Chronic underfunding and systemic CLBC problems remain, survey finds

January 14, 2013

Chronic underfunding is a huge, systemic and unaddressed problem at Community Living BC (CLBC), the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) said today.

“One year after releasing a 12-point plan, the B.C. government is claiming it’s making progress with community living. I don’t see any measurable evidence of this,” BCGEU Social Service Component Chairperson Doug Kinna.  In fact, a number of government claims are directly contradicted by the findings of a survey of CLBC front line workers that was conducted in December and January.

According to the BCGEU survey:

  • Only a quarter of front line Community Living BC employees believe that the government’s 12-point plan is an effective response to the problems in the community living sector;
  • More than half of all CLBC workers surveyed have made a budget-driven decision that has caused them concern over the last year, and over 40% of surveyed CLBC workers have been required to cut services or supports that they considered necessary for their clients’ health, safety or well-being;
  • Last year’s additional CLBC funding has not effectively addressed the outstanding requests for services, two-thirds of CLBC workers say;
  • Two-thirds of workers say that $2,800/year funding for respite services for families is inadequate, as it amounts to barely $230 per month, or less than two days respite service;
  • Job satisfaction at CLBC is at an low point, and 90 percent of CLBC workers say that the government’s plan has not addressed workloads, work-related stress or low morale at CLBC.

The findings are based on a BCGEU survey sent to 300 CLBC members, to which nearly 100 front line workers responded in December and January.

“The government is still failing to implement recommendations to address the crisis in community living that were developed by the stakeholders themselves, including families, self-advocates and community living agencies,” Kinna said. These unanimous recommendations include:

  • Commission a comprehensive external review of CLBC’s mandate and operations;
  • Establish an independent advocate for adults with developmental disabilities;
  • Introduce provincial legislation setting out the inclusion rights and support entitlements of adults with developmental disabilities in B.C.;
  • Regulate home sharing.

The BCGEU represents around 400 workers at CLBC and over 4,000 community living workers supporting adults and youth with developmental disabilities and their families across the province.