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Municipally Speaking newsletter for Sector 13 members

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BPS conference set for June 23-25 in Toronto

Planning is now well underway for OPSEU’s 2017 Broader Public Service (BPS) Conference. The conference will open June 23, followed by sector divisional meetings June 24-25. All events and activities will take place at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the BPS as a stand-alone sector within OPSEU. In 1992, the BPS had a membership of about 25,000 and our conference that year attracted 200 delegates.

Today, BPS membership stands at more than 70,000 and we expect close to 800 delegates to be in Toronto. More than numbers, the BPS has transformed OPSEU. It has widely expanded our occupational groups and makes both OPSEU and our province stronger. The public services provided by the BPS directly impact the lives of millions of Ontarians.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Work, Life and Beyond – Part 2.” As the title suggests, we’re taking what was successful at our last conference in 2015 – survival in an ever-changing public service environment – and applying it this year to our personal lives.

Register today!

Sector 13 members who are interested in attending this year’s BPS conference should speak to a member of their local executive. The deadline for registration is April 28.

Our sector bylaws allow every bargaining unit that has 75 members or less to send two (2) delegates to the conference. For units of more than 75, three (3) delegates are eligible to attend.

Educationals at the conference

Sector 13 members who attend the BPS conference will attend the following educationals on Saturday June 24:

Making Composite Locals Work

Composite or “multi-unit locals” can be very challenging bargaining units to organize and operate. Communication and membership coordination are common barriers that often prevent these locals from developing inclusivity and reaching their full potential.

This course will offer an in-depth working session for members of local executive committees of composite or multi-unit locals. Participants will identify clear roles and responsibilities as local leaders, prepare an appropriate budget, develop a workplace map of their units or workplaces, and assess the functioning of their local and its units.

Based on the results from the course, participants will develop action plans that they can apply at the local level.

Indigenous Journey

This course offers an introduction to the three Indigenous cultures found in Canada. It offers an opportunity to discover the history of our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples. History, traditions and teachings of each culture will be shared with participants. OPSEU’s Indigenous Circle Vice-Chair Theresa O’Connor will co-facilitate the course.

Join our May 2 conference call!

Your Sector 13 divisional executive has scheduled a conference call on May 2, 7:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate and call in with questions and comments. We will be discussing the upcoming BPS conference and a general bargaining update, including wage settlements in the sector.

To join the call, please call 1-888-289-4573 or 416-645-1179 and enter access code 5253664.

Sector 13 pre-bargaining conference

Our request to organize our first ever Sector 13 pre-bargaining conference has been approved by the OPSEU executive board!

Details will be announced shortly, but at this time we are looking at organizing the conference in Peterborough sometime this October.

As municipal and municipally-funded agencies, privatization of the work we do is a real concern. To combat that trend, a pre-bargaining conference will give us the tools we need to fight back. The conference will also give everyone a chance to learn more about current bargaining trends, best practices and ways we can achieve stronger contract language. Our goal will be to provide Sector 13 bargaining team members with the tools they’ll need to improve their skills on a host of issues and bargaining techniques.

Bargaining trends

After reviewing the most recently-settled collective agreements signed by some of our locals, we’ve noticed a common theme: employers have been asking for across-the-board concessions to benefits. These rollbacks have ranged from increasing deductibles for health benefits, to prolonging dental recalls.

In this round of settlements, we have noticed annual wage increases that have ranged from 0.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent.

Connect with OPSEU: the Member Portal

The Member Portal gives you secure online access to services and member information 24/7, including:

  • updating your contact information
  • downloading your collective agreement and bylaws (if available)
  • earning more about your local executive committee
  • submitting expense claims electronically 48 hours after an event

Visit the Member Portal to see how easy it is to get online services and information!

If you have problems logging on, please contact your regional office.

Your 2017 Sector 13 Divisional Executive

Tara Langford, Local 435
Chair, tlangford70@hotmail.com

Theresa O’Connor, Local 266
Vice-Chair, theresaoconnor59@yahoo.ca

Dwayne Ebbers, Local 496
Secretary, jan122000@hotmail.com

Pam Schmidt, Local 496
Treasurer, schmidtp1967@gmail.com

Kerri Wells, Local 266
Communications, kerriwells8734@gmail.com