”Their work is physically tough, often mentally draining, and always vitally important." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (06 Oct. 2015) — The province of Manitoba has proclaimed October 5 to October 9 as Health Care Support Workers’ (HCSS) Week, a chance to salute the thousands of front-line workers who care for Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens.
Support workers are vital to the health care system
“The important services these members provide in our health care system are essential to the well-being of so many Manitobans,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), “and yet they’re rarely recognized for their role in keeping our health system going. Many of them often feel their voices aren’t heard when it comes to the ongoing issues in their workplaces.”
Recently, the union worked with members in Prairie Mountain Health to try and tackle some of the ongoing morale and safety issues in their region. Thanks to HCSS workers and their supporters, MGEU/NUPGE representatives presented a thousand signed postcards to the Minister of Health, garnered good media attention, and are now hopeful that scheduled meetings with the employer will yield results.
“But I know Prairie Mountain members are not the only ones,” Gawronsky said. “Problems such as staff shortages and a lack of respect for front-line concerns exist in every health region.”
Recognizing value of health care support workers means listening to their issues
She encouraged all Manitobans to join with the province in celebrating health care support workers’ valuable contributions to the health and dignity of Manitobans. “But let’s not stop there. Initiatives like our Prairie Mountain postcard campaign are very important reminders to employers that there’s much more work to be done. Recognizing their work must also mean recognizing their voices and their issues.”
The MGEU/NUPGE represents over 8,000 health care support workers throughout the province.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my own gratitude for the caring and dedication they provide others, day and night,” Gawronsky added. ”Their work is physically tough, often mentally draining, and always vitally important."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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