Link to In Solidarity 2010 Winter
OPSEU is calling upon its membership across the province to participate in Canada’s first bottled water free day on March 11th.
The production, transportation and waste of plastic bottles has significant impact on our environment. The social implications of bottled water — namely water privatization by corporations — undermines properly funded public services that are accessible to all. Make March 11th the last day you drink bottled water!
Take the pledge not to drink bottled water when public water is available.
The new Durham Consolidated Courthouse at 150 Bond Street in Oshawa had its opening day on Feb 8th. Although it may be the new home for Justice in Durham Region, it is not a welcoming place for Probation Officers.
At the any other Court in the Province of Ontario, Probation Officers need only show their badge and photo ID to enter the Court building. Probation Officers are now being told by the Durham Regional Police security screeners that it is not good enough, and that Probation Officers must be subjected to the full search protocol even though they have presented their badge and photo ID . In effect, as designated Peace Officers of the Province and Officers of the Criminal Courts , Probation Officers are being restricted by a municipal Police Force in gaining access to our own provincial government building.
What makes this story even more absurd? The employees of the on-site Tim Hortons are able to show their ID and enter the Durham Consolidated Court House without going through the security screening. Perhaps the special relationship between Police Officers and Tim Hortons is more than just a myth.
Effective February 1, 2010, OPSEU and the Government sponsor have agreed that the OPT will permit plan members who have missed the normal 24 month buyback application window to purchase past credit at the actuarial cost. Up to now, if a plan member did not apply within 24 months of joining the OPT or returning from a leave, they were not permitted to buy back service outside the 24 month window.
The amendment will allow eligible OPSEU members (and PSPP members) to buy back pension credit outside of the 24 month buyback window, but the cost to the members who apply outside their 24 month window will be determined on an actuarial basis. This means that the member will pay for the full cost of the buyback based on an actuarial calculation. Online estimates will be available on the OPT website on February 1, 2010 so that members may make informed decisions.
While this amendment will help members who have missed the 24 month deadline for whatever reason, members should still apply within the 24 months if possible. For some buybacks (prior service with an employer who contributes to the OPT, and unpaid LOAs for pregnancy, parental, illness, for example) the employer matches the member’s contributions.
One issue still being sorted out is whether the actuarial cost will have to be paid by lump sum or whether periodic payments will be permitted. You can download the OPT Fact Sheet at http://www.opseu.org/ops/ministry/locktalk/
Application forms are now available for the Region 3 May Educational to be held at the Delta Grandview Resort in Huntsville. To access this application, as well as information regarding the courses being offered, please go to the OPSEU Website (www.opseu.org). Once in the site, you will find this information on the left hand side of the toolbar; – click on “Member Education – Training & Development.” On the screen, you will find “Schedule of Regional Schools” – click on this and scroll down to Region 3. The forms can be downloaded at this point (if they are not there as yet, please try again in a few days). Kindly ensure that you follow the instructions for applying contained in the package.
If you are bringing anyone with you to the Delta Grandview Resort (spouse, children, friends …), and you intend for them to participate in the meal plan, this is a reminder that you are responsible for the cost and you must notify the Resort upon registration. You can then make those particular arrangements with the Resort.
The most immediate reason for this is so that the Resort is aware of all the extra people and can therefore prepare and provide for all those numbers in the dining areas.
Dear sisters and brothers:
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will deliver the next Ontario budget sometime in late March. The decisions Mr. Duncan and Premier McGuinty make this month will have a huge impact on the public services all OPSEU members provide.
At a time when the economy is still stumbling and unemployment remains high, now is not the time for the government to focus on deficit-cutting. That’s because the real crisis our province is facing is not the deficit. The real problem is unemployment and the shortage of good jobs that allow people to live decently, bring their kids up properly, and retire with dignity.
To encourage the government to focus on saving and creating jobs, not cutting jobs, OPSEU has joined with the rest of the Ontario labour movement to encourage the McGuinty government to deliver a “Good Jobs” Budget next month. We are currently running radio ads on stations in every corner of Ontario. To find out more about the campaign, please visit http://www.communitiesthatwork.ca. Take our online poll, send an e-mail to Premier McGuinty, and post your comments about what the next budget can do to get Ontario working.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Ontario Public Service Employees Union