From President JP Hornick: A spark of hope for a brighter future
Convention 2022 has come and gone, but I’m still radiating with sheer pride and joy! It’s a new day, and an historic moment for our union.
It’s been a busy week, and I’ve enjoyed getting straight to work. But, I want to take a moment to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for putting your trust in me as President of OPSEU/SEFPO.
I want to thank all the Convention delegates who attended and supported the call for renewal – within our union and our province. This past week has marked the beginning of a great transformation, and it’s going to take all of us, pulling together and supporting one another to build our movement and create long-lasting positive change through our collective power.
It is an absolute honour and privilege to be elected President of our great union. I don’t take the honour lightly, but I also believe that it’s not a solitary job. I believe that democracy and transparency matter, and that every member’s voice matters.
In the coming weeks, and months, I will be listening intently, to yours.
There are hundreds of thousands of Ontarians who have a vision of what we can be, and what we can do as a province. I ran for President of OPSEU/SEFPO, because I know it’s time to come together to build bridges so we can build a union and province we’re proud of – with equity at the core. Right now is the right time.
We’ve just come through some of the most difficult times of our working and personal lives. But we have risen to the challenges and helped one another through it. It’s how we have persevered, and it’s how we will continue to persevere – by building strength in numbers.
Whether we’re fighting for social justice, for systemic change, or facing off against recalcitrant employers, our solidarity is power.
And we’re going to need it as we prepare for the battle for a better Ontario.
In addition to listening to the voices of members, including those of marginalized workers within our union, we also need to organize and strengthen our alliances and partnerships inside and outside of OPSEU/SEFPO. We even need to engage with the forces that stand in our way, if we’re going to succeed.
We can build our strength and solidarity by opening the lines of communication – to foster connections across sectors, divisions, bargaining teams, regions, and locals; to plan, strategize and share best practices.
We must ensure our locals have the resources and support they need, and we must also address the systemic issues that are keeping us from true solidarity.
I know we can do it, and that’s why I have hope for our future.
I believe that as long as we stand together and create a big enough, rowdy enough tent, we will help to win a better future for all workers. Thank you for placing your trust in me to help accomplish our common goal.
I look forward to working with you, and the other Executive Board Members who you have elected to help build our collective power. Together, we will build a mighty team OPSEU/SEFPO and a better province for all workers.
From FVPT Laurie Nancekivell: Respect, trust, engagement – you can bank on it
I want to thank you, the members, for giving me the honour to serve as your First Vice-President/Treasurer – it is truly one of the greatest privileges of my life.
But, I’d also like to take this chance to thank you for the incredible work that you do in your workplaces and communities. There’s no denying that OPSEU/SEFPO members have been the backbone of Ontario these last two years, and long before that.
We educate, we protect and we serve the people of Ontario with dignity and respect. We stand up to injustice, we advocate for our fellow workers, and in so doing, we make our workplaces and communities stronger.
We do all of this best, when we do it together.
As a Regional Vice-President, I have always worked to create an environment where diverse thoughts and opinions are welcome and shared freely, and I will bring that same philosophy to my work as First Vice-President/Treasurer, because I believe it breeds strength and solidarity.
I want OPSEU/SEFPO to be the strongest union, the best employer and a bastion of social justice advocacy. I believe in consensus-building and sound, transparent decision-making.
As such, I believe in listening to our diverse membership, and respecting the role of the Executive Committee in their financial oversight. I also believe our union’s Constitution and Policy Manual serve an important role and should be respected, just like our democracy.
So what can you expect moving forward?
Respect – for you, as members and our union. Respect for the dues money that you provide, for the democratic processes in place and respect for differing views.
Trust – that you will get the resources, information and support you need. Trust that our union will be operated in a transparent, honest and equitable way.
Engagement – you can expect that your voice will be heard, and your interests respected, in all decision-making.
Our union’s strategic and budgetary goals will be developed in consultation with our sector, divisional and equity leadership, and greater participation from the Executive Board – you can bank on it.
There’s a famous expression that budgets are more than just a series of numbers on a page; they embody our values. OPSEU/SEFPO’s budget must reflect what is most important to us as a union – including stronger contracts, a mobilized membership, the enforcement of Collective Agreements, organizing new units, and building campaigns for real and progressive change.
So, once again, thank you for placing your confidence in me. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we will do it, together.
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer