MGEU Launches Elephant Talk Campaign

May 13, 2013

Today, the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union launched a wide-spread campaign to get Manitobans talking about both the value, and values, of the province’s public services.

The message is simple: It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room – those providing public services in our province can’t keep delivering more with less.

“When our union polled Manitobans in January, most said they wanted to live in a province where their public spaces and institutions, their public supports and services, are properly resourced,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “They say they’re willing to do what it takes to come together to protect our roads and our culture, our health and our families. So we wanted to take this a little further and start a public conversation. What does this mean exactly? What does it take to deliver the kinds of public services that Manitobans want and deserve?”

The ad campaign (including television, outdoor and online media) will run over the next couple of months and aims to drive Manitobans to in order to get them thinking about our public services, and what we want from them.

“The ads will hopefully get Manitobans talking about what we’re calling “the elephant in the room,” Gawronsky said. “In other words, our members, who are on the frontlines every day striving to keep Manitobans safe, healthy and prospering, they’re telling us that governments can’t keep cutting and expect services to stay the same or get better.

The campaign focuses on some of the core values Manitobans have said they share: to protect our most vulnerable; to give all kids a chance; to effectively maintain our shared spaces. But it will also highlight the economic value inherent in pooling our resources for the public good.

“Our public service members pay taxes and are just trying to get by like any other Manitoban,” Gawronsky said. “But they’re also the service providers: they’re the ones dressing the man paralyzed from chest to toe so he can enjoy the spring weather; they’re the ones testing our water to make sure it’s safe to drink; they’re the ones repairing our highways and reaching out to our troubled kids and testing our blood for disease. And they’re telling us that they’re worried. Services we count on have really been squeezed these past few years and we’re not sure how much more they can take and still be there when our families need them.”

The website is intended to start the conversation for Manitobans to share their concerns and their stories about public services in Manitoba.

“Obviously, this is a very timely discussion to have,” Gawronsky said. “We’re really excited to share, in whatever way we can, about what our members do, how they do it, and why it matters so much to our province’s success.”


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