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LETTER: A rebuttal to Brian Jones column on public-sector workers

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

I don’t know Brian Jones. All I do know of him is the opinion piece that was published Wednesday essentially trashing us public sector employees.

A rebuttal is needed.

Let me explain. My position is within the public sector and I’m part of a team that has a high volume of work.

I know that “government employees” get sneered at for having a certain privilege, but with all due respect to Jones, it’s wrong for him to tar all with the same brush.

To make a statement that civil servants move at half speed, even when in office, is disgraceful. Because one coffee shop employee makes your latte wrong, are all lower wage earners incompetent?

Does one incorrect diagnosis make every physician in the province a quack?

I think you're intelligent enough to see the point I’m making. We’re not all bad.

In fact, most that I've encountered in my office are hard-working individuals who truly take pride in their efforts.

Now that the pandemic is happening and so many of us are at home working, it’s easy to assume we’re home doing nothing and collecting our high salaries whilst planning post pandemic luxury vacations and waxing our luxury cars.

This actually couldn’t be further from the truth.

Salary levels are public knowledge. Please rest assured, I’m not getting rich.

My biggest issue with your piece was the blatant statement that since we’re working from home, we should be doing our jobs to the same capacity as if we were in office but at a reduced salary of 60 per cent. Is it fair to have the expectation of 100 per cent commitment to maintaining government programs without 100 per cent compensation?

Not only are we expected to work from home with the same level of output work-wise, many of us are home with school-aged children needing care and attention simultaneously.

At this point in time, I’m doing the work of a teacher, parent, and daycare operator, while still trying to juggle the demands of my fulltime job while maintaining some semblance of sanity.

It’s not easy. The healthy work-life balance that once thrived is becoming a blurry mess. It’s actually quite difficult to adapt to a high-volume job when suddenly it’s plunked in your living room with dozens of distractions.

The part that truly twisted the knife was knowing that I’m living this work- from-home life as a parent and I’m still maintaining good client service professionally.

I’m juggling this pandemic mess within my home to the very best of my ability.

My team is important to a lot of people out there. Providing programs and benefits to the public is essential.

So many of us are bursting at the seams trying to ensure programs continue, payments are still made, benefits are maintained, and to see such utter disrespect published by a news source is disheartening.

I’d expect this from a common internet troll on a comment thread, not from The Telegram.

Thank you for reading.

Jennifer Hickey
Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove

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