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PRESIDENT'S
MESSAGE

U.S. debate showed us what not to do

Friends,   Did you watch the U.S. Presidential debate earlier this week?   I watched it. But I wish I hadn’t.   While the world grapples with the biggest public health crisis we’ve faced in a century, the millions of us who tuned in had to endure one of the saddest displays of “leadership” I have ever seen.  ……

Labour Day 2020: One of our most memorable yet

Labour Day 2020 certainly looks different than any I’ve seen in my 30 plus years with OPSEU. Usually, we’d gather in-person to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of Ontario’s workers. This year, we’re showing our solidarity from a distance.    For many Ontarians, Labour Day 2020 comes with a newfound, deep level of gratitude for……

It’s time to prepare for the road ahead

First of all, I’m hoping all of you in our OPSEU family are able to take some well-deserved time off to relax and enjoy the long days and warm temperatures with your family and friends.   This may be the eye of the storm in what has been an unprecedented year so far, unlike anything……

What does being an ally mean to you?

Millions of Black people around the world, face discrimination because of their colour of their skin. We often celebrate Canada as a multicultural country. But that doesn’t mean that racial discrimination doesn’t live here. That doesn’t mean that systemic racism isn’t in every workplace, and in every sector.  That doesn’t mean that Black people in……

Poll proves the majority are finally with us

Friends, I’ve always said that polls are like elevators – sometimes they go up, and sometimes they go down. But the results of a poll that OPSEU commissioned last month are unlike any that I’ve ever seen in my 40 years as a union activist. Our poll, and others out there right now, are telling……

After the pandemic, imagine the possibilities

Imagine life after the pandemic. We realize how impossible that might seem. Right now, most of us are just focused on the day-by-day, hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute.   How can I make sure I have the protective equipment I need for tomorrow’s shift? What can I do to keep my kid busy during the next Zoom……

To all the workers on the front lines: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

In the face of COVID-19, we are strong. We are OPSEU strong. And we are Ontario strong.  We have a simple message to each and every worker who continues to do critical work – in both the public and private sector – thank you. Thank you for every sacrifice you’re making and every risk you’re……

After labour leader’s arrest, ask yourself: which side are you on?

Most people dream of flying south this time of year. But earlier this winter, I flew west — straight into the teeth of the cold Saskatchewan winter. I booked my plane ticket when I heard that more than a dozen Unifor members, including their National President Jerry Dias, had been arrested and charged while walking……

To OPSEU’s next leaders: the secret of our success

One of the reasons OPSEU is so successful is that every single president in its history has been dedicated to leaving it stronger than they found it. And I’m very proud to say that it is the same with me. It’s no secret that this is my final term as president. And we’re bigger, more powerful,……

Statement by Ontario Public Services Employees Union President Smokey Thomas on the arrest of Unifor’s President

I am deeply troubled that the president of a national labour union, Jerry Dias was arrested on Monday while exercising his constitutional right of freedom of association on a legal picket line at Regina’s Co-op Refinery. This is a very sad day, not only for the labour movement, but also for democracy in Canada. Labour……

When solidarity comes first, victory follows

When you’ve got a bad boss, it’s easy to get discouraged. Doesn’t matter if you’re talking about your immediate manager or Doug Ford – the ultimate boss of all our bosses – a terrible attitude flows downhill and can infect everything beneath: morale, service quality, and even the way the workers treat each other. It……

The century is turning 20 – time to grow up

If a century is like a person, we’re on the cusp of adulthood – just about to turn 20. It hasn’t always been easy. Our infancy was scarred by 9/11. Our middle-school years were tarnished by fall-out from the so-called financial crisis. And in our teens, we’ve had to confront the troubling pressures of a……

Eddy Almeida: Leading by example

During my time as president of this great union, I’ve met all kinds of different leaders. Some like the thrill of being in charge. Some like having a fancy title in front of their name. Some just like being in the limelight.  And then there’s our own First Vice-President/Treasurer, Eddy Almeida. All he wants is……

OPSEU celebrates child care workers and early childhood educators

Today is Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day, a celebration of workers who help care for and educate our children. It’s easy to celebrate the workers, but it’s hard to find much to celebrate about the state of child care in this province. Ontario has the second-highest average child care costs in……

Vote of confidence – in your family and your community

Bickering children. Is that the impression anybody else got watching the leaders’ debate on Monday night? It’s definitely the feeling I had while watching the six of them interrupt and talk over one another, each so desperate to get our attention that I could barely understand what any of them were trying to say. If……

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