The 12th Annual Joint Leadership Meeting was held on September 17, 2013 at the Delta East in Toronto. “Building Community,” this year’s theme, examined the attacks on unions and equity. The event looked at strengthening this concept by having unions, strong public services and equity seeking groups to work together.
Many of the objectives encompassed:
- identifying the need for equity to be woven into the fabric of the union;
- looking at equity as a vehicle that strengthens the union;
- examining the perception that unions are a strong proponent of equity;
- sharing ideas on how to deal with current attacks on unions and equity;
- recognizing the differences in equity issues around the province;
- identifying issues in communities and ways to resolve them;
- identifying allies to work with in various communities; and
- providing recommendations as to how to move forward/promote change while keeping a lens on equity.
Invited guest speakers and participants collectively worked together to examine ways to keep unions strong by highlighting the importance of equity.
Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy with Ryerson University, served as moderator for the day. The exciting line-up of dynamic speakers included:
- Olivia Chow, MP for Trinity-Spadina
- Judy Duncan, Founder of ACORN Canada (an independent national organization of low and moderate income families); and
- Derek Fudge, National Director of Policy Development with NUPGE.
OPSEU’s Joint Leadership Meeting brings together members of the Executive Board Members, MERC, CERC and Sector Chairs, as well as Senior Staff.
The day-long event is designed to help integrate equity issues into all aspects of the union’s work, unifying the membership. Participants sharpen their skills to identify and work effectively against the forces that can pull natural allies apart.
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