BPSU: ‘We Need Safe Workers To Save Lives’

April 7, 2020

BPSU Linda Bogle Mienzer Bermuda April 2020“Let us commit to be a part of the solution in the fight against Covid-19 and not one of the problems,” BPSU 2nd Vice President Linda Bogle Mienzer said, adding that “we need safe workers to save lives.”

Ms Bogle Mienzer said, “Let’s pause and reflect on this World Health Day. This year’s World Health Day came a day after the sad news of two deaths in Bermuda as a result of the Covid-19 virus. Sadly, Bermuda is not alone in the deadly crisis.

“To date, over a million people have been infected by the coronavirus, to date killing approximately 70,000 people. These figures are grim and demand immediate action by Governments and the international community to curtail and defeat this pandemic.

“Our healthcare workers on the frontline of this crisis face a perilous situation. They are overworked and stressed. The world is in a battle for personal protective equipment [PPE] to protect them. This sobering situation is worrying for health workers and their families. Please keep them in your thoughts.

“Let’s reflect on how we got here. Years of cuts in the funding of public healthcare preceded this morbid scenario.

“The Director General of the World Health Organisation [WHO] noted at the beginning of 2020, that we might be entering a period of pandemics which the world will be “dangerously unprepared” for. Who would have known that his words would hit us so soon?

“So, what now?

“We must implore our governments to prioritise investment in health and take all necessary measures to safeguard the lives and wellbeing of health workers and other workers on the frontline of this pandemic response without delay. We need safe workers to save lives.

BPSU Safe Workers Save Lives Bermuda April 2020

“The world has to break the cycle of panic and neglect. To do this, we join our affiliate, Public Services International [PSI], a global union federation of more than 700 trade unions representing 30 million workers in 154 countries, in calling for the following as it relates to Bermuda:

  • “Urgently make PPE available to all health workers, including community health workers, as well as workers in all sectors with high risk of contagion.
  • “Address gender dimensions of the crisis. Women make up 70% of all health workers and their concerns should be put in perspective. The necessary shutdown of schools poses a problem for many of them who have young children. The situation is even more difficult for single mothers or when both parents are health workers. Childcare support mechanisms must be put in place for them as needed. While the BPSU applauds Government’s quick response in implementing childcare for all Bermuda Hospital Board [BHB] healthcare workers, the Union believes that all Bermuda’s healthcare workers should have access to childcare.

“As we face this crisis head-on, we encourage all to support our healthcare workers by following the instructions Government has put in place to save us. Observe Government’s shelter in place guidelines, remember to wash your hands frequently and wear a mask when in public spaces.

“On this World Health Day, let us commit to be a part of the solution in the fight against Covid-19 and not one of the problems.”

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