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July 8, 2013

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Kelowna youth programs face cuts ahead of by-election

The B.C. Liberal government’s failure to properly fund the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club in Kelowna-Westside may lead to youth service cuts, CUPE and the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union has learned.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club is a leading provider of programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development for over 6,000 young people and families each year in 30 locations in the Okanagan valley, including in Kelowna-Westside.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has failed to fund modest wage increases of 1.5 percent for front line workers at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. “We are not financially able to fund the increased wages without service reductions,” CEO Craig Monley wrote in a letter to front line staff dated June 24.

The wage raises were negotiated and ratified on April 22, 2013 within the government’s so-called co-operative gains mandate, which identified cost savings to fund the pay raises. However, MCFD has failed to provide bridge funding to cover the payroll increase until the cost savings can be realized.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and BCGEU represent 83 workers at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.

CUPE and BCGEU are a part of the Community Social Services Bargaining Association that bargains on behalf of 10,000 unionized community social service workers in British Columbia.




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