OPSEU statement on the tragedy in Orlando

OPSEU statement on the tragedy in Orlando


The Ontario Public Service Employees Union issued the following statement today.

OPSEU stands with our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex, Asexual, Queer, Questioning, Two Spirit (LGBTTIAQQ2S) siblings in Orlando and members here in Ontario, as well as those in the LGBTTIAQQ2S community throughout the world, in shared sadness and outrage over the terrible crime committed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Violence is sadly far too often a reality for members of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community, both here in Ontario and around the world.

Today we also stand in solidarity with people of colour, recognizing that the victims of this attack were predominantly members of the African-American and Latino/a communities. And we stand with our Muslim members, in particular those who are members of both the Muslim and LGBTTIAQQ2S communities, who are also fearful of the reactions to this terrible crime. We echo those leaders of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community who have stated clearly and unequivocally that “Islamophobia must never be the answer to homophobia.”

As a union that represents many members of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community, OPSEU continues to advocate for the right of all members of this community to work and live free from harassment, discrimination and violence.

In the wake of this weekend’s tragic events, we encourage every member across the province, regardless of identity or expression, to take part in Pride events in their communities this year, as we have for many years. By participating in these events, we send a clear statement of our support for equality, respect, and the right to a life free from the fear of harassment and violence for all. Today, we join our brothers and sisters in sadness, but also vow to redouble our efforts to support the LGBTTIAQQ2S community, both at home and abroad, in this moment and in the days, weeks and years to come.

President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Jannet Geddes, co-chair, Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel

Robert Hampsey, co-chair, Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel

List of pride events by community

Solidarity with CUPE 79


To Our Members,

CUPE Local 79which represents employees of the City of Toronto including our brothers and sisters at Ontario Works, launched a work-to-rule campaign today in response to the City's unwillingness to budge from major concessions at their bargaining table.

This is not a work stoppage but "will include workers being asked to show up and leave on time, and not do any extra work; to take all their breaks and uninterrupted lunches."


Some important messages to keep in mind:

- When our brothers and sisters in other unions undertake job action, you should never do, or even be asked to do work that falls under their job description

- You should not face unrealistic expectations about timelines (eg. for OW grants). If the work-to-rule impacts your ability to complete a task, we recommend you document what steps you have been able to complete and what steps are outstanding. If that does not resolve inquiries from your management regarding the delay, please speak to a steward in your unit. 

- The fight for good jobs and better lives in Toronto is a fight to improve living and working conditions for all of us

- Your support could make a real difference. Here are some simple ways you can show that support:

  • Follow CUPE 79 on Facebook and Twitter and share messages of support (for example, post the picture above!) with the tags #TO79 #betterlivesto #solidarity
  • Attend the brown bag lunch event at City Hall on this Thursday 12:15 (click for more details)
  • Join a huge group Torontonians in sending Mayor John Tory an email about the need for good jobs in Toronto
  • When you speak to OW Workers (or any city worker) let them know you support them

And always remember, we are stronger TOGETHER.

In solidarity,



Election Results and Post GMM Update

To All Our Members,

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the phenomenal turn-out at our General Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 19th.

We successfully elected a new local executive and delegates to Convention 2016, as well as endorsing 6 resolutions for Convention 2016 and saying thank you to our outgoing President, Karl Laframboise for his many contributions to our local.

Click to read the minutes.

  • We also announced the results of our 2016 membership issues survey
  • We swore-in our steward team, now 44 members strong!
  • Advised members to read the minutes of our January 18th LERC meeting, and announced there will no longer be a 6-month waiting period for new hires before they can opt-in to the CWW program (an announcement email will be coming from the management this week with full details)
  • Reminded members to participate in the MERC SAMS/Modernization study by Dr. Wayne Lewchuk
  • Made a call for members who have experienced documented health effects due to workload/SAMS to step-forward for the ongoing workload grievance now being managed by Lawyer David Wright (contact us now to participate)



President - Jessica Sikora
Vice President - Chantale Francis
Treasurer - Shantelle Marcoux
Secretary - Tim Krizner



Keshia Alleyne and Carlos Lazaro



Delegates -  Jessica Sikora (on behalf of the Provincial Young Workers), Chantale Francis, Jermaine Graham, Cindy Kraakman
Alternates - Natalie Wright, Tim Krizner, Gisele Peneder-Binks
Observers - Robert Hampsey (on behalf of the Rainbow Alliance), Brett Boertien, Stephanie Muise, Elena Siviero

Congratulations to everyone who was elected!

On a personal note - I want to thank you all for your confidence in choosing me to serve as your President for 2016-2018. I can't wait to get started working with our excellent new team of officers and stewards. My #1 goal for the next two years is to educate you on your rights, and your stewards on how to provide you with the best possible representation.

You serve the most vulnerable citizens of Ontario with professionalism and care and together we will work to improve the health, happiness and fairness of your workplaces.

In Solidarity,