The 2021 OSBCU Executive Board
Elected March 26, 2021 @ OSBCU Virtual Convention
President : Laura Walton
1st Vice President : Rod McGee
Secretary Treasurer : Tammy Graham
Francophone Vice President : Christine Couture
Francophone Mobilization Officer: Mitch Gagnon
Area 1 Vice President: Dave Geroux
Area 1 Mobilization Officer: Jenn Eckert
Area 2 Vice President: Keith Levere
Area 2 Mobilization Officer: Melissa Martin
Area 3 Vice President: Todd Canning
Area 3 Mobilization Officer: Laura Green
Area 4 Vice President : David McOuat
Area 4 Mobilization Officer: Lori Ann Richards
Area 5 Vice President: Liz James
Area 5 Mobilization Officer: Erin Hurford
Area 6 Vice President: Mike Galipeau
Area 6 Mobilization Officer: Catherine Taggart
Area 7 Vice President: Devin Klassen
Health & Safety Representative: Alex Milliken
Injured Worker Representative: Sheila Robertson
Also elected, 3 year Trustee – Sue Wilkinson

Education Assembly: Uniting workers, parents & students from child care to post-secondary through education, inspiration & action

On Saturday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., join the first virtual Province-Wide Education Assembly to discuss what Ontarians need from our education systems during COVID-19 and beyond.

Parents, teachers, students, childcare workers, faculty, and support staff across education sectors are invited to discuss their diverse experiences navigating COVID-19. We will use these discussions to better understand how to work together to advocate for increased public funding for education, from child care to post-secondary.


  • Education – Hear from a panel of experts about chronic underfunding and safety issues across education sectors
  • Inspiration – Share stories about the diverse ways COVID-19 has impacted workers, parents, and students
  • Action – Strategize and develop actions in breakout discussion groups


Join us to develop an education plan that keeps everyone healthy and safe. Together, we are the power of many fighting for a better public education system for all.

RSVP now to get a link to join the webinar


Important OMERS Update from Fred Hahn, March 2, 2021

Dear OMERS plan members:

We wanted to give you an important update about OMERS. As you may have heard, the pension fund lost more than $3 billion or -2.7% last year, a shortfall of more than $10 billion compared to their own benchmark returns for 2020.

This is the result of some very questionable decisions made by investment managers that business media giant Bloomberg described as “bad bets” with your pension savings, while the five top OMERS executives collectively made $8 million in bonuses last year.

And this isn’t new – it’s part of a longer pattern of underperformance at OMERS.

Well, now it’s time to demand accountability and to ramp up our calls for increased scrutiny of OMERS. We are currently in the process of demanding an immediate and comprehensive review of OMERS’ failed investment management in recent years, with full disclosure to plan members and the involvement of unions and employers.

We simply can’t allow OMERS executives to get away with washing their hands of these investment results or blaming COVID for their poor 2020 returns. On the exact same day OMERS reported losses, Quebec’s large pension fund manager, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), reported positive 2020 returns of +7.7%.

This latest bad news from OMERS is the result of their decisions and CUPE Ontario will continue to oppose any attempt to make plan members pay for them.

To CUPE Ontario’s 120,000 active OMERS plan members, we will take action. There will be accountability.

Please keep an eye out for updated information, including ways you can take direct action as a plan member of OMERS.

Fred Hahn
President, CUPE Ontario

Screening, testing, masks, vaccines – the latest from the Ministry of Education

  Covid-19 Update

OSBCU continues to meet (virtually) with the Deputy Minister of Education every two weeks. We use
these opportunities to advocate for education workers and seek clarification on issues brought to our
attention by locals. During yesterday’s meeting, OSBCU asked for clarification on issues related to
screening, testing and masking.

These are the answers provided:

– Screening: There are no exemptions from the single-symptom screener and direction on
householder members. All asymptomatic household contacts of symptomatic individuals are
required to quarantine, without exemption, even for essential reasons, until the symptomatic
individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or an alternative diagnosis by a health
care professional. Education workers are not to be exempted from these screening protocols.
This information was just recently clarified with school board directors throughout the province
and it may take time for the message to circulate fully. If there are issues within a specific
board, local presidents should let OSBCU know with details and we will raise the matter with
the Ministry.

– Access to pharmacies for asymptomatic testing:
In discussions with the Crown and Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA), we have raised
concerns about the rollout of asymptomatic testing in school boards. The CTA had cited that
selected pharmacies were offering this service. Upon inspection of the website listing the
pharmacies, OSBCU raised the concern that education workers were not included in the list of
folks who could obtain asymptomatic tests at these locations. The government has confirmed
that websites should have been updated to reflect this. Please note, only pharmacies listed
are providing these tests. Your school board may also be offering testing at school sites as
well. You can access a list of pharmacies in your area via

Double masking: There is no recommendation from Public Health Ontario to start double
masking. As a reminder, we will add that CUPE education workers should have a well-fitting
mask that covers the nose and mouth and to avoid touching and adjusting the mask.

Also, please remember to place and remove the mask properly and wash your hands before
and after you handle your mask.

– Vaccinations: The government has confirmed that vaccinations for education workers will
begin to roll out soon. It further clarified that priority will be giving to all adults working in