OPSEU’s young workers challenge Economic Inequality
From August 9-10, 2012, OPSEU’s Provincial Young Workers’ Committee (PYC) organized and participated in a workshop to celebrate
International Youth Day (IYD). This year’s theme focused on promoting economic equality. The day and a half workshop saw 46 energetic OPSEU
members explore some causes of economic inequity. They listened to dynamic presentations from activists working with economically disadvantaged
groups, discussed their Health and Safety rights as young workers, and developed strategies to create change for the future.
After analyzing several scenarios with a focus to promote a more economically equitable world, the young workers developed the
debunking the myths that are being perpetuated in the media,
educating their fellow workers,
solidarity and standing together with allies,
using traditional tools (grievances, human rights complaints, bargaining, providing support to members, etc.),
initiating a conversation with family, friends and neighbours,
changing the conversation from austerity to a more positive and inclusive one, and
assisting their colleagues in envisioning what an economically equitable world would look like.
After developing strategies, these young workers crafted a proposal to develop an “I Have a Dream” campaign to present to OPSEU’s
Executive Board. This campaign is intended to raise awareness of how the dreams of young people have been adversely impacted by government cuts
in services. It will also examine their impact on youths today.
International Youth Day is sponsored by the United Nations (UN). This was the 5th year OPSEU’s PYC has held an event associated
with the day. The committee also submitted its plans for this year’s IYD event to the UN and succeeded in having it posted on their
website at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/iyd2012.html
Resources from the conference:
You Tube clips screened at the conference:
News in a Nutshell presents: Assaulting Austerity. Challenging the assumption that austerity measures are a solution to the current
Why would governments tout austerity as a solution when it appears not to work?
Decent work and one new graduate’s search for a job in her field
Does cutting funding to social causes help or hinder the fight against government debt?
This video was created by 3rd Year Nursing Students at Selkirk College, British Columbia to illustrate the health impacts of economic
inequality in our society.
What is one thing in this video that you can connect with?
Linc4Youth Video Project made a documentary about the types of "dead end" jobs that immigrant youth get when they come to Canada. They
explore the reasons why they get these jobs, the types of working conditions, and the long hours they are asked, and sometimes forced to work.
Does the difficulty finding decent work disproportionally affect different groups of individuals?
Rick Mercer highlights the spin put on job creation.