Public services need full funding

While many businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, public service workers across the state have continued to show up to serve our communities. As a correctional officer, I am proud to join them on the front lines, committed to keeping our communities safe.

In the coming months, tough decisions will be made about public services, and the workers who have risked their health and safety to perform the duties that our communities need. As this public health crisis continues and as we look to rebuilding, public service workers will continue to need personal protective equipment, hazard pay and streamlined safety procedures in the workplace.

Correctional officers, mental health techs, nurses, administrative assistants, custodial workers, highway maintenance workers and many others have continued to provide crucial public services, and we don’t deserve to be thanked with furloughs or our jobs being cut.

AFSCME Local 4041 is coming together to demand that Congress fund the front lines. Our state and communities need more direct support to keep prisons, unemployment insurance offices, mental health services and other social services staffed at appropriate levels. With Nevada unemployment numbers reaching an all-time high of 23.5%, Congress simply cannot abandon financially struggling communities that rely on public services to rebuild.

Nevada can’t get back to normal without strong public services and public service workers to deliver critical services.

This Letter to the Editor appeared in the Las Vegas Sun on Friday May 22.