Monthly Archives: January 2011

Rumination and Reflection

Region 3 PWC

I was reading an article about a tea plantation worker, a woman in India, who was denied maternity leave in an advanced stage of pregnancy and forced to work….her co-workers protested and found themselves denied all wages and rations for a 3-month period.  then management filed criminal charges against 12 of the workers, including the pregnant woman who collapsed in the field while working and who was denied immediate medical attention.  2 of the workers have been fired including her father.  and the management continues to reject the union’s demands and responds with further threats.  you can read the awfulness of it all at

this lead me to thinking about my place as an activist in the community where I live, in the province where I work and the job that I do within the Broader Public Service and the responsibility that I have to the members that I represent in various capacities in this great union…….and that I have the privilege to serve and to speak out, to protest, to lobby, to defend an opinion, to champion human rights and to park my soapbox on any corner and share what I believe to be true…..and that I also have the privilege of participating in a political democracy in my municipality, my province and my country by simply voting or working for a candidate or becoming a candidate myself.  all this is possible because I am a Canadian.  And someone who went before me made this possible.  and I owe thanks to generations of women who went before us and paved the way for the emancipation of women, who gave us the vote, who lobbied hard on women’s issues that resulted in a better space for us today.

of course, not everything is coming up roses.  we have much work to do.  but when I consider all things, I accept that the greatest moral challenge facing us in this century is GENDER INEQUALITY.  you don’t have to take my word for it, there are plenty of important and articulate people out there delivering the same message, it’s not just me in my small corner of the universe.  and make no mistake about it.  gender inequality and poverty are inextricably linked.  they are connected.

To that end, I want to share 3 websites with you that I encourage you to visit. be prepared to be amazed.  it doesn’t take much to change the fortunes of our sisters around the world. You can watch Sheryl WuDunn’s very inspiring TED talk on the video link on this page.  some of the statistics will have you shaking your head.

the next time you have a gift to buy for a birthday or other celebration, why not consider giving a KIVA gift card?  visit and find out how easy it is to change a life with $25.  KIVA connects people globally through lending in a strategy to alleviate poverty.

change is possible, one person at a time.  and every contribution counts.  there is a way for all of us to make a difference in the world, not just here at home.  because, what I want for myself, I want for the world.
don’t you?

with warm solidarity over a cup of tea,

dora PWC Region 3


For Your Winter Viewing Pleasure……

If you missed it at theatres in December, it’s now available for rental or purchase.
Made in Dagenham is about the 1968 strike by 187 female sewing machinists in Britain-it’s a comedy and it’s a drama.
It’s about a group of impoverished women who, with courage and tenacity, take on and talk back to their corporation, their community and their government which ultimately leads to the birth of the Equal Pay Act in Britain.  Not to be missed.  It’s a film sure to warm your heart and set fire to those embers of activism!!  Here’s the official Paramount Pictures website link for the trailer etc…..enjoy!

In sol, dora PWC Region 3

2nd Annual OPSEU Video Competition

Call for submissions

OPSEU’s Central Political Action Committee is proud to bring you the 2nd annual OPSEU Video Competition.

Create a video that supports the hard-working people who provide our public services and you could win up to $1500!

Visit for more information.

Show us what you’ve got!

Contest closes March 21st, 2011.

Central Political Action Committee:

David Lundy

Jennifer Giroux

Eduardo Almeida

Pay Equity Resolution for Convention

This past December, our 1st VP and Treasurer of OPSEU, Patty Rout posted a message on the OPSEU website entitled “Persistent poverty diminishes holiday joy”. It was a fabulous article and thought-provoking. I wanted to share one of her quotes with you.

“We have the tools at hand to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, poverty, but somehow we lack the political will it takes to turn a shared goal into a measurable result.”

A shared goal into a measurable result. It immediately brought to my mind, the issue of Pay Equity. Pay Equity is most certainly one component of any intelligent poverty reduction strategy it seems to me. Pay Equity is designed to eliminate systemic discrimination in the compensation practices for work that is performed primarily by women. We know that there are more women than men at the lower end of the wage distribution scale. Women constitute nearly one half of all workers in Ontario. Dollar for dollar they do not earn the same dollar a man does on an hourly basis. We have a pay gap of approximately 29%. That statistic worsens if you happen to be a disabled woman, a woman of a racial minority or an Aboriginal woman. Retired women in Ontario receive a retirement income just half of that of retired men because of a lifetime of unequal pay and benefits. Part of the Ontario government’s long term strategy to reduce poverty in Ontario is to achieve a 25% reduction in the number of Ontario children living in poverty within five years which should bring us to about December 2013. We affirm the vision that says that every Ontarian has the right to social, economic and cultural development and to participate in a prosperous and healthy Ontario. When their mother’s work is undervalued, children certainly suffer. There are social and health consequences to living in poverty. Pay Equity is a good tool and an effective component of any plan to put poverty in its place and one way of talking back to the 29% gender pay gap.

It is high time to hold the government and the employers of Ontario accountable for compliance in pay equity. It’s the law.

Your Provincial Women’s Committee will be bringing a Pay Equity Resolution to the Convention floor this April and asks that you give thoughtful consideration to supporting it. Pay Equity can make a significant difference in the economic equality of women in Ontario. And that matters.


Dora – PWC

Nominations for the Bread and Roses Award

Sisters and Brothers of OPSEU…It is the custom of the OPSEU Provincial Women’s Committee to host a breakfast at our annual OPSEU Convention.  One of the purposes of the breakfast is to take the time to honour a woman activist in the community and labour movement who has made a significant contribution in supporting women’s issues.  The Bread and Roses award has been presented to many worthy women since 1995 and to this end, I am requesting your assistance and participation in the process of identifying a woman whom you would consider a worthy candidate for the Bread and Roses Award.   Our committee has a deadline of February 1st for accepting names. The Provincial Women’s Committee will make the final selection of a candidate for the award from all the names submitted.  Put your thinking cap on!  I will be waiting to hear from you!
In solidarity, dora – PWC