A salute to HEU’s Community Social Services members

March is Community Social Services Awareness Month. Proclaimed each year by the B.C. government, it is a time to appreciate the extraordinary work members in this sector do for our most vulnerable citizens.

But it’s also a time to recognize the huge challenges community social services staff face in a sector where their work has historically been undervalued and largely invisible.

Without them, however, the province’s social safety net would cease to function. That’s because these members are key to helping make sure people don’t fall through the cracks when they have a special need or when they are facing critical life challenges.

People with developmental disabilities, youth in conflict with the law, individuals struggling with substance use issues, women fleeing abusive relationships, aboriginal families, new immigrants and many others rely on the caring, compassionate support these workers provide.

HEU’s 1,500 community social services members work for agencies funded by the provincial government. But despite the extreme importance of their work, they remain among the lowest paid workers in the public sector.

As part of the multi-union Community Social Services Bargaining Association, HEU will continue to advocate for the funding needed to lift workers’ wages, improve their working conditions and address the serious, ongoing retention and recruitment problem that impacts the vast majority of B.C.’s community-based social services agencies.

And throughout March, we salute all HEU members in this sector for the skill, dedication and commitment they bring to supporting their clients every single day.