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Municipally Speaking Newsletter Autumn 2016

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On the horizon… BPS conference 2017

The biennial OPSEU Broader Public Service conference is a gathering of members from across the province who belong to bargaining units outside of the Ontario Public Service and the community colleges. BPS members work for community agencies, universities, hospitals, school boards, and the LCBO. They work in youth corrections, mental health care, medical labs, social services, home care, long-term care, emergency medical services, property assessment, and in many other public sector jobs. In fact, more than 70,000 OPSEU members work in the BPS – including, of course, those of us who work for municipalities. Talk to your local representatives about attending next year’s conference, June 23-25, in Toronto.

Making progress on the consolidated survey

OPSEU’s research unit has finished reviewing all of the collective agreements for more than 30 bargaining units in Sector 13. Staff have consolidated the language and provisions from about 20 different articles. By consolidating the information gathered we are able to provide one comprehensive document to every unit in Sector 13 that they can then use in their individual bargaining rounds. The job of consolidating language and provisions has taken almost five years. Updates are shared every two years to Sector 13 members who attend the BPS conference.

Sector 13 looks ahead to possible pre-bargaining conference

The executive is looking into organizing a pre-bargaining conference for Sector 13 members. Each bargaining unit in the sector would be eligible to send delegates to the conference. This would be an opportunity for us to network, discuss proposals, and gather bargaining demands. We have submitted a budget proposal for the conference and are now waiting to see if it will be approved.

Mark your calendar!

Dates of upcoming OPSEU conferences and meetings…

Regional Meetings
March 18, 2017 (various locations)

OPSEU Convention
April 6-8, 2017, Toronto

BPS Conference
June 23-25, 2017, Toronto

Sector 13 Divisional Executive

Tara Langford

Dwayne Ebbers

Pam Schmidt

Kerri Wells

Message from the Vice-Chair

OPSEU’s inaugural Indigenous Circle conference

As a Region 2 delegate to the Indigenous Circle, as well as the vice-chair of the municipalities sector, I was absolutely thrilled by how well OPSEU’s first-ever Indigenous Circle conference was received. The response from participants at the conference, held in Cornwall at the end of September, was outstanding.

The keynote speaker, Senator Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, provided all of us with many issues to think about and to trigger discussions.

For all who attended, the conference provided an amazing opportunity to engage with elders from the nearby Akwesasne Mohawk First Nation community, as well as with Indigenous Circle members from other parts of Ontario.

The structure of the conference was different from anything OPSEU has attempted previously because it was organized in partnership with the community of Akwesasne. The experience proved to be quite successful and represents a good foundation on which to build future Indigenous Circle conferences and campaigns. 

A fire was sparked … and it continues grow!

In Solidarity,

Theresa O'Connor


Senator Murray Sinclair, centre, meets participants of OPSEU’s first Indigenous Circle conference held in Cornwall, September 30-October 1.