Every week, OPSEU's We Own It campaign publishes a newsletter called The We Own It Weekly. It's a round-up of news and information about the growing movement to protect communities from privatization.
And here's the latest issue:
New We Own It Video
Looking for a quick and easy way to encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to join our movement? This new 45-second video will help!
You can also see it here on Facebook.
Or here on Twitter.
In the news
During a crowded town hall meeting in Kenora on April 4, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas urged people to make privatization an election issue.
Thomas told 89.5 The Lake that the We Own It campaign has now signed up more than 57,000 supporters.
"We hope to mobilize those 57,000 people … to vote in favour of a platform that's pro public service and anti-privatization," Thomas said.
The town hall meeting was also covered by KenoraOnline.
Mayo Schmidt, the CEO of the now privatized Hydro One, got a hefty 38 per cent raise last year—from $4.5 million in 2016 to $6.2 million in 2017.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told The Toronto Star, "the raise is a slap in the face to the hard-working Ontario families being gouged on their hydro bills," while Progressive Conservative Energy Critic Vic Fedeli said: "All that is while families still have to stay at home and choose whether to heat or eat because of their hydro rates."
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said: "Hydro One is now a publicly traded company, not a government entity, and this means it is subject to different oversight and disclosure rules."
The Toronto Star reports that Ottawa is "seriously considering" a scheme to sell off the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, which is the Crown corporation in charge of airport security screening.
"But it’s raising questions whether existing fees paid by passengers for security screening — $7 for a domestic flight and close to $25 for an international trip — will have to rise," The Star reports.
Senator Bernie Sanders has vowed to stop the wealthy political donors who are behind the push to privatize the U.S. Veterans Affairs agency.
“What you’re looking at under the leadership of the [billionaire] Koch brothers, is a massive effort to privatize agencies of the United States government and give them over to private corporations,” said Sanders.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump replaced Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin with his presidential physician.
After his ouster, Shulkin wrote an op-ed for The New York Times strongly denouncing plans to privatize Veterans Affairs.
"I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans," Shulkin wrote.
During an emotional meeting last week, parents and school staff in a community near Atlantic City told their school board they don't want privatized teaching aides.
The board claims privatizing the aids will save money, but those "savings" will come on the back of frontline workers who would lose their health benefits.
School library assistant Amy Collins said all the other employees in the district are eligible for health benefits but that the privatized employees wouldn't be.
“Those of us who are in the trenches every single day with the teachers and the kids, we’re not worthy?” Collins said, eliciting applause from the audience.
We Own It Events
Rallies for quality public Developmental Services
Friday, April 6, communities across the province