Hope is not Canceled

March 30, 2019-Grey Bruce Labour Council

For Immediate Release

“Hope is not canceled”. “Timely words and profoundly important”, says Labour Council President, Kevin Smith.

Coming together in times of crisis is as natural to Canadians as breathing. Working for the collective good makes up the foundation of what Canada is today, and Canadians are justifiably proud of this cornerstone of their identity. Smith says, “Great responsibility comes along with being custodians of this history and with reluctant thanks to COVID-19 we are now being given the opportunity to undertake this responsibility and live up to this ideal in the strongest terms”.

Dave Trumble, Labour Council VP for Bruce, “The Grey Bruce Labour Council, like so many organizations wrestling with the COVID-19 crisis, will not be deterred from their mission and in the case of the Labour Council, this is being the voice of workers in our region”. Labour Council Treasurer, Gord Cale, noted at the March 23rd remote meeting, “being the voice of workers means leaving no one behind”. Cale put forth that the Labour Council immediately act to provide some help to the most vulnerable in our community.

Based on unanimous support, The Grey Bruce Labour Council is proud to announce a $2000.oo donation to the Bruce Grey United Way to provide aid to the homeless in our region during this difficult time. Cale notes on behalf of the Labour Council “the COVID-19 crisis is going to be with us for a while and this donation is not necessarily a one time donation and further action, including further donations, will be on our agenda for the foreseeable future”.

The Grey Bruce Labour Council has a sixty plus year track record of being there for our region’s workers and in aiding countless socially progressive initiatives. As our region and the rest of the world tries to cope, the Labour Council delegates and affiliate unions will stand by our communities.

In Solidarity

Kevin Smith, President

Grey Bruce Labour Council

Grey Bruce Labour Council, For Immediate Release-March 23, 2020, The Front Line and Covid-19

Grey Bruce Labour Council

For Immediate Release-March 23, 2020

The Front Line and Covid-19

Nobody ever wanted or expected to find the world in the situation it is as we face perhaps one of the greatest challenges in over one-hundred years. Just over one-hundred years ago the world reeled after a devastating world war directly into an influenza pandemic that killed millions.

The front line shifted from the battlefront to places of care. One hundred years ago these places of care were not the places of care we see today where modern day practices, emergency responders and skilled healthcare workers trained in these modern techniques save lives that a century ago would have been lost.

The frontline of today, not so often talked about, but as we have found out is every bit as critical to our survival, is populated by the services and people we too often have taken for granted. Grocery store staff, truck and transport drivers, convenience store staff, postal workers, bank and financial institution staff, internet service provider workers, utility workers, sanitation workers and so many more providing services that our lives would be impossible without.

Experiencing life in a covid-19 shuttered workplace and talking about public services, Grey Bruce Labour Council President Kevin Smith, is hopeful of a change for the better that history aptly demonstrates often follows after humankind’s biggest challenges. Smith notes, “watching provincial leaders and federal leaders, the tone has changed drastically from the polarizing rhetoric of the last three to four decades and in some cases the months immediately preceding our current crisis. Much of the rhetoric until very recently manifested in vicious attacks on public service workers and repeal of legislation that would have helped vulnerable, precarious and part-time workers. To see the historically right wing, anti worker, pro-privatization, anti union politicians dropping all the vicious attack language and perhaps realizing that privatization will not stand up to the rigorous test of a national and international challenge is a hopeful moment in this rather dark time”.

Smith makes it clear that “he is no starry eyed optimist, but perhaps this global challenge will bring us back to a place of compromise instead of destructive polarization. Compromise and a realization that we accomplish more together than apart is what lead us to the greatest period of prosperity in history, that period of about thirty or so years immediately after World War Two”.

“For over sixty years, The Grey Bruce Labour Council has been the voice of workers in our region. The Council is fortunate to have all manner of public and private sector workers at our table”. In looking back at these sixty plus years Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Bruce, Dave Trumble, says “the labour council and all of organized labour have consistently called for adequate funding of public services and a broadening of public services. As we progress through the covid-19 crisis holding the line in support of public services as much as possible will show that organized labour and our progressive partners have been correct all along and that government tax cuts to corporations at the expense of public services has been a disaster waiting for time to show itself”.

Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Grey County, Chris Stephen, speaking about the countless people supporting us as in grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, banks, etc. have deserved not only recognition for their vital work for years, but perhaps the time has come that their pay will be commensurate with their contribution. Perhaps the icing on the cake will take place after we have come through the crisis and these very same workers will find their way towards union representation that will help them hold onto gains made in and as result of the crisis as the memory of our current crisis begins to fade”.

Organized labour is a partner in getting all of us through this crisis, but when it is all said and done and it will eventually be all said and done, organized labour will be there to do everything possible to secure adequate funding for our public services and pay and protection for precarious, part-time and vulnerable workers.

“Let each of us do what is required of us to get us safely through the covid-19 crisis and do all we can to support those supporting us and preventing us from descending into anarchy”, says Smith.

Grey Bruce Labour Council Joins OECTA Picket Line, March 5th, 2020

 

Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Bruce County, Dave Trumble, joins the Solidarity on the OECTA picket line in Kincardine. The Sisters and Brothers in Kincardine stand firm and the Labour Council is proud to stand with all Education Workers in opposition to the Dofo government and their continued campaign of misinformation and cowardice as they fail to bargain in good faith with the dedicated leadership of the Education Unions.

Grey Bruce Labour Council Donates to Kincardine Pride 2020

Dave Trumble, Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Bruce, meets with Fort Papalia, President Kincardine Pride, and presents the Labour Council donation of $350 for the 2020 Kincardine Pride Parade.

“For decades Organized Labour has been a partner of the LGBTQ community in the fight for LGBTQ justice and equality. Aligned with this, the Grey Bruce Labour Council is proud to continue our tradition of supporting the profoundly important work of Kincardine Pride”.

The Labour Council looks forward to participating in the 2020 Kincardine Pride to be held on June 27th at 11AM. The parade will travel from Kincardine’s Connaught Park to Queen Street via Broadway St and will end with a celebration at Kincardine’s Victoria Park.

Please plan to attend.

 

GBLCDonationKP2020a

Without a deal OECTA and AEFO to strike on March 5th, 2020

Ontario’s Catholic teachers will hold another province-wide strike next week after efforts to resume labour negotiations with the provincial government broke down, the union representing the educators said Thursday.
In a statement announcing the March 5, job action, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association said it suspended planned walkouts as a “sign of good faith” when it returned to the bargaining table earlier this week.

But OECTA President Liz Stuart said the government, which is in tense contract talks with all four of the province’s major teachers’ unions, did not make a similar effort.
“Instead of coming to the table with a plan to reach an agreement, the government continued to insist on its deep, permanent cuts,” Stuart said in the statement announcing the strike. “All the while, the minister of education has continued his attempts to mislead the public by making baseless accusations against Catholic teachers and our association.”
Next Thursday’s strike comes nearly two weeks after a province-wide walkout involving nearly 200,000 teachers from all four of the province’s major education labour groups. It was the largest such strike in more than 20 years.
OECTA, along with unions representing elementary, high school and French-language teachers, have been in contentious labour negotiations with the government since their contracts expired in August 2019.

Ottawa – Feb. 29, 2020: The next province-wide walkout for AEFO will be held Thursday, March 5, 2020. The union’s 12,000 regular and occasional teachers will be picketing at 93 locations. The location and times of pickets will be available Monday at www.ensemblepouragir.ca.

The 27th day of negotiation between AEFO, the government, and the Employer Bargaining Agency (EBA) – which represents the 12 French-language school boards – was held yesterday, February 28. By the end of the meeting, very little progress had been made. The offer from the EBA is still not sufficient enough to protect and improve the rights of regular and occasional teachers, and what they have gained over the years, nor does it protect working conditions that favour a positive learning environment for students.

“AEFO is at a stalemate with school boards and Minister of education Stephen Lecce. We feel that they continue to turn a deaf ear to teachers’ requests. Going forward, AEFO has no desire to engage in anything less than true dialogue,” says Rémi Sabourin, AEFO President.

AEFO will reevaluate its strike strategy over the next few days. AEFO’s Board of Directors will be meeting in Toronto on March 3 to determine what comes next for the union. Phase 3 of work-to-rule continues. To find out more, please visit www.ensemblepouragir.ca.

February 28th, 2020 Education Pickets

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
As you are likely be aware OSSTF is continuing rotating strikes, tomorrow Feb 28th OSSTF District 7 Bluewater Education Workers (Support Staff and Teachers) will be picketing at the following locations from 9:30am until 12:30am. With the weather forecast being such that it is going to be cold and snowy, I know they would appreciate your support on the line. Please join them in solidarity, spend a few minutes with them on the line, be sure to let the picket captain know you are there (they’ll have yellow hats) or if you can drop off some coffee or hot chocolate and or some snacks as I am sure they will need to warm up!

Owen Sound – Bill Walker MPP Office (HQ will be at the Farmers Market)
Meaford – Georgian Bay Community School
Kincardine – Lisa Thompson MPP Office
Port Elgin – Saugeen District Community School
Walkerton – Walkerton District Community School

In Solidarity,
Kevin

Kevin Smith, President
Grey Bruce Labour Council
gblcpresident@live.ca

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
As you are likely be aware OSSTF is continuing rotating strikes, tomorrow Feb 28th OSSTF District 7 Bluewater Education Workers (Support Staff and Teachers) will be picketing at the following locations from 9:30am until 12:30am. With the weather forecast being such that it is going to be cold and snowy, I know they would appreciate your support on the line. Please join them in solidarity, spend a few minutes with them on the line, be sure to let the picket captain know you are there (they’ll have yellow hats) or if you can drop off some coffee or hot chocolate and or some snacks as I am sure they will need to warm up!

Owen Sound – Bill Walker MPP Office (HQ will be at the Farmers Market)
Meaford – Georgian Bay Community School
Kincardine – Lisa Thompson MPP Office
Port Elgin – Saugeen District Community School
Walkerton – Walkerton District Community School

In Solidarity,
Kevin

Kevin Smith, President
Grey Bruce Labour Council
gblcpresident@live.ca