B.C.'s incentives program first step in addressing report recommendations

“We congratulate the B.C. government for taking this important first step to implement the recommendations of the Plecas report." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President

Vancouver (02 Dec. 2016) —  The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) has been working with the B.C. government on a process to implement recommendations of the Plecas report on the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).

New measures put in place to address social worker retention problems in hard to recruit or remote communities 

To address these issues the MCFD, the BCGEU/NUPGE, and the Public Service Agency (PSA) have held productive discussions and are pleased to announce the implementation of the Retention Incentives Program for Service Delivery social worker positions in communities across the province where it is hard-to-recruit or retain social workers.

This Retention Incentives Program provides a $6,000 annual lump sum payment to social worker staff who are in certain classifications residing in designated hard-to-recruit or remote communities and a $3,000 annual lump sum payment to social worker staff in the Social Program Officer growth series residing in these communities.  It is expected that approximately 250 staff will be eligible for these payments.  

Framework in place to negotiate more recommendations 

“We congratulate the B.C. government for taking this important first step to implement the recommendations of the Plecas report,” says Stephanie Smith, President of teh BCGEU. “It provides a much-needed financial incentive for social workers, as a recognition of the important work they do in hard-to-recruit communities across British Columbia.”

“We have an agreement with government that we will be pursuing negotiations on a framework to implement other recommendations in the Plecas report,” says Doug Kinna, Vice-President of the BCGEU Social, Information and Health component. “We will work to ensure that our members’ interests are fairly represented as the ministry adopts the report’s recommendations.”

Parties will discuss social worker compensation in the future

The announcement of the Retention Incentives Program is a significant achievement and reflects both parties’ commitment to collaboratively and productively address issues that will improve outcomes for children and youth across the province.

The parties have also agreed to discuss the Plecas report recommendation on social worker compensation. These discussions will commence by March 1, 2017, and will include senior representatives of the MCFD, the BCGEU/NUPGE and the PSA.

Each day, BCGEU/NUPGE members make a significant impact on the children, youth, families and communities across the province. Social work is one of the most difficult roles in government. The Retention Incentive Program provides the Ministry with a strategy to continue to support workers and create further opportunities for successful service delivery.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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

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