I attended this years OPSEU Convention on April 6-8, 2017.
This year was an election year and I am excited to announce that Warren “Smokey” Thomas was re-elected as our Union President and Eduardo “Eddy” Almeida was acclaimed as our Vice President/Treasurer.
Another exciting event was that our very own Executive Board Member, Sara Labelle was also re- elected as Second Vice President of OPSEU! This also ranks Sara as Highest Ranking Female at OPSEU giving her delegate status at many important union conventions such as the OFL and NUPGE! I am Happy and Proud for our sister Sara, Smokey and Eddy!
Local 376 currently has over 400 members. The OPSEU Constitution allows our local to have 3 delegates, 3 alternates and 3 observers to attend OPSEU events. These positions must be elected at a General Membership meeting.
Our current Local President, Evan Wickham, called a general membership meeting in January 2017 for elections for members to attend OPSEU Convention. When the general membership meeting was called, it was less that 3 weeks prior (as per our by-laws) and the meeting notice was not posted in the stores, and many members, including stewards were not advised.
A complaint was filed by several members of our local to the OPSEU’s Presidents office. The Presidents office deemed the General Membership meeting as being “unconstitutional” and against our “local by laws”.
OPSEU’s Presidents office contacted our local president, Evan Wickham, advising him to hold another meeting providing proper notice to the members. This did not happen and the result was only one delegate (the local president) was allowed to attend from our local.
OPSEU Convention is open to any OPSEU member in good standing but unless you are elected as a Delegate or Alternate at a local meeting, your expenses will not be paid, not even your time off. Since our local had a meeting that was deemed “unconstitutional” and no one was elected, anyone that attended SHOULD be doing so on their own time and expense.
I attended Convention this year on my own time and expense, and would do so again as Convention is an empowering union event.
I am not sure if any of you have been advised, but our local will be holding a General Membership Meeting on April 23, 2017. I have been told that many stores do not have meeting notices posted in their stores.
I do not know where the meeting will be held, as this information has yet to be disclosed to the members.
I URGE all of you to attend this meeting on April 23, 2017. I will advise you of the location as soon as the local president announces it.
It is in my opinion that there are questions that should be raised at the local meeting about receiving notices of meetings in an appropriate manor. Even if you do not want to attend, the ones that may be interested, have the right to know.
Steward Local 376