Happy Labour Day from your KFA
Originally sent September 4th, 2020
Dear faculty members,
Your KFA Table Officers would like to wish you a wonderful Labour Day long weekend!
The Labour Day long weekend is an important marker between summer and the return to work and school, but it is also an important marker of the history of the achievements of the labour movement in Canada.
Labour Day has been a statutory holiday since 1894 and originates in the 1872 Toronto printers’ fight for a nine-hour work day. The Toronto printers’ strike was ultimately successful in achieving the nine-hour work day, and those events led to the Trade Unions Act of 1872 which made it legal to belong to a trade union. Since that time, local, provincial, and national solidarity has led to improved working conditions for unionized and non-unionized workplaces alike; the benefits include the minimum wage, sick leave, maternity and parental leave, and the right to a safe work environment. Locally, these benefits include regularization, wage increases, workload provisions, vacation, and professional development. Despite attempts to erode the rights of unionized labour over the years, including our right to strike, the Supreme Court of Canada declared the right to strike protected by the freedom of association in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, 2015). Through solidarity we achieve success.
This Labour Day, as we adapt to changing working conditions, we encourage you to reflect on the role of organized labour and what we are able to achieve through solidarity. Your rights as KFA members are enshrined in our collective agreement and in the arrangements the KFA has successfully negotiated with our employer. One recent example of our success is the attached “FAQ’s regarding Teaching in a Remote Learning Environment” (below) developed by the KFA and KPU in order to help our membership.
For Labour Day 2020, the New Westminster & District Labour Council has partnered with the Vancouver District Labour Council to hold a virtual event on September 7th from 9:00-10:00. A comprehensive listing of Labour Day events across Canada can be found through the Canadian Labour Congress website.
As you reflect on Labour Day, the successes of unionized labour, and the challenges to come, don’t hesitate to reach out to the KFA for support. News, resources, and contact information can be found on our website http://www.yourkfa.ca. Please stay tuned for further communications from the KFA in the near future.
Gillian Dearle, KFA President
Diane Walsh, VP Grievances
Raphael Lagoutin, VP Negotiations
Betty Cunnin, Member-at-Large
Romy Kozak, Secretary Treasurer
Mark Diotte, Member-at-Large
August 20, 2020