Today, June 23, is Public Service Day, established by the United Nations to celebrate the value of public services – and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vital they are.
OPSEU’s focus is on the crucial role that frontline public sector workers have played in keeping Ontario functioning during this pandemic, but today is an opportunity to remember that the same story is being played out in more than 180 other countries.
In many countries, COVID-19 has spread to a far greater extent than what we have faced in Ontario. Our sisters and brothers in the public service in many countries have faced far greater challenges than we have.
However, the problems they’ve had to grapple with are the same: protecting jobs and ensuring frontline workers have personal protective equipment.
The United Nations notes that the pandemic has helped “elevate awareness and understanding of the critical role public servants play in everyday life.”
We know this is true in Ontario, and it provides us with a great opportunity in the coming months to push for the resources and investment we need to provide the kind of public services the people we serve should have.
We hope the fact that COVID-19 has reminded people around the world of the value of public services will create a global wave of support for more resources to help our case in Ontario.
For now, we again salute your heroic efforts during this pandemic and the heroic efforts of our sisters and brothers around the world.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer