In celebration of Community Worker Appreciation Day, a conference for community-based organization (CBO) workers was held at the Park Town Hotel in Saskatoon on November 6 and 7.
Hosted by the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) and Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West), the conference featured presentations from members about their daily work as well as addresses from Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison, the Honourable Don Morgan, Minister of Education and Labour Relations & Workplace Safety and Mr. David Forbes, MLA Saskatoon Centre, the opposition critic for labour, education, housing, diversity, equality and human rights issues.
“We are very pleased that these public figures addressed our members who work in the communities they represent,” said Bob Bymoen, president of SGEU, who also addressed the workers. “The type of work our members do in CBOs provides support for some of the most vulnerable people of this province.”
Acknowledging the vital care CBO workers provide to people of all ages and races who suffer from serious issues such as poverty, mental and physical disabilities, addictions and family crisis situations, is important for keeping our communities strong and healthy.
“We are pleased that so many of our Saskatchewan communities have taken the opportunity to recognize November 6 as Community Worker Appreciation Day,” said Barbara Cape, president of SEIU-West. “We’re even more pleased that the Ministry of Social Services accepted our joint request to proclaim the day in the province for the second year in a row.”
Communities including Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Kindersley, Moose Jaw, North Battleford and Yorkton have expressed their support for community workers by marking the day.
There is a long history in this province of CBO workers being overlooked, taken for granted and undervalued. The lack of stable, predictable financial support they have received from the government over the years has lead to critical recruitment and retention issues and unsafe working conditions which lends to the erosion of quality services.
SGEU and SEIU-West represent a total of 45 agencies throughout the province. Visit www.communityworkers.org to learn more.