Over the years, OPSEU members have decided over and over that our union should remain non-partisan. I think that’s a good decision — reasonable, principled, and fair for everybody.
But don’t think for a second that OPSEU doesn’t pay close attention to politics. Our bosses are politicians and our expertise is public services. We don’t just deliver public services — we fight for them, we protect them, and we make them better every single day.
That’s why I say politics is at the very heart of what OPSEU does. And that’s why politics is a huge focus for the union over the next few weeks.
On June 7, Ontario goes to the polls in the most important provincial election we've faced in years. Healthy, safe, and prosperous communities depend on quality public services, but the future of those very services is at stake.
Tired and old, the Liberals talk a good game about public services, but their track record shows a long history of cuts and privatizations.
Chaotic and impulsive, the Progressive Conservatives have offered no clear vision for our public services, but we know they’re being led behind the scenes by Harper and Reform-era insiders who despise public service workers.
Little-known and untested, The NDP is so far the only party to present a fully costed campaign platform to improve our services and our communities. But with so little experience, do they have what it takes to make their vision a reality?
The consequences are high, and the choice isn’t easy.
That's why OPSEU is publishing its own election platform, called Vote Better.
It’s filled with powerful proposals that come from members just like you on what the government must do to make Ontario better for everybody.
This platform isn’t just powerful, it’s also possible. It addresses the inevitable question: “but how are we going to pay for it?” The truth is, Ontario is wealthier than it's ever been before. By sharing that wealth a little more fairly, we can easily afford to invest in ourselves, our services, and our communities.
OPSEU members can get a sneak peek of Vote Better by clicking here.
On May 8, we’ll be launching the platform publicly with an interactive election town hall we’re calling “Talk ON.” It will feature a good, honest debate between me and a couple of political insiders from across the spectrum: Toronto Sun editor Adrienne Batra on the right and former NDP MPP Rosario Marchese on the left
You’ll have a say, too. “Talk ON” will be like one of our excellent telephone town halls, but with a twist — you’ll also be able to tune in to a live web stream and participate via the web and Facebook.
I encourage each and every OPSEU member to take part, and to invite their friends, neighbours and co-workers to tune in, too.
The more we all talk about the upcoming election, the more of us who will Vote Better.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union