At the end of 2014, OPSEU continues its fight to ensure both its members and public services are protected. And there have been many challenges to both.
- First, an assault on OPS members and the services through concession bargaining. The member response to government, through their strike mandate vote, was "forget it".
- Then there was the Auditor General's report. It set out the ways privatization, P3s and outsourcing is an ongoing disaster for public services and tax payers. Instead of improving services, billions of dollars are wasted.
- Add to these, the failure of the Social Assistance Management System (SAMS). This effected OPSEU members at ODSP and Ontario Works. It left case workers unable to rectify thousands of system errors. OPSEU members faced stress while clients went without funds.
OPSEU responded quickly and decisively. The Executive Board approved the posting of large notices about these issues in the Toronto Star (includes Metro), Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Hamilton Spectator, Kingston Whig Standard, London Free Press, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie Star and Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal. These ads run on December 17, 19, 22 and 23.
The first notice, addressing the funds wasted with privatization is set out below. Other postings will address Ontario's Corrections System, the problems with the SAMS systems and private contractors. The notices are early steps in a campaign to put the misuse of public money and waste from privatization at the centre of public debate.
Through this, all Ontarians will see, understand, accept and act on the many key issues OPSEU members already know about and live with each day.
Our message is simple: Ontario will be a better place if we pay for public services instead of private profit. With one, everyone benefits; with the other just the wealthy get richer.
We will all do better when the Wynne government is pushed to come to the same view of Ontario's public services and economy expressed by the A.G. and OPSEU. Then, Ontario will be a province with greater income equality and improved services.
We are a powerful force when we all work together. With this stress-filled close to 2014, we know that 2015 will be a year for activism, hard work and opportunity.
Related: OPS Bargaining 2014 Index Page