We the Association of Human Services Counselors of NB (AHSCNB) would like to welcome you to your web page. We, your board members have been working really hard to make this longtime dream come true. The effort to have an incorporated Association started in the spring of 2018 and by December of that year we achieved one of our goals. You will find on this web page all the work that has been done on your behalf.
An important committee that involves people from the departments of Social Development (SD) and Post-secondary Education Training and Labour (PETL) and other government representatives was put in place in 2012. They have established that our sector is composed of two distinct occupations: personal support workers (PSW) and human services counselors (HSC). This Association was formed for all the HSCs in this province. This committee along with other sub-committees and your AHSCNB association are working together to get our HSC occupation voluntarily certified. Formalized recognition as a professional in our service field in this way is a very important development in helping us get what we so dearly deserve from the government.
We, the AHSCNB, have been meeting with the government since 2018 and speaking on your behalf. We were able to secure funding from PETL to get the AHSCNB on its feet. More work needs to be done and we can’t do it without your help and commitment. You want and deserve better wages and better working conditions. Your association will be able to bring your issues and concerns to the government on your behalf. We already have been able to bring some of your concerns to government, and we did get some improvement in wages.
However, if we want the AHSCNB to continue representing you and doing so more effectively we need you to become an official member. We have set an affordable membership price of $100 per year – roughly the equivalent of the price of a cup of coffee per week.
Your membership is necessary to ensure the sustainability of this Association and its continued efforts on behalf of HSCs. Being recognized as essential workers by government is a start in the right direction. This will give us leverage when meeting with SD and other government officials. This Association will be the vehicle for assisting us in reaching our common goals. Membership numbers at this time are of the upmost importance. When we meet with the government, we will have to have membership numbers to back us up. Membership numbers will represent POWER, for all of us working as HSCs.
We were very close to being able to visit you with information sessions in the spring of 2020. But unfortunately Covid came and we had to change our plans. We weren’t able to have regular meetings. Though we really wanted to meet you in person, we couldn’t given the Covid restrictions, and unfortunately, this doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen soon, so here we are. I hope that you all kept safe and that you took care of yourselves. Clearly our work and roles going forward with this pandemic are essential.
We would love to achieve our goal of 600 members by the end of April of this year. We need your commitment and membership so we can continue to do the work we do.
Our group has been waiting a very very long time to have a fair piece of the pie at the government’s budget table, and to be acknowledged and recognized as an Association of essential and professional workers that finally get what we deserve. It seemed like 2020 was going to be our year: a working committee with SD, an Association for our employees, the sector coalition and PETL working toward certification, and the Pay Equity project to identify and advocate for fair wages. All of these things lined up to make a perfect storm advocating for our sector….
Then BANG Covid! Certainly not the storm we were hoping for. Nothing came our way…no certification…no Association memberships for our employees, and no money for organization and administration cost. But we are resilient and persistent and we will come out of this better than ever. Things are still moving, at a slow pace, but none the less moving forward and we know where we need to put our energies and efforts.
In a related matter, we have the Pay Equity Coalition who have finished their work of determining equitable wages for our sector. As you are well aware, they cannot mandate the government to pay us the wage rates that came out in this project. (for example – $25.25 per hour is the recommended base pay rate for a regular employee working in community residences). Nevertheless, they too are fighting for us, and so I would like to take this time to ask that you share all information coming from this Pay Equity Coalition on social media.
We have no choice but to get more involved in advocating for both fairness in wages and quality in working conditions for workers in our service sector. No one should feel alone in this fight. Become a member now! Remember our membership numbers represent POWER!
HSCs…BEACONS OF HOPE AND DIGNITY IN OUR COMMUNITIES
CSCs…UNE LUEUR D’ESPOIR ET UN SYMBOLE DE DIGNITÉ DANS NOS COLLECTIVITÉS