As always we wish each of you safety and good health. You are in our thoughts and prayers every day.
And if we were on schedule, we’d all be coming together this week for our annual Convention.
The slogan for Convention 2020 was to be OPSEU: Then. Now. Always.
It was to mark all of our years of amazing work together and signal hope for our collective future.
But this isn’t any other year – the pandemic has changed everything. But we have responded.
We’re proud that OPSEU acted early and set an example on how to help flatten the curve and keep everybody in the province – you, your family, and your neighbours – well and safe. We were one of the first organizations to close our offices, direct staff to work from home, and postpone all face-to-face meetings. We worked tirelessly in the early days to convince employers, where possible to do the same.
In unchartered territory, none of these decisions were easy. Postponing Convention was a particularly difficult decision for the Executive Board.
Not only is Convention the highest decision-making body for our 165,000-strong union, it also provides a vital opportunity for members from communities and workplaces across the province to come together, connect, trade information, and build solidarity. And after weeks of physical distancing, a little time with friends and colleagues would have been good for the soul.
While we can’t come together this year in the traditional sense, it’s more important than ever that we continue to stay connected.
That’s why we’ll be releasing a video on Thursday, May 21, that will feature Convention style addresses from both of us.
Watch your email and OPSEU’s website and social media platforms for its release.
It’s a year unlike any we’ve faced before. The last few months have been especially challenging. But together we are pulling through.
We are working day and night so that you can continue to count on OPSEU to have your back during this crisis.
We look forward to the time when it’s safe for all of us to get together again.
Until then, remember: we may be far apart, but we’ve never been closer.
OPSEU. Then. Now. Always.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU First Vice-President Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida