KDLC News, July 7 2023

July 7, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. Kingston Labour Day Festival: Sept. 4
  2. KDLC Education Committee update
  3. Backpack Donation Drive is underway
  4. Sept. 25: Monster Demo against Hospital Privatization
  5. News Briefs
  6. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

1. Kingston Labour Day Festival: September 4

When: Monday September 4, 10am-1pm
Where: Victoria Park (Brock & Alfred)
What: Free barbecue, music, bouncy castles, union and community stalls

“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!”

Unions and community organizations are encouraged to set up a table and tent. Please let KDLC know if you plan to do so: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com.

2. KDLC Education Committee update

To help strengthen the local labour movement, KDLC’s Education Committee is preparing for an active fall. The committee was reformed in May with a mandate to focus on organizing the unorganized.

If you have any suggestions for educational topics, events or speakers, to please contact the Education Committee chair, Canan Sahin (PSAC 901) at caanan.sahin@gmail.com.

3. Backpack Donation Drive is underway!

The United Way KFL&A’s annual Backpack Program is on! Last year, the donation drive delivered 1,500 backpacks full of school supplies to K-12 students across Kingston, Napanee, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. Backpacks and supplies are delivered directly to participating schools and social agencies.

Donations: Backpacks and school supplies can be dropped off at the United Way office in Kingston at 417 Bagot Street. High demand items include scientific calculators, math kits, lunch bags, and water bottles.

Volunteers: There are limited volunteer positions available between August 15 and August 30. To volunteer, please contact Labour Community Services rep Doug Nesbitt at labour@unitedwaykfla.ca.

Special thanks to the KDLC executives and delegates who have volunteered!

4. Sept. 25: Monster Demo against 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.”

Where: Queen’s Park, Toronto
When: Monday, September 25, 2023, 12pm noon
Who: Organized by the Ontario Health Coalition

The Ontario Health Coalition demands that the Ford government:

  • Stop the privatization of our public hospitals
  • Stop creating a crisis in our public hospitals by underfunding them, cutting and closing services, and trying to roll back wages of nurses, health professionals & support staff,
  • Expand the use of existing ORs in our public hospitals, and
  • Expand capacity in our public hospitals & restore closed services.

Click here to learn more.

5. News Briefs

  • Queen’s University unions rally against austerity
    On June 20, hundreds of union members rallied at Queen’s University to demand its management negotiate wage increases for its thousands of employees. The University administration was able to impose 1% wage caps on 3,300 employees in seven unions under the Ontario government’s Bill 124. Last fall, Bill 124 was overturned by the Ontario Superior Court on the grounds that it violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically the right to free collective bargaining. The Ontairo government is appealing the decision. Union speakers at the June 20 rally demanded wages be renegotiated in the face of significant inflation, lack of investment in staff and supports. While Queen’s University’s management has declared a budget deficit and hiring freeze, QUFA President Jordan Morelli has argued the university has accrued hundreds of millions of dollars through nine years of budget surpluses. Jesse Bambrick, President of CUPE 229, says some employees are sleeping in their cars, even losing their homes.
  • “Enough is Enough” declares labour and community groups
    On June 3, ninety people from many different unions and community groups joined the Kingston & District Labour Council’s “Enough is Enough” rally at Doug Fluhrer Park in downtown Kingston. People joined the rally from as far away as Belleville. Speakers connected local issues with the provincial government’s agenda, including the Wolfe and Howe Island ferry service problems, understaffed Frontenac County EMS, and the privatization of Kingston Health Sciences eye surgeries. Steve Garrison, Vice-President of the Kingston & District Labour Council said it was very important that opponents of Premier Doug Ford’s agenda were getting active now to defeat the current government, instead of waiting for the next election three years from now. The rally was part of a province-wide day of action called by the Ontario Federation of Labour. Dozens of rallies were held in other towns and cities across Ontario.
  • Results of the May 26-27 People’s Referendum on Healthcare Privatization

    Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington results:
    10,256 (98.6%) voted NO to healthcare privatization
    138 (1.3%) voted yes
    10 spoiled ballots

    Province-wide results:
    378,726 (98.1%) voted NO to healthcare privatization
    7,001 (1.8%) voted yes
    341 (0.8%) spoiled ballots

6. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: September 18, 7pm
  • Next KDLC News: July 28
    To list events and reports in KDLC News, please send to kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com before July 24.
  • All official correspondence:
    Please email: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com