Campaign to raise community social services profile in the works

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The association of unions representing B.C.’s community social services workers has established a working group to raise the profile of the sector and respond to new developments.

The campaign’s working group will focus on issues such as new service delivery models in community living services, the recruitment and retention crisis in the workforce, chronic under-funding and poor planning by government as well as preparing to make community-based social services a key issue in the next municipal and provincial elections.

Community social services continues to be the most poorly funded part of the broader para-public sector with pay and benefits lagging far behind those doing similar work in health care and the public (direct government) service. Service providers, contracted by government to provide a range of services in the community, are currently facing serious challenges in recruiting and keeping employees.

The working group plans to engage with frontline workers in putting a face to the crisis and the shaky state of the sector.

Community Living BC undermines care

Community Living BC (CLBC), the arm of the provincial government that funds services for individuals with developmental disabilities, is in disarray and looking to cut costs by closing as many as 100 group homes.

CLBC’s “residential options review” is actually limiting choices for individuals and their families by making placement in an established residence, staffed by experienced workers, an absolute last resort.

As many as 3,000 individuals and families are on a growing waitlist for services in the meantime.

Families, community and self-advocates are stepping up the challenge to CLBC’s disastrous plans, which include greatly expanding proprietary care, a model of residential services that is not properly monitored and is inappropriate for many individuals. CLBC and community living service providers, represented by the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA), are demanding “significant” concessions from the unions representing workers currently providing quality services.

Stay tuned for our new improved website

The website of B.C.’s community social services workers – www.respectbc.cais in the process of being revamped and will soon be re-launched.

Watch for a new look and the latest news.

Who we are…

  • the 13 partner unions of the Union Bargaining Association
  • collectively we represent more than 15,000 community-based social services workers in B.C.
  • every day we work to strengthen communities and build social solidarity

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