It takes commitment, hard work and some time to build a powerful movement. It also takes resources and experience to make it all work. That’s why I’m honoured to continue to serve our members as OPSEU’s First Vice-President/Treasurer.
We’ve built a powerful machine, but making it work takes sound finances and strong investment. We believe in what we’re doing, but making it work means investing in ourselves and our union for the long-term.
Convention 2019 is over, but the real work has only just begun.
We’ve got a strong plan, and it’s my job to make sure that we can pay for it. That’s why I’m so pleased to say that our union is in excellent financial shape and we’re ready for the challenges ahead. We’re ready for any curve ball Doug Ford tries to throw our way.
Can we anticipate union-bashing and labour strife? Yes.
Would we ever use charter challenges or other legal means to fight Ford? Yes.
Are we ramping up our Together to Win campaign for a better Ontario? Yes.
Can we afford all of this? The answer is definitely, yes.
Budgeting can be a juggling act; there are always numerous priorities to consider. We must maintain an excellent calibre of services for our members and we must anticipate future costs. We must assist our bargaining units in negotiating good contracts, and we must invest in organizing new members and supporting our newest bargaining units as well.
But no matter what, there’s always one central priority that never changes – protecting our members’ jobs and the high-quality public services they provide. With Doug Ford as premier, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Luckily, we know what we’re doing.
Whether it’s household finances or those of a powerhouse union like OPSEU, the smartest way to spend is to invest. My commitment as First Vice-President/Treasurer has always been to invest in OPSEU members and the infrastructure to support them.
That’s why I was happy to announce recently that we’ve finalized the purchase of a building at 155 Lesmill Rd., which will serve as office space and as an expanded Membership Training Centre. As an investment, this just makes sense. Our union is growing and we need the infrastructure to support our members’ growing needs.
As we bring more services and member resources in-house, we’re spending smarter by investing in the future of our union and the generations of OPSEU members to come.
And we know that property is one of the soundest investments we can make – especially in a market like Toronto where the value is always going up. Our stock is rising, and with our arsenal of assets – including our fierce membership – we’re more than prepared to take on the challenges we face.
Don’t just take my word for it, this is exactly what OPSEU’s independent auditor confirmed during her official Auditor’s Report at Convention. We’re in good shape and building our asset portfolio is smart, long-term thinking.
It’s why OPSEU’s Executive Board has approved the Together to Win campaign. This too is an investment in our union and our province’s future.
We can win the fight against Ford’s destructive agenda, but we need our local leaders and our members at the centre of the action. That’s why we’ve got to mobilize like never before.
We’ve got to fight smart if we’re going to win, and we’ve got to invest if we’re going to fight smart. I’m committed to making it work, so that our union continues to work for everyone.
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
Ontario Public Service Employees Union