"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
Community Service Workers
And what about the long list of workers that have been deemed essential during this pandemic? People who work in our grocery and convenience stores, at gas stations, or who provide food delivery. These are also the heroes we’re hearing about. Would you have seen them that way before the pandemic broke out?
“You can’t provide emergency housing over a video conference. We need to be there to ensure that they get the safe and supportive housing they need.” — Kareen Marshall, OPSEU Community Agencies Sector Chair
We need to take care of ourselves especially now and a big part of being healthy means taking care of our mental health. Stress is a major factor in poor health. And for those who struggle with mental illness, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, these times are especially difficult.
The strength of our health care system rests on our doctors, nurses, health science professionals, allied health workers, EMS personnel, DSWs, PSWs, health care aides, orderlies, cleaners, food service workers and others; to treat patients and keep the broader public safe, they need to be protected.
"These jobs are difficult, demanding and stressful, but they are there because they are helping people. They deserve our recognition for being an integral part of our health and community support systems. On behalf of the 390,000 members of NUPGE — thank you!" — Bert Blundon, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
"This is a win for seniors as much as it is for workers." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
“The delivery of quality mental health care begins with quality jobs. MCS’s employees work tirelessly to support families across the region.” — Val Avery, HSABC President
BCGEU/NUPGE sees the report as supporting their call to restore seniors' care in B.C. by putting people before profits and bringing the sector back under government as a public service.
"Let's take time to say thank you to those who take on such important work and support them as they fight for a better future for all of us." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President