You just have to look at this website to see that governments and employers aren’t responding to people’s concerns.
Witness just some of our stories:
- More than 11,000 children and youth in Ontario with at least one diagnosable mental disorder find themselves on waitlists. Instead of providing needed funding, the provincial government has flat-lined core budgets for 14 of the past 16 years.
- Thousands of laid-off workers are fighting back against an Employment insurance program that has been slashed to the bone.
- The cash-rich LCBO has failed to come to terms with its responsibility to protect and provide good jobs, forcing our members to take a strike vote to get their attention.
- Hospitals across the province are reeling under deficits that will force them to close beds and reduce services.
- Workload, salary, and academic freedom are the top three priorities for contract negotiations for college professors. Meanwhile, college managers continue to stonewall the legitimate rights of part-time employees to unionize.
- In the province’s always-overcrowded jails, staff have been forced to give up their time off this summer. That’s a powderkeg just waiting to blow.
There is a lot that governments could do to alleviate these situations. But they seem to be hiding behind the economic recession in order to make more cuts. They fail to respond to crying needs in our communities.
So why don’t they respond positively, instead of clinging to tired holdovers from the past — cutbacks, deregulation, privatization and the erosion of full-time jobs – policies that got us into this economic mess in the first place?
We want answers. It’s our duty to force governments to act positively. That’s why, in the coming weeks, OPSEU will be sponsoring “community response” forums in a number of cities across Ontario.
Our objective is to bring the right people together – government, labour and business — to discuss positive changes that could make a real difference.
In a crisis, somebody has to take the lead. Let’s talk solutions.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas