Level the Playing Field: Building an economy that works for everyone

Budget 2018: Submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

Through more than a century of political activism, workers have won many important legislative rights, including the legal right to form and join a union; the right to bargain collectively; employment standards that govern hours of work, working conditions and a minimum wage; and laws to protect workers’ compensation, health and safety.

Unfortunately, many of these gains have been eroded over the last 16 years.

Deep cuts to public services like health care and education, deregulation and privatization, and economic and social policies that foster a low-wage economy have left many workers in precarious situations. The legacy of the former BC Liberal government is one of poverty and income inequality.

With a change in government comes the opportunity to turn the trend around, and to finally put people at the centre of government priorities.

The recommendations put forward in this submission are in that spirit: the spirit of investing in people, and respect for those who build our province, who deliver vital public services, and who keep our economy moving.

For our submission, we focus on reinstating basic protections and rights for working people. We call on the BC government to champion a budget that will ensure working people are treated fairly and given the opportunities to succeed.

To begin this important work, the BC Federation of Labour has outlined four areas that need appropriate funding or service review to once again serve the people of BC. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but instead highlights some fundamental deficiencies in our systems that disadvantage working people and ultimately hurt our economy.

These four areas include: Labour Code; Employment Standards; Apprenticeship and Training; and Green Jobs.

Read the full report.