PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Recent messages

"Hard work and teamwork are the most important ingredients to making a successful union, and pretty much anything else for that matter. I could never have been President for nearly 15 years without a lot of help from you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."

Since the beginning of the pandemic, workers on the frontlines of Ontario public services, including healthcare, education and social services have put their own health and safety at risk to make sure the people of Ontario get the services they need. One thing we’ve learned since 2020 when COVID-19 hit our province, many of these...

Serving on OPSEU/SEFPO’s Executive Board is the honour of a lifetime, and like all leadership roles, it comes with great responsibility. I’ve always taken mine seriously, and looking forward, I can see that the next Board is going to have a big job – not just in the fight for public services but also against...

At OPSEU/SEFPO, we have a big year ahead of us as we prepare for the Regional Meetings and elections in March, and in less than three months from now, Convention 2022. This year will be the first time in more than a decade that we’ve had an open election for President, which means there’s at...

As we near the end of 2021, it’s a good time to reflect and set our resolutions for the road ahead. This year, let’s resolve to make the COVID-19 pandemic a part of our past, by getting vaccinated. As of Monday, December 20th, all Ontarians over the age of 18 are now eligible to get...

November 2 was a good day for Ontario’s minimum wage workers. It was late in coming, but still a good day. After three long years of lobbying and pressure, the labour movement, and our allies, finally convinced the Ford government to reinstate a $15 an hour minimum wage; this time extending it to liquor servers as well....

Winston Churchill famously said that democracy is the worst form of government – except for all others, and in the wake of our recent federal election, many are feeling cynical these days. After more than a year and a half, we’re caught in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising threat of...

You’ve seen the headlines: “Canada leads the world in administering first-doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.” It’s a remarkable accomplishment, and we should be proud. Our success wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated and hardworking front-line staff who’ve done an excellent job educating the public, administering doses and getting themselves inoculated in an effort to stop...

Out of adversity comes opportunity. It’s a lesson we’ve learned throughout our history, and it’s a mantra with new meaning in these challenging COVID times. Challenging times push us to think bigger and do better – adversity forces us to grow. The lesson: that times of stress are our signals for growth; that when we...

Hospitals have always stood as pillars of our public health care system, but this pandemic reminds me of that line from the Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi: “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” We may not always love going to the hospital, but we do love public health care, and our...

With freedom comes responsibility. The simple saying has taken on a whole new meaning during the COVID-19 crisis, as public health officials continue to stress the importance of getting vaccinated. You’ve likely heard some folks talking about freedom – many of them on American television, but with plenty here in Canada too. There’s always one thing...

Educate. Agitate. Organize. It was the mantra of the labour movement during the days when I cut my union teeth on direct action, wrapped mostly in creating chaos and confrontation. I was young, eager and more than a little belligerent. In other words, an activist for the times. And what a time it was. Pre-dating...

I remember it like it was yesterday – Ontario’s public sector workers standing strong to proclaim those four famous words: no justice, no peace. It’s simple and it still holds true today. This year marks 25 years since 55,000 OPSEU/SEFPO members working in the Ontario Public Sector (OPS) walked off the job and onto the...

Friends, As we head into the Family Day weekend, please spare a thought for all of our friends, neighbours and their families who have lost so much during this pandemic. More than 6,000 families are grieving the loss of loved ones. Sadly, that includes the family of Connie Cerdan, an OPSEU/SEFPO Local 597 member who...

Saying our hospitals are “on the brink of collapse,” the Premier has declared the second state of emergency in less than a year. Our province is in crisis. But we can’t make the mistake of thinking this is just a health crisis. Or that the crisis will be solved once we’re all vaccinated. Neither is...

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