Monthly Archives: March 2010

Toronto & York District Labour Council Labour Awards


For the first time ever, Toronto and York Region Labour Council is presenting a series of Awards recognizing the efforts of unions and union activists in York Region.  They will be recognizing outstanding individuals and locals in one or more of the following categories:

*Veteran Labour Activist (The Julius Deutsch Award)
*Youth Activist
*Health and Safety Activist
*United Way Activist
*Community Activist
*Best website (local union)
*Best newsletter (local union)
*Equity Leadership (local union)
*Highest number of Union Counselor graduates (local union)
*Newly organized workplaces

The awards are scheduled for Wednesday April 21st, 2010 @ 7:00 pm at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel on Highway # 7 in Markham near Highway # 404  and are open to union members, their families, and community allies with whom we work.  Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.  There is no charge for attendance at this event and I am proud to share that OPSEU is a sponsoring partner in making this evening a reality.

If you are interested in nominating an individual or other category, for further information on award criteria and submissions or to RSVP, kindly contact Fatemeh Akdari at Labour Community Services at 416-445-5819 or by email

This invitation is warmly extended by Labour Council President John Cartwright.  I would encourage OPSEU locals particularly within York Region to join us on April 21st.  See you there.

Dora Robinson PWC Region 3

Bill 168 Workplace Violence Prevention

Take the time to get trained by the experts in Worker Health & Safety

“We envision safer, healthier workplaces where, supported by WHSC training, hazards are identified and eliminated through meaningful worker participation and full employer responsibility.”

Click on any of the locations below to get access to the location specific application forms

May 10, 2010    Kingston

May 10, 2010    London

May 10, 2010    Oshawa

May 10, 2010    Sarnia

May 11, 2010    Ottawa

May 11, 2010    Sudbury

May 12, 2010    Barrie

May 13, 2010    Peterborough

Making a Difference

Sisters of Region 3

2 things to share from the PWC perspective this month.  Important things!

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is Ontario’s advocacy group for high quality, affordable child care.  Recent news from the OCBCC is not good.
In 2006, the McGuinty government accepted a one time federal payment, spread it over 4 years and included that funding in Ontario’s core child care budget.  the money is now gone, all used up.  It is the responsibility of the provinces to fund child care, and without further funding, communities across Ontario are going to be out of options because they’ll be out of money.  this spells dramatic and perhaps for some, catastrophic cuts to child care subsidies.  Full fee or subsidized families will all be affected.

Please take a minute, take action and send an email message to Premier McGuinty to “Stop the Cuts to Child Care in 2010”.
You may send your message through:

The other thing is, making our communities better places.  A report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2004 said this:
“Municipalities need the skills, resources, knowledge and collaborative approach women bring to decision making in their communities.”
No kidding.  Increasing women’s participation in municipal decision making can only be a good thing.

We need to think about this and how we put more women on local school boards and municipal councils.  Women who are active in their unions and in their community have the skills to be a municipal councillor or a local school board trustee.
so, put your thinking cap on and consider the opportunities that exist in your community and if you  (or a woman you know in your local and your community) has what it takes to be an excellent municipal councillor or school trustee.

The Canadian Labour Congress will be holding training sessions for candidates across the province in April, May and June.  You can get more details at  if you are interested.  Another good place to go for information on municipal involvement is your local labour council.

Let’s make a difference in our small corner of the world.

In sisterhood and solidarity,


PWC Region 3

Local 328 Township of Georgian Bay votes 94% to Strike if Necessary!

Last week members of Local 328 voted 94% in favour of a strike in support of their bargaining team.  Local 328 Township of Georgian Bay members include all inside workers, outside  workers including the roads department, fire and parks & recreation services at the Township. After struggling to get the bargaining dates we did have, the employer has not been willing to negotiate a reasonable and fair contract.

In support of the members we ask that all OPSEU members and especially those that live in the Township of Georgian Bay area ( or who own property in the township) contact the Mayor and council members and urge them to negotiate a fair deal.


James R. Walden

705-538-2720 (home)
or 1-800-567-0187 x7

Area Councillor Ward 1

Tracey Fitchett

705-375-2419 (home)

Area Councillor Ward 2

Jim Bowden


Area Councillor Ward 3

Jon Lett

District Councillor
Wards 1 & 2

Larry Braid


District Councillor
Ward 3

Greg Sutcliffe


John Miller, a conciliator from the Ministry of Labour Dispute Resolution Services has been assigned to assist the parties in coming to agreement and a conciliation date will be arranged soon.

In solidarity and on behalf of the members of Local 328

Denise Near, OPSEU Staff Representative

Toll Free: 1-800-268-7376
Tel: 705-325-4457 Ext. 5301
Fax: 705-325-0821

Orillia Regional Office
76 Coldwater St. E.
Orillia, ON L3V 1W5

WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE: Still a long way from Equity

Article by Elizabeth Ha

Some people see the issue of economic equality for women as rather outdated, out of tune with a supposed new world of opportunity that has opened up with higher education for women and a more equal division of work between women and men. Yet the fact of the matter is that, after many years of progress through the 1970s and 1980s, the gender wage gap in Canada has remained stuck since the mid 1990s at one of the highest levels in the advanced industrial world.

In 2005, the most recent year for which we have figures, women working full-time for the full year earned an average of $39,200, or 70.5% as much as comparable men who earned an average of $55,700. In the mid 1990s, such women earned 72% as much as men. The pay gap is even greater for university-educated women, who earned just 68% as much as men in 2005, down from 75% a decade ago. The gender pay gap in Canada is the fifth greatest in the advanced industrial (OECD) countries and even bigger than in the US.

Strikingly, the pay gap has grown rather than narrowed even as women have become more highly educated than men, and even as most women have decided to have fewer children, later in life. Fully half of women aged 25 to 44 now have a post secondary qualification, compared to 40% of men, and the education gap is even bigger among young people. Women are participating in the paid labour force at higher levels than ever before, and very few women now drop out of paid work for very extended periods of time. But, the pay gap persists and grows.

One key reason for the gender wage gap is that women without high levels of education (or whose credentials are unrecognized in Canada) are much more likely than men to be employed in very low-paid and insecure, part-time and temporary jobs, especially in private sector sales and service jobs. More than one in five women aged 25 to 54, the peak earnings years, make less than $12 per hour, almost double the proportion of men. Working women, especially recent immigrant women of colour, have suffered most from the failure of governments to maintain adequate minimum wages and employment standards to protect low paid and precarious workers.

When it comes to better-paid jobs, women are still largely excluded from blue collar jobs, especially in the skilled trades. But a large and growing layer of women have indeed moved into professional and skilled technical jobs, in education, health care and other community and public services. But these women are still paid less than comparable men, and are significantly under-represented in very well-paid jobs. More than three in four of the earners making at least $89,000 per year (the top 5% of the Canadian workforce) are men, and men are still three times more likely than women to be senior managers.

Public services employ 29% of all women compared to 17% of men (and the gap is even greater if we take account of the community social services sector.) Women have, accordingly, borne most of the impacts of privatization and contracting-out to the private sector, where wages are lower and wage gaps are much greater. Pay equity laws can make a difference, but attempts to equalize wages between male and female-dominated job classifications have generally stalled even though discrimination remains apparent.