The time for equity is now: OPSEU/SEFPO Board Equity Seats are coming!

The time for equity is now: OPSEU/SEFPO Board Equity Seats are coming!

Figures, including a figure with a voting check on their chest
Figures, including a figure with a voting check on their chest
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Every voice deserves a seat at the table.

We’re thrilled to invite you to participate in this process to select our union’s Board Equity Members!

Our membership is not a monolith, instead it is a mosaic of people with various identities, belonging to different equity groups.

Board Equity Seats will allow OPSEU/SEFPO to meet the member-led demands for representation on the Executive Board that reflects the diversity of our membership. The Board Equity Committee (BEC) has dedicated countless hours to ensure a fair and equitable process.

OPSEU/SEFPO is dedicated to anti-racism and anti-oppression. Ensuring that our Executive Board is reflective of our membership is a critical step on the path to becoming a more equitable and inclusive union that works for everyone.

If you are a member in good standing, and you identify with one or more of the seven equity-deserving groups listed below, we encourage you to take part in this process and make your voice heard!

You are welcome to apply as a candidate for a Board Equity Seat and/or as a participant in the selection process. This call-out package will outline the process, how to apply to participate, and provide some historical context.

Board Equity Positions

A total of 14 Board Equity positions must be filled as per the Constitutional Amendment that passed at Convention 2023. These include:

  1. Seven Equity Board Members: to represent seven equity-deserving groups. The seven equity groups are based on the OPSEU/SEFPO equity committees and caucuses. They are:
  1. Seven Alternate Equity Board Members: one for each of the seven Equity Board positions.

The Equity Vice-President and alternate Equity Vice-President will be selected from among the seven Equity Board Members.

Eligibility

You are eligible to participate in this process if you are an OPSEU/SEFPO member in good standing and if you self-identify as a member of one or more of the equity groups. OPSEU/SEFPO members who have not signed a membership card or are otherwise not in good standing are ineligible for this process.

There are two ways in which you can be directly involved in this process.

As a candidate

  • A candidate is any OPSEU/SEFPO member in good standing who self-identifies as a member of one or more of the seven equity-deserving groups and who submits a completed nomination form by Sunday, January 7, 2024.
  • You must submit a completed nomination form that identifies you as a member of an equity-deserving group, to be considered for any of the equity positions on the Executive Board.
  • You can only apply to be a candidate with one equity-deserving group at a time, even if you self-identify with more than one group and/or have applied to be a participant with more than one group.
  • Your nomination form must be signed by at least one more OPSEU/SEFPO member in good standing who also self-identifies as a member of the same equity group as you.
    • Example: if you are applying to be a candidate for the Young Worker Board Equity Seat, you must get your nomination form signed by at least one other young worker.
  • The Board Equity Committee (BEC) will review completed nomination forms and contact the candidates who wished to be considered.

Nomination Form

As a Participant

  • A participant is any OPSEU/SEFPO member in good standing who self-identifies as a member of one of more of the seven equity groups and who submits a completed participation form by Sunday, January 7, 2024.
  • 150 participants will be selected for each equity group.
  • Priority will be given to members who self-identify as Black and/or Racialized and Indigenous.

Participation Form

*Please note, neither the BEC nor OPSEU/SEFPO will question your self-identification.

Nomination and participation forms must be completed, signed, and submitted to the BEC no later than Sunday, January 7, 2024.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to the BEC at equityseats@opseu.org.

However you choose to participate, we cannot wait for you to join us in making OPSEU/SEFPO more equitable, and more representative of our membership!

Historical Context

It’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication, and due diligence to get us here. Our journey started at the 2004 OPSEU/SEFPO Convention when the Coalition of Racialized Workers (CoRW) put forward a resolution for a Living Wall Project. The CoRW shed light on the lack of representation of Black, Racialized, and Indigenous members in union leadership roles and other elected positions within the union.

At the 2008 OPSEU/SEFPO Convention, the Social Mapping Project (SMP) Resolution was passed. Using social mapping, and by surveying the membership, the 2008 SMP Resolution launched a complete review of union policies, programs, and services to ensure they are inclusive and barrier free. The current Social Mapping Project, launched in 2019, allowed OPSEU/SEFPO to identify and address barriers to participation by providing demographic data and information to ensure that our policies, programs, and services meet the needs of ALL our members.

Members of the Social Mapping Committee developed the Constitutional Amendment which added seven Equity Board Seats to the OPSEU/SEFPO Executive Board. The Constitutional Amendment passed at the 2023 Convention.

Board Equity Committee (BEC)

The Board Equity Committee is constitutionally mandated and responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing the selection process to fill the seven new Equity Board Seats.

BEC members include:

  • Peter Thompson, BEC Chair (Coalition of Racialized Workers)
  • Tammy Carson (Indigenous Circle)
  • Jennifer Krag (Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel)
  • Lindsey Giroux (Provincial Young Workers Committee)
  • Oliver Obagi (Provincial Francophone Committee)
  • Dianne Clarabut (Provincial Women’s Committee)
  • Ann MacDonald (Provincial Human Rights Committee)

OPSEU/SEFPO Constitution