A few of BCGEU/NUPGE concerns for the 2020 provincial budget include poverty reduction, housing affordability, protection of BC Parks, and workplace health and safety.
Vancouver (09 July 2019) — Each year, the B.C. Government and Services Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) makes budget recommendations to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. This usually happens in the fall and it's a chance to offer input into next year's budget.
Much progress, but more work to do
This year, the process has been moved up several months. Late last week, BCGEU/NUPGE submitted its written report to the committee. It reflects the feedback of the senior elected leadership of the union regarding the priorities and challenges of members living and working across B.C.
Progress has been made under the current government to improve the lives of British Columbians, including: more accessible and affordable child care, a poverty reduction strategy, ordering a public inquiry into money laundering and releasing CleanBC, the ambitious plan for emissions reduction, and clean growth.
But, other issues still need to be addressed. The submission to the Budget 2020 Consultation contains the following recommendations:
- More support for TogetherBC – the province's first-ever poverty reduction. This includes making child care more affordable and accessible and improving working conditions for child care professionals; improving compliance and enforcement capacity in the Residential Tenancy Branch, Employment Standards Branch and other agencies; and adequately staffing and removing barriers to B.C.'s income assistance system while increasing rates above the poverty line.
- Take the next critical step in addressing the housing affordability crisis by investing in public supply.
- Protect B.C.'s environment, natural resources, and climate goals by investing in BC Parks. Parks and protected areas are an economic, social, cultural, and health boon for British Columbians. They're also key to protecting biodiversity. BCGEU/NUPGE urges the government to invest in all aspects of the parks system from conservation and protection to infrastructure, staff, recreational services, and regulatory oversight.
- Ensure working people have safe, healthy workplaces by investing in occupational health and safety. Factors like chronic under-staffing, recruitment and retention issues, outdated facilities and inadequate training increase the risk of physical and mental injury on the job. We need to keep our families and communities safe.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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