Low Wage Redress Causing Distress
The Provincial Government established a Low Wage Redress fund last summer to respond to the challenges we face with recruitment and retention of employees at Spectrum and in community social services more generally. Community Social Services workers are the lowest paid public sector workers and we face competition from Education and Community Health for our employees.
In March 2019, only 11 days before the increases were to start, the government announced that it would be funding all employees with the General Wage Increase of 2% – the same rate as all public sector employees (health, education and government). But Low Wage Redress, an increase of approximately 4% per year for three years, would only be paid to unionized employees.
Agencies from across the province have been working together, lead by the BC CEO Network, to get government to change this decision.
- We wrote to the Minister of Finance to protest this decision.
- We held a press conference at the BC Legislature on April 2nd, 2019.
- We had a meeting with the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction on April 3, 2019.
- We contacted MLA’s from across the Province to ask for meetings and get their support.
- We consulted our lawyer and she has written a Demand Letter to the Minister of Finance.
We have been slowly getting more media attention to this issue:
- April 17, 2019 – News 1130 – Non-profit group worries Province’s policy to boost only union wages could shut them down
- April 17, 2019 – Richmond News – Lower pay for non-union employees irks RSCL
- April 16, 2019 – Times Colonist – NDP can’t defend union non-union pay gap they created
- April 14, 2019 – Tom Fletcher – Community Care Workers next on NDP’s union checklist
- April 11, 2019 – The Tyee – ‘Wage Redress’ for BC workers in the social service sector, but only if they are in a union
- April 10, 2019 – Times Colonist – Les Leyne – NDP is leaving non-union help far behind
- April 2, 2019 – Victoria News – BC NDP avoids questions about $40M union only assistance fund
But we don’t have a positive decision from government yet. We are continuing to develop advocacy strategies to convince government to provide Low Wage Redress to all Community Social Service employees.
Here are some things you can do to help:
Contact your MLA’s to let them know your concern about this issue.
- Letter Template – Employees and Families write to MLA’s Edit the red text areas to add your own ideas about the impact of this government decision.
- Link to your MLAs: https://www.leg.bc.ca/content-committees/Pages/MLA-Contact-Information.aspx
- Link to Cabinet Ministers: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/cabinet/cabinetministers
Get active on Social Media:
Show government that people are concerned about #LowWageRedress. Search the following hashtags and retweet, or go on Facebook and share information and pictures from the Press Conference.
#LowWageRedress | #EqualPay4EqualWork | #WageEquality | #BCPoli
Thanks in advance for your assistance. We have had this struggle with government in the past and appreciate your support as we work towards success again.