Register by July 9: OPSEU/SEFPO Young Workers Conference Online

Reminder: deadline to register is July 9, 2021

Conference Call Out

Dear Young Workers:

The Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC) invites you to submit your application for the 2021 Young Workers Conference! It will take place virtually on August 14, 2021. In addition to welcoming previous conference participants, we would like to extend a special invitation to those who have not attended in the past. We welcome all members who identify as young workers, 35 and under. We look forward to meeting you!

“Young Workers in the Post Pandemic World: How to Organize, Mobilize and Strategize using Digital Media” will provide today’s young workers and leaders in the labour movement with powerful tools for mobilization. This conference, including the guest speakers and related activities, will focus on how social media has changed traditional mobilization structures, increased the speed and interactivity of communication, and has transformed the landscape of campaigns and political protest.

Event participants will be selected by the PYC with assistance from the Equity Unit. The selection process will try to achieve a diverse group of attendees, representative of the young workers within our membership.

Do not miss this opportunity to network, learn, share experiences and have some fun. Please submit your application no later than end of day on July 9, 2021. You can apply directly by logging onto OPSEU/SEFPO’s member portal. Only online applications will be accepted for this event. We will be applying the criteria as set out in questions 1-10 of the application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered. For any additional requirements, please contact the Equity Unit directly.

In solidarity,
Provincial Young Workers Committee (PYC)

About the Conference

The 13th Annual Young Workers Conference: “Young Workers in the Post Pandemic World: How to Organize, Mobilize and Strategize using Digital Media”

In recognition of the PYC’s motto, this event will EDUCATE, MOTIVATE and MOBILIZE young workers into action whether it is in their local communities, workplaces or in the labour movement.

The event is open to all OPSEU/SEFPO members in good standing, regardless of their union experience, who identify as young workers. Members of equity-seeking groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Tentative Conference Agenda

Saturday, August 14, 2021

8:45 to 9:00 AM – Zoom Room opens

9:00 to 9:10 AM – Statement of Respect and Land Acknowledgment

9:10 to 9:30 AM – OPSEU/SEFPO President, Smokey Thomas and OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer, Eddy Almeida Conference Opening Remarks and Welcome

9:30 to 10:30 AM – Labour History and the structure of OPSEU/SEFPO

10:30 to 10:45 AM – Break

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM – Guest Speakers Nour Alideeb, Executive Director at University of Toronto Mississauga Students Union & Munib Sajjad, Political Organizer, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Discussing the pros and cons of organizing around social justice issues during a pandemic.

12:00 to 1:30 PM – Lunch

1:30 to 3:15 PM – Guest Speaker Saman Tabasinejad, Project Manager
Progress Toronto: Social media as a tool to engage members and to build and execute successful campaigns

3:15 to 3:30 PM – Break

3:30 to 4:30 PM – Break Out Rooms: Using the tips received from presentation #2, create social media campaign outlines for the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok.

4:30 PM – Wrap-up and adjourn

Apply to attend the 2021Young Workers Conference

Apply to attend the 2021Young Workers Conference FR

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Rising Above the Storm: Creating the Future We Want

Sign up for the Indigenous & Workers of Colour Conference 2021, hosted by the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, Saturday, June 12, 2021 9:45 am to 12:40 pm.

This year’s conference will be held virtually over Zoom and will feature a keynote address by Rosemary Power, Executive Director of Toronto Community Benefits Network.

Registration fee ($20) covered by OPSEU local 500. Download the application form and submit your completed form to ssimpson@labourcommunityservices.ca and copy  OPSEU.Local500@camh.ca. Read more at the conference website.

Workshop preference:

  • Environmental racism – facilitated by Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
  • Migrant worker & the impact of COVID – facilitated by Santiago Escobar or United Food and Commercial Workers
  • Land acknowledgements & reconciliation – facilitated by OPSEU Indigenous Circle
  • Challenging racism & racial trauma: Tools and resources – facilitated by the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit
  • Mental health in the workplace & accommodations – facilitated by OPSEU

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Extension of Changes to Payment and Coding for COVID-19

We will be extending the changes made to our payment and coding for COVID-19 in alignment with, and to enhance, the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit, which covers three paid days for casual and part-time workers who are ill, or who are getting tested or vaccinated for COVID-19.

Through to June 30, 2021, CAMH will cover applicable staff members’ pre-scheduled shifts missed for reasons related to COVID-19, including:

COVID-19 self-isolation awaiting results of a COVID-19 test due to COVID symptoms or community exposure (up to two days)

COVID-19 diagnosis of the employee (up to 10 days)

COVID-19 self-isolation due to confirmed high risk exposure in the community (up to 14 days)

Health, Safety and Wellness will be careful to review documentation prior to confirming paid leave for employees affected by COVID-19, so it is very important to remember that the responsibility rests with the employee to contact Health, Safety and Wellness (HSW.covid@camh.ca) and to provide all necessary proof of need for self-isolation, testing and diagnosis, to help ensure continuity of pay.

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Nurses Week 2021 Guest Speakers Events/ La Semaine nationale des soins infirmiers 2021: conférenciers invités

Dear OPSEU/SEFPO RPNs and Healthcare workers,

As part of OPSEU/SEFPO’s RPN Divisional Council’s commemoration of Nurses Week 2021, we would like to invite all health care members to two special presentations being offered during the week.

On Tuesday, May 11th from 1-2pm please use the link below to join a presentation by Dr. John Bradford, Founder Forensic Psychiatry, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, who will be speaking about Vicarious Trauma and PTSD: an occupational risk for nurses and other mental health professionals.

Meeting information:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://opseu-org.zoom.us/j/98905828587

Meeting ID: 989 0582 8587
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+14388097799,,98905828587# Canada
+15873281099,,98905828587# Canada

Dial by your location
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+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 613 209 3054 Canada
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
855 703 8985 Canada Toll-free
Find your local number: https://opseu-org.zoom.us/u/aqSIFGwao

In addition you are invited to join us on Thursday, May 13 from 1-2pm for a presentation from Tammy Whelen from the Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin who will be presenting on Compassion Fatigue and will offer practical strategies for identifying and dealing with the costs of caring.

Please use the link below to join this session via zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://opseu-org.zoom.us/j/93800114852

Meeting ID: 938 0011 4852
One tap mobile
+16473744685,,93800114852# Canada
+16475580588,,93800114852# Canada

Dial by your location
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 613 209 3054 Canada
855 703 8985 Canada Toll-free
Meeting ID: 938 0011 4852
Find your local number: https://opseu-org.zoom.us/u/ac3OiYhLaQ

Are you an RPN? Enter your name into a draw for your chance to win a $100 pre-paid credit card. Five winners will be announced on Saturday May 15th.

RSVP with your full name, local, mailing address, and email to Nadia Shahabun at nshahabun@opseu.org, OPSEU/SEFPO Support Staff.

Visit the OPSEU/SEFPO RPN Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OPSEURPN/ in order to join the daily discussions and be sure to follow our page.

Please note that if you miss any of these sessions we will work on posting a recording on our Facebook page for your convenience.

We at OPSEU/SEFPO recognize and value the immeasurable efforts you all have made over the past year.

Looking forward to commemorating Nurses Week with you and thank you again for all that you have given during these trying times.

In solidarity,

Lucy Morton, Chair of the RPN Occupational Division, OPSEU/SEFPO

Jill McIllwraith, Chair of the Health Care Divisional Council, OPSEU/SEFPO

Chères/chers IAA et professionnels/les de la santé de l’OPSEU/SEFPO,

Dans le cadre des célébrations de la Semaine nationale des soins infirmiers 2021 organisées par le conseil de la Division professionnelle des IAA de l’OPSEU/SEFPO, nous invitons tous les membres des soins de santé à deux présentations spéciales offertes au cours de la semaine.

Le mardi 11 mai, de 13 h à 14 h, veuillez utiliser le lien ci-dessous pour vous joindre à une présentation du Dr John Bradford, fondateur de la psychiatrie légale, Collège royal des médecins et chirurgiens du Canada, qui parlera du traumatisme indirect et de l’état de stress post-traumatique (ÉSPT) : un risque professionnel pour le personnel infirmier et autres professionnels de la santé mentale.

Renseignements sur la présentation :

Présentation : Dr John Bradford – Semaine nationale des soins infirmiers
Heure : Le 11 mai 2021, de 13 h à 14 h, heure de l’est (États-Unis et Canada)

Cliquez sur ce lien pour vous connecter à la réunion Zoom
https://opseu-org.zoom.us/j/98905828587

ID de la réunion : 989 0582 8587
Accès direct avec mobile
+14388097799,,98905828587# Canada
+15873281099,,98905828587# Canada

Composez selon votre emplacement
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 613 209 3054 Canada
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
855 703 8985 Canada sans frais
Trouvez votre numéro local : https://opseu-org.zoom.us/u/aqSIFGwao

De plus, nous vous invitons à vous joindre à nous le jeudi 13 mai, de 13 h à 14 h, pour une présentation de Tammy Whelen, de l’Association canadienne pour la santé mentale (ACSM) de Peel Dufferin, qui donnera une présentation sur l’usure de compassion et proposera des stratégies pratiques pour la reconnaître et la surmonter.

Cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous pour participer à cette présentation via zoom.

Présentation : Tammy Whelen – ACSM de Peel Dufferin
Heure : Le 13 mai 2021, à 12 h, heure de l’est (États-Unis et Canada)

Cliquez sur ce lien pour vous connecter à la réunion Zoom
https://opseu-org.zoom.us/j/93800114852

ID de la réunion : 938 0011 4852
Accès direct avec mobile
+16473744685,,93800114852# Canada
+16475580588,,93800114852# Canada

Composez selon votre emplacement
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 613 209 3054 Canada
855 703 8985 Canada sans frais
ID de la réunion : 938 0011 4852
Trouvez votre numéro local : https://opseu-org.zoom.us/u/ac3OiYhLaQ

Êtes-vous une/un IAA? Inscrivez votre nom pour participer à un tirage au sort et courir la chance de gagner une carte de crédit prépayée de 100 $. Les cinq gagnant(e)s seront annoncé(e)s le samedi 15 mai.

RSVP avec votre nom au complet, section locale, adresse postale et courriel à Nadia Shahabun à : nshahabun@opseu.org, OPSEU/SEFPO, personnel de soutien.

Visitez la page Facebook des IAA de l’OPSEU/SEFPO à : https://www.facebook.com/OPSEURPN/ afin de participer aux discussions quotidiennes et pour suivre notre page.

Veuillez noter que si vous manquez l’une de ces sessions, nous essayerons de publier un enregistrement sur notre page Facebook pour votre convenance.

À l’OPSEU/SEFPO, nous reconnaissons et apprécions les efforts incommensurables que vous avez toutes et tous déployés au cours de la dernière année.

Dans l’attente du plaisir de célébrer la Semaine nationale des soins infirmiers en votre compagnie, nous vous remercions une nouvelle fois pour tout ce que vous avez fait durant ces périodes éprouvantes.

En solidarité,

Lucy Morton, présidente de la Division professionnelle des IAA, OPSEU/SEFPO

Jill McIllwraith, présidente du Conseil divisionnaire des soins de santé, OPSEU/SEFPO

opseu.org | sefpo.org

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OPSEU/SEFPO applauds verdict in George Floyd murder

OPSEU/SEFPO applauds the recent guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. We acknowledge that the verdict was newsworthy because it disrupts a continuous pattern of white supremacy persistent in North American criminal justice systems. We agree with U.S. President Joe Biden that “we cannot stop there.” It is way past time that white leaders of Canadian institutions remove our collective knees off the necks of Black, Indigenous and racialized groups.

Since the murder of George Floyd, OPSEU/SEFPO stepped up its efforts to dismantle anti-Black racism beginning with a tele-town hall in July of 2020. We listened to the lived experiences of Black members and staff and escalated our efforts to increase the representation of Black and racialized staff at all levels of the organization. We need to put muscle behind our words. Intentional and bold steps are needed to uproot anti-Black racism from all institutions.

To this end, OPSEU/SEFPO launched a long-term Employment Equity program led by a multi-racial team with many years of anti-racism experience. The Employment Equity Team is facilitating mandatory dismantling anti-Black racism training for OPSEU/SEFPO senior leadership, staff and the Executive Board. As a concrete step forward, we made permanent a number of Black and racialized staff at various levels of the organization to increase representation and remove existing disparities between permanent and temporary positions. These proactive steps were met with resistance from those who prefer to hold on to the status quo and maintain their privilege and power. However, OPSEU/SEFPO remains committed to uprooting white supremacy despite any resistance. This is simply the right thing to do and it is long overdue.

Many of us are haunted by the final words of George Floyd, “I can’t breathe.” OPSEU/SEFPO is proud to step up as a leader among labour unions and stand up to all those resistant to change. We will continue to do this as a Union and as an employer until all members and staff can breathe freely.

The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass reminds us that “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will.” We will not stop demanding until it is done!

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida

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OPSEU/SEFPO calling on Ford government to legislate paid sick days for all

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas sent the following letter to Premier Doug Ford today.   April 19, 2021   Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario  Room 281  Legislative Building, Queen’s Park  Toronto, ON M7A 1A1   

Re OPSEU/SEFPO calling on Ford government to legislate paid sick days for all  

Dear Premier Ford,   This is our third message to your office in as many days. Desperate times require extraordinary measures. If there is a time when we must communicate effectively as a province, and act swiftly as a society, it is now.  

At OPSEU/SEFPO, we’ve put politics aside in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. We understand that working together is the only way we can defeat this crisis and emerge triumphant on the other side. Name-calling and public shaming won’t resolve our current crisis. And together, we’ve made progress.  

We asked your government to walk back on arbitrary police powers, and you have. We spoke out against the closure of playgrounds, and you listened. We’ve raised the alarm about Ontario’s capacity crisis, and the federal Liberals have pledged to send health care workers to help. We’ve pushed to get more needles in arms, and you lowered the age of eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine to 40.  

All of this marks significant progress. However, we’ve now reached a crucial moment in the fight against this pandemic.  

The path to recovery requires smart decisions and legislating paid sick days is a smart decision. Paid sick days save lives. The experts all agree, including Toronto’s chief medical officer of health, that paid sick leave is an essential protection for workers on the front lines of the pandemic – especially those in low-wage and precarious positions with little to no job security.  

Everyone needs paid sick days. They keep workers, and our communities, safer. And what’s more, the vast majority of Ontarians support legislated paid sick days for all. What we need now, is political leadership. You’ve said no in the past, but I am sure you can see that the state of the province today requires a different response.  

As the case numbers continue to rise, firmer action is needed. Indecision won’t save lives – vaccines and paid sick days will. The public, and Ontario’s public sector workers, are watching closely. Unless repealed, Bill 124’s wage cap would mean that public sector workers can’t even negotiate more sick days, without taking a further cut to their wages. These are the same front line workers you’ve repeatedly held up as heroes throughout the pandemic.  

Well Premier, heroes deserve respect and dignity. At the very minimum, they need paid sick days. That does not just go for unionized workers, non-unionized workers need paid sick days too. That’s the best way they can protect themselves while earning a living, and protect the public as well. Last month, more than 600 workers at Amazon in Brampton got COVID-19, but very few cases were reported. How much safer would we all be, Amazon workers, their families, and the public, if these workers had been allowed to take paid sick days? We can’t force workers to decide between making a living and living at all.  

Premier, you know what the right decision is here. At least for the duration of the pandemic, legislate paid sick days and protect this province, its workers, and their families. It’s your chance to take leadership across the country and light the way for all the provinces and territories to follow. Legislate paid sick days now. Cast ideology aside and pivot as needed. Only then are we in it all together, but more importantly, we will be out of all this together, faster.  

Sincerely,   

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, OPSEU/SEFPO

C.
Hon. Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health
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Ontario needs a shot in the arm

OPSEU/SEFPO has launched an ad campaign to support Ontario’s vaccine rollout and encourage Ontarians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It’s undeniable that the COVID pandemic has hurt us all,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It has taken a toll on our economy, on our health, on our well-being, and even on our very lives. “We’re calling on all OPSEU/SEFPO members – and all Ontarians – to get their shot as soon as possible,” said Thomas. “Because the way out of this is together.”

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THOMAS: Message to the OHA — recovery will take action, not just talk

The following Op Ed by OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas was published today in the Toronto Sun.

The third wave of COVID-19 has arrived and many folks are scratching their heads wondering how Ontario’s entire health-care system — and economy — can come to a crippling halt with between 400 and 600 COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

It’s unbelievable and it’s certainly unsustainable; With a population of 15 million people, we should have much more hospital capacity. The consequences of inaction are fatal.

Which begs the question: Where has the talking head of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) been, and has the OHA fulfilled its mandate to serve Ontario’s hospitals to build a better health-care system?

Let’s just say, our current hospital capacity crisis didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a disaster in the making for 30 years. “Crisis” isn’t just a COVID-19 buzzword — it’s a daily reality for thousands of front-line hospital workers and the patients they support.

At OPSEU/SEFPO, we’ve sounded the alarm. And not just this year, but for the past 30 years since the slash-and-burn “Common Sense Revolution” of the 1990s when the pillaging of our health-care system started.

OHA president and CEO Anthony Dale was around back then too, serving as an aide to Premier Mike Harris — the King of Cuts — and his Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Elizabeth Witmer.

Their government’s deep cuts and costly restructuring gutted Ontario’s health-care system and charted the course for austerity — lasting 30 years and leading to the crisis we’re in today.

Harris’s cocktail of cuts were a recipe for disaster. We’ve known it was coming. How can a hospital deal with a pandemic surge when it hasn’t got the resources — or staffing — to handle the seasonal flu?

We’ve been in dire straits for some time, and it doesn’t take a doctor to know why.

Nowadays, Dale is warning that Ontario’s critical care system is about to reach its “saturation point.” That’s the point at which there’s no more capacity — zero. And he’s right. We’re close to system-wide collapse. He’s right about a few other things too.

Ontario’s hospitals can’t function at peak capacity in the long-term. We need more standby capacity, or put plainly, more buffer room.

We need to get shots into people’s arms and to improve vaccine confidence among the general public. We need paid sick days for essential workers and we all need to follow public health measures to help curb the impact of this third — and hopefully final — wave.

And of course, we absolutely need to invest in staffing and job training to address staff shortages in critical care and every other health service, which are all at a crisis level.

We agree completely. We’ve been saying it for 30 years, while we’ve been on the front lines of the fight to protect and improve our public health-care system – on the ground and in the halls of power at Queen’s Park.

But recently, when our union called on the OHA to take action and support the vaccine rollout in hospitals by removing barriers for front line staff — by directing hospitals to give workers time to get vaccinated — all we heard back were crickets.

Actions speak louder than words, which raises the question: What has the OHA actually done?

The OHA has been AWOL — absent without leadership. That needs to change. Yes, there have been enough mistakes to go around and nobody has done a perfect job.

It’s time we take a different approach — one that’s consultative and constructive. It’s time for the OHA to sit down with the unions so we can address the capacity crisis head on, together.

There’s been plenty of talk about rebuilding our health-care system. It’s time to get to work. And supporting front-line essential workers will be the foundation of our province’s recovery.

Then. Now. Always.

  • Warren (Smokey) Thomas is president of OPSEU/SEFPO
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Region 5 New Activist /New Steward Class: Application Package – Deadline April 16, 2021

The Region 5 Education Committee is pleased to offer this virtual
educational opportunity to our Region 5 members. We would like to
invite all members of Region 5 to participate in our upcoming zoom
classes on:

NEW ACTIVIST / NEW STEWARD ORIENTATION

There are two session offerings.

DATES:

Option #1 will run two consecutive 3 hour evenings Tuesday, June 8,
2021 and Wednesday June 9, 2021 6:00 pm – 9:15 pm

Option #2 will run one day Saturday June 12, 2021 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Registration Deadline: Friday, April 16, 2021 4:30 pm at R5Educationals@opseu.org.

Virtual Meetings: Participation instructions will be provided to all
upon confirmation of acceptance.

Please find attached:

Call-Out Package: New Activist / New Steward Orientation

Human Rights Accommodation Form

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OPSEU/SEFPO’s Rainbow Alliance Arc-en-Ciel Queermunity Town Halls!

Attention all rainbow-identified members: OPSEU/SEFPO’s Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel (RAA) will be holding monthly Queermunity town halls via Zoom on the last Wednesday of each month!

Be sure to join them as they discuss queer issues, chat about upcoming events and host guest speakers!

Add your name to the Queermunity email list! Your welcome email will include the Zoom information.

Dates and times

April 28, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
May 26, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
June 30, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
July 28, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
August 25, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
September 29, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
October 27, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30pm
November 24, 2021 7:30pm – 8:30 pm

Cost: Free

If you have any questions or would like to be a guest speaker, please email pride@opseu.org Click here for a printable PDF of the poster

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