Bryony House, a transition house in Halifax, announced they would have to start slashing services due to a lack of funding. This sparked provincial mobilization on the issue of underfunding in the sector.
The situation was so bad that:
- Workers were continually being asked to fund raise to supplement the budget for things like food and fuel.
- Staffing was bare minimum and at times very short staffed.
- Staff were being asked to pick up extras for clients at their own expense.
Target: Provincial government as the key funder.
Ask: Workers had been promised a 1% wage increase but had not received it. The campaign demanded the government honour this promise and commit to an operational increase to transition houses as well.
Message: Family violence is not just a family issue, it’s a community issue, it’s a government issue. The government needs to provide support so transition houses can adequately support families who are dealing with violence.
- Local 4459 from New Glasgow put forward an emergency resolution to raise awareness about the funding crisis at the CUPE Nova Scotia Convention, which passed with overwhelming support.
- They had a meeting with CUPE transition house local executives and CUPE staff to discuss issue.
- They had a letter writing campaign inundating Members of the Legislative Assembly with messages.
- They met with the Minister of Community Services to talk about the serious issues in the sector
Coalitions/allies: There was a coalition of unions representing workers at transition houses involving PSAC, CUPE & representation from the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. They also worked with the Transition House Association Nova Scotia. They met with allies, stakeholders, transition house managers and unionized and non-unionized staff.
Outcome: The government announced $500,000 in funding for transition houses as a result of the campaign.
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