Union census "first of its kind": OPSEU

TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Canada's largest provincial public sector union is set to embark on a project that no other union has attempted. On Nov. 1, 2009, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will begin a census of all its members and staff to collect demographics and statistics of OPSEU members and to asses any barriers in policies, programs and services.

The OPSEU member and staff census will collect statistics on the demographics of OPSEU members and staff. OPSEU's goal is to create an inclusive home in the union for Ontario's increasingly diverse workforce. Identifying and removing any barriers for members to participate in the union is an organizational priority.

"Only when we have a better understanding of the diversity within OPSEU can we work to ensure that the union's policies, programs and services are inclusive," says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

The census will roll out in two phases. Beginning Nov. 1, members and staff will begin to fill out the confidential survey, either online, or by requesting a hard copy from their local representative. Surveys can be completed up to Nov. 30.

Phase 2 of the project will be compiling the data received from the surveys. OPSEU has hired an independent firm, TWI Inc, to manage this enormous task. This will ensure anonymity and confidentiality to all who complete the census. Once the data is assembled, a report on the findings will then be given to OPSEU.

"No union in Canada has previously taken on this kind of initiative," Thomas said. "Our members throughout the province are rising to the challenge of effecting positive change within this union. The enthusiasm surrounding this campaign is unprecedented."

OPSEU represents over 130,000 employees of the Ontario government, Ontario's community colleges, the LCBO, and more than 500 Broader Public Sector employers. OPSEU also employs over 300 staff in offices across the province.


For further information: For further information: Archana Matthew, OPSEU Equity Officer/Project Lead: (416) 443-8888 Ext 8678; Deb Tugnatt, Executive Board Member: (416) 443-8888 Ext 5821

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