Greetings to the SFL Convention

On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, I was honoured to be able to bring greetings to the 59th SFL Convention in Regina on behalf of the RDLC. The response to my address was overwhelming so below is the script to the speech for those who missed it.

Ken Kubian, President, RDLC

Good morning sisters and brothers. On behalf of treasurer, Carol Mullaney, 1st Vice-President, Darcy Jensen, Secretary, Susan Butson, and our large and diverse Executive who represent over 28,000 unionized workers, I am pleased and proud to bring greetings to this convention. Welcome to our community.

I was born and raised in Regina and have lived here most of my life. Over 100 years ago, my grandparents and great-grandparents left the harsh and crowded conditions of Eastern Europe crossing land and sea to come to Canada. Some of them even crossed the ocean in cattle boats. They made their way across the country to settle in what is now Saskatchewan. They worked small farms and raised large families. My mother’s family farmed next to a reservation and when possible, shared the work and harvest with these new friends. Many others came with them from the old country, leaving friends, family, and oppressive poverty and together they built communities.

The large families resulted in the migration of my parents’ generation into Regina and other larger communities to find jobs. They worked and started families of their own and they built the communities that they settled in. For over 30 years my father worked in construction and helped build the network of power lines that brought electricity to the province. My mother retired from the Regina Health District after 46 years of serving the community.

The Regina & District Labour Council has been part of the community since 1906. Over the years, the Council has had to fight some tremendous battles alongside working sisters and brothers. Like the other 7 councils across the province and over 100 others across the country, the RDLC has come out to support job actions, helped educate workers, fought for equality for all, and worked both with and against politicians to create the best atmosphere for workers in this city and across the province.

But this is not the only work the councils do. As with the generations past, labour councils are community builders, working with many people and groups to create a better life for us all. Over the years, the RDLC has raised thousands of dollars through our participation in the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. We have also collected for the Regina Food Bank as well as winter clothing for those in need. The executives of the RDLC are involved with a number of community groups and organizations from political constituencies to sitting on local boards.

The heart of our work in the community is our partnership with the United Way Regina. The agreement between the Canadian Labour Congress and the United Way Centraide Canada has encouraged all levels of labour to get involved with not only fundraising but focusing on the root causes of social programs. The RDLC has worked with the United Way Regina for many years, there is a formal agreement in place to help guide the partnership. The Council also appoints 2 representatives of labour to sit on the board of the United Way.

A year ago, the Council re-established our Labour Advisory Committee which includes 3 United Way board members, as well as their Labour Staff Representative and 2 members of the RDLC Board. This has enabled us to not only continue the work we do together but expand on it. For over a decade, we have worked together to put on the Unions of Regina Christmas Dinner. With the help of over 125 volunteers, funding from Regina’s unions, and the generosity of the Delta Hotel, we are able to serve a Christmas celebration to over 1400 people in need.

For as long as I can remember, the Council has participated in the United Way Day of Caring. This gives us the opportunity to do a volunteer project for a United Way agency that they haven’t the time or resources to do.

An issue that the United Way identified is that school children lose their ability to learn while they are off during the summer vacation. This past summer, we were able to participate in the new Summer Success program which works to slow down this process. While the program was quickly developed, it was well received, especially by the students and is well worth continuing and expanding in the future.

Not everything is a great success. An attempt at developing a community garden to provide produce for United Way agencies seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, the plots we got turned out to be better suited to growing rice than potatoes. It did work out well enough to try again next year but we will need to find plots that aren’t in swamp land.

One of our greatest successes came with our School Supply program developed in conjunction with the United Way Regina. For the last 3 years, we have been able to supply all the students of the Cornwall Alternative School all the items that they need to get through the school year. This past year we were able to send 2 Cornwall students to the SFL Kid’s Camp. We were also able to address the students a few weeks ago, explaining the advantages of unions for workers. We continue to develop and expand the partnership.

Tomorrow night, the Regina & District Labour Council is hosting our biannual fundraiser for the United Way Regina. I invite you all to come out to the Cathedral Village Community Centre because “It’s Time to Hoedown.” Tickets are $20.00 and are available from any of our Executive who will stand and give you a wave or visit the United Way table set up here at the convention.

These are just some of the ways that we at the Regina & District Labour Council work to build our community. We elect politicians that should be working to grow our communities but they have the misguided notion that prosperity comes with handouts to corporations that will create endless McJobs with little thought for the people who have to pay the bills with minimum wage incomes. The prosperity in this province, the real prosperity is not in the resources or the employers that are bribed to come to the province, it is in its people, its workers. People like my parents and their parents; our aboriginal sisters and brothers; the immigrants that come to our province; the workers like you who build the communities that we live in, work in, and grow in. That’s the real prosperity of our city and our province.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your time here in Regina this week and I wish you all a satisfying and enjoyable Convention.

Continue reading

Summer success program

We wish to thank the affiliates who were able for the quick and prompt response to our call for support for Regina United Way’s Summer Success project. United Way Regina has made a commitment Flag to improving educational outcomes for Regina’s children and youth. For many children and their families in our community, poverty is an everyday reality. Saskatchewan’s economic growth has not benefited everyone equally as it and has brought with it rising costs making it more difficult for low-income families to meet their basic necessities.

United Way Regina is working with the local school boards to coordinate a Summer Success Initiative wholesale nfl jerseys beginning in Cycling three inner-city community schools, Albert, Kitchener and Sacred Heart. This Initiative is intended to support primary school students by expanding summer learning opportunities through engaging wholesale nba jerseys and interactive literacy instruction in the summer.

The research is undeniable – the clearest path out Day of poverty begins with education. Academic studies have shown that during the summer school break, many students experience a learning wholesale nba jerseys loss. Project Summer wholesale nfl jerseys Success’s goal is to minimize the summer learning loss and close the academic achievement gap. Some estimates in research indicate that this can include at least one month of learningor more. For <a href="http://agyo cialis generika”>G children who am come from challenging backgrounds, and may not have ideal family, community and nutritional supports, these losses can be even greater and will continue to multiply over time.

The partnership between the United Way and cheap mlb jerseys Labour has its roots in the shared goals of the two movements to help people in their daily lives. This partnership is also based upon shared goals of improving the lives of all citizens.

Labour has been and will always be to an integral part of the United Way movement across Canada and Regina’s Labour community is in no exception. The participation of Regina’s Labour community, in partnership with Regina United Way, continues to show that working people care about what happens in the communities in which they live and work.

“What we wish for ourselves we desire for all”

Once again we thank you for your support.


Ken Kubian                                                                      Kirk Brown

RDLC President                                                               United Way Regina

Continue reading

I am a shift worker

I am a shift worker

I work over night and people tell me how lucky I am to have the whole day to do whatever I want.
My “weekend” is in the middle of the week and people tell me that they wish they had days off in the middle of the week.
I work evenings and I’m so lucky to get to sleep in every day or so people tell me.
I work early mornings and people tell me that I am so lucky to have so much free time when my work day ends so early.

I am a shift worker

I spend a lot of time alone as I am off work when most others are working. I cannot maintain a relationship. I am always tired as it is difficult to sleep when the neighbours are cutting their lawn or the phone keeps ringing. My health suffers as I try to live a normal life in abnormal circumstances. I miss a lot of things that go on as I am usually working when they happen. My family life is in a shambles as I haven’t the time to spend with them.

I am a shift worker

There are benefits to my work. I like my job and I can get things done like doing my shopping when businesses are in their downtimes. It also is easier to make appointments. Because I am a union worker I can take advantage of premium pay wages.

I am a shift worker

What is really difficult is trying to get people to understand. To understand that because I work nights, I have to sleep during the day. It’s not free time. To understand that having Tuesday and Wednesdays off is not on top of having Saturday and Sunday off. To understand that I still work as many hours as they do, just at unsociable times.

I am a shift worker

Continue reading

Bad idea for Saskatchewan to privatize liquor stores like B.C. and Alberta, report says

A new report claims private liquor stores in Western Canada have higher prices than publicly owned stores, while also pouring less revenue into government coffers.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute released a report Tuesday on liquor privatization in Western Canada and suggested it would be foolhardy for Saskatchewan to follow Alberta or British Columbia’s lead to privatize liquor stores…

Read more of the Globe and Mail article here!


Continue reading