Community Service Workers
Our communities are facing a crisis
We have more people living on our streets, crowded into our jails, fighting with their addictions, and fending for themselves with mental illness or disabilities. We have more people and more families struggling to get by.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Community Service Workers support us. All we have to do is support them, too.
“Although the care they provide is crucial, these workers are often under-recognized or outright forgotten. They deserve to be seen.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"Profit should not be the motive when it comes to how we care for our seniors." — Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader
“If stronger measures aren’t taken now, we’re likely to see a crisis in our shelter system like the one we saw in long-term care.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
The evidence has never been clearer that for-profit homes are a risk to the lives of the residents.
“Our members in the CBO sector provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We need to recognize these workers for their dedication and ensure they have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE).” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
"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
“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
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?
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.