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The Echo – Issue 63 – February 2020

OPSEU/SEFPO Liquor Board Employees Division / Division des employes de la regie des alcools
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A message from the President

First off, I would like to welcome LBED’s new executive. I congratulate all of you for stepping up.

Click here to download a pdf of the Echo.

Union activism is hard work and requires dedication and commitment, but it’s also very rewarding. The more you put into this kind of work, the more you get out of it.

You take over during perhaps the most challenging moment in LBED’s history. The threat of privatization of elements of the LCBO has been present for a few years, but never before has a government pushed it forward so aggressively as we’re seeing now.

Premier Doug Ford is using the simplistic and deceitful message of convenience to dismantle a successful, publicly run retail and distribution model that has stood the test of time.

It’s deceitful because the Premier doesn’t mention that shifting profits to a few Ford private sector cronies means less money for vital social programs like health and education. It’s deceitful because the Premier doesn’t talk about the fact that privatized alcohol sales open the door for minors to more easily obtain a controlled substance.

What do we do about this shameless message? Fight, fight and keeping fighting.

Members of LBED have been doing that for months, holding information pickets to educate the public and Conservative backbenchers. Those are the kinds of activities we need to keep doing on the ground.

We had a major advertising campaign last summer, and we will be launching another one this year to increase public awareness about what is at stake here.

And the stakes are huge. It’s about your jobs, and it’s also about funding public services, like health, education and highways, just to name a few.

In addition to advertising and your tremendous efforts on the ground, we’ve been successful in getting our message out through the media. It’s no coincidence that our polling has indicated most Ontarians trust the LCBO more than anyone to handle alcohol sales. This is a huge vote of confidence in the work that you do day in and day out.

In solidarity,
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

A message from your chair

My name is Colleen MacLeod. This November, I had the privilege of being elected as chair of the LBED Division. I’ve been with the LCBO for 22 years, all of which have been served

in retail. During my time in retail, I was casual for 11 years, a period of my life that I use as a moral compass and as a reminder that we have a lot of work to do for the vast majority of our membership.

As an 11-year president of local 5107 serving one of LBED’s largest locals and as a long- serving divisional executive as secretary- treasurer, I’ve learned the key to our success as a division is to work as a team, utilizing

communication, transparency and accountability. It’s the same approach I’ve used serving on the past three bargaining teams.

In my time as a union steward, I’ve watched the LCBO organization undergo a plethora of

changes, some good, some bad. I’ve witnessed and fought against privatization attacks and have always been a strong advocate to ensure the LCBO remains public for generations to come.

As chair, I will continue to lead our division against privatization threats, both internal and external, and together we will meet these challenges head-on.

Whether you work in retail, logistics or head office, whether it’s your first day, last day or somewhere in between, we’re all part of a great union. Our LBED Division is strong, and we stand to only grow stronger. My friends, thank you for the opportunity. Let’s move forward, together.

In solidarity,
Colleen MacLeod, LBED Chair

Jeremy Trainor, Vice-Chair

My goal as vice-chair is to assist the chair in building a cohesive, informed and powerful team through open communication, sharing of knowledge and willingness to listen. As chair of the Grievance Committee I will strive to have the committee review as many grievances as possible in a timely manner.

We will look to improve the process and/or educate the local presidents on the need to have notes and documents sent to OPSEU central so that the committee has the information in the files to review.

We will continue to push the employer to get grievances scheduled in a more timely manner so that your issues are dealt with when they are relevant.

Tracy Vyfschaft, Secretary-Treasurer

In my capacity as LBED secretary-treasurer, I will provide local presidents and highest-ranking timely communication, divisional executive minutes and LBED financials.

In my role, I look forward to attending Provincial Labour Management meetings. I will add my voice at the PLMC, presenting outstanding items to the employer and discussing matters that have corporate-wide implications.

Debbie Mcguinness, Chair, Health and Safety

My goal as chair is to empower our health and safety representatives throughout the province and foster a positive health and safety culture in the workplace. I strive to assist in educating and supporting our representatives, while encouraging everyone to get involved and make safety and wellness a priority.

The Health and Safety Committee and I will continue with our commitment to working with the employer in order to promote awareness on mental health and workplace stress, along with providing more resources to our members.

I believe the journey towards improving the quality of working conditions can be achieved with open dialogue and support for each other in the coming year.

Jamie Kensley, Chair, Anti-Privatization Committee

My goal as chair of the Anti-Privatization Committee is to promote our campaign message-Keep It Public (www.keepitpublic.ca).

By engaging our members, our allies and our communities, we will raise awareness concerning the dangers of alcohol expansion and increased availability.

We will strive to secure the continued role of the government in the socially responsible control and sale of alcohol within the province and to fight against privatization.

In solidarity, we will succeed.

Shelly Robitaille, Chair, Pension and Benefits

As chair of Pensions and Benefits I will bring my personal values of respect, integrity and teamwork to our committee. I will help guide the committee in reaching our goals within an acceptable timeline and ensure we develop effective strategies in reaching our goals.

As a committee, our goals are to encourage members to sign up for OPTrust online services and to ensure our members receive all the pension and benefits they are entitled to during and after their employment with the LCBO. The committee will also advocate for our members and continue to deliver training and education for retirement planning, benefits and member pension plan education.

Throughout our two-year term, we will continue to share all pertinent information from our ongoing communication with the employer, Manulife and OPTrust. The Pension and Benefit Committee is energized, focused and excited to fulfil our mandate of serving our members.

Craig Hadley, Chair of Education and Communication

My goal as chair of the Education and Communication Committee is to work diligently with the Education and Communication Committee members to help deliver divisional information to our members. The committee will do this by publishing the Echo quarterly, while utilizing social media daily to grow the presence of the LBED division. We stand ready to assist the divisional executive and our local presidents in facilitating their educational and communications needs. www.facebook.com/OpseuLiquorBoardEmployees/

Through my eyes

Deborah De Souza, Local 499 – Region 4

It was my first time attending an OPSEU conference. Nothing prepares you for the amazing energy of being among 700 people, all with a similar purpose – to help make our workplace better! The community spirit was evident. People greeted each other at the BPS Conference with an excitement which carried a real sense of family, as if everyone were brother and sister.

Upon arrival, I sat in the lobby, absorbing the atmosphere, and was soon approached by a woman I had recently met at an OPSEU educational. She greeted me with genuine warmth, saying how good it was to see me again “sister”. For as long as I have been a member of LBED, this was the first time I felt the power of US. After these initial observations, I was excited for the conference to commence.

Every OPSEU division present had tables set up in the foyer for delegates to visit, sharing their achievements and challenges, along with their plans to overcome those challenges. Learning this firsthand was very eye opening. The day’s events began with an Indigenous land acknowledgement which I found very moving. We were addressed by OPSEU’s President and First Vice-President/Treasurer and made familiar with regional presidents and their respective strength in membership. It was an impressive first day, overwhelming but educational and entertaining.

A panel of experts shed light on what we face as a workforce dealing with mental health issues and their ramifications. We were then taken on a journey of awareness by Jully Black regarding staying strong when faced with adversity and a constant battle for fair and equitable treatment. I ended that first day feeling full, hopeful and realizing how much more I wanted to know and be involved in.

The following day, delegates attended their respective divisional meetings. As an alternate, I was there to observe the proceedings. Although there were differing opinions and disagreements regarding previous decisions, these challenges were all conducted with utmost respect. One of the things that kept poking through my consciousness was everyone’s level of integrity and genuine desire to effect change for our union. The morning session ended with all agenda items successfully addressed, leaving divisional elections for that afternoon.

The elections were exciting as I learned firsthand with candidates vying for positions to represent LBED – positions that carry a heavy responsibility to uphold our rights and benefits. There were some impressive, intelligent and dedicated candidates. Hearing them talk about their reasons and motivation in a three-minute speech was inspiring. In my opinion, the elected candidates were considerately chosen and well equipped to represent LBED members.

I was given the chance to wear the delegate’s credentials after one of my team had to leave unexpectedly. I stood for election to the Education and Communication Committee and, being a first-timer, I was pleasantly surprised to be elected. This has been a whirlwind of learning, meeting wonderful, intelligent and dedicated people, participating in meaningful, passionate dialogue, and all with one goal in mind: supporting each other and making a difference for the good of all.

I am privileged to have been able to attend and am grateful to my local for the opportunity.

Your sister in solidarity,
Deborah De Souza

DIVEX

Chair Colleen MacLeod
Vice-Chair Jeremy Trainor
Secretary/Treasurer Tracy Vfyschaft
Ranked Chairs (1) Jamie Kensley; (2) Debbie McGuinness; (3) Craig Hadley; (4) Shelly Robitaille

Grievance Committee

Vice-Chair Jeremy Trainor
Retail Member-at- Large Adam Ly
Non-Retail Member-at-Large Craig Hadley

Benefits and Pensions Committee

Chair Shelly Robitaille
Member-at-Large Adam Ly, Nick Papadimitriou

Health and Safety Committee

Chair Debbie McGuinness
Member-at-Large Wayne Peck, Gregory Wilson

Anti-Privatization Committee

Chair Jamie Kensley
Member-at-Large Tammy Rogers, Janice Ariza

By-Law Review Committee

Chair Colleen MacLeod
Member-at-Large Robin Reath, Maria Bauer

Trustees

Eileen Allen, Colm Kieran

Regional Labour Management Chairs

Western Shawn Swayze
Central Kim Nasello
Eastern Rachel Brunet
Northern Leslie Gagnon

Liquor Board Employees Division Divisional Executive

Colleen MacLeod, (L5107) Chair, lbedchair@rogers.com
Jeremy Trainor, Vice-Chair, lbedvicechair@gmail.com
Tracy Vyfschaft, Secretary/Treasurer, vyfschafttracy@gmail.com
Jamie Kensley(L681) Chair, Anti-Privatization Committee, jamienji@gmail.com
Shelly Robitaille, (L162) Chair, Benefits and Pensions Committee, srobitaille77@hotmail.com
Craig Hadley, (L5109) Chair, Educations and Communications Committee, craigh22@gmail.com
Debbie McGuinness, (L5110) Chair, Health and Safety Committee, debbiemcguinness01@gmail.com