KDLC News, August 24 2023

August 24, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. Kingston Labour Day is coming soon!
  2. City Budget survey: Labour voices needed
  3. Register: Fall 2023 Health and Safety/Workers Compensation School
  4. Get on the bus: Sept.25 Defend Public Healthcare
  5. Labour gives to Backpack Program
  6. News Briefs
  7. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

1. Kingston Labour Day is coming soon!

“Come celebrate the achievements of our labour movement in building our communities, delivering the goods and services, defending our rights, and redistributing the wealth created by our labour. Kingston doesn’t work without workers!”

When: Monday September 4, 10am-2pm
Parade: 10am start at Doug Fluhrer Park with speeches at City Hall
Festival: Victoria Park, 11am-2pm: Barbecue, live music, children’s games, union tables, community market

To participate in the parade, please confirm participation at kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com. Please notify KDLC if you are using any vehicles in the parade.

To set up a table at Victoria Park, please register your union or community group with Kingston & District Labour Council: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com.

KDLC is requesting volunteers for 6 parade marshals. High school students requiring volunteer hours are encouraged to apply. Contact kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com while positions last. KDLC will provide gear and training.

2. City Budget: Labour voices needed

Residents of the City of Kingston are encouraged to provide feedback to the City Budget survey. Feedback is open until September 8. You must register to participate in the survey.

Residents are encouraged to speak out against the staffless library pilot project being implemented at the Pittsburgh branch in October. Library worker union president Jillann Rothwell (CUPE Local 2202) has urged Kingston and Frontenac Public Library funds to secure local jobs and improve services. The Kingston & District Labour Council has also organized information pickets and spoken out against the staffless library because it costs Kingston library worker jobs and undermines public safety in our libraries.

It is claimed by supporters that the staffless library pilot project is driven by budgetary concerns, but implementation has been delayed by many months. The pilot will cost $100,000 to contract a third-party tech company to install and monitor surveillance equipment, key fob entry, and panic buttons.

3. Register: Fall 2023 Health and Safety/Workers Compensation School

What: Eastern Ontario labour school on health and safety and workers compensation
When: November 1-5, 2023
Where: Isaiah Tubbs Resort, 1642 County Road 12, Picton, Ontario
Register here

Course lists and more information available here.

4. Get on the bus Sept. 25: Monster Demo vs Hospital Privatization

“We paid for them. We built them. They do not belong to the Ford government to run them into crisis, gut their core services and privatize them.”

To reserve a space on the bus, email kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com. Please provide name, phone number, union affiliation, or community organization affiliation. Early registration ensures KDLC can book a bus in a timely manner.

What: Monster Demo Against Hospital Privatizatoin
Where: Queen’s Park, Toronto
When: Monday, September 25, 2023, 12pm noon
Who: Organized by the Ontario Health Coalition, endorsed by Ontario Federation of Labour

Click here to learn more about the protest and the Ontario Health Coalition demands.

5. Labour gives to Backpack Program

The annual United Way KFL&A Backpack Program is underway. As the cost of living rises, unions and union members can make a huge difference to hundreds of local school kids with donations of backpacks and school supplies.

Special thanks to KDLC volunteers for helping prepare backpacks for distribution on August 22. Special thanks to Kingston & District Labour Council and OECTA for donations. Donations are still welcome and needed! Click here to learn more about donating.

For more information, contact Doug at labour@unitedwaykfla.ca

6. News Briefs

  • Picketing targets Extendicare Kingston’s payroll failure
    A week of picketing at Extendicare Kingston compelled the large, for-profit long-term care operator to negotiate a temporary settlement to management’s payrolls failures that have left many staff without paycheques since April. Over a hundred staff report pay problems causing unnecessary and unacceptable hardship. The staff are members of UNIFOR Local 8300. Pickets went up during the week of August 8-12 at the facility located on the corner of Bath Road and St. Mary’s. Pickets received lots of honking support from motorists. Union members, the Kingston Health Coalition, and community supporters joined the picket lines and delivered food and drinks. KDLC Vice-President Steve Garrison (OECTA) visited the picket lines and said, “These workers, who care for our most vulnerable citizens, deserve to be compensated fairly and on time. Who can afford to go without a paycheque because your employer is failing to pay you on time for an honest day’s work? If this is how Extendicare treats its workers, it really makes you wonder about how much it really cares about its residents.”
  • Hours cut at Hotel Dieu Urgent Care Centre
    As of August 26, Urgent Care Centre hours at Hotel Dieu will be reduced to 8am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Kingston Health Sciences says the decision was made due to understaffing. The Emergency Room at Kingston General Hospital remains open 24 hours.
  • ONA strike: Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
    Fifty Ontario Nurses Association members are on strike at Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health. This includes Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses. ONA President Erin Ariss, RN, says wages have been suppressed for too long but HPE Public Health management “had no intention of ever negotiating a fair contract.” CUPE Local 3314 representing other HPE Public Health employees are heading into conciliation August 24.
  • Strike at Ottawa Hydro involves
    IBEW Local 636 members have been on strike at Ottawa Hydro since June 28. Wages and health and safety are central issues to the dispute. IBEW Local 636 has been publicly identifying third-party businesses doing union work during the strike. In mid-August, this included the large eastern Ontario construction business, Tomlinson. Once public exposed, Tomlinson announced it would not take on Ottawa Hydro work. IBEW Local 636 more recently said businesses hired to cross picket lines include Kingston Crane Rental and Jet Electrical Contractors in Gananoque.

6. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: September 18, 7pm
  • KDLC News: 
    To list events and reports in KDLC News, please send to kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com
  • All official correspondence:
    Please email: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com