Last month our union participated in the public consultation to offer input into next year's budget by submitting recommendations to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (more on this here). The Committee has now reported out on the results of this process and we are pleased to let you know that government listened to many of our positions and put a number of them into their recommendations released this week in Report on the Budget 2020 Consultation.
Some key recommendations that closely align with the BCGEU's submission include:
- Continuing to make comprehensive investments in child care to improve access and affordability.
- Ensuring investments in the continuum of services for mental health and addiction needs, including funding for integrated, wrap-around support services with housing.
- Ensuring stable, quality care in residential care facilities by reviewing and establishing minimum staffing levels, equalizing compensation, reviewing sub-contracting of care and services, and addressing recruitment and retention challenges.
- Ensuring adequate funding and staffing for the Employment Standards Branch and Labour Relations Board to enable them to effectively enforce employment law.
- Continued investment in prevention, mitigation, adaptation, response and recovery for wildfire, flood and climate-related natural disasters, with an emphasis on cooperating, collaborating and partnering with local and Indigenous communities.
- Increasing operational funding for BC Parks and Recreation Sites and Trails BC to support staffing, monitoring and enforcement, maintenance, public safety, and recreational infrastructure and services.
- Fully funding and supporting the CleanBC strategy and increasing investments in shifting to clean and renewable energy, including expanding electrification for energy use.
Our union is disappointed to see that our call for accelerated and expanded investment in affordable housing, and our call for improved staffing ratios and safety measures in the corrections sector were not included. However, we will continue to lobby government and increase public pressure in regard to these and other issues that are important to BCGEU members.
We hope to see the above recommendations included in the upcoming 2020 Budget to be presented in February. Once Budget 2020 has been released, we will present our analysis on our website and social media channels.