The All Chairs Committee of the OPSEU Broader Public Service (BPS) has reached its goal of raising $10,000 to donate to United by Trauma, an organization devoted to helping people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). United by Trauma buys and trains service dogs to work with PTSD sufferers.
This year's donation was made possible by an outpouring of support from OPSEU members, locals, and sectors, as well as OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, and OPSEU Regional Vice-Presidents. Fundraising actually surpassed the All Chairs' $10,000 goal; the extra money will go towards their planned 2019 donation.
The BPS is the largest membership division within OPSEU and represents members who work in a wide range of professions, including many in which workers are exposed to significant trauma on the job. Thanks to an intense campaign by OPSEU and allies at Queen's Park, certain workers who suffer from PTSD can now access treatment and compensation under the Workplace Health and Safety Act without having to prove that their PTSD is work-related. OPSEU continues to campaign for all workers to be covered under this "presumptive" legislation.
The All Chairs' goal is to raise enough money every two years at the biennial OPSEU BPS conference to continually sponsor and train new pups. Watch for a survey to name the first OPSEU-sponsored pup!
Photo: OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida hold a cheque for $10,000 made out to United by Trauma. Left to right: Ed Arvelin, Mental Health and Addictions Division; Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President; Mark Hotte, Property Assessment; Mirla Alvarado, OPSEU staff Negotiator; Tara Langford, Municipalities; Paula Tavares, Boards of Education and Cultural Institutions; Kareen Marshall, Community Agencies; Deb Gordon, Child Treatment; Denise Davis, Liquor Board; Joan Corradetti, Long-Term Care; Jill McIllwraith, Hospital Support; Jamie Ramage, Ambulance; Kella Loschiavo, Universities; Erin Smith-Rice, Chair, Developmental Services; Silvana Cacciatore, Vice-Chair, Developmental Services; Sean Allen, Canadian Blood Services and Diagnostics; Jane Kaija, Children’s Aid; Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer; Len Mancini, BPS Corrections. Missing from photo: Sara Labelle, Hospital Professionals; Lucy Morton, Community Health Care Professionals.
For more information about United by Trauma, visit https://www.facebook.com/unitedbytrauma.