October 2015 President's Report

I am pleased to submit the following report on my Labour Council work, and on some key issues I wish to bring to your attention.

  • the Labour Council and the federal election
  • KPMG recommends cuts to Regional Council
  • Living Wage Waterloo Region
  • OFL Convention and Elections

The Labour Council and the Federal Election
The Labour Council continues to reach out to as many union members as possible in an effort to convince people to vote, and ideally vote NDP. Thanks to a decision made at our September membership meeting, we were able to book off two of our members – UFCW 175’s Kelly Dick and Unifor 4304’s Darlene Wilson – for a total of seven weeks to contact union members and work with union leaders to distribute information to thousands of members. They have organized weekly canvasses for local NDP candidates, giving opportunities to union members to work together for change. In this final week, let’s all try to volunteer at least one shift for our local NDP candidates! See the excellent webpage we set up at http://www.wrlc.ca/federal_election.

KPMG Recommends Cuts to Regional Council
On September 15th, Regional Council received a report from KPMG as part of its Service Review which recommended, among other things, closing five Regional childcare centres and cancelling a contract with Employment Ontario. These two recommendations alone would result in the loss of over 75 good-paying union jobs and result in far inferior service to the community. I spoke against the proposals along with over 30 other delegations to the public meeting Council held on September 30th. Our Labour Council worked hard to elect progressive people to Regional Council last year, and now we all need to speak up. Please read the backgrounders on this issue on our website and contact the Councillors you voted for to tell them you will tell all your friends not to support them if they vote for these recommendations.

Living Wage Waterloo Region
I continue to represent the Labour Council on the Steering Committee of Living Wage Waterloo Region, a voluntary recognition program for employers who pay at least $16/hour to employees. On September 23rd, we hosted an employer breakfast for current and prospective Living Wage employers. We are planning our second annual Recognition event for new Living Wage employers on November 5th at 5pm at the Cambridge Conference Centre, 700 Hespeler Road.

OFL Convention and Elections
All three of the OFL’s full-time Executive Officers, including President Sid Ryan, Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Hutchison, and Executive Vice President Irwin Nanda, have decided not to run for re-election at this November’s Convention. Many serious allegations have swirled around this situation, and labour needs to have an open and honest conversation about what kind of movement we want the OFL to lead in Ontario. Please pay attention to the issues and encourage your Local to send delegates to the November Convention so we can unite again in our fight for a more just and equitable province.

Respectfully submitted,

Marc Xuereb
October 13, 2015

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