BURNABY – With the BC poverty rate one of the worst in Canada, the BC government is committed to building a poverty reduction strategy with input from British Columbians with the goal to “lift people out of poverty”.
One of their first steps was to consult with British Columbians and CUPE BC Library Committee Chair Karen Ranalletta and CUPE BC Library Committee Aliza Nevarie saw this as an important opportunity to provide feedback from front line library workers.
“Library workers have a unique perspective on this issue not only as front-line workers, but as part of a growing demographic that is the working poor,” says Ranalletta. “We thought it was critical to share this perspective with the government so they could hear how poverty is affecting public library services and the people who provide these critical services.”
Ranalletta and Nevarie hosted a focus group with library workers from CUPE 23 and CUPE 391 and then worked with CUPE National staff to develop a submission for the consultation process on the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Their submission can be viewed here.
CUPE BC also prepared a submission on behalf of all CUPE members and that submission can be viewed here.
According to the BC government’s website a “What we Heard” report will be release in June and will capture all of the feedback they heard throughout the consultation. Poverty reduction legislation will be brought forward in Fall 2018 and the poverty reduction strategy will be released after that. (more here on the consultation)