Message from President Warren (Smokey) Thomas


To all members,

I have been contemplating retirement for some time, and, after talking with my family and close friends, I have decided to retire at the end of my term this coming April. It has been a great and humbling honour to serve as President of our great Union for over 14 years.

I will be an Executive Board Member from Region 4 and President until the close of Convention on April 9.

OPSEU/SEFPO is a truly great Union. We have a great group of activists and staff who provide support and advocacy for you, the membership. Our staff have also worked closely with my office and our elected leaders on many issues that affect our daily lives and society.

It has been exciting to watch our Union family nearly double in size in the past 14 years and we can be proud of the countless things we have accomplished together, such as the largest organizing drive in Canadian labour history that made OPSEU/SEFPO the bargaining agent for thousands of part-time support workers at Ontario’s public colleges.

I decided to announce my plans now so that the organization can prepare for the upcoming leadership change.

No one becomes the President of our Union without the guidance, support, and mentorship of many people. I will be forever grateful for the help and support I have received over the years.

I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life. Spending more time with my family and friends will be an absolute pleasure. Val and I might even get to take a vacation.

With thanks and solidarity,