- Bullying and psychological harassment in the workplace
- Duty to accommodate (level 2)
- Health and Safety (level 2)
- Social media for union activists
- Steward training (level 1)
- Indigenous peoples cultural training
- Basic grievance handling (Francais)
Do you want to learn more about:
(UPDATE Oct 11 - Info Nights have been CANCELLED)
The local is hosting two events so members can be up to date around the Pay Equity process. Check out the posters below for the events. There will be one in Fergus and one in Kitchener - attend whichever one is most convenient for you. Refreshments and food provided. RSVP with the location you'll be attending by sending an email to Ruth Linnen at email@example.com.
Our Joint Steering Committee would like to provide this update to OPSEU staff members on the Pay Equity process. As previously reported, we have been working diligently for over a year on this process to ensure that it is done as accurately as possible. The Joint Steering Committee (JSC), along with our respective pay equity advisors met on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 with the hope of being on a path to completing the Pay Equity Plan by early fall. Unfortunately, at that meeting the JSC came to the conclusion that we would be unable to reach consensus on the Pay Equity Plan and as per the Terms of Reference previously negotiated, the parties will be applying to the Pay Equity Commission for resolution of the matter. We will update the staff members with further information as it becomes available.
The Joint Steering Committee (JSC)
From the call for applications:
"The OPSEU Provincial Women’s Committee invites applications for the 2017 Women’s Conference – Women Rising 2017 to be held November 3-5, 2017 at the Chelsea Hotel (33 Gerrard Street West)!
This year’s conference promises to be particularly exciting. We are pleased to present a thought-provoking roster of speakers, panel discussions, artists and performers. Our goal is for members to go home with ideas for immediate action in their communities. We are looking for a rich mix of conference participants with diverse backgrounds and points of view.The goal of the conference is to educate and raise awareness so that women feel inspired, motivated and encouraged to “rise up” and take action. The conference will also provide skills-based workshops focusing on building solidarity, unity and cohesion in the following areas:
If you're interested, you don't need permission to sign up! You have three options:
Sisters and Brothers,
I am honoured to serve as your second president of Local 291. It is with honour and gratitude that I accepted Ruth's generous nomination for this office. Ruth has served as an unparalleled example of how a Local President should act - with integrity, with honour, a passion for justice and fairness, and always--at every moment--with the best interest of the members at heart. I am so grateful the membership saw fit to create the Past President role so that I may continue to benefit from her mentorship and wise counsel!
I offer to you that I will do my best to live up to the example that Ruth has set. I am so thankful for, and will rely on the knowledge and experience in, the passionate and competent Executive that you have elected:
Susan Kilpatrick (Treasurer)
Sara Francis (Secretary)
Stephanie Jenkins-Moss (Chief Steward)
Keehan Koorn (Communications Officer).
We are in a very busy time -- Pay Equity is in the final stages, Bargaining for our second collective agreement has just begun, and changes are always happening at CMHA WW. You have elected strong, passionate activists to represent you at these tables, and I am privileged to sit beside each one of them.
The reality of a union is this: strength comes from the members, not the leadership. You are some of the strongest, most intelligent, most committed individuals I've ever met. I am humbled to serve as your president and am excited to collaborate with you to grow our Local. For the benefit of all, we Stand Together for One Another. I stand with you.
Our Joint Steering Committee would like to provide this update to OPSEU staff members on the Joint Job Evaluation Process. We have been working tirelessly for over a year on this process to ensure that it is done as accurately as possible. While we are cognizant that the time of year (i.e. summer holiday season) is causing a delay in our proceedings, we are hopeful that when we return at the end of August that we do so with a renewed energy and continued commitment to completing the Pay Equity Plan by early fall.
The Joint Steering Committee (JSC)
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) launched a province-wide radio ad campaign to remember workers who have been killed or injured on the job and call for action on workplace health and safety.
OPSEU’s 30-second ad, which will air for one week on 67 stations across the province, will mark the National Day of Mourning, held every year on April 28.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas noted that this year’s Day of Mourning comes just days before the 25th anniversary of the Westray mining disaster in Nova Scotia that left 26 workers dead.
“The memory of Westray will never diminish,” said Thomas. “It serves as a powerful reminder that no worker should ever go to work fearful that they may not return home alive.”
Across Canada in 2015, 852 workers were killed on the job and more than 230,000 were injured, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
“It’s easy to say, ‘One death is one too many,’ but it’s true,” Thomas said. “The reality is that all workplace deaths and injuries are preventable, but a lack of political will to tighten enforcement of our existing health and safety laws, combined with an uncaring attitude by too many employers, add up to deadly workplaces.”
Thomas noted that death and injury statistics fail to reflect the number of workers who acquire job-related illnesses, which can go undiagnosed for years or even decades.
Despite a growing workforce, the number of public health and safety inspectors in Ontario has remained fixed at about 370 since 2004, said Neil Martin, OPSEU co-chair of the labour-management committee at the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
“More of our time is now spent investigating death and injuries and less time is spent enforcing existing health and safety regulations,” Martin said. “We still have far too many unsafe workplaces.”
UPDATE ON THE BARGAINING PROCESS
We wanted to send another bulletin to update members on the process and address recent queries.
There have been some unfortunate but necessary delays to our bargaining calendar. The bargaining team has had 2 productive caucus days, and plan to have two more this month. We are scheduled to meet with the employer May 5th to exchange initial proposals.
In the meantime, our Collective Agreement has expired as of March 31st. While this means the current provisions are frozen, the bargaining unit continues to be protected by those provisions until we have negotiated a new collective agreement.
We have been hearing from members about issues they want brought forward in various ways – through the demand set survey, by email, via stewards, and by in-person conversations. Each and every message is noted and shared amongst the team. We encourage all members to connect with the bargaining team with any questions or concerns…we want to hear from everyone.
In the meantime, we continue to plan and we look forward to the opportunity to sit at the table and begin the negotiating process.
Please stay tuned for more information on how to support the bargaining process
COMMUNICATION IS VITAL!!
All bargaining bulletins will be emailed to you. Not receiving our updates? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the distribution list. No email? Bargaining bulletins and important union information will be posted on the union bulletin boards.
UNITED WE BARGAIN, DIVIDED WE BEG!
J. Beckett, Julie Chambo, Merrilynn Downey, Ruth Linnen, Stephanie Jenkins-Moss
As you are aware from the joint memos previously sent (here and here), the Joint Job Evaluation Committee (JJEC) has been meeting since January 10th to rate all of the job classes in the bargaining unit. This process has taken a lot longer than anticipated and we thank you for your patience. We wanted to provide you with an update.
Last Friday March 24th while at the scheduled JJEC meeting, we were surprised to learn the employer wanted to adjourn the process as of that day. We expressed our ongoing commitment to continue the process based on the progress made to date and reiterated our willingness to continue meeting for our already scheduled dates. At the end of the day the employer was not agreeable to continue meeting face-to-face.
Given the current situation, we are investigating all available options to complete the process as expeditiously as possible. We are hopeful that management will rejoin us in continuing the development of a pay equity plan that is fair for all of our members. We look forward to their return to the table and remain committed to completing this process.
Ruth, Shannon & Julie
Your Pay Equity team
Received by our delegates for upcoming convention elections:
OPSEU Needs a New President / Le SEFPO a besoin d'un nouveau president
At the Region 5 meeting last Saturday, I told delegates that I am running for President of OPSEU. Today, I am launching my campaign province-wide. I have the experience, skills, energy and enthusiasm to lead our great union. I look forward to sharing more about myself in the course of this campaign.
Why am I running? OPSEU is losing its way. We are losing ground in practically every area that matters to the membership. The past decade has been a period of concessions to employers, mounting privatization, weaker collective agreements, multi-tiered contracts and wage settlements that keep falling behind inflation. We must do better.
We must rebuild our power
Why change leaders? All too often, head office has failed to build an effective fight-back. As President, I will not interfere with bargaining teams who want to take the fight to the employer. I will ensure resources are available to support our mobilizing efforts and I will help build the energy and determination our members need to fight concessions and win. I will defend our right to strike and our strike fund. We need to show our strength, not retreat in fear. The tone is set at the top. I believe that member driven mobilization and the power of job action is what OPSEU needs.
What happened to our principled opposition to multi-tiered contracts? Thousands of members, usually younger workers with less seniority, now face new, lower steps on the current salary grids, and years more work to reach the top of their grids. And like many others, they face rising future premiums for pension plan benefits. This is the wrong way to show new members the union has their back.
What about our fight against privatization? We all oppose privatization. I actively support the ‘We Own It’ campaign – and have worked hard to support our mobilizers and build the campaign in Region 5. What I oppose is the $4.5 million raid on the strike fund to finance the campaign. I support any real fight against privatization. Always have. Always will. But let’s be honest about our track record. Over the past 10 years we have been losing ground. We have failed to leverage public opposition to privatization into real results.
Defending our union democracy
Asking questions, raising issues or proposing ways we can be more effective is never a betrayal of our union. Open discussion, debate and the right to dissent is the very foundation of democracy, including union democracy. It is how we build a more powerful OPSEU. I have a proven track-record of listening to everyone and encouraging all leaders and activists in my region, even if they hold different viewpoints. That is what OPSEU needs in a President.
EBMs are elected to serve the members, not the President. I will not demand loyalty oaths, blanket endorsements of my performance or blank cheques for the future, as happened at the March 2017 Board meeting – and was then expanded to the membership as a whole. I objected to this at the Board and I object to it now. This is no way to build solidarity.
Building our internal democracy requires that we remove barriers so that all members can participate. True equity includes listening to the diverse voices in OPSEU and making space for them to lead. We must apply an equity lens to all of our work. It cannot be a token afterthought.
I will not air OPSEU’s internal differences in the media. That weakens us. Instead, I will work to rebuild a positive, respectful partnership with OPSEU’s frontline staff, and our local, sector and divisional leadership. Like you, I know how hard it is – and how much it weakens our union – when OPSEU activists and leaders have to answer for the latest embarrassing scandal or dispute with our staff, our labour allies or OPSEU’s elected leaders.
Making change happen together
At our Convention on April 7, your vote can change OPSEU’s leadership and put our union back on track. You can pass judgment on the incumbent and consider the challenger. That, too, is a fundamental part of our union democracy.
Under my leadership, we will make real reforms in the way OPSEU operates. These reforms will be guided by basic union principles of respect, democracy and solidarity. In the coming days, I will be sharing my ideas and asking you to join me in this campaign to rebuild our power in OPSEU.
By combining our experience, knowledge and dedication, we can take on any challenge.
Vice-President, OPSEU Region 5
Communications Officer L291