OPSEU/SEFPO welcomes new leadership: JP Hornick and Laurie Nancekivell

JP Hornick has been elected as the new President of OPSEU/SEFPO marking the first change in the union’s presidency in 15 years.

OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer, Laurie Nancekivell (left) and OPSEU/SEFPO President, JP Hornick (right)

Hornick is the Coordinator of the School of Labour at George Brown College, a long-time OPSEU/SEFPO leader and a women’s rights, equity, LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS activist. She ran for President on a platform of change, deep renewal, and building a bigger and more inclusive union.

“I am confident that we can build a bigger and more inclusive tent that engages all members and renews our union,” said Hornick. “I will work for a transparent and truly democratic union – where equity is a practice and not a buzzword or performance, and where everyone’s voices are heard and contributions valued.” Watch this YouTube video to hear JP’s speach.

Hornick will succeed Warren (Smokey) Thomas, the union’s longest-running President, who held the position since 2007. Under her leadership, Hornick plans to foster connections within the union and strengthen relationships with social justice movements across Ontario.

“I know the power of the labour movement is in working with social justice movements for deep change,” added Hornick. “That’s when we are at our most powerful – when we are part of a bigger struggle for justice.”

Laurie Nancekivell has been elected as OPSEU/SEFPO’s First Vice-President/Treasurer and will serve alongside Hornick. Nancekivell, a Child and Youth Worker by trade and Director’s College graduate, has served on OPSEU/SEFPO’s Executive Board for 10 years.

“As OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President, I will ensure our union’s environment is one where diverse thoughts and opinions can be shared freely,” said Nancekivell. “And as Treasurer, I will serve our members with integrity and transparency.”

Hornick and Nancekivell will be officially sworn in at the close of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Convention on Saturday, April 9.

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Support OPSEU Local 5119 ON STRIKE at LifeLabs!

Support OPSEU Local 5119 ON STRIKE at LifeLabs!

After organizing to join OPSEU in 2020, 150 couriers and mailroom workers at LifeLabs have run into a brick wall trying to bargain a fair first contract .

Why? Because the bosses at this billion-dollar-a-year private corporation refuse to negotiate decent wages and benefits for these workers, who earn an average of just $35,000 a year.

That’s why since March 14 Local 5119 members have been on strike to achieve fair working conditi ons and a living wage. And they need our help to get LifeLabs back to the table with a fair offer!

Showing Our Solidarity:
Two Ways You and Your Local Can Help!
1) Join the Strike Rally for a Living Wage
Thursday, March 24, 10 a.m.
LifeLabs Head Office, 100 International Blvd, Etobicoke
(West of Hwy 27, South of Dixon Road)
Bring your OPSEU flags & noisemakers!
Join, like & share the Event on Facebook
For info contact Local 5119 President Mahmood Alawneh, 647-333-5555, raneentrading@gmail.com

2) Donate to the Local 5119 Strike Fund
As a brand-new local, L5119 doesn’t have a reserve fund to support their members during the strike. So, OPSEU has put out a call to other locals to show our solidarity by donating to the Local 5119 strike fund.
For info and to donate, contact Local 5119 Treasurer Maria Calingaon at maria_calingaon@yahoo.ca

More on the Local 5119 strike at LifeLabs: opseu.org/sector/cbs-diagnostics/

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REGISTER NOW: GTAC’s Election Forum for Candidates for OPSEU President & 1st Vice-President/Treasurer

Wednesday, March 30, 7-9 pm
REGISTER by 12 noon, March 30: https://tinyurl.com/OPSEU-R5-Forum-Registration
SUBMIT Your Questions by 5 pm March 29: https://tinyurl.com/OPSEU-R5-Candidate-Questions

After three long years, delegates from Region 5 and across the province have some important decisions to make at OPSEU’s upcoming Convention on April 6-9.

Key among these decisions? Who is going to be OPSEU’s next President and First Vice-President Treasurer. And with Smokey Thomas’s announcement that he is not running again, the field for these elections – and the future direction of OPSEU – is wide open.

So once again, OPSEU’s Greater Toronto Area Council (GTAC) is hosting an open election forum where delegates, alternates, observers and other activists from Region 5 – and guests from across the province – can hear directly from the candidates before Convention starts.

Want to hear the candidates’ views on key issues, like:

  • How we can build OPSEU’s capacity to fight for good jobs, strong collective agreements and quality public services for our members and our communities.
  • What we should do to put an end to the Ford government’s attacks on workers’ rights, wage caps and funding cuts in the public sector, mismanagement of the pandemic, and inaction on the climate crisis.
  • How we can re-engage our members and deliver on OPSEU’s commitment to equity, inclusion and ensuring all members have a real voice in our union?

Then this is the meeting for you!

Event Format
The forum will be held online via Zoom, and will include separate segments for candidates for President and 1st VP/Treasurer. All candidates will have the opportunity to make opening statements and to respond to questions submitted in advance by OPSEU leaders and activists like you.

Plan to Attend? Register in Advance!
All members who want to attend MUST register in advance by 12 noon on Wednesday, March 30 by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/OPSEU-R5-Forum-Registration

GTAC will email a Zoom link to all registered participants by 4 pm on March 30. Space is limited, so please register early. If necessary, priority will be given to Region 5 members.
Got a Question for the Candidates? Submit it Online!
Members who want to put a question to the candidates for OPSEU President and/or !st Vice-President/Treasurer MUST submit their question(s) online by 5 pm on March 29 at: https://tinyurl.com/OPSEU-R5-Candidate-Questions

Help Spread the Word!
Please share this message with your local’s delegates, alternates and observers an other activists, and encourage them to register in advance and join us on March 30.


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Psychosocial Hazard & Workplace Mental Health Certified Course

The Region 5 Coalition of Racialized Workers in collaboration with the Workers Health & Safety Centre WHSC supported by Region 5 Executive Board Members present the Psychosocial Hazard & Workplace Mental Health health & safety certified course.

Date: March 11, 2022
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 or 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. virtual

Register by March 7th by contacting opseur5educ@gmail.com to get your package.

Limited space available.

“Psychosocial hazards must be identified, assessed and addressed through preventative or protective measures. JHSC plays an integral role and therefore, representatives must have a comprehensive understanding”.

Workplace demands, work organizations, values, relationships, work-life balance and offensive behaviours can lead to mental distress among workers and can create toxic work environments.

Health and Safety Certified Course

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Join the OPSEU/SEFPO PSW Community today!

Are you a personal support worker (PSW) and an OPSEU/SEFPO member? Do you do the work of a PSW but with a different title?

Sign up to be part of the OPSEU/SEFPO’s PSW Community to stay informed about the latest PSW-specific news and initiatives.

For more information:

Laura Bulmer, PSW Researcher and Advocate
Email: lbulmer@opseu.org
Cell: 416-788-1356

Items of Interest

Improving Ontario’s Long-Term Care means significant investment in our Personal Support Workers (OPSEU)

Legislation: Bill 283, Advancing Oversight and Planning in Ontario’s Health System Act, 2021

Colleges and Institutes Canada to lead the development of a national occupational standard for personal care providers

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CoRW Annual Black History Month Virtual Forum

CoRW Annual Black History Month Virtual Forum poster showing a set of hands holding up a yellow circle that reads “Coalition of Racialized Workers, Strength, Purpose, Representation, Virtual Forum 2022”

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.

Date: 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.

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Young Workers Zoom Room: Chat with the PYC on March 24!

Attention all OPSEU/SEFPO members,  

OPSEU/SEFPO’s Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC) is hosting a PYC Zoom Room on March 24, 2022, from 7pm to 8pm. It will be a Q&A conversation with members aged 35 and younger about the importance and benefits of participating in local activity, union events and leadership.  

The PYC strives to enhance the skills of young workers as activists, strengthen their leadership skills, protect and advocate for their rights as workers and ensure that these voices are heard.   Join us for an evening of Q&A! Ask us anything!  

Haven’t been to OPSEU/SEFPO’s Convention before? Join the Zoom Room to hear what it’s like!  

The PYC Zoom Room discussion is targeted to young workers but open to all members. If interested, please email your full name and local number to equity@opseu.org to receive the Zoom information. If you are unsure of your local number, please contact 1.800.268.7376 for assistance. Please register no later than 5pm on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.  

If you have any questions for the PYC, please submit them with your registration email to equity@opseu.org in advance of the event to ensure they are answered.  

In Solidarity,

OPSEU/SEFPO Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC)

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Rally for Health, Rally for the Streets

Rally for Health, Rally for the Streets

Saturday, February 12 at 12 pm

Convocation Hall at 31 King’s College Circle

We are a group of health care workers who organized last Saturday’s Access to Health Care Rally. Access to health is access to the streets, to our hospitals, to our shelters and safety for our children.

The Ottawa occupiers and the so-called “Freedom Convoy” have threatened to come to our city, to intimidate Torontonians. We do not want them here. They are not welcome.


Democracy is under serious threat. The occupiers want to scare us. That is exactly why we must show up and reject the streets being taken over and our access denied. We need to show in great numbers that fear will not stop us from identifying as health care workers, from walking freely and safely in our city, from wearing masks in public, and from attending vaccine clinics.


Please join us, show that Toronto belongs to us, not the convoy.

Bring placards

Wear masks


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What is Canada’s legal system saying about workplace vaccine mandates?

From an article in the CTV news website published Sunday, February 6, 2022:

Legal challenges of employer vaccine mandates and health measures are being tossed out as arbitrators in Canada largely side with the need to maintain safe workplaces during a pandemic, legal experts say.

Most of the cases with rulings so far involve employee grievances in unionized workplaces, which have an expedited decision-making process compared with the courts, they say.

A scan of decisions issued in recent weeks shows arbitrators are largely erring on the side of caution and minimizing health risks to employees and the public, experts say. Read more.

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Join us for our first meeting: addressing pandemic related grievances

Dear friends,

Join us for our first quarterly zoom meeting on February 1 at 7:00 pm EST, open to all mental health and addictions workers.

We will be discussing how to address pandemic related grievances. OPSEU/SEFPO Grievance Officer, Alison Nielson-Jones will be attending. She will share her knowledge on the most relevant developments and will provide advice and answer questions on pandemic related grievances.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Mental health and Addictions meeting on pandemic related grievances
Time: Feb 1, 2022 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 925 7110 5300
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Meeting ID: 925 7110 5300
Find your local number: https://opseu-org.zoom.us/u/anKylZNaJ

In solidarity,

Ed Arvelin, Chair
Mental Health and Addictions Division

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