I have to admit, Public Service Day on June 23 is not really on anyone’s radar. Most people have never heard of this particular celebratory day. It’s a relatively new day that was created by the United Nations (UN) in 2003.
The day was designed to acknowledge the important work government workers perform on a regular basis. Their work is much more valuable than anyone even realizes. The UN even gives out awards that fight government corruption, improves the delivery of services, creates a climate of innovation, and advances knowledge management in government.
Many people aren’t very sympathetic to the interests of civil servants. Many believe they are overpaid, enjoy too much job security, receive too much vacation time, enjoy good quality health and dental benefits, and well-funded pension plans.
But let me ask you something: are these necessarily bad things? Is it a bad thing to enjoy a good salary that covers your living expenses? Is it wrong to know your job won’t be eliminated to streamline costs? Doesn’t everyone want more vacation time? Isn’t a comprehensive health and dental plan something every worker should have? Shouldn’t we all have pensions that can fund our retirements?
Of course they are. But instead of attacking public employees and demanding to bring them down to everyone else’s level, why don’t people start demanding the same rights, privileges and benefits that civil servants enjoy? Why don’t they form a union in their workplace and begin demanding job security, higher pay, improved benefits, pensions and more vacation time?
The answer: It’s not easy. It’s not easy asking your boss for more vacation time AND a raise at the same time. Those two things usually don’t go together. But a union can demand those things.
Let’s salute our public sector workers. They are smart, highly professional employees who provide critical services that we all rely on.