VANCOUVER, July 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Services for vulnerable families may be
cut across B.C. following the government's failure to provide bridge
funding for a 1.5 per cent wage increase that was negotiated for
frontline workers earlier this year, the Community Social Services
Bargaining Association says.
Family service workers provide vital community-based social programs for
vulnerable children, struggling youth and families across British
Columbia. Community living workers provide programs and supports for
people with developmental disabilities. Three-quarters of British
Columbians have used community-based social services delivered by
not-for-profit agencies across the province.
"This is unacceptable. There shouldn't be any further cuts to programs
or services due to a lack of bridge funding," says CSSBA Chair Patsy
Harmston who is also Community Social Services Chair at the B.C.
Government and Service Employees' Union, the largest union in the
sector. "We negotiated the 1.5 per cent wage increase in good faith and
found savings in our collective agreement to pay for it."
"We upheld our side of the deal. The government should do the same,"
The following community-based social service agencies are not paying the
1.5 per cent wage increase or may be cutting programs and services
because they have not received proper funding:
John Howard Society - across British Columbia;
Prima Enterprises - Kamloops and Prince George;
Okanagan Boys and Girls Club - Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton;
Abilities Community Services - Victoria;
Interior Community Services - Kamloops;
Bernard C Vinge & Associates Community Living Services - Burnaby;
Richmond Society for Community Living;
North Okanagan Youth and Family Services - Vernon;
South Okanagan Association for Integrated Community Living - Penticton.
Pay raises were negotiated and ratified within the government's
so-called "co-operative gains" bargaining mandate, which identified
cost savings to fund the pay raises that were to take effect April 1,
The Ministry of Children and Family Development has failed to provide
bridge funding to cover the payroll increase until the cost savings can
be achieved in two to three years. By contrast, the Ministry for Social
Development has provided the same funding for the much larger number of
community-based social services that it funds.
"Why are some programs being treated differently than others? This
discrepancy amounts to program cuts by stealth and bad faith
bargaining," says Harmston.
The Community Social Services Bargaining Association bargains on behalf
of 10,000 unionized community-based social service workers that work
with vulnerable British Columbians. The bargaining association includes
BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA and six other unions.
SOURCE: Community Social Service Bargaining Association
For further information:
contact Oliver Rohlfs, BCGEU Communications (778)318-9164