workers have given up more than $300 million, money that has not been restored.
“We are looking for a fair and reasonable deal with modest increases,” she said.
Also walking out were similar agencies in Trail and Nelson.