OPSEU Members, Public Services & the Ontario Election
With Ontario’s next provincial election just five weeks away, one thing is clear: OPSEU members have A LOT at stake on Election Day. And so does every worker and every community in Ontario, and the millions of people who depend on the public services that OPSEU members provide.
The Parties at a Glance
Doug Ford and the Tories are gearing up to take us back to the Harris years – with more tax cuts for corporations and the rich, cuts to public services and thousands of public sector workers who deliver them, and a plan to roll back the gains millions of Ontario workers have won through Bill 148 — including equal pay provisions, stronger employment standards, and the $15 minimum wage.
Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals are promising to spend $ billions, but they remain committed to their disastrous policy of dismantling the public sector through privatization. The result? Higher costs, increased user fees, reduced access and lower quality public services; the transfer of $ billions in public funds to big corporations and rich investors; and the elimination of thousands of good jobs.
Meanwhile Andrea Horwath and the New Democrats are promising to stop privatization, reverse the sell-off of Hydro One, invest in public services and expand dental care and pharmcare for everyone. And they are calling for a shift towards fair taxation through higher taxes for big corporations and wealthy individuals.
OPSEU Members’ Votes Matter!
With so much on the line, OPSEU is encouraging EVERY eligible member to get out and vote – and to support candidates that will stand up for good jobs, workers’ rights and quality public services. With 150,000 members across the province – or more than 1,000 members per riding – a strong turnout by OPSEU voters can have a major impact in deciding who the next government is. That’s where we all come in…
Mobilizing for Public Services:
Three Ways YOU and YOUR LOCAL Can Help
1) Help Us Get the Word Out in Your Local
To reach every member, we need you and your local leadership to get the word out in your locals.
That is why OPSEU Region 5 is asking every local to hold a special pre-election GMM or information meeting between now and Election Day on June 7 and to invite one of our OPSEU election mobilizers, a We Own It mobilizer and/or one of your Region 5 EBMs. The goal? To kick-start a discussion with your members about the issues and what we have at stake as public sector workers – and to focus on how we can work together to get the word out to every OPSEU member, and how we have a real impact, during the election campaign and on E-Day.
To arrange for a speaker to come to your local, just send an email to your Region 5 EBMs at: email@example.com.
2) Volunteer with the OPSEU R5 Phone Bank & Outreach Activities
With so much on the line, Region 5 is once again organizing a special OPSEU phone bank to reach out to members in key ridings. The goal? To talk about the issues, what we have at stake as public sector workers, and why we need to elect as many progressive candidates as possible.
The phone bank will be up and running every weekday evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m at OPSEU’s offices at 31 Wellesley St East, starting on Thursday, May 10 through to Election Day. We’ll also be making calls on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Phone bank volunteers are the key – If you can help staff the phone bank – or want to organize a group from your local to come as a team – please send an email to your Region 5 EBMs at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Just give us your name, local number, personal email address and cell/phone number and the dates and times you can help and one of our mobilizers will get back to you.
More comfortable with face-to-face outreach? Great! As the campaign ramps up we will also be looking for volunteers to help with community canvasses and other outreach. Again, just email us at: email@example.com.
3) Focusing on Key Ridings
OPSEU is committed to electing as many progressive candidates as possible who will stand up for workers’ rights, good jobs and quality public services. So OPSEU Region 5 is encouraging members to consider supporting – and voting for – NDP candidates in these key ridings in Region 5.
- Toronto Danforth — Peter Tabuns
- Parkdale High-Park — Bhutila Karpoche
- Scarborough – Rouge Park — Felicia Samuel
- Scarborough Southwest – Dolly Begum
- Beaches – East York — Rima Berns-McGown
- University – Rosedale — Jessica Bell
- Davenport — Marit Stiles
- York – South Weston — Faisal Hassan
- Humber River — Black Creek
- Brampton East — Guaratan Singh
- Brampton Centre — Sara Singh
Boots On the Ground: We are encouraging members and activists to consider volunteering and/or donating to these campaigns – and to help us to contact members that live in these ridings to discuss the issues and why their votes are so important.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Changes to Ontario’s Elections Act mean that OPSEU locals and the central union cannot make any financial or in-kind donations to any provincial political party or candidate. There are also strict limits on Unions’ ability to engage in 3rd party advertising or to make public endorsements of any candidate, party or their platforms. However, we have every right to communicate with our members about the issues and how to make our votes count on E-Day.
Plug Yourself In
Join Us at These Region 5 Election Kick-Off Events…
1) Region 5 Election Leaders Debate Party
Monday May 7 marks the first televised Party Leaders Debate. It’s our first chance to see the three party leaders mix it up, put their platforms to the test, and debate the issues that matter to OPSEU members and our communities.
So Region 5 and our Election and We Own It Mobilizing Teams are inviting YOU to join us for some finger food, some beverages (beer, wine & alcohol free) and some “active listening” as we cheer, boo, and swap views on the leaders’ performances.
When: Monday, May 7, 6 to 8 pm.
Where: OPSEU Membership Centre, 31 Wellesley St. East (at Wellesley Subway)
What: Televised Debate on the Big Screen, Cash Bar, Finger Food
2) I’m Voting! Region 5 Presidents & Activists Meeting:
Building the Vote for Public Services, Good Jobs & Strong Communities
Join OPSEU leaders & activists from across Region 5 to discuss the key issues in the June 7 Ontario election, the fight to stop privatization and defend quality public services, good jobs, workers’ rights and strong communities – and how OPSEU members can make a difference together on Election Day!
When: Wednesday, May 9, 6 to 8 pm.
Where: OPSEU Membership Centre, 31 Wellesley St. East
(at Wellesley Subway)
> Pam Frache – Workers’ Action Centre & $15 & Fairness Campaign
> Susan McMurray – Toronto & York Region Labour Council
Planning to join us? Great! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Have YOUR Say
Connect Up with OPSEU’s Talk ON Interactive Election Town Hall
Join this province-wide interactive event featuring OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and guest panelists Rosario Marchese and Adrienne Batra, TalkON will open up discussion on the issues that really matter for the people of Ontario. Listen and participate by phone. Watch and participate on the web and through social media. Follow the conversation with the hashtag #VoteBetter.
When: Tuesday, May 8, 7 – 8:30 pm
For More Info: http://www.talkontario.ca
- Click here to register for the English online video stream.
- Click here to register for the French online video stream.
Just send an email to email@example.com or contact one of your Region 5 Executive Board Members
- Myles Magner (RVP): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Julius Arscott (EBM): email@example.com
- Kingsley Kwok (EBM elect): firstname.lastname@example.org
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