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Convention 2017 Minutes

Convention 2017 Minutes

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Table of Contents

April 6 – 8, 2017
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto

Thursday, April 6, 2017 – Morning Session

President Thomas, called the Convention to order at 9 a.m.

The Harassment and Discrimination Policy was presented in video format.  President Thomas identified the Advisors and Investigators under the Harassment and Discrimination Policy for Convention 2017.

The President welcomed all delegates, alternates, observers and guests to the 42nd Annual Convention, the highest decision-making body of OPSEU.

All participants joined in singing O Canada.

Krista Maracle, Chair of Indigenous Circle, gave acknowledgement of Indigenous Lands

General announcements were made on events and services available at Convention. (Video)

Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP leader addressed the Convention.

Moment of Silence

A Minute of Silence was observed in memory of all those who have passed away since our last Convention.

President Thomas acknowledged staff who have passed away in this last year:

Chantal Gagne, Regional Office Secretary
Carol Whitehead, Education Officer
Ione Rose, Corporate Secretary
Sybil Joy Tennant, Secretary to Executive Assistant

President Thomas remembered Past President Fred Upshaw, who passed away in March. He spoke of Fred’s many accomplishments.

President Thomas introduced the head table:

  • Eduardo Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer
  • Maria Wysocki, Procedural Advisor
  • Michael Grimaldi, Constitution and Rules of Order Advisor
  • Sherry Bader, Recording Secretary
  • Nicole Glass, Backup Recording Secretary

President Thomas made two announcements: “OPSEU’s Got Talent Night” on Thursday evening and Comedy Night on Friday.

  • President Thomas welcomed Gerard Hayes, Ben Chapman and Mark Sterrey from the Health Services Union (HSU), New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory.

Gerard Hayes addressed Convention.

  • President Thomas introduced Cat Hobbs and Tany Alexander from We Own It – UK

The We Own It mobilizers were also welcomed on the stage.

Cat Hobbs addressed Convention.

  • President Thomas welcomed Ms. Ronnie Spector who spoke of her rise in the music industry, and her fifteen year legal battle resulting in a landmark decision easing the way for veteran artists of the 50’s and 60’s to collect past-due royalties on their old recordings.

Electronic Voting

House was tested regarding continuing with the Jeopardy music on the countdown. Convention chose to continue with this music.

Voting procedure was explained and demonstration video played.

Introduction of Credentials Committee

The members of the Committee are:

Region 1 – Ian Magcale, Local 105
Region 2 – Carla Carubba, Local 273
Region 3 – Bill Carson, Local 369
Region 4 – Tara Langford, Local 435, Chair
Region 5 – Anthony Marinucci, Local 549
Region 6 – Kimberley Kazur, Local 665
Region 7 – Terri Morris, Local 714
EBM – Ed Arvelin, Local 720
Staff Advisor – Fran Borsellino

Credentials Committee Report

Moved:  T. Langford, L. 435 / Seconded: K. Kazur,  L.665

Adoption of Credentials Committee Report as of 10:59 a.m.

Delegates – 935
Alternates – 494
Observers – 206
Retirees – 7
EBMs – 20
Committees – 54
Guests – 7
Total – 1,723

Vote on Adoption of Credentials Report – Carried

Section A – Convention Agenda

Moved: W. Thomas, President/Seconded: E. Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer

Adoption of the Convention Agenda as distributed.

Vote on the Agenda – Carried

Section B – Minutes of Last Convention 2016

Moved: W. Thomas, President/Seconded: E. Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer

Adoption of the Minutes of Convention 2016 as printed in Section B.

John Watson, L. 701 noted error on page 10 of minutes (EB16). Movers should be O’Grady, L. 456 and Wright, L.557     

Vote on the Amended Minutes of Convention 2016 – Carried

President’s Address

President Thomas addressed Convention with an overview of the last year and the fight ahead.

Local 316

President Thomas welcomed Local 316, Community Living Campbellford/Brighton currently on strike, to the stage.

Region 3 RVP Sara Labelle and two members from local addressed Convention.

Donations were pledged from the floor to help Local 316. President Thomas announced that OPSEU will donate $5,000.

Orders of the Day

Nominations for the Office of President and First Vice-President/Treasurer

As per orders of the day, the Nominations for Office of President and First Vice-President/Treasurer commenced.

The chair was turned over to Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees, (NUPGE) who explained the nomination procedures to be followed.

Nominations for the Office of President

Larry Brown, President, NUPGE, chaired the election process.  One written nomination properly signed by the nominee and nominators was filed with the Chair of the Credentials Committee.

Nominees – Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Nominators – Sara Labelle, RVP Region 3

Nominees – Myles Magner
Nominators – Heather Giardine-Tuck, Local 240

There being no further nominations, nominations for the Office of President closed.

Sara Labelle was given up to two minutes to introduce Warren (Smokey) Thomas, as his nominee for the Office of President of OPSEU.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas accepted his nomination for the Office of President.

Heather Giardine-Tuck was given up to two minutes to introduce Myles Magner, RVP, Region 5, as her nominee for the Office of President of OPSEU.

Myles Magner accepted his nomination for the Office of the President.

President Warren (Smokey) Thomas addressed the Convention.

Myles Magner addressed the Convention.

Nominations for the Office of First Vice-President/Treasurer

Larry Brown, stated that the same rules and procedures apply to the nomination process for the Office of the First Vice-President/Treasurer.

Nominees – Eduardo Almeida
Nominators – Nancy Pridham, Local 500

There being no further nominations, nominations for the Office of First Vice-President/Treasurer closed.

Nancy Pridham was given up to two minutes to introduce Eduardo Almeida as her nominee for the Office of First Vice-President/Treasurer of OPSEU.

Eduardo Almeida accepts his nomination for the Office of the First-Vice-President/Treasurer.

Eduardo Almeida was acclaimed as First Vice-President/Treasurer of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo Almeida addressed the Convention.

Convention recessed at 12:16 p.m.

Thursday, April 6, 2017 – Afternoon Session

Section C – Audited Financial Statements and Notes

Section F – Report on Remuneration

President Thomas introduced Terri McKinnon, our external auditor from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Maurice Gabay, Administrator of Financial Services, OPSEU.  Terri McKinnon referred the delegates to Section C and gave a brief overview of the financial statements.

There were no questions.

President Thomas thanked Terri McKinnon on behalf of the Convention.

Resolutions Committee

Donald Wright, Resolutions Committee Chair, introduced members of the Resolutions Committee.

Region 1 – Gino Franche, L.130
Region 2 – Karen Clark, L.212 (Vice-Chair)
Region 3 – Elaine Bagnall, L.362
Region 4 – Daryl O’Grady, L.456
Region 5 – Donald Wright, L.557 (Chair)
Region 6 – Ron Lavigne, L.633
Region 7 – John Watson, L.701
EBM – Carl Thibodeau, EBM L.708
Staff Advisor – Mandy Dumais
Support Staff – Karlene Henry

Resolutions Committee Statutory Resolution A1 – Financial Statements

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557/Seconded: K.Clark, Res. Ctte., L.212

BE IT RESOLVED THAT in compliance with Article 26.2 of the Constitution and Section 97 of the Corporations Act,  the Financial Statements for the 12-month period ending December 2016, including the Statement of Financial Position, the Statement of Revenue and Expenditures, the Statement of Fund Balances and the Statement of Cash Flows, together with the Auditors’ report thereon, and all transactions reflected thereby be approved and that the President and First Vice-President/Treasurer be authorized to sign the financial statements on behalf of the Executive Board.

Vote on Statutory Resolution A1 – Financial Statements – Carried

Resolutions Committee Statutory Resolution A2 – Endorsement of Executive Board

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557/Seconded: K.Clark, Res. Ctte., L.212

BE IT RESOLVED THAT in compliance with Section 129 of the Corporations Act, the Convention endorse the actions of the Executive Board from the closing of the last Convention until the closing of this Convention.

Vote on Statutory Resolution A2 – Endorsement of Executive Board – Carried

Resolutions Committee Statutory Resolution A3 – Appointment of Auditors

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557/Seconded: K.Clark, Res. Ctte., L.212

BE IT RESOLVED THAT in compliance with Article 26.2 and 28.4 of the Constitution and Section 94 of the Corporations Act, PWC, PricewaterhouseCoopers; be Auditors of OPSEU for the fiscal year January 1, 2017 through to December 31, 2017 and the Executive Board fix the Auditors’ remuneration.

Vote on Statutory Resolution A3 – Appointment of Auditors – Carried

Executive Board Report – Section E

Moved: Eddy Almeida, FVPT/Seconded: S. Labelle, RVP Region 3

Vote on Executive Board Report – Carried

Resolutions Committee EB2 – Executive Board – Section G

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: D. O’Grady, Res. Ctte., L.456/Seconded: G. Franche, Res. Ctte., L.130

Continuing the We Own It Anti-Privatization Campaign

Whereas current and past Ontario governments have privatized and continue to privatize a variety of public services, including (but not limited to) medical lab testing, Service Ontario services, the sale of beer and wine, developmental services, highway maintenance and electricity distribution; and

Whereas the evidence overwhelmingly shows that privatization leads to higher costs, lower-quality services, and significantly lower levels of safety and accountability; and

Whereas public opinion research demonstrates that even short conversations on the facts about privatization lead to a significant drop in public support for privatization; and

Whereas in six months of public outreach, OPSEU’s “We Own It” campaign has already had measurable success in its stated goal of “shifting public opinion against privatization and ensuring that no party that supports privatization can get elected in Ontario”; and

Whereas the member-driven community organizing model being developed and used by the “We Own It “campaign is also generating positive media coverage for OPSEU, building a growing list of community allies, and increasing the union’s capacity to build and mobilize public support that will help it mount future issue and bargaining campaigns;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU continue its “We Own It” campaign for another year; and

Be it further resolved that funds for the campaign be drawn from the Strikeback Fund; and

Be it further resolved that the five per cent of OPSEU revenues that would normally be directed to the Strike Fund in 2017 be directed instead to the Strikeback Fund; and

Be it further resolved that “We Own It” continue to work towards its original goal: to end privatization in this province by shifting public opinion to ensure that no party that supports privatization can get elected in Ontario.

Moved: J. Healy, L.571/Seconded: R. Bemister, L.561

Objection to Consideration

Objection ruled out of order
Sara Labelle, RVP, Region 3 in Chair
Vote to uphold the Chair

Vote to uphold the Chair – Carried

Chair was upheld

Moved: D. Wakely, L.277/Seconded: M. Donnelly, L.277
Closure on Resolution EB2 – Carried

Vote on Resolution EB2 – Carried

President Thomas back in Chair

Resolutions Committee L3 – Lobby/Campaigns – Section G

Submitted by: the North East Area Council, Local 640 and 642

Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: K. Clark, Res. Ctte., L.212/Seconded: J. Watson, Res. Ctte., L.701

Whereas the Ontario Government hasn’t paid youth employed under the Summer Employment Opportunities program holiday pay or a holiday pay rate for working holidays since 2009; and

Whereas this is below the standard set out in the Employment Standards Act for Non-Crown employees;

Therefore be it resolved that

  1. The Union hold the government accountable for not paying youth the pay that it mandates other employers by law to Non-Crown employees.
  2. Employ youth under the Summer Employment Opportunities and other programs consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  3. Advise the bargaining team to bring the compensation standards for youth under the Summer Employment Opportunities and other programs to that of non-Crown employees under the Employment Standards Act.
  4. Send correspondence to the Globe & Mail to reconsider awarding the Ontario Public Service the designation of being one of "Canada's Top Employers for Young People" in light of the government’s hypocritical practice of setting lower employment standards for itself as it pertains to young workers.
  5. For the Union to intensely lobby the government by any means necessary to reverse this morally questionable employment practice as it pertains to youth.

Moved: R. Bemister, L.561/Seconded: K. Maracle, L.571
Closure on Resolution L3 – Carried

Vote on Resolution L3 – Carried

Resolutions Committee EB18 – Executive Board – Section G

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: K. Clark, Res. Ctte., L.212/Seconded: J. Watson, Res. Ctte., L.701

Infrastructure Investment and Pension Funds

Whereas OPSEU, and our National Union NUPGE, both a have a strong track record in opposing the P3 model of infrastructure investment, because of concerns about their effect on i) public finances, ii) public transparency and accountability for the operation of public assets and delivery of public services, iii) user fees charged to the public, iv) good unionized jobs in the public sector, and v) the quality and accessibility of public services our communities need; and

Whereas as a sponsor of several major Public Sector Pension Plans, OPSEU recognizes that our members have a direct interest in ensuring that our pension funds are responsibly invested:

i) To achieve the required long-term rate of return while avoiding exposure to excessive risk and;

ii) In a socially responsible manner, with regard to environmental, social, governance (ESG) and other issues, including, fair labour practices and the wellbeing of the communities they operate in; and

Whereas OPSEU has launched the major “We Own It” campaign to combat the privatization of public services and public assets, including “public-private partnerships”(P3s); and

Whereas reports by Ontario’s Auditor General and numerous other studies have shown that P3s i) cost the public more to build and operate than publicly financed, owned and operated assets and services, ii) reduce public transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services and the use of public funds, iii) increase the use of low-wage, non-union labour in operating public services and assets, and iv) transfer $ billions in public funds to private investors instead of using these funds to expand and improve public services; and

Whereas both Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Wynne are actively seeking $ billions of investments in infrastructure projects from major public sector pension plans, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, OMERS, HOOPP, OPTrust, and the Canada Pension Plan; and

Whereas public infrastructure, both the maintenance of existing assets and the building of new facilities, has been neglected by all levels of government as part of misguided austerity policies, yet public infrastructure is essential to the provision of quality public services; and

Whereas our pension plans must not be used to undermine the public good or the quality public services provided by our members; and

Whereas our trustees must ensure that our pension plans are not used to eliminate the jobs of the members of those plans or of other public sector workers, including OPSEU members; and

Whereas in any situation involving $billions of dollars, OPSEU’s plans are not big enough to set the agenda without alliances with the rest of the funds represented by the National Union Components,

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU will work with the National Union of Public and General Employees to attempt to develop a set of principles to guide our pension trustees and the pension plans in assessing potential public infrastructure project investments, principles which would prevent the negative impacts of classic P3 models.

No speakers

Vote on Resolution EB18 – Carried

Section D – Budget 2017

Eduardo Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer, presented the budget on behalf of the Executive Board.

Budget discussion continued after lunch recess on April 7th.

Moved: E. Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer/Seconded: W. Thomas, President
Adoption of the 2017 Budget as printed in Section D.

Credentials Committee Report

Moved:  T. Langford, L. 435 / Seconded: K. Kazur,  L.665

Adoption of Credentials Committee Report as of 2:14 p.m.

Delegates – 940
Alternates – 511
Observers – 215
Retirees – 7
EBMs – 20
Committees – 54
Guests – 8
Total – 1,755

Vote on Adoption of Credentials Report – Carried

Ad Hoc Task Force Report

Sara Labelle, RVP Region 3, reported to Convention on the progress of the Task Force. This task force resulted from a resolution passed at Convention 2016.

There will a further report at Convention 2018.

Orders of the Day

Awards Presentation

Health and Safety – Individual

Recipient:  Gordon Kiernan, Local 338

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Individual Health and Safety Award goes to Gordon Kiernan of Local 338.  Gord is from the Barrie Probation and Parole Office and has been volunteering as a Health and Safety representative since 2015.

His many years of experience as a Probation and Parole Officer have given him an insightful awareness of the health and safety concerns faced by officers. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Barrie Probation and Parole office is a healthier and safer place to work.

OPSEU is pleased to present the Health and Safety Award to Gordon Kiernan, Local 329.

Leah Casselman Award – Individual

Recipient: Rebecca Currie, Local 230

This award is given to the individual who excels in mobilizing members. Rebecca works at Kitchener Centre Probation Services and is the Chief Steward for Local 230.

During the last round of contract negotiations, Rebecca was the glue that held the local together, arranging social gatherings to build morale and community, attending

numerous rallies and meeting with many key political players to garner support. Her leadership exemplifies what it is to be an effective union mobilizer.

OPSEU is pleased to present the Leah Casselman Award to Rebecca Currie, Local 230.

President Thomas turned the Chair over to Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees to conduct the Q&A

Questions and answer session was conducted with the two candidates, President Warren (Smokey)Thomas and Myles Magner.

Vote on adjournment – Carried

Convention adjourned at 4:52 p.m.

Friday, April 7, 2017 – Morning Session

Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees called the Convention to order at 9:16 a.m.

Credentials Report

Moved:  T. Langford, L. 435 / Seconded: S. Megcale,  L.105
Adoption of Credentials Committee Report as of 9:07 a.m.

Delegates – 945
Alternates – 525
Observers – 220
Retirees – 7
EBMs – 21
Committees – 54
Guests – 8
Total – 1,780

Total Eligible to vote – 1,027

Vote on Adoption of Credentials Report – CARRIED

Candidates for President of OPSEU – presentations

Draw for first speaker

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, addressed Convention

Myles Magner, Region 5 RVP addressed Convention

Each candidate named their scrutineers.

Ballots handed out.

Ballots cast – 990, none rejected
Need 496 (majority)
Myles Magner– 359
Smokey Thomas – 631

Warren Smokey Thomas declared President

Ranking of RVP’s

Newly elected RVP’s came to stage.
Each RVP addressed Convention.
Smokey made announcements.
Results of RVP ranking after lunch break

Convention recessed at 12:04

Friday, April 7, Afternoon Session

Donations from Floor

Every year delegates can make an appeal for donations. The money collected will be distributed to the various causes after the appeals are reviewed by the Executive Committee.

OPSEU matches the donation up to a maximum of $5,000.

President Thomas announced that $4,997 had been collected from the floor.

Ranking results

951 votes cast
950 valid

Sara Labelle, Region 3 (2nd RVP)
Myles Magner, Region 5 (3rd RVP)
Len Elliot, Region 1 (4th RVP)
Lucy Morton, Region 2 (5th RVP)
Gareth Jones, Region 4 (6th RVP)
Mike Bisaillon, Region 6 (7th RVP)
Carl Thibodeau, Region 7 (8th RVP)

President Thomas returned to Chair

Award Presentation

Stanley H. Knowles Humanitarian Award

Recipient: The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator

OPSEU is pleased to present the Stanley H. Knowles Humanitarian Award to Senator Murray Sinclair.

As a lawyer, Senator Sinclair became well known for his representation of Indigenous people and his knowledge of Indigenous legal issues. In 1988 he became the first Indigenous judge in the province. He was named co-commissioner of Manitoba’s Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People. As well, he served as legal counsel for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba.

He was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba in 2001 and Chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2009. He was made a Senator in 2016.

OPSEU is pleased to present the Stanley H. Knowles Humanitarian Award to the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator

Video played.

Krista Maracle accepted the award on behalf of Senator Sinclair.

Retired Staff Members

(Name /Date of Hire/Retirement Date)

Barbara Ferguson, Regional Office Secretary  October 22, 1990  May 1, 2016

Michael Broad,Regional Office Secretary  June 15, 1981  June 1, 2016

Martin Sarra, Staff Representative  May 22, 1979    June 1, 2016

Eric Morin, Staff Representative (Bilingual)  September 19, 2011  June 18, 2016

Nympha Chan, Convention Secretary  March 29, 1993  July 1, 2016

Michael Culkeen, Negotiator  August 8, 2006   August 1, 2016

Aimee Axler, Staff Representative  September 2, 2003  September 1, 2016

Diana Clarke, Senior Benefits Counsellor    March 23, 2000  January 1, 2017

Allen Jones, Benefits Counsellor   August 18, 1997  January 1, 2017

Catherine Wright, Regional Office Secretary  July 11, 1988  January 1, 2017

Evans (Monty) Mohammed, Assistant Supervisor  November 14, 1984  February 1, 2017

Lesley Williams, Research Assistant   December 2, 1985  March 1, 2017

Thierry Jaume, ISD Systems Administrator  June 16, 2003  April 1, 2017

Roberta LaRue, PPT Secretary  September 17, 1991 April 1, 2017

Jolanda Drecun, Accounts Receivable Clerk   August 22, 2005  April 1, 2017

Jacqueline Evans, Administrative Assistant  November 5, 2001 April 1, 2017

Budget, continued

Eddy returned to Chair

Moved B. Palmieri, L.206/Seconded: A. Balogin, L.206
Closure on Budget – CARRIED

Vote on Budget – CARRIED

Credentials Report

Moved:  T. Langford, L. 435 / Seconded: T. Carson,  L.369
Adoption of Credentials Committee Report as of 2:13 p.m.

Delegates – 947
Alternates – 527
Observers – 225
Retirees – 7
EBMs – 21
Committees – 54
Guests – 8
Total – 1,789

Vote on Adoption of Credentials Report – Carried

Constitution Committee

The members of the Committee were introduced

Region 1 – Naz Binck, Local 137
Region 2 – Ray Dube, Local 245
Region 3 – Tim Hannah, Local 308 (Chair)
Region 4 – Dave Doran, Local 462
Region 5 – Janice Hagan, (Vice-Chair), Local 561
Region 6 – Ken Steinbrunner, Local 642
Region 7 – Sophia Ambrose, Local 736
EBM – Sean Platt, EBM, Local 368
Staff Advisor – Ron Elliot
Support Staff – Andrea Meunier

Article 27.1 The Constitution may be amended only by a two-thirds vote of those delegates present and voting at any Convention.

Constitutional Amendment A.1, Article 13, EB3 (handout)

Submitted by: Executive Board
Constitutional Committee’s Recommendation: Acceptance

Moved: S. Ambrose, Const. Ctte L.736/Seconded: K. Steinbrunner, Const. Ctte., L.642

Whereas the Article 13.5.1 of the OPSEU Constitution requires Local elections for delegates and alternate delegates to the OPSEU Convention to be conducted by majority vote (except for the Local President, who is automatically the local’s first delegate); and,

Whereas electing delegates and alternate delegates can require multiple ballots for both delegates and alternate delegates, particularly in larger locals who are entitled to elect a larger number of delegates and alternate delegates based on the local’s membership; and,

Whereas many locals have experienced difficulty achieving and maintaining quorum at their general membership meetings; and,

Whereas many locals that do achieve quorum are not able to complete the election of their full complement of delegates and alternate delegates, either because they must hold their general membership meetings during members’ lunch periods to achieve quorum, or because they may lose quorum before completing their delegate elections; and,

Whereas the Convention is OPSEU’s highest decision-making body; and,

Whereas it is important to OPSEU’s democratic process to ensure that as many locals as possible are able to elect their full complement of delegates and alternative delegates to attend each Convention;

Therefore be it resolved that the OPSEU Executive Board approve and submit the following Constitutional Amendment to the 2017 Convention:

Amend Article 13.5.1 to read as follows:

13.5.1 All delegates and alternate delegates from Locals shall be elected for each Convention at a general membership meeting on the principle of winning a clear majority, with run-off ballots if necessary, except that the Local President shall be the first delegate automatically. In accordance with local by-laws, or by two-thirds majority vote at the local election meeting, locals may elect their delegates and alternate delegates by plurality. There shall be separate votes required for delegates and alternate delegates. The Local President shall be the first delegate automatically.  Where a local is entitled to more than one alternate delegate, those elected by plurality shall be ranked according to the number of votes received.

Moved: D.Bisoon, L.599/Seconded: G. Tymec, L.599
Closure on Constitutional Amendment A.1 – Carried

Vote on Constitutional Amendment A.1  (EB3) – Carried

Constitutional Amendment A.2, Article 29, EB2 (handout)

Submitted by: Executive Board
Constitutional Committee’s Recommendation: Acceptance

Moved: S. Ambrose, Const. Ctte L.736/Seconded: N. Binck, Const. Ctte., L.137

Whereas Article 29.10.1 of the OPSEU Constitution currently reads “Except for reasonable amounts in petty cash accounts, all expenditures shall be by cheque and shall be properly supported by vouchers; and,

Whereas modern technology and online banking allow for proper record keeping without the necessity of only using cheques; and,

Whereas using pre-authorized payments and online banking to make certain payments makes it easier for our members to conduct the business of the local

Therefore be it resolved that Article 29.10.1 of the OPSEU Constitution be amended to read “Where the local bylaws permit, and where proper supporting documentation is available, local expenditures may be made by pre-authorized payments or by online banking”.

Moved: I. Monteith, L.713/Seconded: M. Belanger, L.713
Closure on Constitutional Amendment A.2 – Carried

Vote on Constitutional Amendment A.2 (EB2) – Carried

Constitutional Amendment A.3, Article 6, EB1 (handout)

Submitted by: Executive Board
Constitutional Committee’s Recommendation: Acceptance

Moved: D. Doran, Const. Ctte L.462/Seconded: S. Ambrose, Const. Ctte., L.736

Whereas Article 6.1a of the OPSEU Constitution currently reads “Signing and submitting to the Union a membership application form prescribed by the Union”; and,

Whereas more members are using technology to conduct the business of the Union; and,

Whereas modern technology is allowing for secure online communications,

Therefore be it resolved that Article 6.1a of the OPSEU Constitution be amended to read “Completing and submitting to the Union a membership application form prescribed by the Union”

Moved: S. Pentecost, L.415/Seconded: P. Edmonds, L.415
Closure on Constitutional Amendment A.3 – CARRIED

Vote on Constitutional Amendment A.3 (EB1) – CARRIED

Awards

Human Rights Award – Individual

Recipient: Chantal Breton, Local 642, Monteith Correctional Complex

Chantel Breton has fought her employer on more than one human rights issue. She has never backed down from a fight.

Despite intense intimidation from her employer, she pressed on and was the first pregnant student to graduate from CO basic training. And at the time she was on maternity leave, the employer didn’t count the time off work towards seniority and wage progression. Through her perseverance with her grievance, she won and that decision changed how the government treated its fixed-term employees. As a result many women gained seniority and thousands of dollars in compensation.

Chantal in now in her 18th year and has remained a career-long activist and long time executive member of Local 642.

OPSEU is pleased to present Chantal Breton with the Human Rights Award – Individual.

Rainford Jackson Education and Development Fund

Recipient: Derek Armstrong, Local 606, MPAC

This award is awarded to support organizations and projects that aim to reduce racism and improve the condition of equity-seeking groups in our society through education and organization.

Derek Armstrong responded to the 2015-16 youth suicide crisis in the remote Norther Ontario reserve of Attawapiskat.  He contacted well know Indigenous performers and worked with the leadership of Attawapiskat to help organize an educational show that involved the youth and their families in the community.

Central OPSEU, Region 6 along with Derek’s own resources, helped to see this project achieve remarkable success, requiring months to complete.

OPSEU is pleased to present the Rainford Jackson Education and Development Fund award to Derek Armstrong.

Report from Equity Committees

The chairs of the Equity Committees presented their reports on the work and achievements of their respective committees.

Social Mapping Project

EBM Laurie Nancekivell gave a report on the Social Mapping Committee.

Constitution Committee, continues

Constitutional Amendment A.4, Article 13, C8 (Section H)

Submitted by: Executive Board
Constitutional Committee’s Recommendation: Acceptance

Moved: D. Doran, Const. Ctte., L.462/Seconded: N. Binck, Const. Ctte., L.137

Whereas there is a need to provide options to OPSEU’s membership; and,

Whereas there is a need to reduce the amount of paper used, processed and stored.

Therefore be it resolved that the following current Article 13.2.1 in the Constitution be amended as follows:

13.2.1 At least 90 days prior to the opening of a regular Convention the President shall issue a Convention call in both official languages to all bodies entitled to send delegates giving the planned time for convocation Convention, expected duration of the Convention, and a general statement of the business to be transacted. The call shall also state how many delegates each body is entitled to send and shall be accompanied by the appropriate number of delegates’ credential forms. in duplicate. The forms must be completed and attested to by two officers of the organization sending delegates. The originals should be retained by the delegates, who will present them at the time of registration immediately before and during a Convention, and The duplicate form must be forwarded so as to reach the Union’s Headquarters not later than 30 days prior to the opening of Convention.

No speakers

Vote on Constitutional Amendment A.4 (C8) – Carried

Constitutional Amendment A.5, Article 13, C4 (Section H)

Submitted by: Provincial Women’s Committee and Provincial Human Rights Committee
Constitutional Committee’s Recommendation: Defeat

Moved: J. Hagan, Const. Ctte., L.561/Seconded S. Ambrose, Const. Ctte., L.736

Whereas Regional Meetings are where delegates elect the members of OPSEU’s Executive Board and Provincial Committees; and,

Whereas OPSEU Convention is where delegates elect the President and Vice President/Treasurer of the union and vote on the budget and resolutions that shape the Constitution and policies of the union; and,

Whereas the third recommendation of OPSEU’s Social Mapping Project is to “develop measures so the demographics of delegate body more closely represent demographics of membership”; and,

Whereas fully two thirds of OPSEU members are female; and,

Whereas the Ontario New Democratic Party has constitutionally entrenched gender parity when electing delegates to Provincial Council and Convention.

Therefore be it resolved that all OPSEU locals entitled to three or more delegates to Regional meetings and Convention shall elect no less than one delegate who self identifies as female.

Moved: P. Beaumont, L.309/Seconded: K. McReelis, L.309
Closure on Constitutional Amendment A.5 – Carried

Vote on Constitutional Amendment A.5 (C4) – Defeated

Resolutions Committee, continues 

C1 – Collective Bargaining – Section G

Submitted by Local 137, Provincial Women’s Committee and the Kingston Area Council, and the Provincial Human Rights Committee, and the Provincial Young Workers Committee, and Local 503

Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  For

Moved: K. Clark, Res. Ctte., L.212/Seconded: J. Watson, Res. Ctte., L.701

Whereas one in three workers have experienced domestic violence and over 80% of workers who have experienced domestic violence reported that it negatively impacted their work performance; and

Whereas one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of Domestic and sexual violence in their lifetime; and

Whereas absenteeism and poor work performance can leave survivors of domestic and sexual violence vulnerable to discipline and job loss; and

Whereas the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has done extensive research on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace and along with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Public Services Alliance of Canada (PSAC) have produced resources around bargaining language into collective agreements that address domestic violence in the workplace including a provision for special leave and flexible work arrangements for employees experiencing violence; and

Whereas the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) passed a resolution at their 2016 Convention “to develop collective bargaining language for dedicated paid leave, workplace safety and anti-violence policies and workplace supports and training” for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; and

Whereas the Yukon Teacher’s Association bargained language into their 2015 to 2018 Collective Agreement that provides special leave for employees experiencing domestic violence;

Therefore be it resolved that all contracts bargained by OPSEU shall endeavour to include provisions for paid leave and flexible work arrangements for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; and those experiencing mental health illness.

Moved: C. Collins, L.137/Seconded: J. McGrail, L.137
Motion to divide 2ND resolve

Therefore be it resolved that all contracts bargained by OPSEU shall endeavour to include provisions for paid leave and flexible work arrangements for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. and those experiencing mental health illness.

Therefore be it resolved that all contracts bargained by OPSEU shall endeavour to include provisions for paid leave and flexible work arrangements for those experiencing mental health illness.

Moved: V. DiMonte, L.561/Seconded: M. Tarek, L.571
Closure on motion to divide – Carried

Vote on motion to divide 2nd resolve – Carried

Moved: J. Billard L.598/Seconded: C. Garabet, L.598
Closure on Resolution C1 – Carried

Vote on Resolution C1 as amended – Carried

Resolutions Committee M6 – Membership Activities – Section G

Submitted by: Thunder Bay Area Council
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  For

Moved: J. Watson, Res. Ctte., L.701/Seconded: E. Bagnall, Res. Ctte., L.362

Whereas OPSEU is a membership driven union; and

Whereas OPSEU encourages equal representation from all regions; and

Whereas regional voices should be heard at Committee meetings; and

Whereas Committee budgets have already been allocated for regional representation at these meetings;

Therefore be it resolved that when a member of the PHRC, PYC, PFC, PWC, is unable to attend a committee meeting that their alternate be given the opportunity to participate during the regional representative’s absence.

Moved: P. Beaumont, L.309/Seconded: K. McReelis, L.309
Closure on Resolution M6 – Carried

Vote on Resolution M6 – Carried

Resolutions Committee L5 – Lobby/Campaigns – Section G

Submitted by: The Retirees Division
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  For

Moved: J. Watson, Res. Ctte., L.701/Seconded: E. Bagnall, Res. Ctte., L.362

Whereas Bill C-27 was introduced without notice or consultation with Canadians; and

Whereas under Bill C-27 employers will be permitted to rid themselves of the legal obligation to fund benefits; transferring nearly all the risk to the plan members and destroying the pension promise made to active members and retirees; and

Whereas the Federal Liberals campaigned in 2015 with a commitment to safeguard Defined Benefit Plans;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU will vigorously oppose Bill C-27; and

Be it further resolved that OPSEU will support any union struggling to defend secure pensions by organizing public outreach and lobbying efforts in conjunction with the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and Canadian Labour Congress.(CLC)

Moved: J. Thornton, L.211/Seconded: B. Flowers, L.211
Closure on Resolution L5 – Carried

Vote on Resolution L5 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee H1 – Health and Safety – Section G

Submitted by: Kingston Area Council

Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: J. Watson, Res. Ctte., L.701/Seconded: E. Bagnall, Res. Ctte., L.362

Whereas wherever OPSEU members meet, their health and safety should be assured; and

Whereas OPSEU facilities should be equipped to respond to medical emergencies; and

Whereas Automated External Defibrillator (AED) have been proven to save lives in the event of a cardiac event.

Therefore be it resolved that each Regional Office will have an emergency AED at each location that is accessible to all staff, members and visitors and that its location is appropriately identified with signage. 

Moved: R. Donchev, L.559/Seconded: M. Muscatello, L. 559
Motion to Refer
Refer back to Committee with the following instruction, to be brought back to the Convention floor immediately:

Add:

Therefore be it resolved that all Regional Offices are trained to use the devices.

Committee accepts referral and is for.

Moved: T. Elphick, L.225/Seconded: R. Holder, L.243
Motion to Refer
Refer back to Committee with the following instruction, to be brought back to the Convention floor immediately:

Add:

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU undertake to register all of its devices with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Committee accepts referral and is for.

Moved: S. Cadeau, L.330/Seconded: B. Eddy, L.330
Closure on Resolution H1 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution H1 as amended – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee

EB17 – Executive Board – (handout)

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  FOR

Moved: E. Bagnall, Res. Ctte., L.362/Seconded: D. O’Grady, Res. Ctte., L.456

Water Extraction by Private Companies

Whereas clean, fresh, accessible water is essential to life, and the survival of future generations depends on public policy decisions made today, and

Whereas climate change is expected to increase the risk and severity of extended drought and permanently and significantly reduce groundwater reserves in some regions, and

Whereas the water bottling and packaging and aggregate industries extract massive amounts of groundwater, which undercuts efforts to protect moraines and conserve groundwater and puts our groundwater reserves at even greater risk, and

Whereas government decisions to issue permits to private companies such as Nestle to bottle millions of litres of water per day undermine public confidence in tap water, foster neglect of municipal public water infrastructure, interfere with municipal governments capacity to manage water sustainably, and

Whereas the interests of private, for-profit water bottlers directly conflict with municipal planning and public priorities for long-term water security and climate resilience, and

Whereas our groundwater reserves and the geology that protects them are a public trust that the Government of Ontario must protect for future generations, in accordance with the Statement of Environmental Values of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, (See http://tinyurl.com/zsj4yls), and

Whereas OPSEU has adopted polices opposing the use of bottled water on environmental grounds, and

Whereas OPSEU has launched the provincial We Own It campaign to build support for public ownership and operation of public services our communities rely on and to resist privatization of key public assets

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU opposes the sale of our public ground water reserves to private, for-profit water bottling and packaging corporations, and the privatization of municipal water systems; and

Be it further resolved that OPSEU calls on the Government of Ontario to:

  • Impose a permanent moratorium on all new permits for water extraction for packaging water by private companies after the current moratorium expires in 2018,
  • Cap current extraction permits for private water packaging at current levels, and institute a no longer than 10-year phase-out period, during which the total amount of water packages by such companies will be gradually reduced to zero,
  • Prohibit the ownership, development or operation of municipal water systems and infrastructure by private corporations or private/public partnerships (so-called P3s), and require that any current private or P3 municipal water systems will be ‘re-municipalized’ within ten years, with provincial support for municipal investments in water infrastructure and training in water conservation and management,
  • Provide portable, potable water and water filtration systems for use by local authorities in water emergencies, 
  • Require public facilities (including sportsplexes and outdoor sports fields) to offer free, accessible drinking water (fountains) to the public,
  • Develop comprehensive plans for moraine and groundwater conservation under the joint leadership and supervision of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), including regulation of water taken for aggregate mining,
  • Ensure that before any water-taking permits are issued or renewed, the MOECC and applicants must comprehensively consult with any Indigenous communities that the water extraction would affect; and

Be it further resolved that OPSEU will work with community allies to campaign against privatization of municipal water systems and the sale of Ontario’s ground water reserves to private, for profit water bottling and packaging companies, as part of the We Own It campaign.

Moved: T. Hannah, L.308/Seconded: W. Day, L.722
Objection to Consideration
Objects to consideration of Resolution EB17

President Thomas explained that objection to consideration does not require a seconder and is not debatable and that if a third of the assembly wants to have this motion considered then we will consider it.

Vote on Objection to Consideration – DEFEATED

Resolution EB17 to be debated

Motion: L. Nancekivell, EBM Region 1/ Seconded: J. Pechinger, L.103
Motion to refer
Refer back to Committee with the following instruction, to be brought back to the Convention floor immediately:

Bring Resolution EB17 back to President’s Office and brought to May Board meeting.

Motion:  E. Arvelin, EBM, Region 7/L. Kaval, L.720
Closure on Referral of Resolution EB17 – CARRIED

Vote on Closure of Referral of Resolution EB17 – CARRIED

Vote on Referral of EB17 – bring to May Board meeting – CARRIED

Convention adjourned at 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Convention called to order at 9:10 a.m.

Children from daycare came onto stage carrying “We Own It” signs that they made.

Oath of Office for New EBM’s

 

Credentials Report

Moved:  T. Langford, L. 435 / Seconded: W. Thomas, President
Adoption of Credentials Committee Report as of 9:10 a.m.

Delegates – 947
Alternates – 527
Observers – 227
Retirees – 7
EBMs – 21
Committees – 54
Guests – 8
Total – 1,791

Vote on Adoption of Credentials Report – CARRIED

Presentations to Honourary Life Members

Janine Johnson, L. 644, Ministry of Natural Resources

Sister Janine became a member of the CSAO in 1971, which was just the beginning of her long term activism within OPSEU and Local 644. She started as a Steward, moving to Secretary, Vice-President and President.

She was also a Region 6 representative to many committees, joining the Retirees Division getting elected as Vice-Chair, and then Chair in 2010.

Janine has been to many rallies and rarely missed a Council meeting, where she currently is the Treasurer.

OPSEU is pleased to present Janine with a Honourary Lifetime Membership Award.

Waltraud Knott, L.112, Child and Parent Resource Institute

Sister Waltraud worked as a Psychometrist for over 30 years at the Midwestern Regional Centre in Palmerston and another 25 years at the Child and Parent Resource Institute in London.

She was very active in her local holding many different positions. She was also the regional MERC representative for four terms. Her training and expertise in the areas of LTIP, accommodation and back to work programs led her to consulting others in the region.

She has been a long time trainer at regional educationals, speaking on issues such as Stewardship and political activism. She has become a mentor, supporting others to further their union or political activism.

She has also been very involved in many charitable organizations, using her  skills and compassion to help others. Even in retirement, Waltraud continues her activism.

OPSEU is pleased to present Sister Waltraud with an Honourary Lifetime Membership Award.

Marilou Martin, Local 557, George Brown College

Sister Marilou has been a dedicated activist for 30 years as a vital part of her local, and the labour movement as a whole.

Joining George Brown College in 1987, she held many positions in Local 557, and has been Local President for 20 years.

For the CAAT division, she has sat on several provincial committees, chaired two bargaining teams, and has been elected to the CAAT Support DIVEX. Marilou has also served on the Provincial Women’s Committee, two terms on the Executive Board and co-chair of the CAAT Pension Sponsors Committee.

She has been inspiring and motivational to young workers and has been a leader in the fight against many systemic issues and campaigns that have resulted in significant change. Some highlights include negotiating a college-level tuition assistance programs and taking the lead on the largest organizing drive in Canadian history: organizing part-time workers in Ontario’s colleges.

OPSEU is pleased to present Marilou Martin with a Honourary Lifetime Membership Award.

Presentation of Plaques to Outgoing Board Members

Region 2:  Drew Finucane, Deb Tungatt
Region 3:  Gord Longhi, Sean Platt, Tammy Carson
Region 5:  Edie Strachan
Region 6:  Jeff Arbus, Felicia Fahey, Ibrahim Bozai
Region 7:  Glen Archer

Winners of Raffle Draw

5th prize, L. 611, Helene Scott (donated by the Intercontinental Hotel)
4th prize, L. 286, Garth Sissons (donated by the PHRC)
3rd prize, L. 528, Nooruddin Punjani (donated by Via Rail)
2nd prize, L. 422, Paul Osborne (donated by Arthur J Gallagher)
1st prize, L. 240, Mary Allan (donated by Baka)

Resolutions, continue 

B1 – Budget – Section G

Submitted by: Local 468, Kingston Area Council, and Retirees Division

Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation:  AGAINST

Moved: E. Bagnall, Res. Ctte., L.362/Seconded: D. O’Grady, Res. Ctte., L.456

Whereas The Regional Hardship Fund has not changed since inception 7 years ago where funding is capped at $1.00 per signed-member only; and

Whereas events and situations within Ontario are making it more difficult for working members and families to meet financial obligations due to personal or family trauma, cuts in provincial and municipal services, crisis (example: Hydro One bills, unexpected illnesses); and

Whereas the Regional Hardship Committees try to provide non-financial assistance wherever possible by directing members to other services later to find out members often are denied these services because they do not meet new or strict criteria; and

Whereas the Regional Hardship Funding is capped $1.00 per signed member even though it is the mandate of the Regional Hardship Committees to assist all OPSEU members in good standing regardless of whether they are signed, not signed, or retired who are experiencing unexpected and/or temporary financial trouble; and

Whereas the Regional Hardship Committee try to stay within available budgets and funding, the need continues to grow and is greater than the available funding;

Therefore be it resolved that the Regional Hardship Funds currently calculated as per signed-member within a Region be updated to be calculated as per member within a Region which includes all members (all signed, all non-signed, and all retired members);

Be it further resolved that the funding for the Regional Hardship Funds be increased from $1.00 per member to $1.50 per member.

Moved: J. Puckalo, L. 468/Seconded: J. Heyman, L 443
Motion to refer
Refer back to Committee with the following instruction, to be brought back to the Convention floor immediately:

Be it further resolved to read: That the funding for the Regional Hardship Fund be increased from $1.00 to $1.25 per member

Vote on Referral of Resolution B1 with instructions to increase funding from $1.00 to $1.25 – CARRIED

Committee accepts amendment but still recommends against as they are not in favour of including non-members.

Moved: J. Evens, L. 605/Seconded: T. Maszczakiewicz, L. 684
Motion to refer
Refer back to Committee with the following instruction, to be brought back to the Convention floor immediately:

To divide the two resolves and refer back to Committee

Moved:  M. Blundell, L. 362/ Seconded: A. Shirk, L. 362
Closure on Referral of B1 – Carried

Committee is in favour of dividing the two resolves. They are in favour of amendment to 2nd resolve but not in favour of the 1st resolve.

Vote on Referral of Resolution B1 with instructions to divide the two resolves – Carried

Moved: J. Billard, L. 598/Seconded: M. Hossain, L.598
Closure on 1st resolve B1 – Carried

Vote on 1st resolve  Resolution B1 – Carried

Moved: T. Elphick/Seconded: R. Sloat, L.201
Closure on 2nd resolve – Carried

Vote on 2nd resolve of Resolution B1 to increase Hardship Fund funding from $1.00 to $1.25 – Carried

Resolutions Committee J1 – Expenses– Section G

Submitted by: Provincial Young Workers Committee
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: E. Bagnall, Res. Ctte., L.362/Seconded: D. O’Grady, Res. Ctte., L.456

Whereas airline travel is often required for members to attend labour events; and

Whereas the purchase of airfare is an immediate expense to that member; and

Whereas OPSEU policy only allows advances two weeks prior to an event; and

Whereas it is often more economical to purchase airline tickets in advance; and

Whereas OPSEU policy requires the most economical means;

Therefore be it resolved that a member requesting an advance who is purchasing an airline ticket be entitled to an advance from OPSEU within a week of the advance request.

Moved: A. Richards, L. 368/Seconded: J. Dvorak, L. 456
Closure on Resolution J1 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution J1 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee M5– Membership Activities – Section G

Submitted by: Local 727
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: D. O’Grady, Res. Ctte., L.456/ Seconded: G. Franche Res. Ctte., L.130

Whereas often times memos, directives and other information are sent to all members indicating requirements to adhere to time restraints;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU ensure that all communications indicate Time Zone.

Moved: C. Breton, L. 642/Seconded: K. Steinbrunner, L.642

Closure on Resolution M5 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution M5 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee EB10– Executive Board – Section G

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: D. O’Grady, Res. Ctte., L.456/ Seconded: G. Franche Res. Ctte., L.130

Funding Hospitals to meet population need

Whereas Ontario is now in its ninth consecutive year of real-dollar hospital cuts where global funding increases have not met the rate of inflation; and

Whereas Ontario last in per capita hospital funding among all Canadian provinces, as a result of which we have seen dangerous cuts to beds, staff and services; and

Whereas Ontario has cut more than 18,500 hospital beds since 1990; and

Whereas Ontario’s Auditor General has described a state of severe overcrowding in Ontario’s large community hospitals, with many hospitals operating at more than 100 per cent capacity even though bed occupancy rates greater than 85 per cent are considered by experts to be unsafe; and

Whereas Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are driving a new wave of costly hospital restructuring that will ultimately lead to more hospital cuts, closures, and the loss of local accountability, despite growing international  literature which suggests that mergers cost more and reduce quality of care; and

Whereas the primary function of the LHINs has been to overrule local boards of directors, order them to provide certain services or levels of service, and force them to restructure rather than actually planning health care services to meet population need;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU continue to fight to ensure that the provincial government moves off of real dollar cuts to hospitals and fund hospitals based on population need and proper health system planning; and

Be it further resolved that as a matter of public and worker safety, OPSEU support the call for safe occupancy levels, including an 85 per cent maximum bed occupancy rate to improve patient experience and health outcomes during normal periods while providing a safe buffer during surge periods (pandemics etc.); and

Be it further resolved that OPSEU continue to demand that LHINs be accountable to patients, the public, and the health care workforce, through meaningful consultation processes and the creation of democratically elected LHIN boards of directors.

Moved: K. Steinbrunner, L. 642/Seconded: C. Breton, L.642

Closure on Resolution EB10 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution EB10 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee L2– Lobby Campaigns – Section G

Submitted by: Local 642, North East Area Council and Local 640
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: G. Franche Res. Ctte., L.130/Seconded: R. Lavigne, Res. Ctte., L.633

Whereas the Ontario Government hasn’t paid Indigenous Youth employed under the Aboriginal Youth Work Exchange Program holiday pay or a holiday pay rate for working holidays since 2009 ; and

Whereas this is below the standard set out in the Employment Standards Act for non-crown employees;

Therefore be it resolved that

  1. The Union hold the government accountable for not paying the Indigenous youth the pay that it mandates other employers by law to Non-Crown employees.
  2. Respect Constitutional and treaty rights of indigenous peoples of Canada.
  3. Advise the bargaining team to bring the compensation standards for Indigenous youth employed under the Aboriginal Youth Work Exchange and other programs to that of Non-Crown employees under the Employment Standards Act.
  4. Send correspondence to the Globe & Mail to reconsider awarding the Ontario Public Service the designation of being one of "Canada's Top Employers for Young People" in light of the government’s hypocritical practice of setting lower employment standards for itself as it pertains to young workers.
  5. For the Union to intensely lobby the government by any means necessary to reverse this morally questionable employment practice as it pertains to indigenous youth.

No speakers

Vote on Resolution L2 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee EB7– Executive Board – Section G

Submitted by: Executive Board
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: G. Franche Res. Ctte., L.130/Seconded: R. Lavigne, Res. Ctte. L.633

Organizing Precarious Workers

Whereas millions of workers in Ontario are employed under precarious conditions, and reluctantly work part-time, under temporary contracts, for temp agencies, seasonally, or casually, and/or are involuntarily self-employed, or hold multiple jobs; and

Whereas precarious work is not restricted to the private sector, but continues to grow rapidly across the public sector as well; and

Whereas OPSEU is currently organizing part-time and sessional college workers in the College Support and Academic Divisions in the largest organizing drives in Ontario history; and

Whereas a great portion of these workers are members of equity-seeking groups, including but not limited to, women, new immigrants, and racialized groups; and

Whereas young people entering the workforce are forced into non-union, precarious employment and face a difficult labour market that defies traditional unionization strategies;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU maintain and expand efforts to organize precarious workers across all sectors of the public sector in Ontario; and

Be it further resolved that OPSEU develop a far-reaching collective bargaining strategy designed to respond effectively to the workplace challenges precarious workers face; and

Be it further resolved that OPSEU continue to work with other labour and community partners to support precarious workers and strengthen their ability to join and keep a union.

Moved: C. Francis, L. 586/Seconded: M Muscatello, L. 559
Closure on Resolution EB7 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution EB7 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee M2– Membership Activities – Section G

Submitted by: Provincial Young Workers Committee
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: R. Lavigne, Res. Ctte.,L. 633/Seconded: D. Wright, Res. Ctte, L.557

Whereas thorough, timely, engaging and accessible communication is fundamental to building an effective union movement; and

Whereas there have been significant developments in online technology that offer simple integrated management of emailing lists, websites, document sharing, etc.; and

Whereas Social Mapping Project Recommendation #55 calls for OPSEU to “provide Central support for Locals in optimizing local communication”;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU research and report back to the Social Mapping Project Committee by December 31, 2017 about available community management software (for example, but not limited to: Active Community, Nation Builder, Ning, etc.) and its suitability for local and central use, and costing implications.  

No speakers

Vote on Resolution M2 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee E5– Expenses – Section G

Submitted by: Provincial Young Workers Committee
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: R. Lavigne, Res. Ctte., L. 633/Seconded: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557

Whereas precarious employment is growing rapidly both inside and outside the public services; and

Whereas the dramatic reduction is the availability of secure, full-time positions is particularly impactful on members of equity seeking groups; and

Whereas across all sectors, employers at OPSEU represented workplaces are demanding substantial concessions in bargaining; and

Whereas settlements in recent years have disproportionately focused concessions on young and precarious employees including reducing wages for new hires and introducing multi-tiered eligibility for benefits and job security provisions; and

Whereas these concessions create division and animosity in our membership, reduce young and new worker confidence in our Union and weaken the position of our bargaining teams for future rounds of bargaining; and

Whereas Social Mapping Project Recommendation #65 calls for OPSEU to “provide tools to make it easier for Local bargaining teams to understand and attend to the needs of the diversity of members”;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU include an educational session focusing on two-tiered bargaining and the issues facing new, contract, casual and part-time hires as part of all bargaining conferences held from October 1, 2017 onward; and

Be it further resolved that the content of this session be developed by OPSEU Negotiations and Education staff in consultation with members of the Provincial Young Workers Committee.

Moved: C. Francis, L. 586/Seconded: M Muscatello, L. 559
Closure on Resolution E5 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution E5 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee B2– Budget – Section G

Submitted by: Local 137
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: FOR

Moved: R. Lavigne, Res. Ctte., L. 633/Seconded: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557

Whereas Ontario College Students pay the highest tuition of any province in Canada; and

Whereas the CAAT-Support Division, who works directly with these students, recognizes the financial struggles of these students; and

Whereas the CAAT-Support Division has started fundraising for these students by creating “CAAT-Support Scholarship”, which gives out annual scholarship to Ontario College students; and

Whereas the CAAT-Support Division has been fund raising for this scholarship since 2015; and

Whereas the Scholarship has a labour theme each year, and encourages growth and learning of the labour movement; and

Whereas all fund raising is done by the Locals of our Division, including donating prizes to the Convention Raffle each year;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU match the annual funds raised by the CAAT-Support Division, up to a maximum $4,000 per year, for the CAAT-Support Scholarship.

No speakers

Vote on Resolution B2 – CARRIED

Resolutions Committee B3– Budget – Section G

Submitted by: Local 527
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: AGAINST

Moved: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557, /Seconded:  K. Clarke Res. Ctte., L. 212

Whereas the all-encompassing tasks of the Local can take up a significant amount of time during the Employer’s working hours; and

Whereas many Locals in OPSEU’s sectors do not have even the basic of leaves to conduct internal union business that is integral to the proper function of a Local written into their collective agreements; and

Whereas the need for this time is crucial to Local Executives to have the basic tasks of running a Local effectively done within a reasonable time while at work and to be in compliance with OPSEU policy as well as the Constitution; and

Whereas this Resolution is about overall OPSEU Policy to help guide OPSEU and not about Bargaining;

Therefore be it resolved that OPSEU develop a policy outside of Local Book-Off that all OPSEU Local Executives receive a minimum of one day per month paid leave to conduct internal Local business that can be transferred between members of the Local Executive on an as-needed basis.

Moved: C. Breton, L.642/K. Steinbunner, L. 642

Closure on Resolution B3 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution B3 – DEFEATED

Resolutions Committee M3– Membership Activities – Section G

Submitted by: Greater Toronto Area Council
Resolutions Committee’s Recommendation: AGAINST

Moved: D. Wright, Res. Ctte., L.557, /Seconded:  K. Clarke Res. Ctte.,L. 212

Whereas contract negotiations for a Collective Agreement form a cornerstone of a strong Local/Sector/Division; and

Whereas support for a bargaining team in negotiations is essential to bargain a Collective Agreement through inclusion in the bargaining process; and

Whereas Broader Public Service Locals generally don’t have provisions to provide for mobilization during bargaining;

Therefore be it resolved that where there are no divisional procedures or collective agreement language around mobilizers for bargaining, a member from a local in contract negotiations shall be booked off for the purpose of mobilizing during negotiations from the giving/receiving of the notice to bargain until a tentative settlement is ratified; and

Be it further resolved that the member book off shall be:

up to 100 members-1/2 day/week
100 to 200 members-1 day/week
200 to 300 members-1.5/week
300 to 400 members- 2 days/week
400 to 500 members-2.5/week
over 500 members-5 days/week

Be it further resolved that in cases where a local is spread over multiple work locations that upon request from a local or bargaining team involved in negotiations, the Executive Board may consider a member book off, of a greater time than the aforementioned times.

Moved: J. Billard, L.598/M.Carter, L. 557

Closure on Resolution M3 – CARRIED

Vote on Resolution M3 – DEFEATED

Orders of the Day

President Smokey Thomas declared Convention adjourned at 12 noon

President Thomas thanked everyone for a great Convention and bid them a safe trip home.

As per OPSEU policy, in the event there are resolutions outstanding from Convention, the Resolutions Committee shall be reconvened to make recommendations on the disposition of these; and the Chair of the Committee shall present these to the Executive Board for action at the second meeting of the Board following Convention.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Sherry Bader, Recording Secretary
Ontario Public Service Employees Union