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The Canadian Business Journal
employee, so it’s a win-win,” says Thomas.
Social mapping exercises have proven to be
very fruitful through surveys and questionnaires.
OPSEU is very progressive in constantly updat-
ing policies on harassment discrimination in the
workplace. More than 30% of the membership
responded to a substantive survey, which was more
than enough feedback to provide a gauge to work
from and develop strategies moving forward.
“It was a big undertaking and it was quite
expensive but we learned a lot from it. We con-
stantly work on upgrading. We’ve done videos
around gossip and sexual harassment in the
workplace. The Ministry of Labour asked for them
and other unions are now making use of them,”
Thomas proudly says.
OPSEU is exceptionally active on a number
of fronts at any given time with about 40 cam-
paigns currently on the go covering a wide variety
of occupations. The union represents everything
from district school board workers and main-
tenance workers to scientists and lawyers. The
union does a tremendous amount of lobbying and
campaigning on many issues including Children’s
Aid and developmental services. On a global scale,
the tried-and-true policies at the union have
been established as a proven benchmark, with
the Human Rights Commission having stated that
OPSEU is light years ahead of any other organiza-
tion in terms of addressing many of the serious
and sensitive issues that exist in society.
“We sponsor many things around the world
such as providing money to the Stephen Lewis
Foundation for HIV/AIDS work in South Africa.
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