A Message From Your President
Welcome to OPSEU Local 598's website. My name is Jeff Billard, and I've been the union president since autumn 2010. I've been with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) since 1998, and work as a policy analyst in the Pension Law & Policy Group.
My mom raised my younger brother and I by herself, and she's the source of why I got involved in our union. She's volunteered a lot of her time over the years in different areas (she was a Girl Guide Commissioner for over 30 years, secretary of her Nova Scotia Teachers' Union local, and involved in Canadian Baptist Ministries, among others), and her philosophy has always been, "If you don't get involved, you have no right to complain about how things are done."
Don't read that as me getting involved with Local 598 only to complain about things! OTPP is an amazing company to work for, and there is a lot of mutual respect between bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit members.
Is that to say there's no need for a union? Of course not. Our local over the years has gained pay equity for its members (equal pay for equal work); helped members reclassify their positions to financially reflect what they actually do, rather than what was written on paper; ensured a consistent process is followed when a member has a dispute with their manager; collectively bargained wage increases, benefit improvements; and more!
Not everyone has the skills or ability to do these things themselves; that's where a union helps out.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, since there are likely other things on the internet that could capture your attention (Double dream hands, for instance). Check out our website, and contact one of our excellent stewards if you have any questions!
President, OPSEU Local 598