NUPGE publishes new research on COVID-19 and income inequality | National Union of Public and General Employees

NUPGE publishes new research on COVID-19 and income inequality

"This paper is one step of many that NUPGE will be taking on the topic of COVID-19 and income inequality. We know more work needs to be done on specific needs for different vulnerable populations. The problems facing our northern Indigenous communities are going to be different from the problems facing a new immigrant family who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to make sure everyone's voice is heard and their needs addressed. We hope this paper helps our lawmakers to understand the complexity of how COVID-19 affects different social and economic groups and encourages them to take further action." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Ottawa (07 April 2020) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has published a new research paper, entitled COVID-19 and Income Inequality, which examines the effects that COVID-19 is having on Canada's most vulnerable communities.

COVID-19 does not affect everyone equally

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event. Every person living in Canada will be impacted by this crisis. However, this doesn't mean that all people living in Canada are experiencing the consequences of the pandemic equally. Those who were financially insecure before the pandemic will be hit harder should they be laid off. There is no national solution for renters, and the mortgage deferral programs introduced by Canada's big banks don't stop interest from accruing during the deferral period. People without access to the internet, and those who lack computer literacy, might not be able to access lifesaving information and services. Thousands of grocery store workers, cleaners, child care workers, and others are working for low wages and don't have access to benefits like paid sick leave or access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

The need to pay workers living wages and full benefits has never been clearer

We applaud the federal government for introducing the first wave of initiatives, but more needs to be done, and urgently. Our current reality is the result of more than 20 years of neoliberal policies at the federal and provincial levels that have stripped money and resources out of health care, community services, and other areas of the public sector. We don't have the ability to go back in time and prevent these mistakes, but it's imperative that we correct them now by funding these services fully. The need to pay workers living wages and full benefits has never been clearer. Left unchecked, income inequality will only worsen during and after the pandemic.

"This paper is one step of many that NUPGE will be taking on the topic of COVID-19 and income inequality. We know more work needs to be done on specific needs for different vulnerable populations," said Larry Brown, NUPGE President. "The problems facing our northern Indigenous communities are going to be different from the problems facing a new immigrant family who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to make sure everyone's voice is heard and their needs addressed. We hope this paper helps our lawmakers to understand the complexity of how COVID-19 affects different social and economic groups and encourages them to take further action."


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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