Category Archives: Campaigns

“No downloading of ODSP” message wins support


May 23, 2012

OPSEU members who work for the Ontario Disability Support Program spoke out against the downloading of the provincial program to municipalities in seven communities.

Members handed out flyers to the public before work or during their lunch hour in Sarnia, Hamilton, Brantford, Peterborough, Belleville, Smiths Falls and Sault Ste. Marie. Hawkesbury ODSP members showed their concern about downloading by wearing black and holding a lunchtime info session.

“There was loads of support from people,” said Bev Quackenbush, an ODSP caseworker and president of Local 123 in Sarnia. ODSP members handed out 250 flyers before work outside a local mall. “People honked their horns and everyone took our flyers.”

Local Labour Councils and Area Councils participated in many of the events. ODSP clients were supportive.

Local 455 president Pam Smith of the ODSP office in Belleville said: “One client summed it up best: I really like having my own case worker, the service is so much better now than before, it doesn’t make sense to change it.”

The union is concerned a provincial Commission will recommend combining ODSP with Ontario Works in its final report in June. The union believes this will remove long-term support for people with disabilities and lead to inconsistent delivery of services across the province. A recent overhaul to customer service was designed to end delays and provide long-term, seamless support to clients.

Photos from Local 455, Belleville


Email your MPP now to save ServiceOntario

An important message from President Warren (Smokey) Thomas  

I have sent a letter to the Premier, calling on the government to immediately withdraw the section of its budget bill that will privatize ServiceOntario.

ServiceOntario is a huge money-maker for the province. This government operation annually earns $2.7 billion in revenues on $270 million in operating costs. That is a 10-to-1 return on investment! These revenues fund the public services that Ontarians rely on.

We need your help to make this campaign a success.

1. Please share and post my letter on union bulletin boards.

2. E-mail your MPP now. Use this online tool to tell your MPP to keep ServiceOntario public. Encourage your colleagues and friends to do the same.

3. Share the link on Facebook and Twitter.

For more news and views from the OPS, please visit our blog PS: LETS TALK


In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Choose Public Day

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Two days after the release of a budget that will cut billions of dollars from public services, members in workplaces across the union came to work dressed in black and wearing Choose Public wristbands or stickers. Click here to read more from OPSEU.

Below are images shared with  If you would like to share your Region 4 Choose Public Day photos, please email the website administrator,

For a full listing of photos from all of OPSEU, please check

Choose Public Day, Thursday, March 29

Public services meet our most basic needs and reduce inequality. With the public sector you get better services, lower costs, equal access and good jobs in your community. With Dalton McGuinty, you get cuts and privatization.

Programs everywhere are under attack.

It’s time to make our voices heard. Spending cuts and privatization won’t make Ontario stronger.

That’s why we’ve designated Thursday, March 29 as Choose Public Day. This is two days after the government is expected to announce further deep spending cuts and job losses in the provincial budget.

On March 29 we ask all members to:

  • Dress in black.
  • Wear a Choose Public sticker.
  • Wear a Choose Public wristband (previously ordered by locals).
  • Take a flyer and post it.
  • Participate in a group photo and send pics to

Your local union representatives will distribute the stickers and flyers closer to the day.

Please wear the sticker and show that you support public services.

In solidarity,


Warren (Smokey) Thomas

roxanne barnes

Roxanne Barnes
Chair, Central Enforcement and Renewal Committee

MEMO TO: All OPSEU members in the Ontario Public Service
FROM: President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Roxanne Barnes, Chair, Central Enforcement and Renewal Committee
Subject: Choose Public Day, Thursday, March 29

OPSEU members in Kingston to take their message to the public: Save ServiceOntario


Please join Local 432 members who work at the ServiceOntario office on John Counter Boulevard on Tuesday morning. They will distribute critical information at both entrances about the further privatization of ServiceOntario.

What:  Information picket
Tuesday, March 20
What time:
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
1355 John Counter Blvd., Kingston

The union is concerned that privatization will severely reduce Ontarians access to front line services. As well, OPSEU believes privatization will jeopardize the security of Ontarians’ personal information.

ServiceOntario provides valuable government ID including the enhanced driver’s license, health card and Ontario photo card.  This ID allows Ontarians to cross the border, access health care and open a bank account. ServiceOntario expects to handle 48 million transactions in 2012.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced on February 13 that the government will hand over ServiceOntario to a so-called “public-private partnership.”

The information picket is organized by Local 432, with support from the Kingston Area Council.

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