Young Worker Mentorship Call Out for Mentees

Attention All members!

​OPSEU/SEFPO’s Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC) is proud to present the first annual Young Worker Mentorship Program! We are now seeking expressions of interest from potential mentees aged 35 and younger interested in participating in the 2022 program.

The Young Worker Mentorship Program will match Executive Board Members (EBMs) and Equity Committee/Caucus representatives with young workers to learn about OPSEU/SEFPO and develop them as leaders in Union life.

The six month program aims to establish a supportive mentoring culture and provide opportunities to connect individuals from diverse backgrounds and with different levels of experience from across the union. The program will also allow participants to build confidence with the hope of running for a leadership role in the future.

The program is very casual! Virtual meetings, Coffee meet-ups, phone calls, etc., on your own time. You may be invited to union meetings and events.


July 31, 2022, to January 31, 2023.

Selection Process:

Eight young workers aged 35 or younger will be selected to participate in the program as mentees.  Four will be paired with Executive Board Members, and four will be paired with Equity Committee/Caucus Reps.     

Ideally, participants will be paired with EBMs or Equity Committee/Caucus Reps from their region.

To participate in the program you will need to submit an Expression of Interest to the PYC including your aspirations and why you should be selected for the mentorship. Indicate whether you would like to pair with an EBM or Equity Committee/Caucus Rep.

Please email your expression of interest with your name, local number and phone number to The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2022.

We look forward to welcoming you into the program! If you have any questions at all, please contact

In Solidarity, The OPSEU/SEFPO Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC) 

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OPSEU/SEFPO Indigenous Circle Call for Representative in Region 5

This article is reproduced from:

The OPSEU/SEFPO Indigenous Circle invites OPSEU/SEFPO members who self-identify as Indigenous to apply for a position on the OPSEU/SEFPO Indigenous Circle to fill a vacancy in Region 5.

The role of the regional representative on the Indigenous Circle is to create and maintain networks within the region, to develop and promote programs, to encourage First Nation (Status or Non Status), Métis and Inuit members to participate in union activities and to increase the awareness and understanding of Indigenous issues throughout the OPSEU/SEFPO membership.

Application process

Interested applicants shall submit a statement of interest that outlines:

  1. Who are you? Describe the traditions or culture you are from, (if known).
  2. How have you been involved in your community, union etc.?
  3. What strengths (personal, social, cultural) do you bring to the Indigenous Circle?
  4. Why do you want to be a Representative on the Indigenous Circle?

Selection process

The Equity Unit will ensure an anonymous selection process.

The Indigenous Circle will select a new representative from Region 5 based on the following considerations:

  • previous activist experience;
  • willingness to share cultural knowledge to the Indigenous Circle and OPSEU/SEFPO; and
  • openness to learning various Indigenous cultural activities.

Please forward completed statement of interest to the Equity Unit (e-mail to or fax to 416-448-7419) no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday May 2, 2022.

If you have any difficulty reading the application, please contact

2022 – Call for Application_EN

You can also complete the statement of interest online.

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The fight against racism is a fight from all corners

This article is reproduced from:

OPSEU/SEFPO is deeply concerned about a recent court ruling and the sweeping implications it could have for the protection of union members’ human rights.

In October 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision Northern Regional Health Authority v Horrocks to dismiss a human rights complaint, finding that a Manitoba human rights adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to hear a complaint filed by a unionized employee.  Instead, the Court determined that, under the Manitoba Labour Relations Act and Human Rights Code, labour arbitrators have exclusive jurisdiction to decide human rights complaints. Such complaints cannot proceed to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, even if the unionized employees have not filed grievances.

The Horrocks decision is creating shockwaves in Ontario and other provinces. If applied in Ontario, this decision could take away the option for members to file complaints to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. This would create a troubling dual system for the enforcement of human rights in employment. In addition, it would block the ability of unions to pursue human rights complaints to the tribunal on behalf of the union or individual members.  The timing cannot be worse particularly because of the alarming increases of homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Black, and anti-Indigenous racism in Ontario. We are also seeing the rise of anti-Asian racism at unprecedented levels.

The question now is how the Supreme Court ruling will play out with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The Tribunal has scheduled two test cases in the coming months. In both, employers will argue that, following Horrocks, labour arbitrators have exclusive jurisdiction and the employees’ complaints must be dismissed. OPSEU/SEFPO and several other unions have applied to intervene in these test cases to support the employees’ position that Ontario has concurrent jurisdiction over human rights. In other words, Ontario legislation gives union members a choice between filing a grievance under their collective agreement or a complaint to the Tribunal.  Either claim can proceed to adjudication.

For many years, Ontario has recognized this right for unionized employees to choose between filing a grievance with the union and filing an application with the tribunal. Although labour arbitrators have the same jurisdiction as the tribunal, and the same authority to order remedies, the autonomy of unionized employees is respected.  This right to choose the most appropriate forum has also provided a layer of consistency for union and non-union employees.  A dual system for protection of human rights would risk creating different outcomes or tiers for human rights justice.

Under our current system, unions can also choose to file human rights complaints on behalf of members. Following Horrocks, the Tribunal may eliminate that option.

In all spheres of life, choice is good, and choice creates accountability. For all equity seeking groups, and particularly racialized and Indigenous communities facing systemic racism and oppression, the Human Rights Tribunal has been widely seen as a shield, which has effectively supported labour arbitrators to issue rulings that are fair, far reaching, and consistent with established law. There is genuine fear and apprehension that the HRTO may now close its doors to our most vulnerable communities.

OPSEU/SEFPO stands behind the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion by applying them at all levels of the organization. Members and staff have engaged in numerous campaigns to spotlight anti-racism and discrimination at workplaces and in the union. In addition to raising awareness, OPSEU/SEFPO remains committed to taking concrete steps that stop acts of racism and discrimination. This includes but is not limited to dismantling anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and all other forms of racism.

We are appealing to the Human Rights Tribunal to carefully consider the implications of withdrawing its services to unionized employees. The knowledge and institutional expertise of the Tribunal must remain equally available to all workers, both unionized and non-unionized. If the access to HRTO services is restricted, it  will deny marginalized and oppressed workers their autonomy and the right to choose.  It will also undermine our collective work to protect human rights and build a more equitable society.

In Solidarity,

JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer

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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,

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

More on the Local 5119 strike at LifeLabs:

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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:
SUBMIT Your Questions by 5 pm March 29:

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:

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:

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 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
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 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 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 in advance of the event to ensure they are answered.  

In Solidarity,

OPSEU/SEFPO Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC)

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