In many ways, 2014 was a great year for healthcare workers. We won a raise for over 30,000 employees in homecare, prevented a Hudak government, and elected several progressive members of provincial parliament in Ontario, and held a summit for our young worker activists who are involved in their communities and their union. On top of that we helped elect a new president of the Canadian Labour Congress, and toured the province to meet you, our members.
The most important ingredient for this recipe of success was you, the member. SEIU Healthcare members were the ones who volunteered their time to elect progressive candidates in ridings across Ontario. You are the ones who went on strike for higher wages in 2013 and fought for a “Sweet $16” in 2014. You are the ones who met with senior government officials to talk about the challenges and importance of your job. These are your victories.
But 2015 is not the time to rest. There is still a lot of work to be done. A federal election is coming up this year. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has done little to help working people. Nor he is supportive of the labour movement. In fact, he has tried to pass laws that make it harder for unions to service their members.
It’s up to us as a union of 55,000 people to defend our jobs so we can be there for our patients, clients, and residents. That’s why in 2015, we will continue building our “purple army” of union members who show up to the ballot box to elect leaders that respect workers’ rights and public services, especially healthcare.
All of this was documented in our 2014 Report to Members. You will receive a copy in your mailbox, as well as your 2015 Members Calendar. If you don’t receive them soon, please call the Member Resource Centre at 1-877-672-7348.