BCGEU joins call for B.C. poverty reduction plan

In a letter sent to Premier Campbell, BCGEU President Darryl Walker urged the government to legislate targets and timelines to reduce poverty and end homelessness

Vancouver (28 April 2010) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) has added its voice to a growing call for the provincial government to initiate a comprehensive and accountable poverty reduction plan for British Columbia.

In a letter sent to Premier Campbell, BCGEU president Darryl Walker urged the government to legislate targets and timelines to reduce poverty and end homelessness.

"There is an urgent need for a poverty reduction plan in British Columbia," wrote Walker. "BCGEU members, through their work, are acutely aware of this need."

Many BCGEU members are employed in poverty-related sectors, such as child protection, income assistance, mental health and addictions, and women's services.

"They see poverty and its outcomes everyday," said Walker. “Now they want to see action."

Walker called on the government to endorse the recommendations and measures set out in a new open letter from the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition. The BCGEU is a member of the coalition, which also includes community, non-profit and faith-based groups, health organizations, unions, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, businesses and social policy groups.

The coalition is recommending strong targets and urgent timelines for reducing poverty rates, increasing income levels and ending homelessness. It is urging the government to commit to specific policy measures and concrete actions in relation to income support, low-wage work, mental health and home support services, food security, education and training, prevention and health promotion, housing, and child care.

The BCGEU is encouraging its members to add their individual voices to the call for a poverty reduction plan.

"I'm asking members who are concerned about poverty and homelessness in their communities and across the province to sign the coalition's open letter and to join this important campaign," said Walker.

Read Walker's letter to the premier here, and visit the coalition website to sign the open letter.

NUPGE

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

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