VANCOUVER, May 7, 2013 /CNW/ - 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.
Ninety percent 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% of survey
respondents said, with 53% supporting increased funding for the
not-for-profit social service agencies, even if it means raising taxes
a little to provide these valuable services.
Those 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 BC. The BCGEU is a member of
the Roundtable, representing over 8,000 community living and family
service workers across the province.
"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.
Community social services are provided not-for-profit agencies that
support youth-at-risk, women fleeing violence, people with
disabilities, immigrants, people with mental health and addiction
challenges, First Nations, and many others.
Three quarters of British Columbians have used community-based social
services, or knew someone who had, the survey reveals. Eighty percent
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."
Community-based not-for-profit agencies receive provincial government
funding for programs and services, adhering to strict accountability
and reporting requirements. Many agencies operate on shoestring budgets
and must secure other revenue sources to finance their programs,
including social enterprises, gaming grants, foundations, and
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.
The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union represents 8,000 caring
professionals working at not-for-profit social service agencies in
communities across BC.
SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Oliver Rohlfs, BCGEU Communications Officer (778) 318-9164