Friday, March 27th 2020
Dear Sisters, Brothers and Members of OSPEU Local 500
As we enter the third week of working under the corona virus pandemic reality, I am glad that with modern communication I am able to reach out to so many of you at once. The phrase ‘modern communication’ may seem old fashioned to some. For me, as we experience working and living through this pandemic, my thoughts at times have turned to the Spanish Flu pandemic of over 100 years ago. I have found myself thinking if I had been the president of a large bargaining unit as Local 500 is, how much more difficult communication would have been.
I would be remiss if I did not begin this note by offering on behalf of myself, the Executive and the Stewards our deepest thanks for the way that you have taken up the challenge of working in these extraordinary days when the entire world is all but shut down due to the corona virus pandemic. This applies equally to those of you who are deemed essential and have been coming to the workplace every day as well as those who have had to adapt their jobs to be able to work from home.
My thoughts and concerns are also with the members of our Local who have had to take time away from their jobs with their own personal health issues, child or elder care issues to name the top three that the Local has been supporting. I would encourage all of us to check in with the members we know more personally to provide any support to them that we can.
The pandemic situation in the world has been growing progressively worse daily. Of course this is causing grave concern and anxiety to people all over the world who just wish to be healthy and resume their regular day to day lives as quickly as possible. This makes the work that we do even more valuable and important.
Working in the field of mental health and addictions, we deal daily with very challenging populations for whom the message of self isolation is sometimes difficult to convey and be understood. In my walks to various units and at screening stations I have witnessed your great efforts to keep our clients and ourselves safe and healthy. This has been, for me, completely inspiring.
Please do check our website daily for updates and information. Our incredibly skilled and talented Web Master, Rossana Coriandoli, will be posting updates that the Local is receiving from OPSEU’s central office as well as from the Mental Health and Addiction Division to which our Local belongs. I will also continue to post updates.
Please feel free to reach out to myself or any member of the Executive or a Steward if you have any concerns or need any support.
In closing, thank you all again for the support that you are giving me, the Executive, the Stewards and, most importantly, each other as we continue to live and work in this time of pandemic.
N. Thomas Andersson
OPSEU Local 500
1001 Queen Street West
Unit 1 Basement, B-2A
TEL: 416 535-8501 X32330
FAX: 416 583-1254