Take Action: Show the BC Government that Community Social Services matter to you!
Vancouver (04 March 2013) – Front-line community-based social service workers and agencies help build safe, healthy, and caring communities across B.C. that support everyone, including vulnerable families.
During difficult periods, or when a crisis arises, community-based social services are available to help individuals and families deal with life's challenges.
But chronic underfunding to B.C.'s community social service agencies over the past decade has resulted in cuts to vital programs and services and growing waitlists. Since 2004, the sector has given up more than $300 million – with more cuts to come. Vulnerable families and the workers that support them pay the price of constant cuts to these community programs.
According to the 2013 B.C. budget, the government plans to drastically reduce the average amount of money it spends on adults with developmental disabilities over the next three years. Adults with fetal alcohol disorder and autism who receive services under the personal supports initiative will see the biggest decline, with the average resources per client in that program dropping from $24,000 to $16,000 this year alone – a 33 per cent decline, even as the program’s caseload is expected to more than double.
Cuts to health care, mental health services, women’s services, and now services for adults with developmental disabilities have only increased the pressure on an already over-stressed community social services sector. Workers are now dealing with unsustainable workloads due to service cuts, program closures, growing wait lists and chronic underfunding.
Community Social Services Awareness month is a province-wide public awareness campaign aimed at shining a spotlight on the vital role the sector plays in our lives and in our society.
- The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is inviting municipal governments to speak up and write the provincial government about the significance of community social services to their municipalities. Last year, more than 50 B.C. municipalities issued official proclamations in support of Community Social Services Awareness month;
- BCGEU/NUPGE and other unions are encouraging their members to write a letter to their community newspaper; and
- BCGEU/NUPGE is reaching out to its members and to the public to participate in and support the campaign by organizing community events.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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