I am writing today with some personal news. After 36 years in the energy sector I have decided to retire. Over my career I have worked with some amazing people at locations including Bruce Power, Pickering, 700 University Ave and the IESO. If that was the end of the list I would still count myself lucky, but serving as the president of the Society these past eight years has been a privilege and is the highlight of my career.
We did so much together over the past eight years but I want to highlight a few of our accomplishments which make me especially proud:
- We worked to solidify the future of Ontario’s nuclear fleet with refurbishments at Darlington and Bruce that are being completed on time and on budget, extended Pickering to 2025 to ensure the smoothest possible transition for all, and we are making a strong case for new nuclear investment.
- We grew our union by almost 1,000 new members both in our traditional energy sector and by expanding to represent professionals of many stripes, including legal workers and most recently engineers at TSSA.
- We built our power by involving thousands of members in key Society advocacy and bargaining campaigns, creating a more inclusive union with campaigns to fight discrimination and four new equity committees, and becoming an influential member of Canada’s labour movement.
- Even in these most turbulent times we have never been more financially secure in our history thanks to a larger and more diverse membership, and prudent financial management.
I am grateful for the support of our union’s entire leadership and staff, particularly for their work, trust, solidarity and friendship. In a democratic union there will be disagreements but we always found our way forward united by our shared commitment to Society members.
We also stand on the shoulders of our predecessors, including the 400 Ontario Hydro engineers who founded our union in 1944. I became involved in Society activities because I so appreciated the work of those who came before me. They created a safer, more secure and fairer work environment. This work is not finished but I am confident that we have done them proud and I encourage you to continue to support your union. We are only as strong as our membership.
I have asked Executive Vice President Chris Graham to commence the procedure for holding an election. The process will begin shortly with the election schedule being sent out to all members, followed shortly thereafter by the call for nomination. Once the members have elected my successor I will ensure an orderly transition before retiring.
Those of you who have worked with me personally during my career will understand that I must close this message with a quote from one of my favourite novels.
“So long and thanks for all the fish.”
In gratitude and solidarity,
This message was sent to all Society Members, Pensioners and Staff on April 12, 2021.