Dear CUPE 104 members,
When this year started it was the first year of a new decade and it was met with such optimism and referred to in jovial ways… references to 20/20 vision, the year of hindsight, etc. Wow, did it ever take a turn! Like a plot twist right out of a bad movie! Much of it surreal and unimaginable just a year ago. It even seems like an eternity since we dealt with fighting deeming that would have seen CMs forced onto Phoenix and further burdening it for our PSs! Since then, a deadly pandemic has come to our doorstep. Our economy has hit unbelievable lows. Canada’s largest massacre in recent history happened. To further this, a horrific death caused by a police officer, in the US, that was captured on video sparked outrage, protest, and mistrust in the police which has been felt in Canada and in the RCMP. Your professionalism and dedication never wavered throughout.
Please hang in there, talk to your mates, your friends, your family and or the multiple resources the force has and remember that your stewards and executive are just a call or email away. I want to point out that we keep hearing the same mantra when it comes to seeking help. That there are all these resources and they are great resources, but we keep hearing “reach out if you need help” which can be a problem. I can speak from my personal experience when I say that when you are in crisis you often don’t know how bad things are until it gets really bad. One often doesn’t know that they need help until things reach a tipping point. Take cues from your loved ones and colleagues and how you relate to them. If people seem like they are tip-toeing around you, if you feel like you have a shorter fuse, can’t get certain things off of your mind, that your mind is racing, that you can’t sleep and that you are withdrawing from things you used to like doing, then it IS a very good time to reach out because you likely need help. Please don’t ignore such cues.
Please continue to check in on your mates regularly. ESPECIALLY check in on them if they are off duty sick. Don’t assume they don’t want to be bothered. It’s likely that they don’t have it in them to reach out and maybe yes, they may not want to be bothered much. Being off duty sick can be an extremely confusing and lonely time. It’s not a matter of talking to them about critical events. Just get in touch somehow to say you care. Maybe send a caring message, do a video chat, have a coffee, a walk, a driveway or patio visit.
I was struck by something a very special “H” Div OCC operator who has been through a lot lately said this week that I wanted to share as it might be helpful. With so much going on she made the conscient decision to drastically shift her focus to why she originally started working for the Force and the OCC and that was “to help people”… “Gonna shift my focus back to that, and away from everything that has been happening and go to work with the determination to remember why I’m there, why I originally started working there… whose day can I make a little better, even if it’s the worst day they’ve faced so far”.
Let’s take care of ourselves and continue to look out for each other during these trying times. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER! Summer is here. Let’s try and enjoy some great weather, our friends and family, and make some great memories for 2020.
Kathleen Hippern – CUPE 104 President