"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
Ottawa (06 Nov. 2019) — There are often unsung heroes in the world. Many work tirelessly to protect the vulnerable to ensure people have the resources to improve their lives and receive the care and compassion they deserve. We know these people as Community Service Workers. And on November 6 we take time to celebrate these valuable workers. Community Service Workers Appreciation Day, celebrated on November 6 each year, was started by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) to raise awareness about those workers who help improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Community Service Workers are the heart of our communities
Despite reports that the Canadian economy is doing well, there are so many who do not reap those benefits. Inequality, poverty and discrimination continue to grow, and in our communities, the job of providing hope falls to community service workers (CSWs). Working with little resources, our CSWs remain strong and resourceful to ensure people don't fall through the cracks. They work with people who live on the margins of society. And they not only provide support but they give them the respect and dignity they deserve.
Community services is the most underfunded sector in Canada. Yet when governments want to cut back, they look to these supports to make their cuts, often at the same time as handing major tax breaks to the rich. It's difficult for people who are already facing challenges to fight back against inhumane decisions. It has often been left to the workers who work in the sector to have to deal with the fallout and to try to scrape together the resources to continue to serve those impacted by such cuts.
NUPGE pushing for increased, targeted and stable funding needed for community services
In 2018, the National Union of Public and General Employees brought together community service workers for lobby training in the lead-up to the recent election. The goal was to equip workers with the tools they can use to press for a change to the way community services are funded at the federal level.
Delegates at the 2019 NUPGE Convention also passed a resolution to fight for increased funding at the federal level. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Larry Brown, NUPGE President urged the government to increase its commitment, set out national standards and apply the same tenants used for our system of health care.
"Community services need to have targeted, stable funding so that agencies can offer the services people require and also provide a good wage for their workers," said Larry Brown, NUPGE President. "By lobbying at the federal and provincial levels, we can make a real impact in this sector. And given the Liberal minority in Parliament, MPs may be open to the idea."
"On this Community Service Workers Appreciation Day, 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," said Brown.
You can read the full letter sent to the Prime Minister by clicking this link.