Dear members, friends and neighbours:
This last year has been difficult and the news that COVID numbers in Nova Scotia are rising again, that many schools have closed, and that we are now facing more restrictions, is a lot to take in. I’ve been talking with many CUPE members over the last few days and I’ve been hearing how concerned they are about the case numbers. They’ve told me how worried they are about keeping themselves safe, keeping each other safe at work, and keeping their families safe.
Even though things have been relatively good here in Nova Scotia, as compared to other parts of the country, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and we’re still following all the protocols. This experience is weighing heavily on all of us. We can help each other. Check on a neighbour, call a friend, run an errand. Do the things that connect us and make us proud to be Nova Scotians.
We have the added concern that not enough of us have been vaccinated. We have to hold the line until that happens. I know that there are many people working hard to roll out our vaccination plan.
Our members work in jobs that provide valuable public services. Many have not had real time off in a long time. Some don’t have sick days and will lose wages if they have to choose between staying home to care for their children when schools close or going to work. Some don’t have adequate child care or a strong support system in place. Life is not equal and that must change.
There are many workers in Nova Scotia, unionized and non-unionized, who do essential work that we sometimes take for granted. As we go about our busy lives, we often don’t think about these workers, but they provide services that we all depend on, and who have their own families to worry about.
To all those workers I want to say: “We see you and we are thankful for you.”
It has been a long week for all of us. Please remember to take time for yourself when you can and enjoy the outdoors or do other things that bring you joy.