Dear 2018/2019 ALIGN Association Members
Welcome to Fall 2018. This has been an extremely busy year with the implementation of Bill 17 and Bill 30, violence prevention inspections in group care, tenders for campus based group care, the review of the child intervention program and now the PDD review, just to name a few things. In this news I wanted to highlight a few things and then talk about the political tool kit and how you can get out and see action in the upcoming months before the predicted election in the spring 2019.
- A Stronger, safer tomorrow: a public action plan for the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention’s final recommendations June 2018
There was a pipe ceremony held earlier this month to officially kick off the response for the recommendations. I strongly suggest you review this document as this will be the focus of the Ministry for the next year. See All ALIGN Engagement and Resources Regarding Child Intervention Review Panel
- fair and family friendly workplaces the government passed Bill 17
Bill 17 There have been some consequences as a result of this legislation. We have received official notice that the agencies who provide services for the Ministry of Community and Support Services will receive financial support for the minimum wage and statutory holiday costs. My understanding is that our contract managers will be asking you to fill in a template to help gather information. For Children Service’s there have been no official announcements but I believe they are working on gathering information relating to statutory holidays in an effort to compensate contracted agencies. I do not know how this will affect Fee for Service providers. You may want to make sure you have had conversations with the contract managers in the regions. See All ALIGN Engagement and Resources Bill 17
- Bill 30 – an act to protect the health and well-being of working Albertans
Bill 30 was also passed earlier this year and in this Act the impacts to agencies are the specific development of safety management systems; an increased focus on worker safety and well being; and hazard assessments in the work place. See All ALIGN Engagement and or Resources Bill 30
- Roadmap to COR
ALIGN received a grant to support the Roadmap to COR This course helps agencies develop their safety management system and customizes the requirements of the legislation to fit the unique needs of their agency and the sector. We currently have 72 people from 42 agencies participating. We have requested another grant to run the same program over again this time next year. See All ALIGN Engagement and or Resources Roadmap to COR
- New Grant Request
ALIGN is also asking for 2 other grants offered by the Ministry of Labour. One to support the development of an electronic best practice guide for this sector based on the assignments and suggestions of the group currently in the Roadmap program; and the second is to offer some training on wellness in the workplace to support the mandatory training for the committees and also for anyone else who is interested.
- Care Worker Violence Prevention Focused Inspection Program
The Ministry of Labour is doing another focused inspection program for group care facilities. I sent out notification about this earlier this week. Be aware that the program is from October 1, 2018 to January 31, 21019. The goal is to change the culture of the workplace to ensure violence is not tolerated or at least mitigated appropriately for workers
See Full Update Here
- FSCD Action Plan – In response to the concerns raised by parents about the FSCD program the Ministry of Community and Support Services (CSS) have changed our Specialized Services policy, Family Centred Supports and Services policy, FSCD Program Outcomes Policy and Overarching Policies and Considerations Policy to confirm that direct services to children are supported and parent involvement is not required in the delivery of specialized services. Please find updated policies on our website.
- ALIGN 11th Annual Conference: Strengthening Today, Building Tomorrow – January 24 and 25, 2019 at the Fantasyland Hotel Edmonton.
January 24th will be regular conference day with our keynote speaker being Virginia Sampson and January 25th will be a whole day with Dr. Michael Ungar- one of the best- known authors and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. He is an exceptional speaker and we will be offering single day tickets along with the regular conference registration. We look forward to seeing everyone there in January.
- Save The Date ALIGN 3rd Annual Symposium (Group Care): Global Research on Group Care Symposium Feb 7-8, 2019 at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton.
We currently have Martha Holden and James Anglin confirmed and are just working out the details on 2 other academics to support the conference.
Please save the date as more will be forthcoming soon on the details.
- ALIGN POLITICAL TOOL-KIT 2019
- ALIGN Key Message Election 2019 ALIGN Political Toolkit Election 2019
- I want to take a few minutes to outline why we have taken the strategy we have this year in hopes that you will understand the messages well and see your agency as well as ALIGN in them. We hope you can use these messages as a foundation for your discussions with politicians in your constituencies. Our Government Relations Committee (GRC) developed this approach after meeting with some political experts and Paul McLoughlin at our AGM confirmed some of their thinking. At this point the polls show that the UCP has a high likelihood of wining an election in the spring 2019. But polls are only good at the time that they are taken, there are still a number of months to go and any strategy should include both or all parties. Having said that, there have been a few hints about the UCP we should pay close attention to:
- If the UCP does become the leaders of the government we will be looking at a whole new legislature so we should not expect that they have a structure as they are very inexperienced in governing as the NDP were when they got in.
- Currently the government is in the red zone so little to no spending is happening
- There is little investor confidence in either party
- The UCP will focus on competition; getting markets reactivated; and the private or outsourcing of delivery of services
- The NDP like government services but so far have support the human services contracted sector.
- UCP will shrink government, therefore a message of we are the best people to do the work should resonate
- There is no new money for either party. We need to argue for incremental increases to support infrastructure and operation in order to sustain the sector.
- Our agencies have established business practiced and can prove our services are professionally delivered and cost effective. We work for competitive prices and have good outcomes- we are well established.
- We need to remind parties that there is no saving in diminishing the sector as we help Albertans to remain out of hospitals, in their homes, look after their families
Our action request is that nominees talk to their colleagues and make sure they understand the value of the sector and support it. We must be sustained into future.
As nominees are announced, please invite them to visit your agencies or go out and see them, educate people on the work you do for the community. The toolkit helps you with templates for letters. ALIGN will be sending out a newsletter to all candidates soon to ensure they hear from us, we will also be going to some of the platform committees and meeting with high profile politicians. Use the key messages as a foundation for discussion, you should see yourselves as part of a larger sector in there and can outline some examples of the good work you do in your community that the candidate will back and support.
Also encourage your staff to get out and vote!
If you have nay questions or need help please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email.