"Austerity measures will exacerbate the economic challenges we face and create undue hardship on many of our province’s most vulnerable citizens,” says Walker.
Vancouver (04 Oct. 2012) - In a submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services today, Darryl Walker, President of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) presented recommendations for provincial tax and program spending priorities.
The BCGEU/NUPGE urged the committee to consider four recommendations which would create a framework to rebuild public services, address the crisis in our resource sector, promote equality, sustainability and productivity, expand government revenues and implement tax fairness.
The recommendations include:
- ensure resource ministries that support economic growth are funded to allow them to clear backlogged requests by the end of 2013/14;
- ensure adequate funding of social programs to meet increasing demand for services;
- provide adequate funding to ensure fair collective agreements in all sectors; and
- give due consideration to revenue options to fund needed services and address growing inequality in British Columbia.
“Efforts to reduce the deficit have disproportionately focused on cutting public sector jobs, wages and social programs. Austerity measures will exacerbate the economic challenges we face and create undue hardship on many of our province’s most vulnerable citizens,” says Walker. “We need to focus on increasing provincial revenue and spurring economic activity. This should include expanded hours and Sunday openings at public liquor stores, eliminating the permit backlog and a broad review of Crown agencies.”
“Last week we successfully negotiated a new collective agreement for 25,000 direct government workers. The government can build on that success by negotiating fair and reasonable agreements in other sectors as well. A fair agreement isn’t just good for the men and women who deliver these important public services. It is also good for the province,” says Walker.
“We are committed to productivity, innovation and service,” says Walker. “I would urge the government to consult with front-line public service workers. Their input in the decision-making process will lead to operational and procedural changes that are good for all British Columbians.”
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