Prince George community living workers are going on strike tomorrow.
Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) who support adults, children and infants with disabilities and their families are participating in 24 hours of job action Wednesday.
Pickets will go up at AiMHi, located at 950 Kerry St., beginning at 8:30 a.m. AiMHi employs around 380 BCGEU members.
Prince George workers will join those more than 3,000 creating picket lines at agencies in Richmond, Burnaby, Vancouver, Victoria, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Kamloops, Vanderhoof, Trail, Salmon Arm, Castlegar, Creston and Cranbrook.
Essential service levels will be maintained.
The AiMHi office - headquarters for the province's largest community social services organization north of Hope - was the site of a picket line last October. The collective agreement for the union ended March 31, 2012.
"Community living workers are caring professionals that make sure the people with developmental disabilities participate in their community and enjoy the best quality of life possible," said BCGEU Community Social Services chairperson Patsy Harmston. "We enjoy working with people, but many of us can't make ends meet. Starting wages are $15 an hour, a dollar less than 10 years ago."
According to the union, striking workers want to send a clear message to the B.C. government to stop putting the squeeze on community living and other community-based social services.
Recruitment and retention are also among the issues within the community living sector, which the union says is due to employers opting not to pay the first pay level in the wage grid to better retain staff.