BCGEU looking for a budget that invests in public services

VANCOUVER, Feb. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The BCGEU will be looking for the Liberal government to present a budget next Tuesday that invests in public services after a decade of cuts that have left many branches of government unable to deliver important public services to British Columbians.

"Almost every day we hear stories of important public services that are in crisis. Our seniors are being neglected, developmentally disabled adults and their families have been ignored, our courts and prisons are buckling under backlogs and overcrowding, and our parks system is chronically underfunded. The cutting has to stop," says Darryl Walker president of the BCGEU.

"The budget must also allow for a fair and reasonable contract with public service workers," says Walker. "Our members did their part to help the province deal with the economic crisis that began in 2007. Our members have had their wages frozen since April 2009. Inflation has eroded the spending power of our members' paycheques by 5 percent at the same time private sector wages have been increasing. "

In a submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services the BCGEU called on the government to adopt new revenue options to fund important services and address the growing wage gap in the province. "We have presented to the government concrete proposals that would find savings and increased revenues of almost $350 million annually," says Walker.  "The government needs to stop the cutting and seriously consider these proposals."

An austerity budget will reverse our economic recovery, further reduce important public services that people rely on, and drive up B.C.'s unemployment rate which is already the highest in western Canada.

"The federal government and other provinces have extended the timeline to balance their budgets. British Columbia should do the same," Walker added.

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information:

Evan Stewart, BCGEU Communications (604) 220-3095.

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B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

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