We have not provided an update since March and feel it necessary to do so. We were fairly optimistic that we had an agreement with the Ministry of Labour as to how to provide some flexibility for the 24/7 operations and the crisis driven intervention work. Under Bill 17 if the agencies are to work as defined in the legislation it would decrease the ability for staff to flex their time and the agencies would have to put restrictions on work schedules due to the overtime costs, and that is not in the best interest of the families those agencies are contracted to serve. At this time our optimism is waning.
We have been waiting for a response from the Ministry of Labour (since March) and to date we have not received one. The staff has been changed there as well so it is frustrating to figure out who is doing what. Our partners in the Ministry of Children Services are just as frustrated.
We recognize that this delay is likely increasing your overtime costs or alternatively decreasing service. We also remind you that there have been no variances or regulation changes made therefore by the letter of the law you should be complying with what it says. If this is creating a hardship to your agency or your families, we encourage you to speak with your contract managers and us. Send us a note as we are sending the example to the Ministry of CS and Labour so they are aware of the challenges.
Bruce and I are I meeting with the Deputy Minister to speak with her about this issue.
I terms of funding. We are trying to figure out what the budget has to offer agencies and for what. This will take some time.
In order to assess and advocate accurately we will be sending out a request for further information with respect to the impacts of Bill 17. WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO RESPOND. We will be asking – what is your cost of statutory pay this year over last year for the first quarter of the year? What is your actual cost of overtime last year and this year for the first quarter? Did you have any increases in your contract? Did you discuss the added costs of Bill 17 with your contract manager? If so, what was the outcome of that discussion?
It is really important that you send us the information we are asking for. It is difficult to discuss these issues without real information and numbers, as we are constantly asked for them.
If you have any questions please email me [email protected] or call 780 233.5459