For OPS Members: Educational – Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace & Basic Grievance Handling for Union Building, November 28-29, 2020

Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace & Basic Grievance Handling for Union Building

To:  OPS LEC Members

Location: Virtually via Zoom

Time: November 28-29, 2020:  9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Attached please find the registration package for the upcoming Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace and Basic Grievance Handling for Union Building being held virtually via Zoom on November 28-29, 2020.

Applicants will be notified after November 17, 2020 of their acceptance for the educational.

Attendance Form, Time-off Letter Information and Human Rights Accommodation Requests are to be submitted to Cindy DiGiuseppe at the Thunder Bay Regional Office by November 17, 2020.

In Solidarity,

Cindy DiGiuseppe

Regional Secretary


326 Memorial Ave

Thunder Bay ON  P7B 3Y3

1-844-765-1422 ext. 5723

OPSEU SEFPO Region 7 Speakers Series “Health & Safety”

Kenora & District Labour Council October virtual Meeting – October 26 at 5:30pm

Good Day,

The Kenora & District Labour Council October virtual meeting will be held October 26, 202 at 5:30pm Please click on the link below to access the virtual meeting.
If you have agenda items please email them to kenoralabourcouncil@gmail.comThe agenda and any related documents will be emailed prior to the meeting.  

In Solidarity,

Cindy Hayward

K&DLC Recording Secretary

K&DLC Zoom Meeting
Time: Oct 26, 2020 05:30 PM (CST)

Join Zoom Meeting

The Kenora & District Labour Council September Meeting, Monday September 28, 2020 5:15 pm central

Good Day Kenora & District Labour Council (K&DLC) Affiliates,
The K&DLC September meeting will be held on Monday September 28, 2020 5:15 pm central.
The meeting will be facilitated by our new CLC rep Mehdi
Below is the link to join the meeting.
In solidarity
Cindy Hayward
K&DLC Secretary 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 816 8971 8128
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Update from the OPSEU Indigenous Circle

Aanii everyone

This email is being sent to all OPSEU Indigenous members who requested updates and to participants of the Indigenous Conferences.  It contains a brief update on OPSEU’s efforts to promote Indigenous-Labour Reconciliation.  This is the first email sent since June 9 and we hope everyone is remaining safe and healthy during this time.

OPSEU Indigenous Circle Call for Representatives in Regions 3 and 4

The OPSEU Indigenous Circle invites OPSEU members who self-identify as Indigenous to apply for a position on the OPSEU Indigenous Circle to fill vacancies in Regions 3 and 4.

The role of the regional representative on the Indigenous Circle is to create and maintain networks within the region, to develop and promote programs, to encourage First Nation (Status or Non Status), Métis and Inuit members to participate in union activities and to increase the awareness and understanding of Indigenous issues throughout the OPSEU membership.

Application process

Interested applicants shall submit a statement of interest that outlines:

  1. Who are you? Describe the traditions or culture you are from, (if known).
  2. How have you been involved in your community, union etc.?
  3. What strengths (personal, social, cultural) do you bring to the Indigenous Circle?
  4. Why do you want to be a Representative on the Indigenous Circle?

Selection process

The Equity Unit will ensure an anonymous selection process.

The Indigenous Circle will select the new Region 3 and Region 4 representatives based on the following considerations:

  • previous activist experience;
  • willingness to share cultural knowledge to the Indigenous Circle and OPSEU; and
  • openness to learning various Indigenous cultural activities.

A decision will be made before the Provincial Indigenous Circle meeting on October 1 2020 and all applicants will be notified accordingly.

Please forward completed statement of interest to the Equity Unit (e-mail to or fax to 416-448-7419) no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 16, 2020.

If you have any difficulty reading the application, please contact

COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples’ resilience on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

We reflect on the challenges COVID-19 has placed on Canada’s Indigenous population as we mark the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on Sunday, August 9.

  The OPSEU Indigenous Circle encourages all OPSEU members to take part in a webinar planned for August 10, 9 am to 11 am on the theme “COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience.”

Webinar access and information available here:

OPSEU President Smokey (Warren) Thomas says the solidarity union members show every day can help the world’s Indigenous communities cope with COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has a devastating impact on more than 476 million indigenous people around the world, but showing solidarity can bolster Indigenous resistance,” said Thomas. “OPSEU stands with Indigenous communities as they battle the effects of the pandemic.”

The OPSEU Indigenous Circle and the OPSEU Social Justice Fund have a strong track record on global Indigenous solidarity that includes:

Indigenous Circle Chair Krista Maracle says more needs to be done to protect vulnerable Indigenous communities throughout the world and that “this effort begins at home by demanding that the Government of Canada move beyond lip service and revise all its laws to reflect the U.N.  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially respecting the right to free, prior and informed consent.”

OPSEU, environmentalists cheer as Nestle sells water business 

News that the multinational Nestle is selling its Canadian bottled-water business is being greeted with cheers from environmentalists across the province, including OPSEU and the OPSEU Indigenous Circle.

“Water isn’t for profit. As the members of the OPSEU Indigenous Circle say, ‘Water is life,’” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “I’m glad to hear we’ve helped force Nestle to abandon its water profiteering. But we have to stay vigilant: another company is rushing in to pick up where Nestle left off.”

For years, OPSEU members have joined grass-roots environmental groups across Ontario — including the Wellington Water Watchers — in condemning Nestle for buying water for next to nothing and then selling it at a huge mark-up in environmentally unfriendly bottles.

OPSEU has supported the Water Watchers’ campaigns over the years. And the OPSEU Indigenous Circle’s 2017 Water is Life Symposium dealt with the damage done by water privatization like Nestle’s.

“Water should be like air – it should be a basic human right,” said Thomas during the symposium. “It should never be sold for a profit and what we’re seeing around the world is that water systems are being privatized for profit rather than being for people.”

“When you see the greed of corporations that separate out those people who can afford to pay for a bottle of water from those who can’t, it becomes a moral imperative to be able to say ‘We need to stop this. We need to return to something sane,’” said symposium participant and human rights activist Karl Flecker.

“It is important to join the fight against water privatization,” said one of the symposium’s organizers, OPSEU Indigenous Circle member Crystal Sinclair. “Water protection is very important – it’s our most precious resource.”  Link to OPSEU Water is Life video

Honouring the Wampum Belt Treaty on National Indigenous Day (June 21)

On June 21, Canadians celebrate National Indigenous Day to honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Respecting the Two Row Wampum Belt and its vision of peaceful co-existence among distinct peoples on Turtle Island is a good way to celebrate this day in 2020.

Three rows of white beads symbolizing peace, friendship, and respect separate the two purple rows. The two purple rows symbolize two paths or two vessels travelling down the same river. One row symbolizes the Haudenosaunee people with their law and customs, while the other row symbolizes European laws and customs.

The Guswenta Two Row Wampum Belt, a symbol of sovereignty, is the first peace treaty made in North America between Indigenous nations before European contact. (Made between the League of Five Nations and its allies, and the confederacy of Anishinabek and allied nations). In 1613, the Mohawks noticed people coming into their territory unannounced. They had entered the lands of the Haudenosaunee and were now occupying some of their empty land. As the Haudenosaunee and Dutch discovered much about each other, an agreement was made as to how they were to treat each other and live together. Each of their ways would be shown in the purple rows running the length of a wampum belt. “In one row is a ship with our White Brothers’ ways; in the other a canoe with our ways. Each will travel down the river of life side by side. Neither will attempt to steer the other’s vessel.”

Indigenous Nations always remained faithful to the treaty by never imposing their ways onto the settlers.  However, settlers were quick to violate the treaty and Canada’s genocidal assimilationist policies are well known.  Forced assimilation based on a white supremacist ideology of European domination continues to harm not only Indigenous peoples but all who do not subscribe to the supremacy of European culture and “whiteness.”  National Indigenous Day is a time to reflect on the traditional Grandfather teachings of Love, Honesty, Humility, Truth, Wisdom, Bravery and Respect – teachings that provide a way out of current global crises that threaten Mother Earth.

June 21 was first celebrated as National Aboriginal Day in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc. This date was chosen as a holiday for many reasons, including its cultural significance as the Summer solstice and because it is a day on which many Indigenous peoples and communities traditionally celebrate their heritage. It was renamed from National Aboriginal Day to National Indigenous Day in 2017

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas thinks “there is a strong feeling among Canadians that it’s time for action against colonial genocide” and that “we should take advantage of National Indigenous Day by celebrating Indigenous cultures and supporting policies and practices that reverse the harm done to Indigenous communities.”  Renouncing assimilationist policies and honouring the promise of the Wampum belt is a concrete way to strike at the heart of white supremacy.

OPSEU members are strongly encouraged to celebrate National Indigenous Day by participating in events that highlight the achievements Indigenous peoples have made throughout history. Events include summer solstice festivals, sacred fire ceremonies and traditional feasts.

The OPSEU Indigenous Circle is spearheading a campaign to make Indigenous Day a statutory holiday in Ontario. The campaign hosted a legislative breakfast and a Kairos mini-blanket exercise for MPPs at Queen’s Park in December 2019 to call for such a holiday.  Until such a holiday is formally recognized, union members are encouraged to work with their unions to recognize their right to take this day as a paid holiday, such as by utilizing available credits under the collective bargaining agreement to access time off.

Declaring June 21 a statutory holiday is one step toward re-writing the narrative of Canadian history into one of reconciliation that honours the cultures and achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.  Krista Maracle, Chair of the OPSEU Indigenous Circle, challenges all members to “remember the promise of the Wampum Belt Treaty, walk with Indigenous communities to forge a new path together with nation to nation relationships based on mutual respect.”

For more information on National Indigenous Day celebrations check out the following webpages.
For information on OPSEU’s June 21 Campaign:

National Indigenous Day deserves to be a statutory holiday.

Please watch the June 21 campaign video and distribute widely.

Chi Miigwetch, Nia:weh, 
Wliwni and Marsee for all you are doing to promote Indigenous-Labour Reconciliation.

Remember Orange Shirt Day on September 30, 2020

OPSEU Region 7 Regional Web Conference August 12th 2020

Hello All,

Your OPSEU Region 7 Executive Board Members will be hosting our second Web Conference on August 12, 2020. We will be giving updates on what’s happening at the OPSEU Board and across the Province. (See agenda attached) Web conference August 12
The first meeting will be starting at 6:00pm(eastern) and the second starting at 8:00pm(eastern). Everyone is welcome but we are asking that at least one person from each local bargaining unit attend the call. We want to hear from you and what is happening with your local.
Here is the link to the web conference.  If you have any questions please let us know and we will do our best to help.
OPSEU Region7 is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: OPSEU Region7’s Web Conference Zoom Meeting
Time: Aug 12, 2020 06:00 PM America/Thunder_Bay

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 822 5422 4766
Passcode: 722848
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Meeting ID: 822 5422 4766
Passcode: 722848
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In Solidarity,
Your OPSEU Executive Board Members

OPSEU Region 7 Executive Board Mask Donations

Hello All,

Your OPSEU Region 7 Executive Board will be donating OPSEU Masks in:

Fort Frances Saturday June 27th from 1:00pm till 3pm at the OPSEU Membership centre,

Kenora June 27th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the OPSEU Membership centre,

Dryden June 28th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm at the Dryden Regional office,

Ignace June 28th from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at the Ignace Ministry office parking lot.

We will be doing an Eastern road trip shortly (Time and Date to be posted shortly)

In Solidarity, Your Executive Board Members Erin, Ken and Ed

Situation Report #136: COVID-19 / Rapport sur la situation no 136 : COVID-19 June 10th 2020

Situation Report #136: COVID-19 / Rapport sur la situation n136 : COVID-19

Ministry of Health | Health System Emergency Management Branch / Ministère de la Santé | Direction de la gestion des situations d’urgence pour le système de santé

June 9, 2020 / 9 juin 2020


Minister’s Order and Direction – Critical Supplies and Equipment

Arrêté et directive du ministre – matériel et équipement essentiels

Health – Portal Updates – June 11th


Case count as of 8:00 a.m. June 9  2020 / Nombre de cas à 8 h le 9 juin 2020
Area / Région Case count / Nombre de cas Change from yesterday / Changement par rapport à hier Deaths / Décès Change from yesterday / Changement par rapport à hier
Worldwide total /  

Total mondial

7 222 344 +109 197 409 195 +2 648
Canada 96 244 +545 7 835 +35
Ontario 31 090 +230 2 464 +14



Confirmed Cases Cas confirmés Data Source / Source des données Yesterday / Hier 7-day % change /
% de changement sur 7 jours
Cumulative Cases Nombre cumulatif de cas iPHIS / SIISP 31 090 8%
Health Sector Worker Cases Nombre de cas chez les travailleurs du secteur de la santé iPHIS / SIISP 5 138 8%
Cumulative Resolved Nombre cumulatif de cas résolus iPHIS / SIISP 24 829 10%
Cumulative Deaths Nombre cumulatif de décès iPHIS / SIISP 2 464 7%
Long-Term Care Home Residents Nombre de décès de résidents des CSLD  iPHIS / SIISP 1 585 8%
Retirement Home Residents Nombre de décès de résidents des maisons de retraite  iPHIS / SIISP 171 13%
Health Sector Workers Nombre de décès de travailleurs du secteur de la santé iPHIS / SIISP 11 0%
Mode of Acquisition Mode d’acquisition     Percent of Total / % du total
Outbreak-associated or close contact of a confirmed case Associés à l’éclosion ou contact étroit avec un cas confirmé iPHIS / SIISP 19 431 62%
Travel Voyage iPHIS / SIISP 1 578 5%
No known epidemiological link Aucun lien épidémiologique connu iPHIS / SIISP 6 688 22%
Information missing or pending Renseignement manquant ou en attente iPHIS / SIISP 3 393 11%
Daily Count / Nombre quotidien
Testing Dépistage Data Source / Source des données June 7, 2020 /

7 juin 2020

June 4, 2020 /
4 juin 2020
Effective Reproduction Number (Rt)* Taux de reproduction effectif (Re)* PHO / SPO 1.0 1.0
North Nord PHO / SPO 2.2 0.4
Eastern Est PHO / SPO 0.9 0.9
Central East Centre-Est PHO / SPO 1.0 1.0
Toronto Toronto PHO / SPO 0.9 0.9
South West Sud-Ouest PHO / SPO 0.7 0.7
Central West Centre-Ouest PHO / SPO 1.6 2.0
      Yesterday / Hier 7-day average /
Moyenne de 7 jours
Daily tests completed Dépistages quotidiens effectués NOC / COR 13 509 18 919
% positivity % de positivité NOC / COR 2.6% 2.4%
Tests in process Analyses en cours NOC / COR 11 020 10 234
Daily Count / Nombre quotidien
Acute Care Soins aigus Data Source / Source des données Yesterday / Hier 7-day % change /
% de changement sur 7 jours
Confirmed patients hospitalized Cas confirmés hospitalisés dBCS / RqL 600 -25%
Cumulative hospitalized health sector workers Nombre cumulatif de travailleurs du secteur de la santé hospitalisés iPHIS / SIISP 192 8%
Cumulative health sector workers in ICU Nombre cumulatifs de travailleurs du secteur de la santé aux soins intensifs iPHIS / SIISP                 47 9%
        7-day average /
Moyenne de 7 jours
Expanded Vented Beds Capacity Remaining Capacité augmentée restante de lits avec respirateurs CCSO / SOSMPC 79% 79%
Current vented patients (includes COVID+) Patients actuellement branchés à un respirateur (incluent les COVID+) CCSO / SOSMPC 555                                 538
COVID+ Vented COVID+ sur respirateur CCSO / SOSMPC 88                                   91
Daily Count / Nombre quotidien
Active Outbreaks Éclosions actives Data Source / Source des données Yesterday / Hier 7-day average /
Moyenne de 7 jours
Hospitals Hôpitaux iPHIS / SIISP                   7                                   19
Long-Term Care Homes CSLD iPHIS / SIISP                 78                                 108
Retirement Homes Maisons de retraite iPHIS / SIISP                 35                                   50
Group Homes Foyers de groupe iPHIS / SIISP                 21                                   32
Correctional Facilities Établissements correctionnels iPHIS / SIISP                   2                                     1
Shelters Refuges iPHIS / SIISP                 10                                   18
Other Congregate Settings Autres cadres d’hébergement en commun iPHIS / SIISP                 57                                   64
Undefined Non défini iPHIS / SIISP                 14                                     5
iPHIS = integrated Public Health Information System; PHO = Public Health Ontario; NOC = COVID19 Provincial Diagnostic Network Operations Centre; CCSO = Critical Care Services Ontario; dBCS = Daily Bed Census

*Mode of acquisition is identified following the public health investigation and may not be available at the time the case is reported. Reported numbers should not be interpreted as mode of acquisition for the previous day’s case count.

**Effective reproduction number R(t) is updated twice weekly and not daily.

SIISP = Système intégré d’information sur la santé publique; SPO = Santé publique Ontario; COR = Centre des opérations du réseau provincial de diagnostic de la COVID-19; SOSMPC = Services ontariens des soins aux malades en phase critique; RqL = Recensement quotidien des lits

*Le mode d’acquisition est déterminé à la suite d’une enquête de santé publique et peut ne pas être disponible lors de la déclaration du cas. Il ne faudrait pas interpréter les chiffres déclarés comme étant ceux correspondant au mode d’acquisition du nombre de cas de la journée précédente.

**Le taux de reproduction effectif (Re) est mis à jour deux fois par semaine et non pas quotidiennement.

Data are provided in English format / Le format des chiffres est le format anglo-saxon


Update :

  • Today, the Ontario government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province’s reopening framework. Developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children, the plan will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children.
  • On June 8th, 2020, the Minister of Health issued an updated order and direction under the Health Protection and Promotion Act requiring specified health care providers as well as retirement homes to report on their CSE inventories and anticipated needs. This order and direction replaces the order issued on March 27th, 2020, and allow for a reduction in reporting frequency from daily to twice weekly. The updated Minister’s order and direction is attached and is available on the MOH COVID-19 Website. Instructions for participation are published on the Ontario Health Website.

Mise à jour :

  • Le gouvernement de l’Ontario a annoncé aujourd’hui ses plans pour la réouverture des centres de garde d’enfants, qui appuieront la prochaine étape du cadre visant le déconfinement de la province. Élaborés en consultation avec le médecin hygiéniste en chef et les responsables médicaux de The Hospital for Sick Children, ces plans exigent des exploitants des centres de garde qu’ils respectent des protocoles sanitaires stricts pour assurer la sécurité des enfants et du personnel.
  • Le 8 juin 2020, la ministre de la Santé a publié un arrêté et directive mis à jour pris en vertu de la Loi sur la protection et la promotion de la santé qui oblige les fournisseurs de soins désignés ainsi que les maisons de retraite à communiquer des renseignements sur leurs stocks de matériel et d’équipement essentiels et leurs besoins prévus. Cet arrêté et directive remplace l’arrêté publié le 27 mars 2020 et autorise la réduction de la fréquence des rapports qui passe de quotidiennement à deux fois par semaine. L’arrêté et directive mis à jour de la ministre se trouve en annexe et sur le site Web de la COVID-19. Les instructions pour soumettre les données sont publiées sur le site Web de Santé Ontario.

OPSEU Coalition of Racialized Workers invite members from racialized communities to apply to join the caucus

From: Peter Thompson
Date: Mon, Jun 1, 2020
Subject: Coalition of Racialized Workers: Call Out for new members

The OPSEU Coalition of Racialized Workers would like to invite members from our racialized communities to apply to fill two vacancies available on the provincial caucus. If you identify as racialized and are from one of the following communities, Asian, African, Black, South Asian or Caribbean, please submit your application for consideration.

As a member of the Provincial Coalition of Racialized Workers, you will be tasked with the following:

  • To organize, educate, support, and empower racialized members within OPSEU
  • To ensure racialized workers are adequately represented within the union
  • To encourage the participation of racialized members at local and regional levels
  • To advocate for the use of Race Based analysis in all decision-making
  • To review policies and practices, which may lead to racial discrimination
  • To work with equity-seeking groups to broaden and develop the goals of the caucus
  • It is also important that you have the drive and desire to network, advocate and educate, in an effort to increase equality for racialized workers

Please forward applications to the Equity Unit  no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 1, 2020.  See link for application:

Thunder Bay and District Labour Council Scholarships-Deadline May 31, 2020

Greetings to Presidents and Delegates,
Please see attached the French and English application forms for the Labour Council Scholarships. The deadline to submit applications is May 31st. 2020.
The completed applications must be mailed to the Thunder Bay & District Labour Council address (seen on the application heading) and are available only to persons affiliated to their local unions that are in good standing, (paid up) to the Labour Council.
In solidarity,
Marg Arnone
Recording Secretary
Thunder Bay & District Labour Council