2019 Convention Congres: Indivisible
Press Release

Thomas elected to record seventh term as OPSEU President

Publication Date

Friday, May 24, 2019 - 12:45pm

Toronto – Warren (Smokey) Thomas has been re-elected as President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) for a record seventh consecutive two-year term. He was first elected to the position in 2007.

Thomas defeated Sara Labelle, an OPSEU Regional Vice-President. Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida was also acclaimed for his record fifth two-year term as First Vice-President/Treasurer.

In his campaign speech to delegates, Thomas called OPSEU a powerhouse and praised members for building such a strong machine, calling the union a force to be reckoned with. Thomas vowed to engage in respectful debate and continue to build the union and fight for a better Ontario for today and tomorrow.

Thomas thanked delegates for their vote of confidence.

“Being re-elected president is an honour and I look forward to our road ahead, together,” said Thomas. “I stand by my motto of fair, firm and friendly - I don’t start fights, but I finish every single one. There’s a laundry list of ex-premiers who can vouch for that; they’re gone and OPSEU’s still standing. We’re in the fight of our working lives, but we’re building bridges and together, we will win.”

First Vice-President Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida also thanked delegates for their ongoing support.

“It is an absolute privilege to serve another term as OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer,” said Almeida. “On behalf of all our hardworking and dedicated members, thank you.”

“We must remain indivisible,” Thomas told the more than 2,000 delegates and observers at OPSEU’s largest-ever Convention. 

Thomas previously served as president of OPSEU Local 431 in Kingston before being elected as an Executive Board Member. He served three terms as First Vice-President/Treasurer before becoming President.

Delegates also voted to rank OPSEU’s seven Regional Vice-Presidents.

Sara Labelle, Regional Vice-President, Region 3 was re-elected as OPSEU 2nd Vice-President and highest-ranking woman and Len Elliott, Regional Vice-President, Region 1 was elected as 3rd Vice-
President, followed by:

Lucy Morton, Regional Vice-President, Region 2
Edie Strachan, Regional Vice-President, Region 5
Ed Arvelin, Regional Vice-President, Region 7
Tara Langford, Regional Vice-President, Region 4
Tara Maszczakiewicz, Regional Vice-President, Region 6

OPSEU proudly represents 155,000 members working in the Ontario Public Service, across the entire Broader Public Service and in the College sector.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931