Saturday, August 8, 2015
Defending public workers from attacks
WORDS THAT WORK: DEFENDING PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
1. Emphasize the services, not the pay. We can’t begin a conversation with the public about the reasons public employees should be paid better, or deserve good pensions, until people feel good about the services we’re providing to them. Talk about what people enjoy thanks to public employees (e.g. cleaner air, smarter children, healthier seniors, safer communities).
2. What does your job mean for people, exactly? It’s easy to get lost in the details of your job description. But you’re more persuasive when you talk about what your job means for people in their day-to-day lives. What real-life problems are you solving for people?
3. Tap into Canadian values. Talk about how the services you provide support core Canadian values such as equity, opportunity, compassion, dignity, security etc.
4. Tell powerful stories about helping someone. When we evoke a shared experience, a deeply felt value, or describe suffering we can all relate to, then we’re connecting on a deeper level. 5. Emphasize the risky nature of the job. The riskier the job, the higher it is in public esteem.
Specific talking points:
You hear that Public Servants are Overpaid
You state that Public employees provide the quality services that create a better life for everyone –cleaner air, healthier seniors, smarter children, safer communities, dynamic cities, saferroads).
You hear that a Public Servant described as a Bureaucrat
You can refer to the thousands of dedicated employees who make sure the roads are passable in the winter, who help the young runaway find a safe place to sleep.
You hear someone say that Public Servants do not Sacrifice and have it easy
You can remind them that We need the specialized skills and valuable experience of public employees to make sure we all get good services and value for the long term. Public employees do important work every day – tackling disadvantage, extending opportunity, building stronger communities, dealing with emergencies, improving everyone’s quality of life.
Someone complains that there are too many Public Servants
You can remind them that these employees who do difficult jobs that keep us safe – like Deputy Sheriffs who escort prisoners, maintain court security and serve court orders.
Someone makes fun of the workers by saying they have such Soft government jobs
You remind them that Public Servants perform the hazardous job of inspecting bridges, dams, sewers and other public infrastructure. People who perform the risky job of guarding prisoners and fighting forest fires. People who perform the crucial job of protecting children in disadvantaged situations.
Source: NATIONAL UNION OF PUBLIC AND GENERAL EMPLOYEES, 15 AURIGA DRIVE | NEPEAN, ON