January 30, 2006: Issue 5
New OPSEU locals approved for Liquor Board employees
Plans in the works to elect stewards, Local Executive Committees
It’s official: OPSEU members at the LCBO have their own union locals.
Meeting Jan. 26, the OPSEU Executive Board created 27 brand new locals. These locals will serve close to 6,000 employees. In the north, about 175 workers will be assigned to 15 existing locals of OPSEU.
The Executive Board accepted the recommendations of the Transition Committee that was set up to oversee the merger of OPSEU with the old Ontario Liquor Boards Employees Union (OLBEU).
The Transition Committee presented its plan to the Local Assembly held Jan. 23-24 in Mississauga. Over 100 delegates from LCBO stores, warehouses, and offices across the province discussed the plan and made changes to some local boundaries. All of these changes were approved in the final plan.
“I think the big success of our plan is that we did it democratically,” said Jo Ann Fisher, acting chair of the Liquor Board Employees Division. “The Transition Committee listened to the members, and the Executive Board listened to the Transition Committee.
“Our job now is for locals to take democracy to the next step and elect people to run our locals.”
To see the make-up of your new local and other useful facts about the OPSEU and the Liquor Board Employees Division, visit at http://www.opseu.org/lbed/assembly/localguide.htm .
Local elections are on a short time-table
The first item of business for OPSEU members at the LCBO is to elect stewards for each work area and Local Executive Committees to oversee each local.
And it has to happen soon.
In order for locals to send delegates to the OPSEU Convention April 20-22, locals at the LCBO must register their delegates by April 6. Delegates will be elected at the same meetings that elect the new Local Executive Committees.
Delegates to the Local Assembly this week got a big start on planning the elections. Working with their OPSEU staff reps, delegates from each local will be reaching out to members in the days ahead.
Anyone can be a steward
Any member of OPSEU in good standing can be elected as a steward. All it takes is a desire to represent your co-workers — and votes. Experience is not necessary; all OPSEU stewards receive union training. A steward’s duties include:
All elected stewards can run for positions on the Local Executive Committee (LEC), e.g., President, Vice-President, Treasurer, etc. LEC elections happen at a general meeting of all members of the local.
For information about the election in your local, contact your OPSEU regional office. Contact information is at http://www.opseu.org/ContactUs/op_email/ .
Strong locals: the OPSEU model
OPSEU locals have a lot of influence on central activities of the union. Delegates to OPSEU Convention and other key meetings are elected locally. Executive Board members, the President, and the First Vice-President/Treasurer of OPSEU are elected by local delegates, too.
OPSEU locals also have a lot of freedom to do what they want — and the money to do it. A typical OPSEU local with 250 members gets about $11,700 in funding per year. In contrast, an OLBEU zone with 250 members got less than $1,450 per year.
John Coones is on leave
John Coones, chair of the Liquor Board Employees Division, is on sick leave. First vice-chair Jo Ann Fisher is filling in for John during his absence. We all wish John a speedy recovery.
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