Monthly Archives: September 2009

Regional Report Fall 2009

Hello everyone and we hope this report finds you all safe from what we hope was a great summer filled with laughter and fun.

Now that the summer is over many things are starting to happen within OPSEU and region 3.

New Orillia Office: during the April board meeting, OPSEU and the executive board approved the purchase of a new OPSEU Regional Office in the Orillia service area.  The address is 76 Coldwater Street, Orillia.  The staff has moved in and renovations are underway to make the building disability accessible.

Membership Centers: We have moved the Midland Membership centre to Bay St. Midland.   The Huntsville membership centre is also moving to Bracebridge.  The current centre is not appropriate for meetings and needs to be moved.  By moving the centre to Bracebridge, at least 5 more locals will be able to take advantage of the new meeting space for local meetings, campaigns, and contract voting.

OPSECAAT Campaign: IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED!! Up to 10,000 part-time support staff at Ontario community colleges are eligible to cast ballots in a union representation vote to be held next month.  The Ontario Labour Relations Board ordered the vote September 3rd . Voting will take place from Oct. 5 to Oct. 27.  Region 3 will be holding their votes for our three colleges on October 7th and 8th.

OPS Student Protest: Very exciting time this summer as OPS students across the province started to rally and demonstrate when the Ontario government took away the vacation and holiday pay they’ve been give for so many years.  Their reasoning – we made a mistake in the past, we’re correcting it.  Students employed in the private sector like Tim Hortons and Wal-Mart still received their pay in lieu of holidays/vacation, however our members were denied.  Students from the Ministry of Natural Resources rallied to the unfairness and started having information pickets al across region 3.  This action soon caught on to other regions within OPSEU.  The board and region are proud to have such motivated future activists.  The fight is not over, but in the interim, thanks to Helena Whale for spearheading this campaign.  Your work and ability to get others passionate enough to take on their own leadership role was awesome.

Social Mapping: During the 2009 Convention OPSEU passed a resolution for a ‘Social Mapping’ of our union.  This fall OPSEU is launching its “Count Me In” census.  As our union continues to grow and change through organizing, divestments, mergers – the structure and face of our membership has and is continuing to change in its diversity.  In order to know who we are representing and as an effort to ensure that equitable representation remains to be our mandate, we need to know who our membership is.  So during the month of November a CENSUS will be conducted, not unlike the StatsCAN census that we do every 5 yrs.  Your locals will be contacted to discuss ways of maximum participation by the members in your locals.  It is completely voluntary, confidential and anonymous.  For more information, please contact your EBM’s.  We’d be happy to discuss this new initiative


2010 Educationals: we have set the dates and location for the 2010 Curriculum –

Feb 27-28, 2010 – Regional Educational

May 1-2, 2010 – Equity Weekend

September 24-25, 2010 – Stewardship 1 & 2 (regional)

November 27-28, 2010 – Regional Educational

All weekends will be held at the Delta Grandview in Huntsville.

CLC – weeklong educational:  up to 10 members will be considered for the 2010 courses.  The regional education budget will cover the cost of registration ONLY.  The member will be responsible for their own time to attend and mileage/meals will be bourn by the local or the member.


Mariposa Folk Festival – Was a huge success.  OPSEU was well represented by the members and, as a main sponsor of the event, we had a booth to promote OPSEU, huge thanks to Judy Gus and Brenda.  OPSEU was advertised many times in the brochure, and our banner was front and centre on two stages including the main stage.  We received a wonderful thank you card from Simcoe CAS, whom we donated tickets and were used by kids and families for the event.  Thank you to Region 3 for all your support and contribution.  Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Mariposa Festival – Can’t wait!

Region 3 Picnic – was also a great success.  Although the weather wasn’t completely cooperative, 75 members and their families came out to enjoy a day of fun, food, magic, races, prizes and and and…. Left over food was donated to the women’s shelter in Lindsay who were extremely grateful for the generosity shown. Plans are already underway for next year.

Christmas Dinner and Dance – Region 3 will be hosting a Christmas dinner and dance at the Mariposa Best Western Inn, Orillia.  Mark your calendars for December 12, 2009.  Tickets are $35 – single, $70 couple.  Rooms at the Inn have been blocked off for those that plan to spend the night – so book them soon!  Please contact Pete Wright at if you plan to attend.

Dragon Boat – Sister Doris Middleton is organizing an OPSEU group for the upcoming Dragon Boat Race and fundraiser being held in Orillia September 26, 2009.  PADDLERS are needed!!  You don’t have to be an OPSEU member to be on the team so please contact her at if you or your local would like to be part of this event.

Dates to Remember:


September 23 – Development Services Conference, Toronto

September 26 – Dragon Boat Race, Orillia.  Raising money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation

October 3-4 – Regional Weekend educational, Delta East Hotel

October 5 – 27 – College P/T vote

October 14-15 – Executive Board meeting

November 6-8 – PWC conference

November 17-19 – Executive Board meeting

November 21-22 – Regional Educational, Delta East Hotel

November 22-27 – OFL Convention

November 26-28 – BPS Conference

December 9-10 – Executive Board Meeting

December 12 – Holiday dinner and dance

Welcome to the following new Presidents:

Local 304 – Tracy Lynn Rehel

Local 316 – Wilma Swan

Local 320 – Christine Marshall

Local 322 – James Wilson

Local 334 – Jennifer Smith

Local 336 – Tracey Lombard

Local 373 – Hilarie LaFave

Local 338 – Beth Murphy

Welcome to Denise Near New Staff Rep in Orillia regional office, and Steve Nield Supervisor of staff regions 3 and 4.

Thanks to Local 332 – for their donation of holiday decorations, auctioned off at the 2009 Convention contributing to the Live and Let Live fund behalf of Region 3 – reminder, we’d love to hear from locals regarding events, pictures of activities your local has been involved in, or even post your local web site on hours for greater access.  To have anything posted on the region 3 site, please contact Pete Wright for approval.  The region would love to hear about what’s going on in your neck of the woods.

Keep informed, stay connected and remember that together we can achieve the extraordinary.

In sol,

Your region 3 Executive Board

OPSEU Executive Board endorses pension contribution increase

UmbrellaOPSEU Press release The OPSEU Executive Board has endorsed recommendations by OPSEU Pension Trust trustees that there be a one per cent increase in contributions by OPT plan members in each of the next three years. After lengthy discussions, the Executive Board made the decision to endorse the increased contributions due to the massive global economic downturn which placed the pension fund into deficit. The increase will protect pension payments and benefits for plan members. Maintaining this protection was a major concern for both OPT trustees and the Executive Board. The first one per cent increase will occur on January 1, 2010, and subsequent one per cent increases will occur on January 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012. The OPT will review the status of the plan deficit annually, and will re-evaluate the increases if the plan moves out of deficit. Only active OPT plan members are affected by these contribution increases. The increases do not apply to current retirees and deferred plan members, who will still receive their full pension and benefit entitlements.