“The OHA claims to exist to preserve the integrity of our healthcare system, and then they treat our frontline heroes, who keep our health system running, with contempt.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Front-line support workers are experiencing anxiety, increased workload, and loss of pay related to faulty reporting mechanisms and contact tracing. It’s important to set standardized, contact tracing protocols across every public school board.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Protecting Ontarians against COVID-19 by taking a swipe at the environment is counterproductive and completely wrongheaded.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
“Just like Walmart decimated the main streets of so many Ontario communities and the livelihoods of so many workers, this plan will destroy Ontario’s beloved college system.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Enough is enough. Perhaps the Premier isn’t being told the truth about why all these deaths are happening, and what has to be done to stop them. The truth needs to come out. Someone has to be held to account." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“It’s clear that during the pandemic, this government has come to recognize the true value of strong public services. Front-line workers are indeed heroes.” ― Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“The Kenora Jail is the most overcrowded institution in the province, with the lowest officer-to-inmate ratio. The ministry’s announcement gives no timeline for deployment of new staff to Kenora. With so few officers watching over so many inmates, the jail has become a human powder keg. Immediate measures must be taken.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"More than unnecessary, Bill 132 is dangerous. Front-line inspectors are worried about being handcuffed. Things could end badly down the road if the government does not listen to our members." ― Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“These workers have been overlooked, overworked, and underpaid for decades, despite our pleas to successive governments. I’m glad to see those issues are finally being addressed." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“It’s imperative that front-line workers, through their union, are consulted every step of the way during the design and build. The eyes of Corrections staff are everywhere. We know what keeps communities safe. Developers are only looking at their bottom line.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
500 new full-time Correctional staff and new capital projects for Kenora and Thunder Bay will turn the tide on the crisis.
“The pandemic is showing us that the cost-cutting and understaffing that go hand-in-hand with privatization can also be deadly.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“I’ve been watching politics and polling for a long time, and I’ve never seen numbers like these.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Many people have said that we can’t go back to the old normal after we’ve got COVID-19 under control. This poll shows how true that really is." — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
Just last week, a strong majority of the company’s couriers in Toronto voted to join OPSEU/NUPGE, but the company is holding up their union certification with stall tactics and baseless procedural wrangling. And now in the most hamfisted, anti-union move possible, directly linked to the successful union drive, the company is laying off up to 15 per cent of its workers in Toronto and sending them home immediately.
“The bottom line is supply issues are governing the day, not worker health and safety. The government knows that if it were up to inspectors, the precautionary principle would be a foundation in any workplace inspection. But plain and simple, inspectors are not being allowed to do their important jobs.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
The evidence has never been clearer that for-profit homes are a risk to the lives of the residents.
“The safety of front-line workers and the safety of our communities should be our top priority,” stated Thomas. “Ignoring expert medical advice by expanding hours ahead of the long weekend increases the risk of community spread, for what reason?" — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“There is just no excuse. When lives are at risk, employers like Homes First need to come to the table. They need to come clean.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
“You can’t provide emergency housing over a video conference. We need to be there to ensure that they get the safe and supportive housing they need.” — Kareen Marshall, OPSEU Community Agencies Sector Chair