BURNABY – The BC NDP government's first budget update delivers on commitments to re-invest in critical public services this year, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) said today.
The government will increase public service staffing levels by more than 600 positions, addressing the critical need for additional social workers, park rangers, environmental management staff and compliance and enforcement officers, among others.
"I'm pleased to see the B.C. government acknowledge the value of the important services our members provide to British Columbians," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "For the first time in years, issues like child protection, community health and home support, poverty reduction, mental health and addictions have seen renewed attention and investment."
"This budget update is based on prudent economic forecasts and balances modest tax increases for the wealthy with targeted public investments to support working British Columbians. It also acknowledges the impacts of long-term staffing cuts across government and in the natural resource sector."
Budget 2017 formalizes budget proposals that will see significant increases to the number of social workers in child protection, as well as a commitment to increase the number of park rangers and capital improvements to increase campsites in BC Parks, a new Abbotsford courthouse and an addition to the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre.
"I'm pleased that the government recognizes poverty reduction, child care and affordable housing as important parts of a sustainable economy," says Smith. We look forward to working with the government to implement their election commitments to provide these important services for British Columbia families."
The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, representing over 73,000 members in direct government service, the broader public sector and service sectors across the province.
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