BPS leaders focused on building resilience, rebuilding Ontario

Building resilience in the face of conflict; it was a pivotal theme throughout this year’s OPSEU/SEFPO Broader Public Sector (BPS) Conference and Divisional meetings. Nearly 500 delegates participated in this year’s conference, which was held virtually from Friday, October 22 to Sunday, October 24.

The conference theme of “Challenges, Actions, Resilience,” resonated with OPSEU/SEFPO leaders and members working across the BPS who have faced unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic – especially those on the front-lines of the crisis.

Participants were welcomed by President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, who thanked the sector leaders for their ongoing work and unwavering dedication to the union. Thomas also thanked the candidates who stepped up to run for positions on the Sector Executives, calling it a selfless act to step up in this way, especially during such difficult times.

“With so much going on in the world, and in your personal lives no doubt, it is a truly selfless act to step up in this way,” said Thomas. “Our union is far better off because of folks like you – so thank you.”

President Thomas spoke of the need to address the pandemic within the pandemic – the mental health pandemic and the importance of building up our mental health infrastructure. He also noted that health and safety remains an ongoing priority, as we continue to push for policies to keep workers safe.

“Infrastructure isn’t just roads and buildings,” said Thomas. “It’s workplace resources and policies that make working conditions better – like more staffing, better shifts, more flexibility and full-time employment opportunities, and the space to work in partnership with management, Joint Health and Safety Committees and LECs. ”

First Vice-President/Treasurer Almeida added that, while the pandemic hasn’t erased all the other challenges we face, it has proven that strong public services, and public sector workers, are part of the solution; rebuilding Ontario means rebuilding our capacity by investing in our public sector.

“When times get tough, public sector workers are the ones holding all the pieces together,” said Almeida. “Workers are the beating heart of it all and they deserve better. With less than a year until the provincial election, it’s time to flex our muscles; to demand the repeal of Bill 124, permanent provincially funded paid sick days, and permanent – not just pandemic – pay increases.

“If we want to attract and retain the best and brightest, we are going to have to pay up,” Almeida noted. “In long-term care, community health care and mental health, in developmental services, in our shelters and across the board.”

A special video introduction featuring all the BPS Sector Chairs was aired followed by a moment of silence to commemorate those who’ve fallen ill, been injured or passed away this past year, including BPS members Connie Cerdan (Developmental Services) and Roman Skots (LBED).

As part of Friday’s agenda, delegates spoke about the challenges they’ve faced in their workplaces and sectors, and the actions they’ve taken to address those challenges head on to protect themselves and their coworkers and to improve workplace health and safety. It proved to be an excellent opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences.

They also discussed the road ahead and what building resilience will look like, as the union works to rebuild a beleaguered public sector, and province – over the next two years, and for many more to come.

Saturday and Sunday saw the Sector Divisional Meetings, and elections for Sector Executives were also held. OPSEU/SEFPO thanks all the candidates who put their names forward, and congratulates everyone who was elected for the 2021-2023 term.

Newly Elected Division Executive Members Broader Public Sector (BPS) 2021-23

Sector 1: Ambulance

Name, Position Title

Joel Usher L381, Chair

Jamie Ramage L256, Vice Chair

To be elected at next DivEx meeting, Secretary/Treasurer

Tim Szumlanski L277, Director 2 – Hamilton, Brant, Norfolk

Mario Posteraro L256, Director 3 – Peel, Guelph/Wellington, Halton

Cory Schepers L303, Director 4 – Simcoe, West Parry Sound & Grey Bruce

Shauna Dunn L462, Director 5 – Frontenac, Lennox/Addington, Northumberland & Kawartha

Darryl Taylor L679, Director 6 – Manitoulin Sudbury EMS, Temagami

Amanda Usher, 302, Director 7 – Dispatch

Dave Doran L462, Health & Safety Rep

Janel Perron L303, Trustee

Melissa Penner L147, Trustee

Sector 2: Developmental Services

Name, Position Title

Silvana Cacciatore L738, Chair

Kelly Nobert L386, Vice Chair 2a

Cathy Shaw L738, Vice Chair 2b

Angela Bagyan L433, Vice Chair 2c

Scott Collins L667, Secretary/Treasurer

Natasha Joseph Grenier L664, Communications Rep

Tamara Goldie L386, Health & Safety Rep

Karen McKinnon L358, Bargaining Rep at Large

Jac-Lynn Campbell L166, Regional Mobilizer – Region 1

Debbie Powell L235, Regional Mobilizer – Region 2

Vacant, Regional Mobilizer – Region 3

Lisa Gifford L434, Regional Mobilizer – Region 4

Rhea Vickii D’Singh L573, Regional Mobilizer – Region 5

Natasha Joseph-Grenier L664, Regional Mobilizer – Region 6

Kayla Bengtsson, L740, Regional Mobilizer – Region 7

Kenneth MacLam L740, Bargaining Team – Sector 2a

Rhea Vickii D’Singh L573, Bargaining Team – Sector 2b

Angela Bagyan L433, Bargaining Team – Sector 2c

Sheena Parsons L386, Trustee

Debbie L Powell L235, Trustee

Sector 3: Boards of Education

Name, Position Title

Sandra Cadeau L330, Chair

Bonnie Eddy L330, Vice Chair

Susan Richarz L514, Secretary

Donna Caissie L330, Treasurer

Lise Orsini L614, Member at Large

Paul Ayers L535, Trustee

Paulina Demelo-Medeiros L2100, Trustee

Sector 4: Children’s Aid Society

Name, Position Title

Chrisy Tremblay L454, Chair

Jody Carr-Allen L334, Vice Chair

Katherine Cossette L168, Secretary/Treasurer

Christine Steer L458, Member at Large

Christine Charette L116, Bargaining Representative – Region 1

Gavin Sharma L258, Bargaining Representative – Region 2

Jody Carr-Allen L334, Bargaining Representative – Region 3

Christine Steer L458, Bargaining Representative – Region 4

Mandi NcNeil L665, Bargaining Representative – Region 6

Candice Schepanowski L148, Bargaining Representative – Region 7

Justin Petitpas L454, Trustee

Joanne Riley L304, Trustee

Sector 5: Community Agencies

Name, Position Title

Kareen Marshall L540, Chair

Patricia Zonta L148, Vice Chair

Jennifer Maarinoff L525, Secretary/Treasurer

Kala Karunananthan L512, Member at Large

Zarine Dordi L512, Trustee

Carolina G’ala L512, Trustee

Sector 7: BPS Corrections

Name, Position Title

Jonathan Guider L166, Chair

Joseph Davies L166, Vice Chair

Assunta Patsiatzis L702, Secretary

David Farrugia L216, Treasurer

Jeff Tynes L361, Sector Steward

Sam Fischer L166, Trustee

Nicole Stach L143, Trustee

Sector 8: Long Term Care

Name, Position Title

Joan Corradetti L261, Chair

Shannon Nolan L214, Vice Chair

Julie Graham L305, Secretary

Terri-Lyn Long L305, Treasurer

William Stanton L166, Communications Coordinator

Allison Shand L261, Health & Safety Coordinator

Nancy Cortese L265, Trustee

Vacant, Trustee

Sector 9: Universities

Name, Position Title

Kella Loschiavo L596, Chair

Rob Boulet L608, Vice Chair

Patricia Tavares L519, Secretary

Jennifer Herrington L404, Treasurer

Lindsey Voison L608, Community Organizer

Anthony Fabiano L685, Communications Rep

Grace He L596, Trustee

Roy Teniuk L716, Trustee

Sector 10: Hospital Professionals

Name, Position Title

Sara Labelle L348, Chair

Sandi Blancher, L106, Vice Chair

Betty Palmieri L206, Secretary

Brenda Allan L215, Treasurer

Jessica Timothy L106, Education & Communications

Teresa Chafe L464, Health & Safety

Adrian-Alexandru Balojin L206, Job Security

Melissa Coenraad L475, Public Policy

Christa Walker, L383, WSIB

Seven Thomas McCaw L106, Benefits

Ben Arbeau L4106, Trustee

Herve Cavanaugh L466, Trustee

Sector 11: Hospital Support

Name, Position Title

Jill McIllrwraith L260, Chair

Jonathan Hopkins L275, Vice Chair

Rose Ann Faubert L132, Secretary

Debbie Black-Smith L260, Treasurer

Lee Ann Hofland L159, Education & Communications

Vacant, Newsletter / Communications

Christine Marshall L320, Health & Safety

Harry Sangha L374, Collective Bargaining

Jessica Evitts L132, Trustee

Lorian Beatz L159, Trustee

Sector 13: Municipalities

Name, Position Title

Tara Langford L435, Chair

Kerri McDonald L266, Vice Chair

Nicole Wilson L496, Secretary

Pamela Schmidt L496, Treasurer

Cheryl Silver L496, Communications Representative

Sector 15: Children’s Treatment Centres

Name, Position Title

Rachelle Lacoste L666, Chair

Tannis McGinn L460, Vice Chair

Deborah Gordon L145, Secretary

Michael Quinn L441, Treasurer

Laura O’Brien-Fargnoli L144, Member at Large

Shauna De Feyter L684, Trustee

Sally Haydock L567, Trustee

Sector 16: Property Assessment

Name, Position Title

Mark Hotte, L409, Chair

David Lynch, L409, Vice Chair

Robert Fong, L312, Treasurer

Paul Leslie, L312, Secretary

Michelle Faber L312, Member at Large

Russell Enns L254, Member at Large

Robert Fong L312, Pay Equity Committee

Richard Mauntah L552, Pay Equity Committee

Nicole Pyykonen L606, Pay Equity Committee

Brian Lopes L312, Pay Equity Committee

Melissa Matsos L202, Pay Equity Committee

Aaron Hornick L266, Trustee

Vacant, Trustee

Sector 17: Community Health Care Professionals

Name, Position Title

Lucy Morton L269, Chair

Anne- Marie Roy L675, Vice Chair

Kate Anderson L4101, Secretary

Mimi Ngassum L4101, Treasurer

Morgen Veres L487, Membership Representative

Karen Gventer L276, Newsletter / Communications

Jennifer Daguerre L675, Bargaining Representative

Vacant, Education Representative

Elaine Giles L4101, Trustee

Jessica Dionne L4101, Trustee

Sector 18: Mental Health and Addictions

Name, Position Title

Ed Arvelin L720, Chair

Tischa Forster L133, Vice Chair

Dustin Bayley L631, Secretary

Cindy Ladouceur L439, Treasurer

Kurt Hehl L329, Public Policy & Campaigns Coordinator

Maggie Wakeford L631, Membership Coordinator

Carol Mundley L500, Health & Safety Coordinator

Julie Chambo L291, Bargaining Coordinator

Mark Halabecki L720, Communications/Social Media

Maureen Harkin L631, Trustee

Yvonne Hinds L500, Trustee

Sector 19: CBS and Diagnostics

Name, Position Title

Geoffrey Cain L160, Chair

Shah Nawaz L545, Vice Chair

Renee Aiken Kearsley L389, Secretary

Jennifer Johnson L5103, Treasurer

Sarah Dupuis L619, Member at Large (CBS)

Hanan Battah L545, Member at Large (PHO)

Deirdre Dunn L716, Trustee

Audrey Smith L5103, Trustee

Sector 26: Liquor Board Employees

Name, Position Title

Colleen McLeod L5107, Chair

Jeremy Trainor L378, Vice Chair

Adam Ly L499, Secretary-Treasurer

Jamie Kensley L681, Chair, Anti-Privatization Committee

Shelly Robitaille L162, Chair, Benefits & Pensions Committee

Craig Hadley L5109, Chair, Educations & Communications Committee

Deborah McGuiness L5110, Chair, Health & Safety Committee

Kendrick Paterson L5110, Trustee

Kim Nasello L379, Trustee