National Union calls for action on Ebola and donates to aid effort

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has provided a donation of $25,000 to international efforts to respond to the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa. Realizing that the crisis requires a greater response from the international community, NUPGE has called on the Conservative government to step up with more resources.

Ottawa (16 Oct. 2014) — James Clancy, National President of the 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), wants to see more done to address the growing Ebola epidemic in Western Africa.

NUPGE steps forward with financial support

Recognizing the urgency of the situation NUPGE has contributed $25,000 from its Social Justice and Solidarity Fund towards helping international organizations with their aid efforts. 

One of the recipients, Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), received $15,000 to help deliver medical services to Western Africa. 

Clancy said that the leadership and members of NUPGE "feel a strong connection to the dedication to public service that MSF staff and volunteers have. In addition, MSF has a long and well-respected track record of work both in Western Africa and in responding to other humanitarian crises in the world."

The other recipient is Aid Fund set up by the global union federation Public Services International, of which NUPGE is a member.

Canada can and must do more!

"The National Union of Public and General Employees represents a large number of workers in the health care sector. These workers have been deeply moved by the courage of their global health care colleagues who have stepped forward to assist," Clancy wrote to Prime Minister Harper. 

"Those health care individuals who have risked their own health in Western Africa have demonstrated a laudable commitment to providing compassionate care and have proven their dedication to public service. Canada must step forward and provide these brave individuals with the supports they need."

Clancy notes that "Canada's contribution of the experimental Ebola vaccine to the WHO is appropriate and commendable, but there is a need for much much more."

The need is great but it can be done

Reports indicate that a wide range of personnel and equipment is needed by the affected countries in order to adequately respond. The President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, recently told the World Bank that the following is needed:

  • 1,500 more beds in treatment centres 
  • 5,250 more medical workers: 750 doctors, 3,000 nurses, and 1,500 support staff
  • 200 ambulances
  • 1,000 motorcycles for workers tracking people exposed to Ebola
  • 5 new Ebola testing laboratories
  • 200 vehicles for burial teams and other workers

"Most of these are items that can be quickly and easily provided by Canada. The health care personnel may be more difficult to recruit and deploy but, as the small nation of Cuba has demonstrated, it is possible," said Clancy.

"It is up to all of us to restore and to expand the public services that the people of this region rely on. One significant step forward on this will be for Canada to fully meet it's Millennium Development Goal commitments."

More information:

Medecins Sans Frontiere (Canada) on Ebola Epidemic

Public Services International Aid Fun Ebola Appeal


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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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