Developmental Services Workers Day honours DSWs who have dedicated their careers to supporting and caring for individuals with developmental disabilities or complex needs.
This year we asked you to nominate a DSW in your workplace or community who goes above and beyond.
Thank you, Jen Harley (Community Living Burlington) and Kimaline Campbell (Kerry’s Place Autism Services), for sending in your heartfelt nominations.
We would like to recognize the following:
February 3 - Chinese New Year Celebration
February 1 was the first day of the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year is celebrated in China and all over Southeast Asia. Every country has different traditions and their own way of commemorating the holiday.
To celebrate, we invited members and their families to join us on Facebook for a live broadcast event. We learned about the rich history of the Spring Festival and Chinese Zodiac signs, watched some incredible performances and played trivia.
February 28 – We Shall Overcome: Black History Month+Beyond
Members joined us virtually to honour Black history, celebrate Black excellence in our membership and discuss how we can organize to overcome racism, discrimination and social challenges. We enjoyed our live panellists, performances and guest speakers.
On International Women’s Day, our Women’s Committee hosted a Facebook Live. They had a critical discussion about how we can continue to break barriers for women in 2022 and beyond to make the world more equitable and inclusive.
Every May 19, we celebrate Personal Support Worker Day. SEIU Healthcare is proud to support PSWs in all healthcare sectors across Ontario. To our all our PSWs thank you for your passion and dedication to your profession.
This year to celebrate Filipino Heritage Month, we hosted a BBQ at SEIU Healthcare’s head office in Richmond Hill! We were joined by former Toronto City Councillor Neethan Shan. In 2017, Neethan introduced a motion to declare June Filipino Heritage Month, making it the first time any level of government in Canada recognized Filipino Heritage Month.
Thanks to all the members who joined us for the Toronto Pride Parade. As frontline healthcare workers, we were honoured to be moved to the front of the parade. On top of marching in the parade, we hosted the first-ever LGBTQ2+ Summit. We finished the summit by breaking off into groups to help form ideas and direction for the LGBTQ2+ Committee’s action plan.
“SEIU Healthcare strives to ensure that all our voices in the LGTBQ2+ are represented equally and fairly. We can achieve this together through education, providing each other with moral support and creating strong allies. The LGTBQ2+ Summit allowed SEIU members to enter a safe environment where they felt their voices and stories could be heard. It was a judgement-free zone where you felt excepted by everyone. The summit was just the beginning of what’s to come!” – Larry Kobos, LGBTQ2+ Executive Board Representative, DSW – Vita Community Living
This year, we really got the opportunity to celebrate our Purple Pride on July 16 for Purple Day! Since we did not have the chance to celebrate many events together for the past few years, SEIU Healthcare wanted to ensure that you could show your purple spirit and throw a memorable purple party all through July.
Over 300 units applied for and received gift cards to help purchase supplies and food for their 2022 Purple Day Events!
Hundreds of SEIU Healthcare members joined our leadership and staff as they marched in the first Labour Day Parade in Toronto since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members brought their children, family, and friends to continue supporting the fight for justice in all our workplaces! Together we marched, danced, and waved our flags.
This year, we participated in a record number of local Labour Day events across Ontario, including Barrie, Brantford, Brockville, Goderich, Hamilton/Oakville, Kingston, London, Lindsay, Niagara/St. Catharines, North Bay, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sarnia, Thunder Bay, and Waterloo.
On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, over 100 members joined us at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto for our first-ever First Nations, Métis and Inuit Summit. It was a powerful day of advocacy, education and empowerment. We learned from our country’s past and planned for its future. Together, we discussed how to be better allies and what work needs to be done in our union to show solidarity and support.
“I want to get people to understand that SEIU is here to help. They don’t want people to be stepped on. And I want somehow to make that bridge. To show what the union can do to be an ally to Indigenous people. I think that’s really important to why we came together at the First Nations, Metis and Indigenous Summit. How can we do that work? And how can we make sure our union is doing the right things to work with our communities?” Shyanna Medicine, Aboriginal/Indigenous Executive Board, Representative, PSW – The Rekei Centres