"For the first time in years, issues like child protection, community health and home support, poverty reduction, mental health and addictions have seen renewed attention and investment." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Burnaby, B.C. (15 Sept. 2017) — The first budget update of the B.C. NDP government delivers on commitments to re-invest in critical public services this year, said the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
Budget contains long-awaited investment in public services
The government will increase public service staffing levels by more than 600 positions, addressing the critical need for additional social workers, park rangers, environmental management staff and compliance and enforcement officers, among others.
"I'm pleased to see the B.C. government acknowledge the value of the important services our members provide to British Columbians," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. "For the first time in years, issues like child protection, community health and home support, poverty reduction, mental health and addictions have seen renewed attention and investment."
"This budget update is based on prudent economic forecasts and balances modest tax increases for the wealthy with targeted public investments to support working British Columbians. It also acknowledges the impacts of long-term staffing cuts across government and in the natural resource sector," Smith says.
Child protection, affordable housing and poverty reduction major themes
Budget 2017 formalizes budget proposals that will see significant increases to the number of social workers in child protection. It also fulfills a commitment to increase the number of park rangers and make capital improvements to increase the number of campsites in B.C. Parks, build a new Abbotsford courthouse and make an addition to the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre.
"I'm pleased that the government recognizes poverty reduction, child care and affordable housing as important parts of a sustainable economy," says Smith. "We look forward to working with the government to implement their election commitments to provide these important services for British Columbia families."
The BCGEU/NUPGE is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, representing over 73,000 members in direct government service, the broader public sector and service sectors across the province.
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