OPSEU Local 550

Our Team


The LEC is made up of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary. These are elected positions with a term of 2 years. All members of the LEC are also Stewards.

The LEC is responsible for carrying out the financial and administrative business of the Local under the terms set by the OPSEU constitution.

Local President

Kawashi Tharmaseelan

Vice President

Chris Pacheco




Marjorie Castro

Chief Steward

Darlene Mitrovica


Stewards are responsible for and to the members at their site, and the Bargaining Unit (i.e. Broadview Village, Evangeline, Islington, P.L.U.S.).

Responsibilities of Stewards

Becoming a Steward

Most of us become Stewards because we want to represent and help our fellow members. But, we have no idea how. There are OPSEU Educationals for Stewards and Grievance training, but they only happen 4 times a year. In the absence of that we’ve put together the information below.

How to get Involved

Stewards start by doing. A member can have a Steward present at any meeting with management. These meetings may be investigation interviews or disciplinary meetings.

The member can choose any Steward they want. The Steward’s role is strictly to be a note taker, a witness, and supportive at this point. If something is unclear to the Steward they can ask questions to clarify. The Steward is not there to defend anyone, or to add anything. But, taking good notes is very important. They may be crucial evidence in a grievance or arbitration later.

Before the meeting the Steward should find out from the member, or management if they are calling, as much as the Steward can about what the meeting is for. If it is a meeting called by management, the member may not have very much information. That’s okay. If it is disciplinary and the member thinks it might be serious, it is a good idea to call the President or Vice President and make them aware.

Fullfilling your Role as a Steward

Stewards need to be aware of issues at their workplace. If there is an a problem the first step is to make Management aware. This is something the member(s) that are having the problem would do. The Steward is there as support and to take notes, if the member requests this. The Steward can also suggest to the member that they take this first step. The Stewards are always free to call the President, Vice President, or another Steward for advice. The Steward is not alone!

Read and understand the Collective Agreement. The Stewards don’t need to memorize the whole thing! Just know where to find what they ares looking for. This way the Steward can have a better be able to spot a problem, or advise members on what steps to take. Such as, one member can’t grieve against another member. But, if a member makes management aware of a problem they are having with another member, its management’s responsibility to address the problem. Depending on what management does, or does not do, a member can bring a grievance against management.

Know the Grievance Procedure (Article 13 of the Collective Agreement). This is where the Steward’s role becomes more active. The Stewards are not expected to undertake grievances alone. Stewards can call the the President, or Vice President for assistance if they need to. Most of the Stewards have learned our role from more experienced Stewards.

Things to Keep in Mind

The Stewards are always free to call the President, Vice President, or another Steward for advice. The Stewards are not alone!

Each Steward is the voice of OPSEU Local 550. The Steward can’t be fired for insubordination when acting in this role!

Stewards may expand their core responsibilities to other areas including health and safety, bargaining, labour management committees, union counselling, building links outside the Local, etc.

Attending meetings is important. Just as important, though, is to encourage members to attend membership meetings, such as the GMM, Demand Setting meetings, Ratification meetings, and any other meetings where members are invited.

If the Steward can’t attend a meeting they should find out what happened at the meeting that was missed. Read the minutes, ask the Secretary, President, Vice President, or any other Steward. Then, pass on any information as necessary to the members.

Everyone, please, be patient and kind with one another, the members, other Stewards, and the LEC. Everyone is working hard. We all have a life out side of work, also. We all have challenges. We are all Stewards voluntarily, because we care!