Community News Update - July 29, 2022

Dear Community,

Yesterday, bookings opened for children under-5 to be vaccinated for COVID-19. These vaccines are safe and effective, and I encourage everyone with young children to book an appointment as soon as possible. Appointments can be booked online here https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

Global Black Pride has touched down in Toronto! On Wednesday I attended a beautiful opening ceremony for Global Black Pride, a series of events celebrating Black 2SLGBTQIA+ lives. I shared my experience as a loud & PROUD Black, queer woman, celebrating alongside LGBTQIA2S+ leaders, local community members, friends and chosen family.

Huge THANKS goes to Global Black Pride for choosing Toronto to host your first in-person, activist led series of events and creating the SPACE to reflect, engage and CELEBRATE our lives & our love this week. There will be plenty of opportunities this weekend to engage, reflect and organize to ensure our lives matter 365 days a year! You can register here.

We all know that our kids have had a rough time during the pandemic. There have been repeated disruptions to the school year and remote and hybrid learning models that everyone struggled with. It’s important to remember that even before the pandemic, the education system was being badly mismanaged by the Ford government.
 
We were all reminded of this by Minister Lecce’s recently announced five-point plan for public schools. This ‘new’ plan was actually just a re-announcement of the same plan the Conservatives had already proposed. This will result in 1-billion less spent on education over the next three years, when adjusted for inflation.
 
Lecce’s only new idea was for teachers to do more work supervising extra-curricular activities for no additional pay. Our schools need better-paid teachers and smaller classes. The Ford government’s plan wasn’t good enough the first time they announced it, and it still isn’t good enough today. https://www.ontariondp.ca/news/lecce-and-conservatives-refuse-increase-education-funding-get-kids-back-track

I would also like to let any union members know about an interesting training opportunity. The Canadian Labour Congress is holding a Domestic Violence at Work Facilitator Training from September 12 to 13 in Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Participants will develop knowledge, skills and expertise on domestic violence at work. They will learn about the role of unions and how the labour movement is working to address it. They will acquire the skills required to educate union representatives to recognize and respond to domestic violence at work through our two-day Training for Union Representatives, as well as deliver other modules and workshops suited for your organization.
 
The CLC is asking affiliated to nominate experienced labour educators with advanced facilitation skills, knowledge of women’s issues and/or domestic violence, as well as experience in one or more of the following areas: Health and Safety, Steward Roles, Conflict Resolution, Union Counselling or Referral, Labour Community Advocate, and Women’s Advocate. They are looking for people of any gender who demonstrate qualities of resiliency, confidence and empathy, with the ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment.
 
Please get in touch with your union if you are interested. They can send the names and contact information of your recommended participants to [email protected], along with information about how they meet the suggested criteria outlined above. For any questions about the training, please contact Lindy Van Vliet at [email protected] Applications are due by August 5, there will be a small fee.
  
Program Information:
Dates: September 12 and 13, 2022
Tuition: $225 (tuition includes lunches)
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
This education series will be at the heart of our initiative to address domestic violence at work. With your help, we will continue to build this ground-breaking program.
 
Please note that since Monday, August 1 is Civic holiday, the next e-mail update will be on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

In Solidarity,
 
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

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