Community Service Workers play a critical role in society | National Union of Public and General Employees

Community Service Workers play a critical role in society

Community service workers are the epitome of hope: hope for a better future for those they serve; hope for a better world that values the worth of every person. 

Ottawa (05 2018) — November 6 is the day we take a moment to show our gratitude to those community service workers amongst us. The Community Worker Appreciation Day was started by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), in 2007, to raise awareness about those workers who help improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities

Community service workers are vital to the health of our communities

Community service workers are the epitome of hope: hope for a better future for those they serve; hope for a better world that values the worth of every person. 

As inequality grows, and as profit is valued more than the well-being of people, the burden falls to community service workers to remain strong and resourceful. They work to ensure that people don't fall through the cracks in society, and that they receive the care and support they deserve. They serve people in their community with respect and acknowledge their human dignity and worth every day. 

Putting others first

Despite that community services are the most underfunded sector across the country, when governments want to cut back, they look to these supports to make their cuts.  People who rely on these services don't have political connections or the money to rally against these inhumane decisions. So it's the workers who are left to pick up the pieces after funding cuts. 

"We continually hear from our community service members who are being paid so little that they are living in poverty," said Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer. "Yet, they are the people who often pay out of pocket for things that are needed at work. It's a heavy weight to carry."

"We want to change that," Ballermann said. 

Increased, targeted, stable funding needed for community services

The National Union is advocating for a change to the way community services are funded, so that they receive what is needed, rather than being the poor cousin to health and education funding. 

"We believe that community services need to have targeted, stable funding so that agencies can offer the services people require and provide e a good wage for their workers," said Ballermann. "And that's what our members are going to tell their local MPs when they meet with them," she said. "Politicians won't be able to hide behind ignorance when confronted with the damage that cuts and lack of funding to community services have done."

A training session was held in March 2018 to prepare community service members to meet with elected officials to rally support for increased funding. NUPGE members will be arranging meetings for January 2019. 

"As we celebrate the caring professionals who take on such important work, we ask that you say a thank you for their contribution, and support them in their efforts to build a better world," said Ballermann. 


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE

 

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