The BCGEU/NUPGE was invited to attend a roundtable discussion as part of the federal government's commitment to addressing gender-based violence.
Vancouver (Oct. 3, 2017) — On September 8, as a follow up to the report, Collective Wisdom: Challenges and Opportunities in B.C's Women's Services, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) was invited by the federal Minister Maryam Monsef, Status of Women, to participate in a roundtable discussion as part of the federal government's commitment to addressing gender-based violence (GBV).
At the roundtable were approximately 30 representatives for women's services organizations that address GBV in their work such as transition houses, shelters, centres for female survivors of sexual and domestic violence, sex workers advocacy groups, health services and more.
Status of Women minister heard from BCGEU/NUPGE members about first-hand experience in women's services in B.C.
Minister Monsef heard about the work of the 10,000 BCGEU/NUPGE members and heard about the 1,500 members who see first-hand how women's services in B.C .are in crisis, and how they're failing as the social safety net meant to protect women and provide support services and crisis intervention and are expected to do more with less. This crisis has resulted in the denial of services for women who desperately need them due to the multiple issues they face from the lack of safe housing and child care, fromo poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse, involvement with child protection, and inability to find employment with a living wage. These additional challenges make it nearly impossible to provide the support needed.
Through conversations with the Minister and, following the meeting, with her policy advisor, BCGEU/NUPGE representatives made it clear that based on its members' experience the current situation is not acceptable, and that the only way to meet the needs of women accessing services at their most vulnerable moments is to increase funding now — not tomorrow.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE