November 6 is Community Social Services Appreciation Day

HSA joins other unions across Canada today in recognizing the dedication and professionalism of the workers in community living group homes and day programs, shelters, and supported housing; sexual assault centres, transition houses, and victims' services; infant development programs and child care centres; and the diverse array of programs that provide counselling, rehabilitation, recreation, employment training, outreach, advocacy and referral services.

During difficult periods, or when a crisis arises, our communities respond by providing these supports, services, and resources that individuals and families need to deal with life's challenges.

These caring professionals are the heart and soul of our communities.

How we treat the most vulnerable around us says so much about us as a society.

But the truth is that these critical services remain largely invisible, and have been treated poorly by the BC Liberal government. Vulnerable families still fall last on the BC government's list of priorities.

For over a decade, community-based social services have faced severe funding cutbacks, cuts to services, collective agreement rights have been rolled back, and wages have remained stagnant wages – proof of the extremely difficult bargaining environment we have been in.

Community social services cannot survive without a commitment from the BC government to recognize the vital role these services – and the workers who provide them – play in our communities.