Frontline workers representing CUPE, SEIU-West and SGEU were at the Saskatchewan Legislature today to present petitions calling for multi-year funding for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). Nicole Rancourt, NDP MLA for Prince Albert Northcote and Opposition Critic for Social Services and Community-Based Organizations, introduced the petition with over 1,300 signatures gathered from residents across the province. Rancourt also pressed the government on the issue during question period.
“For several years, we’ve been calling on the government to take action and now we’ve submitted the first batch of petitions in support of stable, reliable funding for CBOs in Saskatchewan,” said Carmela Verwimp, Unit Chair of Variety Place and member of SEIU-West. “It’s clear that we have support from our communities for this important investment in the people of Saskatchewan.”
CBOs provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. However, programs can get reduced or dropped completely due to funding that only guarantees one year of operation.
The three unions believe multi-year funding would help CBOs stay on solid ground financially and ensure that they can recruit and retain valuable staff resources to provide the many programs that are needed in communities across the province.
“I believe our clients would benefit greatly from knowing that their programs aren’t subject to a time limit and that staffing levels are consistent to ensure their needs are always met,” said Annette Welsch, Chairperson of the CUPE CBO Workers of Saskatchewan. “Successful client outcomes may take years to obtain and multi-year funding would help better support clients.”
“We’re fortunate that we get to see the tremendous success of our work every day as we deal with a variety of clients served by CBOs,” said SGEU member Trish Patey who works at Prince Albert Mobile Crisis and is the elected secretary of SGEU’s Community Services Sector. “But when we have to tell someone a program is at capacity or has been cut due to lack of stable funding, it’s demoralizing for staff and makes it very difficult for our clients to have the quality of life they deserve.”
Saskatchewan people can add their voices for stable, reliable funding in the CBO sector by signing the petition or visiting SaskPeopleWhoCare.org to send an email to the Ministers of Social Services, Education, Health, and Justice.
CUPE, SEIU-West and SGEU represent Community-Based Organization (CBO) workers in approximately 80 agencies across the province and have been working together for more than a decade to support and promote workers in this sector. CBOs are non-profit groups that fill in the gaps when direct government programs don’t meet the needs of Saskatchewan people.
Find out more by watching our video at tinyurl.com/vcre39m.