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OPSEU submits brief on supporting post-secondary education in the COVID-19 era

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU, sent the following letter, along with OPSEU’s submission, to the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Education.  

Click here to read the submission.

May 22, 2020   

The Honourable Ross Romano
Minister of Colleges and Universities
438 University Avenue, 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N3

Dear Minister:

Please find enclosed Investing in Ontario’s Future: OPSEU’s submission to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ consultation for the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee.

As the union representing 44,000 members working in the post-secondary sector, we join with post-secondary institutions, student groups and labour organizations across Ontario in requesting financial support during, and in the aftermath of, the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this time of upheaval, our post-secondary institutions must be preserved and strengthened to ensure our workforce is equipped with the skills to restart and grow the economy. If not, we risk losing our competitive edge – and falling behind the rest of the world.

Our submission includes nine recommendations that we urge you, either to implement directly or to work with your federal counterparts to implement. We believe they are vital to ensuring that students receive support for tuition, our post-secondary institutions remain stable, and that their workers are there to provide the learning environment Ontario’s 700,000 college and university students expect and need.

The future of our new and emerging economy is in your hands. Please don’t let our province down.


Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Ontario Public Service Employees Union

c:             Janice Hagan, OPSEU College Full-time Support Division Chair
RM Kennedy, OPSEU College Faculty Division Chair
Kella Loschiavo, OPSEU Universities Sector Chair
Duncan McFarlane, OPSEU College Part-Time Support Division Chair
Kelly Shields, Assistant Deputy Minister, Postsecondary Education Division
Ivonne Mellozzi, Director, Postsecondary Accountability Branch