This Community Services Workers Appreciation Day, November 6, NUPGE is encouraging people to talk about the importance of these services and what can be done to reduce the tremendous pressure workers in the sector face.
Ottawa (06 Nov. 2015) — The most vulnerable people in our society depend on the services that community service workers provide. Whether it's women fleeing abuse, children with mental health issues, or people with disabilities, many families and individuals depend on community service workers.
Community Services funding cuts hurt both staff and clients
Wages and benefits for community service workers are significantly lower than other in sectors. In many cases, workers are living in poverty. There are significant health and safety issues with many of the jobs in the community services sector, but measures to protect workers aren’t implemented due to lack of funding.
Instead, workers face a constant struggle to protect the people they serve from the full effects of underfunding.
"If it weren't for the commitment and courage of community service workers, our social safety net would be damaged beyond repair," said NUPGE National President James Clancy.
Federal government needs to meet its responsibilities
While provincial governments are also responsible, the largest single reason for the problems facing community services is the cuts in federal government funding. Over the last 20 years a cumulative total of approximatly $46 billion in federal funding was cut from community services.
For that reason, at the recent NUPGE community service workers conference, delegates discussed a series of measures to acquire additional funds for the sector and to ensure that the increases actually go to community services.
“Adequate funding for community services is long overdue,” said Clancy. “The proposals that came out of NUPGE's recent Community Service Workers conference are intended to start the discussion of how to undo the damage done over the last two decades.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE