Demanding justice and accountability on Red Dress day

It’s Red Dress day, a solemn reminder of Canada’s deep rooted racism and continued mistreatment of Indigenous peoples.

Red Dress day is also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit People (MMIWG2S), marked every May 5. It’s a day to honour and remember the innocent women, girls and two spirit people who have been killed because of ongoing colonial gender-based violence.

For decades, Indigenous communities have witnessed alarmingly high rates of violence against women, girls and two spirit people. The disproportionate statistics of those missing and murdered are shameful. Statistics Canada reports that violence against First Nations, Inuit and Métis women, girls and two spirit people are 12 times higher than that of their non-Indigenous counterparts in Canada.

Gender-based violence continues to be an instrument of colonialism. These ongoing disappearances, violence, murders and unresolved cases is a national human rights crisis and cannot be ignored.

We are still waiting for the federal and provincial governments to act on the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The national inquiry heard from more than 2,380 elders, family members and Indigenous survivors of violence, with thousands more untold stories. The final report with 231 Calls to Justice recommended that action be taken by all levels of government.

It has been three years since the report and there are still no answers or a national action plan to address the violence that Indigenous women, girls and two spirit people continue to be subjected to.

This delay also means that during the pandemic, these troubling numbers keep increasing. We continue to see the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous, Black and racialized people, particularly those who are identify as women and are gender diverse. In addition, those living in remote areas including in the north are more vulnerable to higher rates of violence and abuse. The government cannot stall anymore.  We must end this!

OPSEU/SEFPO honours the thousands of stolen sisters, two spirit and gender diverse persons from Indigenous communities and families. It is our responsibility as labour activists to raise awareness, advocate for change and amplify the calls to action by Indigenous leaders and their communities. We must hold our elected leaders and all levels of governments accountable to implement the full 231 Calls to Justice immediately. Walking the path of truth and reconciliation requires action. Together, we will continue to fight for accountability and demand justice.

In solidarity,

JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer
Krista Maracle, OPSEU/SEFPO Indigenous Circle, Chair

On May Day we march!

May 1, or May Day, is the traditional workers’ holiday, a day that working people celebrate the gains they have won over the years and commit to fighting for a better future for everyone.

It’s time for a $20 minimum wage, decent work, affordable housing, paid sick days, well-funded public services, livable income support for all, climate justice, status for all, and an end to racism and oppression. Workers deserve better – together, let’s make our voices heard!

We must continue to demand the repeal of anti-worker laws like Bill 124, 195 and 106, and build Ontario. Come out and show your support – don’t forget to bring your OPSEU/SEFPO flags and homemade placards as well! There will also be some pre-made placards available for pick-up from OPSEU/SEFPO regional offices.

For our Windsor Region, the Ontario Federation of Labour is hosting a rally.

Charles Clark Square, 215 Chatham St E, Windsor, ON

May 01, 2022   1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Newly-elected OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick will be speaking at noon at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto where OPSEU/SEFPO members will assemble before marching to Queen’s Park.

April 28 Day of Mourning and noted events across Ontario

The 28th of April is International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996.  The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) reminds us that the National Day of Mourning, April 28, is not only a day to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy, but also a day to renew the commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

 

On April 28, Canadian flags on Parliament Hill and in federal government buildings will fly at half-mast to honour the workers whose lives have been lost, who have been injured or disabled on the job, or who suffer from occupational disease. Employers and workers will observe the National Day of Mourning in various ways. Some will attend ceremonies, light candles, lay wreaths, wear commemorative pins, ribbons, or black armbands, and pause for a minute of silence at 11:00 a.m.

 

Happy Medical Laboratory Week! April 10-16, 2022

It’s National Medical Laboratory Week. Let’s hear it for the health care professionals who work behind the scenes to help diagnose everything from cancer to diabetes to COVID-19. Learn about all they do at medlabprofessionals.ca

Hello from Convention 2022!

Your OPSEU 101 convention delegates and alternates are happy to represent our local and participate in this year’s OPSEU Convention in Toronto from April 6 – 9, 2022. It’s shaping up to be an exciting year with elections for a new OPSEU president as our outgoing OPSEU president Smokey Thomas is not seeking re-election.

For those who are not aware, Convention is the yearly gathering where elected delegates can vote on important union matters such as president and vice president positions, budget, and constitution and resolutions changes. There are opportunities to network and meet other OPSEU members from across our province. Guest speakers, video presentations, awards, and educational booths add for an engaging experience.

Seated below from left to right are: Nichole Strong, Jen Burton Liang, Susan Bohnert Hamelin, Ema Sisic and Richard Baillargeon. Those who are attending convention virtually and not pictured are: Crystal Schryer, Katie Deschamps and Anna Mitchell.

 

Forms for COVID illness

Hello OPSEU Members,

This is a reminder for any staff members that potentially were exposed to COVID in the workplace, that an RL6 and a WSIB claim should be filed. Hopefully everyone who has become COVID positive has recovered fully, but in the event that COVID creates any long term effects, and it was acquired in the workplace due to direct contact with COVID positive patients or COVID positive staff on the job,  this must be documented. HDGH Employer has been very cooperative and is providing the necessary support to the Employees. The WRH Employer, in discussion with the Union, has identified that the members are free to reach out to the union if they feel they need support. With the high volumes of cases, the employer can no longer continue to manually track and report on each union member.

For this reason, it is advised that you fill out the proper documentation in order to protect yourselves down the road in the event of any unforeseen health issues or developments.

 

In Solidarity,

Susan

International Women’s Day – Lunch n’ Learn on March 8th, 2022

In recognition of International Women’s Day (IWD), OPSEU/SEFPO’s Provincial Women’s Committee (PWC) will be hosting a lunch and learn virtual event on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

The event will feature guest speaker Celina Caesar-Chavannes, former Member of Parliament for Whitby and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. Her new memoir “Can You Hear Me Now” was released in February 2021 and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen prize for political writing.

Join us to recognize and celebrate the strength, resiliency and determination of women.

  • When: Tuesday, March 8, 2022

  • Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

  • Location: Virtually on Zoom (a link will be provided to all registered participants in advance of the event)

For any questions or to register, please contact equity@opseu.org with your name and union number.

The deadline to register is Monday, March 7, 2022.

OPSEU Local 101 – VP Revote on Feb 24th

 

The Local Office has confirmed the approval for dates/time/location of the VP REVOTE:

 

Date: February 24th

Time: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

(In the event of a runoff vote, such that 50 + 1 % is not achieved, Feb 25th 8am – 8pm will be used as a second voting day)

Format: In person open-ballot ( as previous)

Location: OPSEU LOCAL OFFICE

                     3005 Marentette Ave, Windsor

                    (near Devonshire Mall)

 

Candidates Running:

Katie Deschamps, Todd Dutot, Lauren Merritt, Sarah Myer

Positions available: 1st VP, 2nd VP, 3rdVP

 

All those eligible to vote must be members in good standing and provide photo ID ( workplace badge, or government photo ID) at the door.

The Staff Rep, Mickey Riccardi will facilitate the vote.

The positions and who is running for what position will be clearly identified at the polling station.

Each position will be counted in ranking order, until a successful candidate is elected. In the event of a runoff vote, such that 50 + 1 % is not achieved, Feb 25th will be used as a second voting day.

Black History Month Forum – free and open to the public

In commemoration of Black History Month, OPSEU/SEFPO’s Coalition of Racialized Workers (CoRW) will be hosting their annual Black History Month forum on February 25, 2022.

This year’s event will spotlight and celebrate the resistance, resilience and triumphs of Black people across Ontario, past and present. Join us to recognize an incredible roster of change makers and community builders that walk among us.

 

When: Friday, February 25, 2022

Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Location: Virtually on Zoom (a link will be provided to all registered participants in advance of the event)

 

For any questions or to register, please contact equity@opseu.org with your name and union number.

This event is free and open to all members of the public.

The deadline to register is Thursday, February 24, 2022.

OPSEU Young Workers Educational Opportunity

This is a special invitation to any young OPSEU workers!

Understanding the rules that govern the functioning of the union and how to participate in meetings will help young workers understand their role and that their voice matters in their local. This educational opportunity gives young workers the tools they need to participate openly, freely and with the knowledge of how things work to provide a welcoming environment for all.

Event details:

Jan. 27th 7-9pm and Jan 29th 10:30am-12:30pm

On Zoom with Laurie Nancekivell (Regional VP) and Taylor McIntosh (Region 1 Provincial Young Worker Rep)

Register with Taylor by Text 519-670-3837 or Email mcintosh.t7@gmail.com

Zoom Link to follow

The RSVP deadline is Jan. 25th, 2022.

All members welcome, with preference given to young workers