We write today to express our solidarity with Annette Bouzi, President of Local 415 at Algonquin College, and with all Black, Indigenous, and racialized workers within our Union and beyond. As fellow OPSEU members in Locals 562 and 563, we are a diverse cross-section of education workers who affirm our commitment to opposing systemic racism and building an anti-racist and anti-oppressive culture within OPSEU and the labour movement more broadly.
To echo our colleagues at George Brown College, we know that the forms of anti-Black racism and sexism Bouzi has experienced are both interpersonal and systemic: the surveillance and harassment levelled against her reflect interlocking structures that shape life within and outside the institutions in which we work. It is for this reason that we further endorse the statement and demands put forth by the Coalition of Racialized Workers for immediate, concrete action to shift core union practices and create real change.
We believe that our Union is only as strong as our capacity to engage in meaningful self-reflection, and that this self-reflection must ensure our work is in the fullest collective interest. We further affirm that the needs of Black and Indigenous workers, particularly women (both cis and trans) and non-binary and gender non-conforming people, whether contract or full-time workers, must be central to these efforts.