Each year, we take the opportunity to recognize OSSTF/FEESO members, Districts and Bargaining Units for the outstanding work that they do on behalf of the federation and our membership. This year, five awards were presented at OSSTF/FEESO’s Annual Meeting of the Provincial Assembly (AMPA) to members and local leaders who are well known to many of us because of the countless hours that they have dedicated to our Federation, both locally and provincially.
The Jennifer MacLean Health and Safety Award was established in honour of a District 21 Hamilton-Wentworth health and safety activist. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the area of health and safety and this year’s winner, Susan Kirby, District 27, Limestone, is both a certified Workers’ Health and Safety instructor and a certified Disability Prevention instructor. She was instrumental in providing training throughout the province and rewriting the “Guide to Workplace Safety.”
The Liz Barkley Status of Women Award, named in recognition of a former OSSTF/FEESO president, is presented annually to recognize the leadership by an OSSTF/FEESO member in advocating and building awareness on women’s economic and equality issues. This year’s Liz Barkley Award winner, Kim Kruithof, District 1, Ontario North East, has dedicated countless hours to the Miss Northern Ontario pageant and focussed not only on the glamour associated with such an event, but also on developing young women who can address/engage a crowd, along with celebrating their many accomplishments
The Communication Award takes into consideration any and all forms of communication that the nominee asks to be judged. Stephen Wilson, District 6B, Superior North, this year’s winner of the Communication Award, provides informative, timely, and extremely professional communication to the members of District 6B. This year a new District Newsletter, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account have become essential tools for member engagement and communication in this District.
The Political Action Award in honour of Larry French and Wendell Fulton is awarded to a person who has shown outstanding leadership in political action either with in the Federation or through work with political parties, other unions or labour councils. Irene Taylor of District 9, Greater Essex, has shown contagious enthusiasm and strong commitment to political action and the labour community and reminds us of the importance of being actively involved.
The James Forster Human Rights Award winner, Jenny Chen, District 12, Toronto, has shown exemplary dedication in the struggle for equity and the promotion of human rights locally, provincially and/or internationally over a number of years. Her passion for human rights is demonstrated through her understanding that the work never really ends and that we must explore new methods of creating access to leadership, PD, learning, and knowledge for all members.