Pickets won’t disrupt service, says IH

Picket lines will be going up today at KBRH but Interior Health said it won’t impact Greater Trail services.

Picket lines will be going up today at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital but Interior Health said it won’t impact services.

The B.C. Government Employees’ Union announced earlier this week that it will stage job action at various locations throughout the province involving almost 500 members.

In Trail, a total of 40 people are expected to take part in the action protesting government cuts.

Picket lines are expected at the hospital from the Canadian Mental Health Association of the Kootenays and the Trail Family and Individual Resource Centre Society (FAIR) at 2079 Columbia Ave.

“Striking workers want to send a clear message to the BC government: stop putting the squeeze on family services and other community-based social services,” says BCGEU Community Social Services Chairperson Patsy Harmston in a press release. “Proper government funding is needed for programs for vulnerable families and the workers who support them.

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“We enjoy helping families participate in their community and enjoy the best quality of life possible,” she added, “but many of us can’t make ends meet. Starting wages are $15 an hour, a dollar less than 10 years ago. Many of us have had to take on second jobs or are having to leave the work we love.”

This family services strike follows last week’s strike by 3400 community living workers across British Columbia.

IH has been informed by the BCGEU that the job action will occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. today. Picketers may be outside the main entrance of hospital during this 12-hour period.

Hospital operations are continuing as usual, including scheduled appointments and emergency services.