Dear BCGEU members,
Last October I presented the BCGEU’s submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services as part of the public consultation for the 2019/20 provincial budget. Our submission outlined four priorities: address housing affordability and supply; rebuild the public services needed to support an effective poverty reduction strategy; protect B.C.’s environment and natural resources; and restore funding to our justice and corrections systems.
On February 19th I attended the provincial government’s 2019 budget lockup in Victoria where plans for the coming years were released.
The initiatives and programs introduced as part of the government’s push to make B.C. more affordable—like the elimination of student loan interest and the implementation of the BC Child Opportunity Benefit—will be life-changing for working people.
I also appreciated the investments in public services and infrastructure in critical areas like education, health care, seniors care, and wildfire response and prevention. BCGEU members have been pushing for these and other such investments for a long time and it’s great to see our government has taken that message to heart.
For Corrections and Sheriff Services (Component 1) members working in the public service, Budget 2019 unfortunately does little to address staff-to-inmate ratios, overcrowding and violence in B.C.’s jails, or the challenges faced in community corrections.
To learn what this budget does and doesn’t deliver, click here to read our full budget analysis for specific details pertaining to the ministries that affect your work.
While overall, I am pleased with Budget 2019, I share your disappointment with the lack of increases to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and I want to make it clear that increasing this funding is a key priority of our union. Your elected leadership and I are committed to working to make sure your priorities are on the government’s agenda moving forward.
Click here to read our budget submission from last fall.
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