Archives for June 2014

Local Vice President Speaks About Early Cancer Screening

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OPSEU Local 101 1st Vice President Michele Buchanan was interviewed by CBC  Radio Windsor Morning Show.

  She spoke openly and candidly about her own personal experience of breast cancer and the importance of early cancer screening.

To hear the entire interview, please click here

Even with A majority, we can force change

smokey

Publication Date:
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – 10:00am

Ontario is moving on from the June 12TH election. The people have spoken. Some MPPs are packing up while others are getting ready to head to Queen’s Park for the first time.

Across Ontario, OPSEU members voted in support of public services. They voted against cuts and right-wing threats to take us back to the past. Some worked on campaigns, put up lawn signs and took part in other political acts. We should feel good about this work, just as we must accept the election results in 107 ridings. We will respect the process and the candidates that won and lost. It is not easy to be a candidate for any public office.

We now know more about the work we have ahead. We serve the public and witness the problems faced by those we serve. We know what it takes to provide good services that meet needs. We must speak out when these services do not reach acceptable goals.

We know the Liberals have set ambitious “savings” targets to reduce the deficit. They are unwilling to seek new revenue sources to pay for this. We know they will try to cut their way to this goal. As there is little left to cut, privatization will be their answer. Privatization is an epic failure. We know that OPSEU must continue to educate the public about privatization and document its failures, both past and present.

Premier Wynne was clear in her June 13th media statement. She will soon appoint a new Cabinet and bring back the legislature on July 2. She says she will present the same budget that triggered the election and push to get it quickly approved. She claims this will help to create jobs and a retirement plan; invest in education and communities and begin to reduce the deficit. Her government wants to balance the budget in the 2017-18 fiscal year.  She said this will be hard work. I agree.

The tough work comes from how to do these things all at once. Saving and spending are tough to do without borrowing. Herein is the threat to OPSEU members and public services. To get to this target, Wynne will turn to asset sales, private public partnerships, asset recycling and all the other programs that pass these days for privatization.

This threat exists across all OPSEU Divisions, from the LCBO to the smallest community agency or non-profit. Business groups think they can profit from licensing, blood collection, children’s services, education, alcohol sales, inspection, health care, mental health and many other services. This government may think it is good to lease or sell existing public services to the private sector at a price, and then allow the service to be provided with a profit margin added. That profit will then flow to the private sector for an extended period.

Today, Ontario already has fewer public sector workers (per 1,000 population) than any other province. We pay the least for these services (per capita) than any other province. With this efficiency, profits will come from higher costs paid by service users; reductions to the services; or the lower compensation to staff providing the service. The first 100 days of any new government are critical.

While we should all enjoy time to recharge this summer, OPSEU will lobby for improvements to the Liberal budget; set out measures by which new policies and actions by government should be judged and report to the public when there are abuses, corruption or inefficiencies. OPSEU members care about the work they do.

It is not easy to be a politician, always dependent on elections and the public will. It is also not easy to be a public sector worker, faced with tough situations, harsh conditions and the constant pressure of doing more with less.

Members of a strong and united OPSEU will continue their role as service providers, advocates and whistle blowers.  We’ll work hard for Ontario’s people. We’ll protect the services we provide. Public services should not be provided for a profit. In a democracy, an active union and a knowing public can force change, even from a majority government.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

HPD Scholarship Fund

The Hospital Professionals Division (HPD) offers 7 scholarships* (one per region) of $750 each annually to students who are entering professions within the HPD.(For more information about the HPD, and a list of professions included, click here.)

(*These are not associated with the Scholarships that were previously offered by OPSEU Local 143)

Who can apply:

The scholarship is open to OPSEU members or their dependents who are enrolled in a publicly-funded, recognized Canadian university or college.  If you are a dependent of an OPSEU member, please submit the member’s name, your relationship him or her, and the number of his or her Local on your application form.

To receive the scholarship, the student must be confirmed as enrolled in a Hospital Professional program

How to apply:

1. Download the Application Form here and fill it out completely.

2. Include the following required submissions with your application form:

  • A personal statement about why you have chosen a hospital profession and what your future goals are

  • An essay of no more than 1,500 words answering both of the following questions:

    What are the major issues facing Hospital Professionals today and how does OPSEU help workers deal with these issues?

    In your opinion what are the strengths of a publicly funded health care system?

The deadline for submissions is September 3, 2014.

Send your application form, essay, and personal statement to:

OPSEU HPD Scholarship Fund
c/o OPSEU Training and Development Unit,
100 Lesmill Road,
Toronto, ON M3B 3P8

Or submit by email to scholarships@opseu.org.

Essays and personal summaries are reviewed and marked by an adjudicator appointed by the Hospital Professionals Division of OPSEU. Essays will not be returned to the applicants.

Successful applicants will be asked to provide confirmation of university or college enrollment before the scholarship will be issued.

All selections are final. Scholarships are one-time only and will not be awarded more than once to the same applicant.

An appointed OPSEU representative will, to the extent possible, follow-up with the award winners and the school they are enrolled in at the time the award is issued to offer congratulations and ensure that the scholarship is recognized as part of the student’s record of achievement.

NUPGE Scholarship Program 2014

 

Four awards of $1,500 given each year to children of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) members (OPSEU is a member of  NUPGE, therefore any OPSEU Member’s children who are starting post secondary education can apply)

Each year, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) offers four scholarships that reflect its pursuit of equal opportunity for all workers. They are open to the children of the National Union’s 340,000 members who are starting a post-secondary education.

The Tommy Douglas Scholarship for $1,500 is open to all students who plan to enter the first year of a Canadian public post-secondary education institution full-time in 2014 – 2015 and who are the children, grandchildren or foster children of a NUPGE member.

It will be awarded for the best 750 – 1,000 word essay on: How Tommy Douglas contributed to making Canada a more just and equitable society.

Deadline: June 30, 2014• The Tommy Douglas Scholarship pdfTommy Douglas application form pdf

The Terry Fox Memorial Scholarship for $1,500 is open to all students with disabilities who plan to enter the first year of a Canadian public post-secondary education institution full-time in 2014 – 2015 and who are the children, grandchildren or foster children of a member of the NUPGE.

It will be awarded for the best 750 – 1,000 word essay on: The importance of quality public services in enhancing the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Deadline: June 30, 2014• The Terry Fox Memorial Scholarship pdfTerry Fox application form pdf

The Scholarship for Aboriginal Canadians for $1,500 is open to all Aboriginal Canadian students who plan to enter the first year of a Canadian public post-secondary education institution full-time in 2014 – 2015 and who are the children, grandchildren or foster children of a NUPGE member.

It will be awarded for the best 750 – 1,000 word essay on: The importance of quality public services in enhancing the quality of life of Aboriginal Canadians.

Deadline: June 30, 2014• The Scholarship for Aboriginal Canadians pdfAboriginal Canadians application form pdf

The Scholarship for Visible Minorities for $1,500 is open to all visible minority students who plan to enter the first year of a Canadian public post-secondary education full-time in 2014 – 2015 and who are the children or foster children of a National Union of Public and General Employees member.

It will be awarded for the best 750 – 1,000 word essay on: The importance of quality public services in enhancing the quality of life of visible minorities.

Deadline: June 30, 2014• The Scholarship for Visible Minorities pdfVisible minorities application form pdf

More information:General information – NUPGE scholarships pdf• For further information please phone (613) 228-9800 /  or e mail scholarship@nupge.ca

Epic Fail-A Short History of Privatization in Ontario

Epic Fail  Please visit our Media page to view the new informative video by OPSEU

  Epic Fail-A Short History of Privatization in Ontario