This week has been the beginning of a new adventure for me, and is a culmination of the years I have spent as an activist in this great union.
First, I want to thank you for your support and the trust you have placed in me. Safeguarding our union’s finances is a heavy responsibility, and one that I approach with great seriousness. Our finances come from your dues, and that is money you work hard for. As such, we must ensure that every penny of that money is spent wisely for the benefit of our members.
I will learn a lot in the coming weeks and months. No one steps into a new job with all the knowledge and answers. Thankfully, our past 1st Vice-President/Treasurer and those who came before her left me excellent guidelines to follow. I will learn from their work and integrate their practices with the policies I plan to implement. My goal is to ensure that you know how your money is spent, why it was spent and how much was spent. It’s your dues…and you deserve no less.
During my election campaign, I promised you that you would have transparency and accountability during my term of office. Now I will move ahead to make those promises a reality. I will move motions at the Executive Board to provide you with quarterly financial reports so you don’t have to wait until Convention every year to find out the state of our books. I will propose a plan to have members on our Audit Committee so you can be fully involved in reviewing our financial decisions. And with the approval of the Executive Board, we will have pay equity “flying squads” to ensure that all of you who deserve an increase get it…and get it sooner.
We will continue to accomplish great things in this union by working cooperatively with one another for the good of our members. President Smokey Thomas and our newly-elected Executive Board have my complete and unwavering support. We will work with the dedicated and professional staff of this union to give you the best we have. Together, we will continue to move our union forward, fight the fights that are before us, organize new members across the province and ensure that every member gets the support they need from our union.
That is my pledge to you. We will battle those who blame working people for the province’s economic problems. We will campaign for the front-line workers who actually provide the services Ontarians rely on. We will defend our members who are vulnerable, and give our voice to those who need it. To do that, we must have the money in place to make it happen.
That’s my job…the job which you entrusted to me. I thank you for that trust, and vow to deliver.
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, 1st Vice-President/Treasurer
Ontario Public Service Employees Union