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Thomas, Rout acclaimed as OPSEU leaders


TORONTO – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and 1st Vice-President/Treasurer Patty Rout have been acclaimed into their positions for another two-year term at the 34th Annual OPSEU Convention. It is the first time in OPSEU history that both positions have been acclaimed in the same election year.

In his acceptance speech, Thomas said he was honoured and humbled by the support of the members.

“This is a great union, and it is the members who make us great,” Thomas said. “I thank you for your confidence.”

Thomas, 56, works at the Providence Continuing Care hospital in Kingston. He said the fight for good jobs and working people will continue, and he vowed to defy any moves to weaken the public sector contracts. “If any government wants to kick working people when they’re down, they will have a fight on their hands the likes of which they have never seen before.”

Rout, 57, who works at the Lakeridge Hospital in Oshawa, said in an emotional speech that it is a great honour to be acclaimed. She acknowledged the support of her family and supporters, and especially thanked Smokey Thomas for his ongoing support and assistance.

“As a union, we come together as one, and that’s where we get our strength,” Rout said. “Our prize is good collective agreements, good pensions and good jobs,” The prize now is to keep our collective agreements and the pensions that allow our members to retire in dignity.”

OPSEU represents 130,000 members across Ontario, including members working for the provincial government, colleges for applied arts and technologies, hospital professionals and workers at the LCBO.

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