Public workers should remember how fortunate they are

Some years ago, while an auditor for the County of Red Deer, in its archives I came across a very old letter from a rate-paying farmer to council.

He was requesting that the county build a bridge across a river to his property. It was flooded in the spring and impassable. He, his pregnant wife and children needed access for possible medical assistance.

The ratepayer was successful in obtaining the bridge, but the most remarkable point was the salutation from the county employee who wrote a letter back to the farmer.

It was signed: “Respectfully, your most humble servant.”

How times have changed.

Perhaps it is time for Alberta to make a policy decision: that there are a few salutation choices that our government employees must use.

Another, in less positive circumstances, might be: “Respectfully, your public employee.”

Perhaps it is time to remind all career public employees that they are blessed to have such great indexed pensions, and transferable to a spouse on death, health benefits, including expensive dental care, work security through multi-levels of responsibility, the best work and safety conditions, etc.

After the Second World War, my father said he was actually paid more in industry than government employees, because he did not have nearly the benefits as workers for the government doing the same work.

Again, how times have changed.

Respectfully submitted, your humble rate-paying citizen

Terry D. Welty, Red Deer

Letter to the Editor

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