KDLC News, March 25 2023

March 25, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. KDLC on recent library incidents: Cancel Staffless Pilot
  2. April 3 strike deadline for Tri-Board school transportation planners
  3. Analysis: Bill 60 “Your Health Act”
  4. April 28 Day of Mourning
  5. Tampon Tuesday donation drive
  6. Public talk on Winnipeg General Strike
  7. News Briefs
  8. In Memoriam: William Brian Brophy (1942-2023)
  9. KDLC meetings, dates, contact information

1. KDLC on recent library incidents: Cancel the staffless pilot

In light of recent violent and dangerous incidents at two Kingston Frontenac Public Library branches, the Kingston and District Labour Council issued this letter to the KFPL Library Board:

2. April 3 strike deadline for Tri-Board school transportation planners

Seven employees of the Tri-Board Student Transportation Services are in a legal strike position on April 3. They are members of CUPE Local 1479. The employees are responsible for planning 620 school bus routes for 30,000 school students. They are seeking a fair wage increase in line with their counterparts across Ontario. Read more about the union’s wage demands here.

The Tri-Board Student Transportation Services is jointly controlled by three school boards: Limestone, Algonquin-Lakeshore Catholic, and Hastings-Prince Edward. Please contact your school board trustee and demand a fair settlement. Find your school board trustee:

3. Analysis: Bill 60 “Your Health Act”

The Ontario Health Coalition has produced a detailed analysis of Bill 60, “Your Health Act.” The legislation is in its Second Reading. It must pass a Third Reading in the legislature before it receives Royal Assent and becomes law. The provincial government issued no white paper for Bill 60 and has not held any public consultations. The Ontario Health Coalition’s key findings include:

  • The Minister of Health can appoint a third-party “Director” (individual or corporation) with significant powers to create and expand private for-profit clinics, and with no anti-corruption safeguards.
  • For-profit clinics are shielded from public access to information.
  • A broad deregulation affecting the labour of physicians, RNs, RPNs and many other medical professionals.

Read the analysis in full: click here.

4. April 28 Day of Mourning

When: Friday, April 28, 11am
Where: OPSEU Hall, 824 John Counter Boulevard, Kingston
Further details To Be Announced

April 28 is recognized by the Canadian Labour Congress as the National Day of Mourning to remember and honour those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace. Each year, nearly 1,000 workers in Canada lose their lives on the job, and over a quarter million workers suffer workplace injuries or illnesses.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. News Briefs

  • Pickets target for-profit clinic contracted by Kingston Health Sciences
    On Monday, March 20, members of the Kingston Health Coalition and CUPE Local 1974 (Kingston Health Sciences) picketed at the corner Gardiners Road and Taylor Kidd Boulevard next to the for-profit clinic Focus Eye Centre. Focus Eye Centre has been contracted by Kingston Health Sciences Centre (Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu) to conduct eye surgeries. The Kingston Health Coalition has demanded the details of the contract. Ross Sutherland of the Kingston Health Coalition says public money can be better used with public non-profit clinics. To get involved with the Kingston Health Coalition, contact kingstonhealthcoalition@gmail.com.
  • PSAC 901 rallies at Queen’s University
    Over 200 members and supporters of PSAC Local 901 rallied in front of Richardson Hall at Queen’s University on March 22. The graduate workers are demanding the Queen’s University administration, led by Principal Patrick Deane, to cease lobbying the Ontario government for an end tuition fee freezes, and begin lobbying for greater public education funding. PSAC 901 members have seen their wages eroded by mounting tuition fees. Minimum funding packages have been frozen for more than two decades. Read the March 23 2023 PSAC 901 statement here.
  • Family doctor shortage to surge in Kingston
    Six of eight doctors at Frontenac Medical Associates (791 Princess Street) will be retiring May 26, 2023. About 8,000 Kingstonians will be left with no family doctor. To find a family doctor, contact Health Connect at 1-800-445-1822 or go online to this Government of Ontario website.
  • Public consultations for Kingston Strategic Planning
    Public consultations for City of Kingston Strategic Planning for the years 2023-2026 will be taking place at St. Lawrence College “Innovation Hub” from March 28 to March 30, 5pm-10pm. The sessions are managed by StrategyCorp, a Toronto-based consulting firm contracted by the City of Kingston.

8. In Memoriam: William Brian Brophy (1942-2023)

It is with great sadness that Kingston & District Labour Council learned of the passing of Brian Brophy this March at the age of 81. Brian grew up in Kingston and attended Regiopolis high school. He worked 35 years at Millhaven Fibres where he was active in his union, the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP Local 9670) and was a long-serving member and trustee of the Kingston & District Labour Council. Brian is remembered as a great labour and community activist. When it came to advocacy, Brian did not take “No” as an answer from the powers that be. Brian served as president of the Kingston Council of Ageing, Vice-President of the Kingston chapter of the Council of Canadians, Director of the Injured Workers’ Support Network, and served on the board of Oasis Senior Assisted Living. He was also active in the Kingston Health Coalition and the Kingston Dental Coalition. The Kingston & District Labour Council sends its heartfelt condolences to Brian’s family and many friends. Thank you for your service, Brian.

There is no funeral or service planned as per Brian’s wishes.

9. KDLC meetings, dates, contact information

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: April 17, 7pm
    Meeting details and documents will be distributed April 10
  • Next KDLC News: April 7
    Please send union reports and event listings to kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com before April 5.
  • All official correspondence:
    Please email: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com