More than 100 delegates participated in the Society’s annual Council meeting on November 8. The theme of the 2021 Council meeting looked at how to recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic in a way that is fairer and more sustainable for all.
In addition to voting delegates that are selected by members in each local and form the Society’s highest governing body, dozens of non-voting delegates also participated in the meeting to participate in, observe and learn from the guest speakers and the union’s internal governance processes.
Watch highlights of the meeting:
Delegates received program and financial reports from President Michelle Johnston, Secretary-Treasurer Laurie Reid and Executive Vice-President Chris Graham. The reports detailed how the Society continues to grow by organizing new locals, is in a stronger financial position than ever, and punches above its weight in the broader labour movement as well as in public policy debates.
In her keynote speech, President Johnston discussed how the Society is advocating for new nuclear in Ontario through a climate action agenda that pushes for electrifying high-emissions sectors. She also took aim at the Ford government, which is up for re-election in 2022, for infringing on members’ constitutional rights with Bill 124, which caps public sector workers’ wage increases at 1%.
Delegates also elected three members to serve on the Society’s Audit Committee for the 2021- 22 term. Those elected were: Elias Kyriacou (Ontario Power Generation Local), Judith Logan Junop (Hydro One Local), and Joy Wakefield (Legal Aid Ontario Local).
Guest speakers brought a diverse range of perspectives from across the labour movement and beyond, including:
- Matthew Biggs, President, and Gay Hensen, Secretary-Treasurer, of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
- Andria Babbington, President, Toronto and York District Labour Council
- Patty Coates, President, Ontario Federation of Labour
- Bea Bruske, President, Canadian Labour Congress
- Jesse Wente, Broadcaster, Indigenous Advocate and Culture Philosopher
- Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition, and the Ontario NDP
The Council meeting was preceded by the EMPOWERMENT 2.0 equity conference. The conference was a one-day educational opportunity organized by the Society’s equity committees. In case you missed it, a recording of EMPOWERMENT 2.0 is available: