Letter to The Globe and Mail about article on OPSEU/SEFPO

Hi everyone,

In this recent article, The Globe & Mail reports on tensions within OPSEU.  I felt the story was not completely factual and have sent the email below to the reporter.

Hi Vanmala,

My name is Lois Boggs and I am the President of the Ontario Pubic Service Staff Union (OPSSU).  I am writing to you because I am very disappointed with the article you recently published titled “Tensions Build at OPSEU”.  As the President of OPSSU, representing over 300 frontline employees that work at OPSEU, I would have expected that you would have contacted me regarding the current working environment.

Under former President Smokey Thomas’ leadership, we had to endure a workplace where staff were routinely disciplined and/or terminated. Between 2016, when our workplace took a serious turn for the worse, and until the election of the new President, OPSSU filed hundreds of grievances, including numerous termination and discipline grievances. OPSEU leadership constantly violated our collective agreement rights and ignored their own OPSEU policies.  My members did not feel safe in their own workplace. 

In April 2022, the OPSEU membership elected a new President and First Vice President/Treasurer.  It has been just under ten months since JP Hornick and Laurie Nancekivell were elected and I can say the internal culture for my members has changed significantly in a positive manner.  For the first time in more than a decade, my members feel appreciated, respected and safe.

I do understand that a handful of the management team, represented by the Administrative Staff Union, may not feel the same way as our members.  While I know that two ASU members have been terminated, I can assure you that overall staff are happy, labour relations between OPSSU and OPSEU are better than they have been in many years, and we are working together with the current administration to rebuild OPSEU.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Lois Boggs
President OPSSU