3/10/2022: Member Support and Information Recap

This month’s Member Support and Information Exchange meeting focused on a number of important topics—ECE wage subsidies, HR resources, recruitment and retention funding, CFCSA Act reform and more. You can find a summary of the member discussion, facilitation by Associate Executive Director Rebecca Atay Lang, below.

Member Support and Information Exchange meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Upcoming meetings are:

  • Apr 14th: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • May 12th: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Topic 1: Wage subsidies for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs)

  • Do any members hire ECEs who are paid less than $25/hr? Yes.
  • A lot of childcare centres are set to open in the next few years. However, some families would benefit from alternative supports.
  • Alternative supports exist but were not part of the ECE plan/discussions.
  • Member shared that they tried many years ago to have contract wording changed to be more inclusive of alternative supports but were unsuccessful.
  • Members shared they are afraid the sector could lose some well-trained ECEs to competition, especially as pandemic restrictions loosen. Some seeing this impact already.
  • Member asked how those with lived experience but no “formal” qualifications can be supported equitably.
  • Member shared Child Care managers are never part of the budget decisions. Allocation to ECEs can force organizations to hire more ECEs at the new rate and cut back at a management level.
  • The Federation has been working to have MCFD address the wage inversion/compression for several years; Early Years included.
  • Early Years contracts do not cover costs fully, so organizations are having to subsidize positions with other funding resources.
  • Members agreed that Recruitment & Retention funding was one-time; doesn’t adequately address the wage gap.
  • Member shared if Govt wants services available when they need them, need to follow through on their commitment.
  • The Federation’s Board met with MCFD in March to speak directly to these issues and more.
  • The Social Services Sector Round Table is working on a compensation framework.
  • MCFD is leading a procurement table that has come up with timelines and carrying out engagement sessions. The Federation will share info/presentation as soon as recorded.

Topic 2: Member Resource – HR Resources

  • Member shared that their organization was able to negotiate a deal with HR Covered for $1000/year – for smaller organizations needing HR resources.
  • Other options are Sincron and HR Interval (Imagine Canada); The Federation has also offered HR workshops.
  • Suggestion for next discussion: How are organizations creating hybrid work models for shared services/departments like HR, Admin and Operations.

Topic 3: Recruitment & Retention Funding for non-unionized programs funded by MCFD

  • Michelle at The Federation sent an email on the topic to members on February 22nd.
  • There will continue to be recruitment and retention funding in the next fiscal year.
  • The goal is not to make any changes to the overall amount but there may be slight changes because of the way the funding has been allocated to MCFD (i.e., one pot to be split amongst all eligible organizations, so if there’s a change in who is eligible the amount could change).
  • It will continue to be a separate line item in the contract that can be used for wages or other recruitment-and-retention-type activities.
  • For last fiscal (20/21) MCFD communicated that we would not recover unearned revenue due to the timing, we released the funding.
  • For this fiscal (21/22) we communicated that recruitment and retention funding would be treated as per terms and conditions of the contract (recovered if unspent). This change would be ongoing.
  • Please contact and work with your contract manager if you have any questions or concerns. If your contract manager cannot help you, you can contact Abigail Pittman at abigail.pittman@gov.bc.ca.

Topic 4: BC Bid Re-Vamp

From BC Bid:

“We are working to launch a new modernized BC Bid, making it easier for suppliers to do business with the government. Before we open registration for the new BC Bid, we invite you to join the project team to learn about the application and how to use it, by attending one of the information sessions listed below.”

“Please register for one of the sessions listed below by clicking on a registration link. Sessions will be identical. Attending a live session is highly recommended; however, a recording will be available for those who are not able to attend either of the dates below.”

BC Bid information session for suppliers
March 28, 2022, at 1:30pm to 4:00pm PST

BC Bid information session for suppliers
March 29, 2022, at 9:00am to 11:30am PST

Topic 5: Child, Family and Community Services Act Reform

  • B.C. is reforming CFCSA legislation to improve services for all children and families. These changes aim to better support the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including Indigenous Governments, as they deliver child and family services under their laws.

Topic 6: COVID 19 Vaccines and Boosters

  • Dr. Penny Ballem has offered to meet with our members to provide info and answer questions on boosters and vaccines, including the non-mRNA vaccine options that will be soon available. Please send your questions or express your interest to Catherine at catherine@fcssbc.ca.

Topic 7: Community Information Tool

  • Community Information Tool.
  • A new tool created by Province that could be useful for things like grant writing and board orientation.
  • The tool gathers a lot of census data in one place by the community.
  • If there are other community health indicators we would like to see included please contact Rebecca at rebecca@fcssbc.ca.

Topic 8: Climate Events & Emergency Response

  • If members have undergone climate audits or have developed emergency response or continuity plans that address climate-related events like flooding, extreme heat or fires, we would like to hear about your experience. Please contact Catherine at catherine@fcssbc.ca.