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Editors’ Weekend 2019 rocks the union house!

2019 Editors Weekend. Toronto skyline.

Editors’ Weekend has been an OPSEU staple since the early 1990s. Every two years, members from get a chance to learn and hone a variety of communications skills to help them get out the union’s message.

Some 80 members from all regions attended this year.

The inSolidarity Committee hosted this year’s edition that ran December 6-8.  It featured nine workshops that dealt with editing, writing and social media among others.

OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida welcomes participants to the weekend.

OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida kicked off the weekend with a stirring talk that highlighted the vital importance of communications for today’s labour movement.

“It’s vital for Local executives to be able to communicate effectively with their members,” Almeida said.  “Local newsletters are an important source of information to keep members up to date on what is going on.”

Randy Robinson did what he does best: fascinate audiences.

Keynote speaker Randy Robinson – former OPSEU Communications supervisor and now Ontario director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – focused on debunking the right-wing mantra that Ontario is “broke.”

Nine awards were presented for communications excellence.

One of the weekend’s highlights was a gala awards dinner held Saturday night. Nine OPSEU locals were recognized for the excellence of their written and online communications:

  • Best Equity Article: “Sexual Harassment in the Academy,” Shannon MacRae, Niagara College (Local 242)
  • Best Humour Piece: “A Professional Development Leave: Is it right for you?”, Greg Smith, Local 242 Newsletter, Niagara College
  • Best Design – Newsletter: Local 657 Newsletter, Canadore College
  • Best Feature: “Early Days: Collective Bargaining for Faculty,” Frank Green, The Educator (Local 110)
  • Best Editorial: “Hot Button Issues,” Ravi Ramkissoonsingh, Local 242 Newsletter, Niagara College
  • Best Bargaining Communication: “The CEC, Devlin, the Union, and You,” Line News, Fanshawe College (Local 110)
  • Best News Coverage, “Privacy of Personal Info,” Urszula Kosecka, Newsbreak, Humber College (Local 562)
  • Rookie Newsletter of the Year: Local 657 Newsletter, Canadore College
  • Best Overall Newsletter: Local 657 Newsletter, Canadore College
Peter Thompson enlightened as much as he entertained.

Peter Thompson, chair of OPSEU’s Coalition of Racialized Workers, gave attendees a presentation on OPSEU’s Social Mapping Census and stressed the importance of all members completing the survey.  The deadline to complete the Census has been extended until Jan. 26.

Participants concluded the conference by elected five regular members for OPSEU’s inSolidarity Committee and five alternates.  Those elected include:

Committee members:

Craig Hadley (editor and returning member))

Glen Archer (returning member)

Maria Bauer (returning member)

Christina Chrysler (new member)

Michael Hamilton (new member)


First Alternate – Laurie Tarto

Second Alternate – Daniel McKnight

Third Alternate – Marilyn Ott

Fourth Alternate – Lisa Hamilton

Fifth Alternate – Julie Hunt

Congratulations to all who ran and all who were elected!

Sincere thanks and congratulations also go out to all the members of the inSolidarity Committee who helped make Editors’ Weekend so successful: Craig Hadley, Glen Archer, Maria Bauer, Julie Hunt and Laurie Tarto.