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ADWA

Alberta Disability Workers Association

E-Bulletin
For March 6th, 2013

The information in this electronic mail transmission is the property of the ADWA. It is only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete this e-mail. Thank you.

On Thursday, February 28th, ADWA's President Tim Bear, Board member Shauna Pilipchuk, and Communications Director Jamie Post, met with The Hon. Frank Oberle (Associate Minister of Services for People with Disabilities), and Brenda Lee Doyle (Assistant Deputy Minister, Disability Services), in preparation for the release of the 2013 Provincial Budget. Budget 2013 will rely heavily on the remainder of Alberta's Sustainability Fund to weather a $3.5 to $4 Billion deficit. Despite this, government officials were able to speak positively about the future of our field and developmental disability services in Alberta.

"We fought extremely hard for the disability workers sector... We haven't forgotten our commitment." - Minister Oberle

Within the context of a difficult financial situation, however, there are reasons to remain hopeful as we look forward to March 7th and the official release of Budget 2013. The Minister did make it clear that our desired 15% budgetary increase to improve the wages of front-line staff, wont be fully realized. However, his commitment to increased funding for professionals in the disability services field still exists, and we do expect to see an increase in this years budget. Whats more, the Ministry will be looking to provide flexibility for the distribution of the funds. We believe this means employers will have the ability to focus wage dollars on program areas that need attention to stabilize. Education and certification avenues for disability workers were also addressed during our discussion. ADWA's long-term vision is a workforce for which investments in education and certification result in professional careers providing exceptional disability services. This future will mean a higher quality of life for Albertans living with developmental disabilities. We are actively moving this vision forward and were pleased to see support in comments from the Deputy Minister.

"We need to invest in education. We need to create a work environment in which people see this as a career." - Brenda Lee Doyle (Disability Services)

Please watch your inboxes for our analysis and reaction following the budgets release, as well as for the pending launch of our new website and social media presence! We thank you for the time many of you have taken to contact your MLA's, so that they were informed and knowledgeable on these issues. Our collective voice has definitely made a difference!

Mission:

To build a valued workforce, promoting the well-being and potential of all Albertans

ADWA Board E-Mail: disabilityworkers@gmail.com Phone: 780-666-4615 Fax: 780.645.1885 Mail: 4637-45 Ave. St. Paul, Alberta T0A-3A3 Web: www.albertadisabilityworkers.org