Government should improve funding for community living and family services, poll shows

“We believe that the provincial government must reinvest in community living and other critical services that support vulnerable families across British Columbia." - Darryl Walker, BCGEU President.

Vancouver (09 May 2013) – British Columbians believe government funding for community-based social services that support vulnerable families should be improved, with a majority being prepared to pay more taxes to do so, says a recent poll.

Poll shows strong support for increases community-based social services

Ninety per cent of those surveyed said community-based social services for youth, women fleeing violence, people with disabilities and special needs, and addiction services are important.

But current government funding levels are too low, 57 per cent of survey respondents said. Fifty-three per cent of respondents said they would support increased funding for the not-for-profit social service agencies, even if it means raising taxes a little to provide these valuable services.

These  are some of the key finding from a recent poll conducted by Strategic Communications (Stratcom) on behalf of the Roundtable of Provincial Social Service Organizations of B.C.. The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is a member of the Roundtable, representing over 8,000 community living and family service workers across the province.

Government must reinvest to support vulnerable families

“We believe that the provincial government must reinvest in community living and other critical services that support vulnerable families across British Columbia. We need a long term funding plan for this critical sector, and British Columbians agree with us,” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker.

Three quarters of British Columbians have used community-based social services, or knew someone who had, the survey reveals. Eighty per cent believe these services have a positive impact on their community, according to the survey.

“Community living workers who support adults with disabilities can’t take care of their own families,” says Walker. “Our caring professionals recently had to resort to three months of rotating job action to get a modest wage increase. Sectoral starting wages are below 2002 levels, and below the living wage. That is not right.”

The Stratcom poll used a representative sample of 802 British Columbians. Margin of error is not reported for online polling, as it is not derived from a probability sample.

More information:

Roundtable of Provincial Social Service Organizations of B.C. news release
Read the poll results report
See the detailed poll data

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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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