Opening Statement

Sunday 26 August 2012

Ontario Politics: The Legislation Hits the Fan!

[More news links added for today Saturday Sept.1st!]

This promises to be a very interesting, perhaps even critical week in Ontario politics! The legislature resumes on Monday August 27 with a Liberal "anti-strike" or"Putting Students First Act", depending upon one's political perspective. Major over riding changes to the Ontario Labour Act are on the table, as the minority Liberal government goes toe to toe with the opposition Conservative and the NDP party, to try get enough votes to pass it into law, before classes resume on September 4th. I will continue to add news links here in this blog all week as events unfold.

Saturday Sept.1

Sneak preview of next ETFO Welcome Back Campaign Ad:

Province reaches deal with 3000 Education Assistants

This Canadian Civil Liberties Legislative Critique is about as succint as it gets:

Photo leaked: Top secret CUPE meeting with Premier! You bet! See:

K-W Record won't endorse Liberals in by-elections. See:

IMHO Thomas Walkom knocks one out of the ball park with this labour day piece. See if you agree:

Friday August 31

News Flash: Brotten announces last minute deal with 3000 educational assistants. Links to follow.

Education Minister remains committed to class size caps:

OECTA North Eastern preident slams Catholic Trustees, calls strike vote:

Help Wanted: A politico who can think. Party Stalwarts need not apply. See opinion piece:

Speculation K-W by-election could be a 3 way race. See:

McGuinty + Horwath campaign in K-W. See:

Review: ETFO Welcome Back Ad #1: Good primer for the converted + other labour types like us. Regretfully collective bargaining emphasis unlikely to resonate with public who could care less +/or have no idea what it means. Nice try tho. Next? See:

Thursday August 30

From ETFO, a sneak preview of their Welcome Back Media Campaign:

Canadian Civil Rights Association squares off with MOE over constitutionality of new legislation. Includes responses from the opposition parties

See video of the press conference:

Ontario Nurses support teachers at Queen's Park. See their video

NDP introduces bill to ban bonuses for public sector executives and managers. Fair is fair:

Windsor Essex interim supervisor signs MOU:

OCSTA Catholic trustees put on a smiley face for Christ! PS: Actions speak louder than words.

AEFO Press release on ratification of MOU:

OECTA posts excellent fact sheet explaining new fair hire and transparency language in OECTA MOU. Now, let's hear OCSTA sing holy songs about why we don't need this:

Wednesday August 29

News Flash: Canadian Civil Liberties Association News Conference to comment on legislation concerns tomorrow:

Here's a good scoop:

Read McGuinty's letter to Hudak:

The Queen's Park Education Rally:

The Star reports on the Rally:

So does the Globe

Hamilton Spectator evokes the Harris years:

Hamilton link to photos and video of the protest:

City News reports:

ETFO takes centre stage at Queen's Park

ETFO Summary and photos/ videos of Rally:

ETFO reports teachers from across Canada joined protest:

ETFO members knows how to message using Youtube:

ETFO President Sam Hammond delivers a barn burner of a speech:

ETFO Durham at Queen's Park:

In other legislative news:

Star columnist Reg Cohn argues McGuinty has come full circle back to the Harris years with PDT/ legislative political gambit:

And back at the OECTA office:

NB!!! Please know Past President James Ryan as well as Local OECTA unit exec and teachers from Toronto, York, Halton. Windsor, Huron Perth,Dufferin Peel and more attended, I should think on their own accord, as no official members notice was sent out that most/ any of us are aware ofKudos for the leadership and principled stand!! 

Back to the Catholic school boards. They doth protest too loudly? Plenty o' disingenuity? You bet! For a litany of sins see:

OECTA rebukes Catholic schools boards and opposition party on teacher professionalism and assessment. Well done! See:

Know Thy Enemy: The Toronto Sun

Article seems pretty straightforward but note key word emphasis. They are rubbing their hands in glee:

Christina Blizzard knows the Sun bent but can be a worthwhile read. Sometimes yes, sometimes no:

The venom starts to ooze:

Meanwhile at Windsor Essex Catholic:

Press release as omsbudsman Norbert Hartman steps in to investigate Windsor Essex Catholic:

Thomas Walkom considers politics of the takeover and draws analogy between now and the NDP in the 1990's:

Other worthwhile reads:

Colin MacKay from the Belleville Intelligencer discusses broader implications of new legislation:

What next? See:

More below! More to come!

Tuesday August 28

Late Breaking News!!! Ministry of Education Appoints Supervisor to Manage Finances of Windsor Catholic Board. See:

Meanwhile back at Queen's Park:

CBC overview of the situation:

Ditto the Globe:

The Star provides overview on seemingly Liberal Conservative accord to pass legislation:

Liberal MPP breaks ranks. Joins protesters out front Queen's Park:

The Sun reports. Will Hudak

Top Educators point out Tim Hudak's plain wrong "facts":

Hudak is demanding concessions so that "management rights" will be preserved. Fair Hire Language and Teacher professional assessment clauses will be removed for public school unions so education system does not go to ruin. If you believe this maybe I can interest you in buying some private property in Cuba?!? Catholic trustees and principals, V.Ps expecting same break, but no such luck. By the way, in the "good fight" pick your allies carefully. There are a lot of wolves out there in sheep's clothing cheering along with us in the anti legislation fight:

ETFO press release seems to suggest these terms are not necessary with public boards. Maybe so, I wouldn't know, but see my previous blogs on Catholic trustees, Principals, and Vice Principals. These MOU terms are a very good start for many of our OECTA units dealing with the God awful problems that we have often had over the years with our Catholic boards, however one might elsewhere feel about the OECTA PDT MOU:

Six busloads of protesters head from London to Queen's Park Education Rally. In another aside, early reports suggest 5000 teachers showed up. Some OECTA teachers from Toronto and York attend, including Thanks for showing leadership in taking a principled stand on the legislation for us James!:

ETFO sees unwarranted legislation and disrespect for teachers are driving many away from the teaching profession in Ontario:

Sudbury unions hold own anti-legislation rally:

Today's Queen's Park Education Protest Photo Gallery:

Rally sign of our legislature times. Please take heed! See:

Rally photo posted on Twitter:

Ditto. More:

Ditto. Ditto.

McGuinty's Liberals get a report card. Got to love this one:

Really nice shot from Queen's Park balcony. Estimate now says 5-7000 protesters. Truth usually lies somewhere inbetween:

Nice close up:

Count them for yourself ;-)

Looks like a very well organized rally to me:

Putting bullies first?

Hey! What's this? An OECTA flag too?!? Oh Oh! Somebody is in trouble now!!! :-)

Meanwhile Back on the By-election Front: 

Here's a video link to the Kitchener Waterloo By election Forum:

Nanos Poll shows provincial Liberal and Conservative in dead heat, with NDP slipping 6 points. Party leaders recent positions and performance also find find Andrea Horwath falling behind. Remember, not everyone will see the current teacher legislative debate the same as we do. Far from it it! We need to be aware of this at all times, as the war of words fly :

And in other news....

Interesting article on how unions get blamed for economic woes, and why this is patently wrong:

Meanwhile back int he USA, Republican spin control on Canadian politics changes direction. "Spin control" refers to what is referred to and why in reporting an event. Few, if any public relations campaigns ignore this basic strategy, including those by both good guys and bad alike, to create "convenient truths" for public consumption. Certainly more nefarious for the Romney Republicans though. Seems Canada is suddenly redeemed in Republican US election eyes:

More links coming! More links below!

Monday August 27

New Media Approach to Organizing Protest Against the Legislation:

ETFO full page ad "Queens Park Rally For Education" appeared in today's newspapers:

ETFO's bus and car pooling info for rides to Toronto was posted today on Twitter:

ETFO used it's Facebook Page to help organize for Tuesday's Rally reminds me of the ENO [Education Network of Ontario during the Harris Protests. Past OECTA James Ryan is listed as going:

Reeves Report seems to  be promising live Tweets from Queens Park.

A Twitter connection to a Photobucket Protest sign that could be used at the Rally:

Leslie Wolf posts a brief sick days lesson for information purposes: is circling a petition on Twitter for Education Minister Laurel Broten to apologize or resign:

If I can find anything from official OECTA I will post it here too! An unofficial salute to all our union brothers and sisters in ETFO, OSSTF and CUPE, from my blogsite, that I am sure is shared by many of our teachers!

In The News:

A Canada Press summary of the news too date, includes a quote from Tim Hudak lamenting that the Liberal's have "handed the keys to our schoolhouse to union leaders" to the teachers. Watch for him to rally to the defence of the trustees and COCP's "administrative rights concerns". Bizarre!:

The Morning Post Exchange reviews Hudak's about faces and warns he will be out for a "mandatory wage freeze for all public servant" Great shades of the Harris Years from Mike's right hand man [boy?]:

OSSTF Press release promises all strike votes across province will be postponed, except with the units
facing conciliation:

Orillia Packet opinion piece dispels a lot of teacher disinformation that's often being taken for "fact" these days:

Toronto Star columnist consider the Liberal-NDP-Conservative minority government dalliances:

Follow Up: OECTA TSU President Jansen's membership letter on how he "voted not to endorse" MOU at COP, as posted on :

More news links coming! More below!

Sunday August 26th

OSSTF invites all ETFO and CUPE members to come to a protest rally at Queens Park from 12-1:30 on Tuesday August 28th:

ETT [Elementary Teachers of Ontario] notifies it's members. For a map, more info, and to hear the telephone message their President sent all the members go to:

So far, OECTA is conspicuous by it's silence.....

Two different opinion pieces on the political machinations of the Liberal Legislation, can be found at:

The Belleville Intelligencer

The Toronto Star:

The plot thickens: Meanwhile in Tim Hudak's [s]Tory land, the Conservatives make it known they will support the legislation but will want some important changes made:

A bloggin' "Just an Ordinary FSL Teacher!" posts a "Letter to Mr. McGuinty!" that's a well worth read:

Storms, storms, everywhere storms: in Ontario Politics, in Miami Beach.....

More news links coming! More news links below!


Anonymous said...

"OECTA executive meets regarding "important" collective bargaining issues" - ha ha ha! Kind of like closing the barn doors once you've given all the cows away, isn't it Kevin?

Anonymous said...

Great information. Keep up the good work.

The one item that puzzles me in the OECTA roadmap that will soon apply to all teachers is the restructuring of the pay grid for future sustainability. What exactly does that mean? It seems to me that it could mean a very, very big concession on the part of teachers with respect to pay. Is there more in the MOU that outlines where this is going? Is it just extending the number of years (say to 15)?

Kulture Kult Ink said...

The Grid Restructuring is very vague and scary indeed. The unconfirmed number of years I've heard kicking around for the top of the scale is 15. No saying if it will be grandfathered or not. Also imagine what happens if Hudak forms the government and makes the decisions from here on in using the new legislation! Mike Harris must be enjoying this!

Anonymous said...

The 'funniest' part to Harris would be that OECTA actually agreed to it.

Anonymous said...

The Grid Restructuring part is bad enough. Just wait until you see what happens to the pension benefits of working teachers going forward. You want scary? THAT's scary.

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