Sunday, May 19, 2024

$330 million assigned to strengthen staffing for social sector

Date:

Edmonton, March 6: Alberta’s social sector provides critical support for thousands of individuals living with disabilities, facing homelessness or dealing with family violence. To strengthen staffing in these sectors, $330 million over three years will increase wages and administrative funding.

“The social sector provides essential care to thousands of Albertans, and our government is committed to supporting its workers. Increasing wages is a huge step we are taking to better attract and retain staff that care for vulnerable Albertans.”

Jeremy Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services

Today’s affordability crisis has affected many service providers in the social sector and has made it difficult to attract and retain staff. More than 20,000 disability, homeless shelter and family violence prevention workers can expect to see an increase in the amount they take home each month. This funding builds on the $26 million announced by Alberta’s government in December 2022.

“After experiencing years of high turnover rates and going nearly a decade without a pay increase, nearly 20,000 disability workers in Alberta are finally getting a raise. With this plan, the government will strengthen our sector and ensure better care for thousands of Albertans.”

Dale Cena, founder, Alberta Disability Awareness in Action

“Emergency shelter workers are invaluable, working with our most vulnerable who often have complex needs, necessitating a combination of compassion and problem-solving skills as they help our shelter guests on the path to recovery and housing. They themselves deal with trauma, fatigue, stress and burnout, making them deserving of additional supports.”

Charles Weaselhead, former chief of the Blood Tribe and current vice-chair, Blood Tribe Department of Health

Alberta’s government recognizes the increased pressure of paying for administrative costs in the disability sector. That’s why this funding includes a $25-million increase over three years to help address these challenges. An increase in operating funding ensures that Albertans can access the services they need.

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification

Quick facts

  • About 21,275 front-line social service workers will receive a wage increase.
  • This includes:
    • About 19,500 disability support workers
    • About 1,600 homeless shelter workers
    • About 175 family violence prevention workers
  • The Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services funds more than 225 service providers through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Family Support for Children with Disabilities programs.
  • These providers will receive an average five per cent funding increase to help address rising administrative and operating costs.

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