KDLC News, October 6 2023

October 6, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. Workshop: How to Organize a Union
  2. Nov.10: Oliver Doyle Activist Awards Banquet
  3. Register now!: Fall 2023 Health & Safety/Workers Compensation school
  4. Winter Coat Drive: calling volunteers!
  5. News Briefs
  6. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

1. Workshop: How to Organize a Union

Low wages? No benefits? Unsafe workplace? Bad boss? Want a union? This is for you!

When: Saturday, October 14, 1-5pm
Where: Central Library, 130 Johnson Street, Kingston
Who: Ritch Whyman, Hamilton & District Labour Council executive member and former “Justice for Janitors” organizer


1. Unions and the law (1 hour)
2. Organizing your workplace (1 hour)
3. Overcoming employer obstruction (1.5 hours)

Who should come? This is a workshop for everyone who wants to organize a union in their workplace. Veteran union organizer, Ritch Whyman, will take us through this three-part program. Please register!

This event is organized by the KDLC Education Committee.

2. Nov.10: Oliver Doyle Activist Awards Banquet

Join us to celebrate and honour those in the labour movement who make a difference in our unions and communities.”

Friday, November 10, 2023
Portuguese Cultural Centre, 959 Division Street

Dinner banquet with guest speaker
Tickets: $240 for table of 6, or $40 per person

  • Award nominations deadline: Friday, October 27, 2023
    Click here for Nomination Form
  • Banquet booking deadline: Friday, November 3, 2023
    Click here for Booking Form

Your local is encouraged to purchase a table and send as many activists to the dinner as possible in appreciation of their good work.  We are counting on your local’s support to makethis evening a big success!

Who should attend?  Your local union Executive & their spouse or partner as well as your leading activists, stewards, health & safety advocates are encouraged to participate. This special occasion celebrates the efforts of active members of your local in representation of your membership in strike preparation and leadership, health & safety, community activism, and social justice in the workplace.

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

Registration Deadline is October 13!

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

Course lists and more information available here.

4. Winter Coat Drive: calling volunteers!

The United Way KFL&A’s annual Winter Coat Drive is running October 23 to November 13. Last year, over 800 coats were collected and distributed to those in need in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. Local union and community volunteers made this drive possible.

If you are interested in volunteering or setting up a donation drive in your workplace, contact Labour Community Services rep, Doug Nesbitt (labour@unitedwaykfla.ca) for resources, support, and coordination.

5. News Briefs

  • Demonstration for Public Healthcare brings out thousands
    Thousands of Ontarians demonstrated at Queen’s Park in Toronto on September 25, including a contingent organized by the Kingston Health Coalition. Local residents who participated in the demonstration reported large union contingents, and estimates were 5,000-7,000 people in attendance. Not bad for a work day! September 25 marked the return of legislators to Queen’s Park since their break started in early June. The big demonstration coincided with local demonstrations in Dryden, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. The focus of the demonstration was on cuts to funding, understaffing, ER closures and the privatization of public hospital services, such as the contracting out of simple “day surgeries” to private, for-profit clinics. These for-profit clinics have already been implementing illegal extra-billing, and other “up-selling” marketing ploys to patients. The Kingston Health Coalition has identified privatization of eye surgeries at the Kingston Health Science Centre, which is now contracting out work to the for-profit company, Focus Eye, located at 725 Arlington Park in the west end of Kingston. To get involved in the Kingston Health Coalition, click here.
  • HPE Public Health strikes end
    ONA and CUPE members at the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health are back on the job, bringing an end to the ONA strike which started in mid-August and the CUPE strike that followed in September. As reported in the September 22 KDLC News, two Prince Edward County councilors, Kate McNaughton and John Hirsch, resigned from the HPE Public Health Board in protest of the board majority’s conduct during the strike.
  • KFL&A Public Health merger?
    The top doctor at KFL&A Public Health, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, has advised the KFL&A Public Health Board to merge with surrounding public health units in response to new policies unrolled by the provincial government of Premier Doug Ford. Oglaza told the Board the provincial government is offering “One-time funding, resources and supports” to boards that “voluntarily merge to streamline and reinvst back into expanding programs and services.” The province wants Public Health boards to serve at least 500,000 people. KFL&A Public Health serves 210,000. A merger with HPE Public Health would only bring that number to 410,000, requiring an additional merger with Leeds, Grenville and & Lanark Public Health to reach 580,000, and span an area from Trenton to Cornwall, and north to Bancroft and Perth. It is unclear if the “one-time” funding will facilitate longer-term improvement of services, or that a massive public health board spanning the urban and rural areas across Eastern Ontario will be able to respond to local needs. Union and scholarly research has demonstrated that school board and municipal mergers under Premier Mike Harris in the late 1990s did not see promised improvements in services, long-term reinvestments, or local democracy. To see who sits on the KFL&A Public Health Board, click here.
  • TVO strike continues
    Canadian Media Guild workers continue their strike at TV Ontario (TVO) after rejecting a “final offer” from the employer on October 1. The offer included a 7.7% wage increase over 3 years. The union is demanding higher wages to deal with the cost-of-living crisis. CMG argues their wage demands are a fraction of TVO’s $17 million reserve fund. Learn more and take action here.

6. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: October 16, 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