The Alberta government is pumping another $26 million into social services agencies to raise wages for more than 20,000 frontline workers serving the province’s most vulnerable people.
Jeremy Nixon, Minister of Agings, Communities and Social Services, said on Wednesday that it represented a 10% increase. Just over $2 million went to the organization to help pay for its operating costs, and he spent $24 million in salary increases for nearly 19,500 disability support workers, 1,000 homeless shelter staff, and 175 domestic violence prevention workers. dollars are spent.
“Those who have dedicated their careers to working with Albertans have had to make tough decisions between putting food on the table, affording a family and paying bills and other expenses. You deserve to know no,” said Nixon.
According to Nixon’s office, the average wage for disability assistance workers in the area is currently $18.76 an hour, but the change could raise wages to about $22 an hour.
The Alberta Disabled Workers Association has called for a 25% pay increase since February, noting that wages in the sector have not increased since 2014.
Dale Cena, founder of Alberta Disability Awareness In Action, has been speaking out on behalf of workers for months, saying the cost of living crisis and high turnover are putting the industry at risk. rice field. In making the announcement, he thanked the government and those who supported the campaign.
“Thanks to your support, thousands of workers and their families will take some comfort this holiday season knowing they are valued and appreciated by Alberta and the government,” he said. Told.
Ryan Geek, director of the Alberta Disability Services Council, said the funding would go a long way toward attracting and retaining workers and fighting inflationary pressures. That’s because more than 70% of his membership organizations are projecting a loss this year.
“This work is about standing next to people with disabilities, just like us, when they want to live and make a big life for themselves,” he said. I got
NDP community and social services critic Marie Renault said in a statement that this was good news, but the money was less than half what workers were asking for.
“This funding will not increase the capacity of the system, nor will it help the thousands of Albertans on the waiting list for services. We are not meeting the needs of people,” she said.