KDLC News, March 10 2023

March 10, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. Agreement ratified at Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation
  2. Town Hall: Privatization Lessons from Home Care
  3. Kingston Campaign to Stop For-Profit Clinics
  4. Tampon Tuesday donation drive
  5. Public talk on Winnipeg General Strike
  6. News Briefs
  7. KDLC meetings, dates, contact information

1. Agreement ratified at Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation

Employees of the Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation ratified a new collective agreement on Wednesday, March 8. Wages were a sticking point for the 25-member unit of CUPE Local 109. The 25 KFHC employees provide maintenance, administrative and other services to the 10,000 residents of KFHC properties. CUPE 109 also represents over 1,000 city employees, as well as Howe Island ferry workers.

The Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation was created by provincial legislation in 2001 and is owned by the City of Kingston. Its mission statement reads: “Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation (KFHC) provides quality affordable housing, advocates for strong communities and demonstrates respect for all.

2. Online Town Hall: The Threat of Privatization: Lessons from Home Care

Monday, March 13, 7pm
Click here to register
Hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition

The Ford government is rushing to move surgeries and diagnostics out of hospitals and to private, for-profit providers. We only need to look to the crisis in home care to see the long-term results of private, for-profit care.

“The claim is that privatization is innovation, but home care was largely outsourced to for-profit providers in the 1990s and has been in a state of crisis ever since. Expert speakers and patients will give an in-depth status update on the crisis in our communities and detail how privatization has worsened care and working conditions.”

3. Kingston Campaign to Stop For-Profit Clinics

Information Picket
Monday, March 20, 11:30am-1pm
@ Gardiners Road & Taylor Kidd Boulevard

“Join others concerned about the privatization of KGH to the for-profit clinic, Focus Eye Care.  An information picket will be held on Monday, March 20, 11:30 to 1pm at the corner of Taylor Kidd BLVD and Gardiners Road.  Kingston Health Sciences Center (KGH) has been using some of its allocated cataract surgery money to provide the services at Focus Eye Care, a laser eye surgery chain.”

Kingston Health Coalition meeting
Wednesday, March 22, 7pm

Contact kingstonhealthcoalition@gmail.com for zoom details

“Planning for the May 26-27 Citizen’s Referendum on For-Profit Care”
“We need your ideas to organize Kingston activities in the province wide referendum on whether hospital services should be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics.  If you can, join our planning meeting on March 22 at 7pm by zoom.  If you are unable to attend but have ideas on where we can hold a voting station, or if you could volunteer to help put up signs, staff a voting station, or canvass, please contact us at kingstonhealthcoalition@gmail.com.”

4. Tampon Tuesday donation drive

When: March 1-March 31
Where: For donation drop-off locations, click here

The annual United Way KFL&A donation drive for menstruation products is underway across the region. Last year, the campaign collected over 114,000 items and redistributed them to frontline agencies across Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. The Tampon Tuesday campaign was started by union telephone workers in London, Ontario.

5. Public talk on Winnipeg General Strike

When: Saturday, April 22, 2:00-3:30pm
Isabel Turner Public Library branch, 935 Gardiners Road

Through a series of images, author and historian Michael Dupuis will take the audience through the 6-week historic strike – one which ultimately resulted in the creation of the principle of collective bargaining/union recognition and establishment of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, precursor of the New Democratic Party.

6. News Briefs

  • International Women’s Day at The Screening Room
    Kingston & District Labour Council provided free popcorn for the first 30 guests at an International Women’s Day film screening of Women Talking. The event was hosted by Kingston Interval House and Sexual Assault Centre Kingston. The screening was followed by a brief presentation from the Kingston Anti-Violence Advisory Council. Canadian movie star Sarah Polley directed the Women Talking. The film has an ensemble cast including Frances McDormand who gained fame with her role in Fargo and who recently won the Academy Award for Best Actress portraying an Amazon warehouse worker in Nomadland. Women Talking has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay in this year’s Academy Awards. The film is adapted from the novel by Miriam Toews. It is based on a true Manitoba story of women living in an isolated religious colony and confronting rampant sexual abuse by the colony’s patriarchs.
  • New funding for paramedics, firefighters, school crossing guards
    Frontenac County councilors have approved $1 million in new funding to hire eight additional paramedics in their 2023 budget. This includes two new 12-hour paramedic shifts in Kingston. The City of Kingston is also committing $400,000 to the firefighting budget with plans to hire 12 new firefighters this year, which is required for putting an additional fire truck into service. Four additional school guards will also be hired through a new allotment of $75,000.
  • Kingston City Council sells Rideau Heights properties
    On March 7, Kingston City Council voted to approve the sale of two city-owned Rideau Heights lots for private market-rate housing developments. According to city management, this is in line with the city’s “Rideau Heights Regeneration Strategy”. The lot at 33 Compton Street once housed Kingston’s only municipal childcare centre. The Oakwood Child Care Centre closed by the city in 2013 after four decades of operation. City management recommended its closure, citing new financial concerns following the introduction of full-day Kindergarten. The lot at 900 Division Street (at Elliott) was once envisioned by the city as a home for a new fire and ambulance station.
  • Tent City eviction looms
    The deadline for the eviction of the “Tent City” surrounding the Integrated Care Hub on Montreal Road is March 21. The March 21 date was set after evictions were postponed by City Council in mid-January.

7. KDLC meetings, dates, contact information

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: March 20, 7pm
    Meeting details and documents will be distributed March 13
  • Next KDLC News: March 24
    Please send union reports and event listings to kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com before March 22.
  • All official correspondence:
    Please email: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com