Friday, April 30, 2010

The 90-year old nun, the President of DERAH, the one who is the defacto person responsible for the likely demise of DERAH, fired Lily Loncar on Tuesday. No explanation was given Lily. At board of directors meetings Sister Elizabeth was always adamant that the directors never interfered with Kim and staff: it was in Kim's purview. This is a first. Under the law an employer does not have to give a reason for termination as long as the employer is willing to pay severance. And getting severance can take forever. Everyone in the DTES knows Lily. She has worked in the DTES for eighteen years: she is the frontline support person at DERA. It is time that the community does something. DERA is the community so the community should stop these senseless firings of activists. You would think that all the fired employees would get together and support their fellow workers; but no. Let the union with its corrupt governance look after the problem. Not once over the years did the Union ever contact a director of DERA or make public their disgust with Kim. Speaking directly to the Board is against an unwritten protocal wherein the Union only deals with the executive director. So union members lives are disupted, reputations are tainted and everything is covered up by the effluxion of time. The employees get fired without explanation; six months later the Union gets them severance; and the employees are never heard of again. When I spoke to those that got fired by Kim two years ago, they all said they wanted to protect DERA as they wanted DERA to survive so they won't do anything. Like Anna Hunter said "what happens in DERA, stays in DERA." Now they can speak out they say nothing. I am nauseated by most of them. The employees could have striked on their own if the Board or CUPE won't do anything. DERA isn't just a job; it is a social responsibility and not doing anything is treason.

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