Press Release: Cuts to child welfare services hurt the most vulnerable

The Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union is not pleased to learn about recent cuts to child welfare services in rural communities. “Cutting these important services in rural Nova Scotia will hurt the most vulnerable people and their communities”, says Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU).

The Union was recently advised that the Department of Community Services is laying off five (5) unionized members working in child welfare services in Barrington and six (6) in Guysborough (one of the workers in Guysborough is an Income Assistance Caseworker). This follows on the heels of the closure of the Sheet Harbour Community Services Office.

“The people who live in Guysborough and Barrington deserve to have quality public services, and the jobs that come with the delivery of those services,” says Jessome. “Cuts to child welfare services may put Nova Scotian children at risk while removing good jobs from rural communities where they are needed most.”

“Right now our economy is fragile, the unemployment rate is high, and jobs are few and far between. Public services must be there when Nova Scotians need them. This is a time to support the most vulnerable Nova Scotians, not pull support away.”

“We believe cutting services to rural communities is very damaging,” says Jessome. “It creates an incentive for families to move to urban areas and increases the stresses on rural communities.”

Jessome continues, “These decisions are being made without any consultation with frontline workers or their union. We are left to wonder what other public services and communities are being targeted by government? Who is next?”

The NSGEU represents unionized employees who work in the Department of Community Services. This includes income assistance caseworkers, child protection workers, family support workers, social workers, case aides, supervisors, and secretarial staff (clerks) who provide valuable public services in communities across the province.

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2 Responses to Press Release: Cuts to child welfare services hurt the most vulnerable

  1. jackie race January 29, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    the announcement is wrong, there were three layoffs in Barrington office and three people forced to relocate. the next concern is for community services and whether they can have this happen. what action is the union planning to take to help protect us, its already been a week

    • Deedee Slye February 12, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Jackie, our members are not forced to relocate with those positions. If they chose not to relocate, they would have their layoff rights. They did choose to relocate and we are glad it worked out for them.
      All our Civil Service President’s came together this week to discuss cuts to services and other issues facing the Civil Service. The meeting had been scheduled on an earlier date but had to be rescheduled due to a storm. We are initiating a campaign to talk to the public about what they will lose if the Premier continues on this path to cut services and the public sector in his next budget due on March 31. These attacks on services are part of a failed strategy other provinces and governments have taken. They claim they are tackling the deficit, but when the cut the public sector, they also cut the economic engine of the province and the deficit will only get worse. We need jobs and investment in communities now, not cuts. You will be hearing from us over the next few weeks. Thank you for writing in.

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