John HorganThe Throne Speech delivered last Friday offered welcome news to members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in BC.

“CUPE members are happy to hear plans to deliver on commitments made in the last election,” said Paul Faoro, President of CUPE BC. “British Columbians now have a government that is working for them.”

BC Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon outlined BC NDP Premier John Horgan’s government priorities - from enhancing public education, to protecting the most vulnerable, to improving availability of childcare, to creating good paying jobs in a strong, balanced and environmentally sustainable economy.

“CUPE members are hearing a very different tone than what we listened to for the last 16 years,” said Faoro. “We are hearing from a government that wants to work with people and communities, to understand what regular people are dealing with, and to make changes that will improve public services and make life more affordable.”

The government’s focus on public schools is encouraging for the more than 27,000 CUPE education workers. With the school year just beginning, employees of BC school districts are eager to see changes.

 “The government’s attention to public education gives parents and students certainty,” said Faoro. “CUPE education workers look forward to working with trustees to implement solutions at the local level, and make sure every student experiences a clean, safe and inclusive learning environment in their community school.”

Today’s Throne Speech also presented initiatives long called for by CUPE members and community allies, including building affordable housing, implementing a poverty reduction strategy, and acting to end BC’s drug overdose death crisis.

“CUPE members work on the front lines in every BC community and we see first-hand the serious life-or-death struggles facing too many in our prosperous province,” said Faoro. “Finally, we are hearing from a government that cares about the least fortunate in our society.”

CUPE BC represents more than 87,000 workers in BC employed in a multitude of sectors including, education, municipalities, health care, and community social services.