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OPINION – BUDGET 2021 – BCGEU applauds investments in sectors like childcare and seniors care; urges more support for workers’ mental and physical well-being

Victoria – The BCGEU is applauding Budget 2021’s support for the critical public services needed to get BC through the pandemic. But the union representing tens of thousands of members direct government and throughout the province’s broader public sector is highlighting that more needs to be done to support workers as we move towards recovery.
“Our members’ top priority for Budget 2021 was to see government unequivocally supporting public services as a path out of the pandemic and we got what we were looking for,” said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU. “The big news is childcare—especially with the federal government’s commitment announced yesterday—and we’re also happy to see ongoing and some impressive new investments in seniors care, mental health and addictions, BC Parks, and poverty reduction. Overall, this budget shows that the government is committed to supporting British Columbians and leveraging the lessons of the pandemic.”
The BCGEU consulted with members across the province to inform their submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. That submission urged government to deliver a budget that protected the province’s most vulnerable, preserved existing public services, and presented a bold plan to provide the services and supports British Columbians will need to get through the pandemic and build a just recovery.
“There is a lot to celebrate in this budget, particularly compared to what is happening in other provinces,” said Smith. “Frankly, what’s missing is are critical supports for the frontline workers that have gotten our province this far—like paid sick leave and mental health supports. Those are gaps that need to be filled for our province to come out of this pandemic.”
The BCGEU is one of the largest and fastest growing unions in B.C. with more than 80,000 members working in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

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