In our career of some 90 years collectively we have represented workers in all walks of life and we have had the pleasure of seeing some of the best and not so best of many people.

One thing we keep hearing is this.

 “Public servants are over paid, under worked, with the best pensions, etc., etc., etc.”

However, in this time of national and provincial crisis, while the people of Canada are in the throes of a COVID-19 pandemic, there is one constant that stands out – the dedication of the public service across  Canada.

The public service includes a wide range of people – we see our political leaders – Prime Minister and Premier – who are exhibiting model leadership and calm in these trying times.  For their confidence and strength, we Canadians should be proud.

However, behind the front lines of the political leaders are thousands and thousands of Canadians who are working tirelessly on our behalf to design and implement the programs and plans that these leaders and governments are implementing.  From mail clerks to Deputy Ministers – can you imagine how many public servants are involved in arranging changes to EI programs, making new programs, drafting revisions, and simply trying to arrange for a cheque to be in the mailboxes of Canadians?  Imagine the IT personnel, the administrators and clerks, the program designers, the financial analysts – all who are designing these new programs for us.  Change doesn’t just happen.  It takes thousands of public servants to make it all come together.  Nameless, faceless public servants – but all Canadian – and all doing what is best for the rest of us.

Think of the electrical workers in the utility sector who are on the job ensuring that our power plants are running and the electrical grid is reliable and secure so that the electricity we all rely on is getting to our homes, businesses and hospitals.

Then there are hospital workers.  We immediately think of doctors and nurses (and we should) but behind the scenes are hundreds of other dedicated individuals who are making the medical systems work for all of us.  The CEOs in the administrative suites who attend meeting after meeting, planning for every eventuality, considering every potential disaster, all working to ensure the successful treatment of every patient. The executives and staff who make sure there are enough supplies and equipment to make every visit a success and to ensure that every staff member remains safe.  The doctors and nurses and the lab technicians and housekeeping and food service and security staff, who are all working extra shifts to make sure that our hospital visit is safe and successful.  The cleaners who are vital to the safety of front line workers and patients alike. Outside the hospitals are all the police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, bus drivers, postal workers and others – all are public servants putting in long days to make sure that we Canadians “get through this”.  All the foregoing face considerable pressure, both while at work and when they go home.  Are they disease carriers, have they contacted COVID-19 – what is the effect on them – what affect will that have on their livelihood?

The members of the public service working tirelessly on our behalf are too numerous to mention.  From the health inspector, to the border security, to the food inspector, public health official and so many more, all working for you and me.

Isn’t it time that we all just stop and remember that in this time of need, we call upon the “silent, behind the scenes, quietly efficient” public servant to protect us in this crisis.

In the end we must say to them “we have your backs now and into the future”!