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Our network of agency leaders has a clear set of purposes:
- To facilitate a collective voice
- To promote effective business practices
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April 27, 2019, Low Wage Redress Update
Thank you all for keeping the Low Wage Redress issue top-of-mind for our MLAs from all parties. Workers, family members, and the people we support who are negatively affected by this government decision are also finding their voice and demanding that the decision be changed.
While it was insinuated in one newspaper article that our Network was working with the opposition to make government look bad, this is certainly not the case. Our members have been meeting with any and all MLAs willing to listen to them to try to resolve the LWR issue. Our Network is non-partisan and believes that this issue is a straightforward one, based on fairness, not political affiliation. Saanich North and Islands MLA Adam Olsen framed the situation well in his blog post, “Politicizing Wage Inequality.”
As we work to resolve the Low Wage Redress situation, some of the questions that our members have been and will be asking government include the following:
- What information was provided by the Employer’s Association about Recruitment and Retention in advance of bargaining?
- Was the information collected from non-union service providers used in the research that justified Low Wage Redress?
- Why has the government not developed a plan to address Low Wage Redress for non-union employees when organizations with non-union employees have been completing comprehensive wage and benefits surveys and submitting them to CSSEA for three years?
- When was the decision made to not fund Low Wage Redress for non-union workers? (service providers were informed just 10 business days before the wage increase was implemented)
- Why weren’t service providers consulted before the Low Wage Redress decision was made?
- In what ways did the government consider Microboards and their workers when the Low Wage Redress decision was made?
- In what ways did government consider the Aboriginal worldview and Aboriginal workers when making the Low Wage Redress decision?
- In what ways did government consider or consult with families of people with disabilities affected by this decision?
- And, most importantly, in what ways did government consider or consult with people who have disabilities affected by this decision?
We need answers to all these questions to begin to understand what led to the Low Wage Redress decision and what needs to be done to resolve it. I believe that it will be difficult to answer these questions without coming to the conclusion that the decision was not in the best interest of many workers, families, and people we support in BC.
Our hope is that an increased understanding of the affect of the Low Wage Redress decision will lead to a re-examination of the decision and a fair and equitable solution to the problem that has been created. As I recently told the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, out Network is ready and willing to work with government to find a solution to this issue that ensures that workers are fairly compensated for the work that they do and that people with disabilities are supported in a person-centred manner that promotes true inclusion in their communities.
I’m looking forward to meeting with Network members and other service providers affected by the LWR decision on May 1st, and everyone else at our Leadership Forum and Professional Development Day on May 2nd and 3rd at the Civic Hotel in Surrey.
April 17, 2019, Low Wage Redress Update
As we continue our campaign to reverse government’s Low Wage Redress decision, we issued a press release and the letter our legal counsel sent to the Minister of Finance earlier this week to provincial media outlets and our membership. We still await a response from our mid-March letter to the Minister of Finance.
April 11, 2019, Low Wage Redress Update
I’m taking a moment this morning to reflect on yesterday’s gathering on the steps of the BC Legislature of over 100 community and social services leaders to bring attention to the provincial government’s recent decision to exclude over 13,000 non-union front line workers from a much deserved 12% Low Wage Redress that union workers will be receiving over the next three years. This decision is unfair and goes against the precedent set by 12 years of practice. The rally was not about pitting union against non-union employees. Heck, I’m a big supporter of unions—was the union rep at my school when I taught in the public system, love the hard working union members at Semiahmoo House Society (we usually have zero grievances because of the respect management and employees have for each other), and understand the work that unions have done to ensure employees are treated fairly in their places of work. However, in the work that is done in the community and social services sector, which is based on relationships, flexibility, and innovative ways to support people to be included in their communities, there is a place for non-union workers. Especially when these non-union workers do not want to be part of a union (because they have employers who respect them and fight for their right to receive a fair wage for the work that they do). I’m hopeful that the provincial government listens to provincial organizations like the BC CEO Network, Vela Canada, Inclusion BC, The Federation of Community Social Services, Board Voice, and PARCA; and, more importantly the workers, families, and people who will be adversely affected by this wedge that is being driven into the heart of community social services. I know that our Network will not rest until Low Wage Redress is fairly distributed to all.
Low Wage Redress has been a topic of note in question period in the legislature. Please take a moment to listen to the questions and answers from government during these two question periods:
Doug Tennant, President
Low Wage Redress Rally at the Legislature, April 2, 2019