Budgets, Issues, and Action Plans

There’s a lot going on in BC and at The Federation this week so my weekly update will cover a few different topics: this week’s provincial budget, the next steps after our 2018 Social Policy Forum, and ongoing peer support and learning opportunities for Federation members and their staff.

1. Social Policy Forum Recap and Next Steps
2. The BC Provincial Budget
3. Upcoming FED Talks on Policy and Issues


1. SPF Recap & Reflections

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2018 Social Policy Forum in Victoria earlier this month. The diversity of backgrounds, opinions, and ideas in the room made for a rewarding and promising experience. And we were especially pleased to have Minister Shane Simpson and MLA Mitzi Dean join us on Friday to participate in the discussions.

Recordings of the insightful and informative learning sessions that took place on Thursday are now up on our website (as well as presentation slides and additional information). Hearing about what our colleagues in Ontario are doing to promote decent work for the non-profit sector will be especially helpful as we consider our next steps. And I am sure that the two presentations on culturally safe workplaces offered participants some new insights and ideas about this vital aspect of our sector’s health.

If you were in the room on Friday, you know very well that the sheer amount of dialogue was matched only by the number of post-it notes that were covered in observations and ideas. The Federation team is already at work pulling that information together (with the help of our 2020 Facilitation team’s observations). All of that work and all of those ideas are being compiled in an action report that will be presented to the Federation Board next month.

Next Steps: The action plan

On March 21, the board and I will host a webinar where we will discuss the action plan informed by the work that took place at the forum. Even in the early stages of documentation and analysis, some familiar themes are emerging alongside some inspiring new ideas about tackling the issues we are facing.

I spoke a few weeks ago about the many things The Federation is working on that require us to “play the long game.” And I anticipate that some of the actions that come out of the Social Policy Forum will also require a long-term approach. But we were also intentional about asking participants for ways we can support small actions that can have a big impact—the first steps that can start to turn the tide and build momentum in the direction we want to go.

I am very excited about this next phase of member-driven work The Federation is undertaking and I hope you will join us on the March 21st to talk with us about what it will look like. Additional details about the March 21st webinar will be emailed to Federation members and Social Policy Forum participants a few weeks. Stay tuned!


2. BC Budget Update

On Tuesday, Rebecca and I attended the BC budget lockup. Yesterday, we hosted a webinar providing Federation members with some analysis of what we learned about the budget. A recording of the webinar and a summary of our analysis are now up on the member’s section of The Federation website.

You can also review yesterday’s News Clippings which contained ample coverage and analysis of the BC Budget as well as press releases by 3rd Voice (to which we contributed) and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.


3. Upcoming FED Talks

Last week, The Federation’s Member Engagement Lead, Kathy Powelson, hosted another ‘FED Talk’ with members—this time, discussing hiring and staffing policies and concerns. Members discussed, the new Caregiver Screening Policy, difficulties hiring for overnight shifts, increased service demand and growing staffing needs, retention issues, and training opportunities.

Recruitment and retention continue to be something many members struggle with. And, unfortunately, there is no one, single solution. However, The Federation is committed to supporting these conversations and will schedule another FED Talk on this issue in the near future.

Until then, the next two FED Talks topics will be:
Mar 14 from 10:00–11:30 on Cell Phone Policies and Issues
Apr 18 from 10:00–11:30 on Approaches to Reconciliation 

Invite your staff to participate

These FED Talks are a new peer support and peer learning opportunity for Federation members and staff. Each month, we host a webinar on operational and/or policy issues where members can talk about what they are dealing with, exchange ideas or best practices, and work together to troubleshoot and address problems.

It also serves as a way for The Federation staff team to learn about the kinds of training and regional educational sessions we could provide to our membership. If you have any ideas for a future session and/or want to participate, please contact Kathy Powelson at kathy@fcssbc.ca.

And please, forward this to your staff teams and encourage them to participate.

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director