'I can say with confidence that McGuinty knows the broad strokes of where OPSEU members are at on the big issues.' - Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Toronto (28 July 2010) - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) took its case directly to Premier Dalton McGuinty this week, arguing for fair treatment for public employees as the province deals with its financial problems.
More than 500 OPSEU members sent messages to OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas prior to his one-on-one meeting with the premier – and the union leader thanked members for their assistance.
"As a general rule I don't like to call people at home – we're all busy – but in this case I thought it was extremely important that Premier McGuinty know exactly what OPSEU members have to say to him," Thomas said.
"I was overwhelmed by the response to the recorded phone message I sent out on Saturday. The e-mails I received were very well thought out and gave me a lot of insights to share with the premier. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to respond."
Thomas said the meeting was cordial and a lot of issues important to OPSEU members were included in the discussions.
"Obviously one meeting can't cover all the issues faced by 125,000 people,' Thomas said afterward "But I can say with confidence that McGuinty knows the broad strokes of where OPSEU members are at on the big issues. That can only be helpful."
He also said the OPSEU executive board is keen to find more ways of collecting direct advice from rank and file members. As a result the board has approved a proposal to conduct regular online surveys of a random selection of OPSEU members.
The proposal is being developed over the summer for implementation this fall, he added.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE