Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pension changes that we need to act on.

Dear Sisters and Brothers.

Many of our members have defined benefit pension plans. Some members do not, and I am committed to working on their behalf to help bargain defined benefit plans.

Those of us that in years past have been able to bargain and achieve defined plans, are now under attack by this government.

You will find pension background campaign information in the attachment, put together by our President Brother Smokey Thomas; Sister Nancy Pridham, Regional Vice President Region 5; Mike Grimaldi, Regional Vice President, Region 2; and our very capable staff. Please read it. Our pensions are our deferred wages!
· McGuinty and Duncan want to create a “superfund” with our pension money that the Government can draw on to fund private/public partnerships.
· McGuinty and Duncan want to turn our defined benefit plans into defined contribution plans. You will never know how much you will receive once retired.
· McGuinty and Duncan do not like that we have joint trusteed plans; they want professional managers. We see those same bankers being charged almost every day of the week with illegal activities and conflict of interests. Our trustees come from the membership, have served us well, and work for us by hiring (and firing) the needed expertise.
· Our plans are well funded. None are in trouble. McGuinty and Duncan are creating a crisis.
· I put 11% of my gross pay into my pension plan and have been contributing for 25 years. God help them if they muck with my plan!

Sisters and Brothers, I am asking that you phone, email, ring the door bell of your local MPP now. The next meeting of our OPSEU Executive Board Pension Liaison Committee and the Government is set for July 26th. We need to act now!!!!

In Solidarity,

Message from Doris Middleton

I would like to thank the OPSEU Executive Board for their support of the Mariposa Folk Festival 2012.. Mariposa Folk Festival this year was a resounding success. Attendance this year was close to 20,000, over a 2 1/2 day period. Many OPSEU members,retirees and potential OPSEU members were in attendance.

As many of you know OPSEU has been a sponsor of this festival for a number of years.  The exposure that OPSEU receives because of this sponsorship is immense.  In the weeks leading up to the festival OPSEU was mentioned in all the Mariposa ads on the local radio stations and maybe beyond.

The OPSEU logo appeared 8 times in this year’s festival printed program book, including one full page ad. OPSEU banners were hugely apparent at the main entrance to the festival, at the beer tent, at two large stages and throughout the festival there was repeated announced promotion of OPSEU at each workshop/concert that was at an OPSEU sponsored stage.

Billy Bragg and Johnny Clepp were the headliners on Sunday night on the main stage and OPSEU was the co-sponsor that evening. Bragg is a British musician whose career for over 30 years has been centred on left wing activism.   Bragg made positive mention of OPSEU during his performance.  It was absolutely riveting to hear this wonderful singer and activist.

Exposure of this kind cannot be underestimated. During these difficult times for unions by way of continual right wing and media attacks and diminishing
union density, events such as this put unions in a positive light, in this case, particularly OPSEU.

I urge OPSEU to continue on with its support for this festival that so clearly represents what labour’s ideology is all about.

In solidarity and friendship.

Doris Middleton
President, North Simcoe Muskoka and District Labour Council
Former OPSEU Region 3 Vice President and Executive Board member
OPSEU Retiree

OPS Bargaining

OPS Members,

We’re writing to let you know of important news to do with upcoming contract negotiations.

All indications are that the employer will come to the bargaining table with demands unlike any we have seen.

It’s absolutely critical that you stay informed. Please read all email from OPSEU and check frequently for news on the website’s OPS Bargaining 2012 section.

When you go there now, you will see:

Your employer will likely go after reduced wages, benefits, pensions, sick time, and job security provisions.
Your bargaining team has been elected.
The best defense against a strike is to have a strong strike mandate.
You need to prepare for a potential strike.
You need to pay down your debt, delay major purchases, and save whatever money you can.
Bargaining will start this Fall.
There’s much news, planning, and action to come. You won’t want to miss any of it.

Together, we are fighting for good jobs and good public services.

If you have questions, please follow up with your steward or staff representative.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Roxanne Barnes
Chair, Central/Unified Bargaining Committee

NDP Labour Critic to speak in Peterborough 7 July

Taras Natyshak, the Ontario NDP Critic for Labour, Infrastructure, and Community Safety and Correctional Services, will be in Peterborough on Saturday July 7 to discuss labour and employment issues.

Local New Democrats, labour leaders and activists are invited to meet with Natyshak at a barbecue in

Millennium Park(corner of Water and King Streets in Peterborough on Saturday at 12 pm.

Natyshak is the MPP for Essex, a riding which covers a large rural area similar to Peterborough. He is known for campaigning for a national agriculture policy to protect family farms from the pressures of globalization.

Natyshak’s visit is part of the Ontario NDP’s continuing initiative to connect with Peterborough riding and to bring our concerns to Queen’s Park. The event is being held in cooperation with the Peterborough and District Labour Council and OPSEU.

See the Facebook event here.

Peterborough NDP Riding Association
P.O. Box 996, Peterborough, ON K9J 7A5