With vaccinations against COVID-19 ramping up across the country, we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. After more than a year of doing everything we can to cope with the global pandemic, it’s time to turn our minds to what comes next.
In the coming months, we will need to start rebuilding differently and better.
For many PSAC members, that will start with changes in your everyday work lives. Employers everywhere have signalled their intention to shift towards a permanent increase in remote work. For some, the greater flexibility will be welcome, but it will come with its own set of challenges.
We’ll have to redefine how we create and maintain a separation between our work and home life. Working from home can’t mean that employers have access to their staff around the clock. They also can’t shirk their responsibility to ensure the safety and support that employees need just because work is happening away from the traditional workplace.
Our union has the power to ensure that the changes coming out of the pandemic will be to the benefit our members and their communities. That work starts at the bargaining table where we’ll raise standards for all, but it doesn’t end there.
We’re going to join with others to push governments to put in place the building blocks for a better, fairer, safer and healthier future: Canada-wide universal child care; national pharmacare so everyone can get medication; an end to profiteering in long-term care so that we never again experience the tragedies of the last year; and an overhaul of social programs to fill the big gaps in supports. We’re also demanding governments tear down our country’s colonial structures, laws and systems, and eradicate racism in all its forms.
PSAC will also need to reimagine how we engage and support members who won’t necessarily be ‘onsite’ in the way they once were. It’s going to take new ideas and a lot of hard work but having adapted everything we do to our new COVID-19 reality has shown that we’re up for the challenge.
Chris Aylward, National President