From a very early age, Andrew Locker knew he wanted to serve the public.
“As a young child, I would dream of becoming a teacher,” says Andrew.
His dream came true – and then some: teacher, lead teacher, vice-principal, principal and now a new job, Education Officer with the Ministry of Education’s regional office in Barrie.
“I treasure and cherish each and every role that I have held in Ontario’s public education system,” says Andrew. “I believe in the importance of a strong, equitable and inclusive public education system.”
Andrew’s desire to devote his career to public service has familial roots: his mother was a health care professional and his father served with both the RCMP and OPP. And when he was in university, Andrew became a park warden with the Ministry of Natural Resources – a job he returned to every summer for 17 years.
When you add up all that experience, it means Andrew, 40, has spent almost half of his life in public service.
“I felt a strong pull to the public service and wanted to be part of a profession that is committed to improving the well-being of the public,” he says.
Before moving to his new position with the Ministry of Education, Andrew had to find out how his pension could move with him. Luckily, the OPSEU Pension Plan has transfer agreements with many other public and broader public sector pension plans in Canada.
“My pension was a key consideration when determining whether or not to move from employment with a local school board to the Ontario Public Service,” says Andrew. “It weighed heavily on my mind and was one of the predominant considerations when I was considering this career opportunity.”
In his new position with the Ministry of Education’s Field Services Branch in Barrie, Andrew serves as a support and liaison for various stakeholders: school boards, parents, local governments, ministries and members of the public.
“I find this role to be very rewarding and engaging,” he says. “It provides an opportunity to engage with stakeholder groups who have a vested interest in the outcomes of public education.”
And there’s one other new role Andrew is taking on: he has become a People for Pensions member. He sees the importance of sharing information about the OPSEU Pension Plan with his colleagues.
“I believe that it is important for all employees to have a solid and in-depth understanding of their pension and all of the benefits associated with their workplace and employment. I think that it is important for the information to be shared in a way that makes it accessible to those who need it.”