"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
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.
“Social workers across this province are struggling to deal with unbearable workloads, massive stress, and toxic workplace environments. The survey results quantify what we have been hearing from social workers. It is truly alarming.” ― Jerry Earle, NAPE President
"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
Doug Ford has publicly declared that he has “no sympathy” for people who are not criminally responsible for violent crimes due to mental illness. Ford’s solution? Lock ‘em up and throw away the key because they should be “dealt with in jail.”
Unless the Minister completely rejects the idea that the Social Finance Fund will be used to "bring private funding, incentives and discipline into social services," past experience shows we need to assume that it will be used to subsidize the privatization of social services.
“These members care deeply about helping support seniors who are facing homelessness, and now they’ve got one of the province’s biggest and most powerful unions to help them do their valuable work." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“There’s more to it than just providing an affordable place to live. If you take away the consistency that Manitoba Housing provides by offering these other supports, people may no longer have what they need to get by." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President