Opening Statement



Thursday, 20 September 2012

OECTA Sudbury Letter + Teacher Weekend Protest Guide 2 !


OECTA Sudbury Breaks Ranks/ O'Dwyer At Oct 2 TSU Q+A!

[Monday Sept 24 news links + TSU Committee Reports Continue Below........................]

OECTA President Kevin O'Dwyer at TSU MOU Q+A Oct 2

IMPORTANT NOTICE: OECTA President Kevin O'Dwyer HAS confirmed he will be at the Oct 2 OECTA TSU MOU Q+A meeting to be held at St. Basil's, with our President Rene Jansen. There are also TSU Q+A meetings Oct 1 at Senator O'Connor, and Oct 3 at Marshall McLuhan CSS, but to ask Kevin questions, you will need to attend Oct 2.

David Church was chief negotiator for the MOU. He is not on our OECTA provincial executive. He will be at the other meetings. David is a good guy to ask technical questions about the terms of the deal, but I doubt he can comment on OECTA provincial executive's political decision to agree.

Wonder if Kevin reads my blog? Alot of our members are feeling like they have been muzzled and boondoggled since the end of June. This is causing deep rifts and a very strong sense of betrayal by our union. This is a very, very, very bad situation for us all to be in. Blaming it on lies and misinformation is not an acceptable answer.



Sunday Sept 25

Sudbury Unit Breaks Ranks Against OECTA Agreement!!!

Angry Oecta Sudbury President Kent MacNeill releases statement that his unit has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour Board against OECTA Provincial Executive for failing in their duty of representation. He explains what the unit has all ready done to try to rectify the situation directly with OECTA Provincial, and their response. Kent also claims COP was told Provincial would ratify the deal regardless of how they voted. The press release is reprinted below. The highlights are my own. See:

OECTA Sudbury Press Release: In the wake of the Memorandum of Understanding negotiated with the Ontario Government and ratified by the OECTA Provincial Executive with neither input nor vote by the local membership, the OECTA Sudbury Elementary Bargaining Unit voted unanimously to file a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board against the Provincial Executive for failing in their duty of fair representation. Internal means of discipline investigation were attempted, but the response from the OECTA Provincial Office was that the internal discipline investigation procedure did not apply to members of the Provincial Executive acting in that capacity. Essentially, they may act outside the by-laws and procedures in the Handbook to which the other 45 000 OECTA members must adhere. In a letter to the General Secretary of OECTA, the Sudbury Elementary Unit President alleged that by negotiating and ratifying the MofU with the government, over thirty By-Laws and procedures contained in the OECTA Handbook were breached. “We believe that in our society, democracy should reign supreme. Everyone should have the right to vote. Everyone should have the right to give input into their working conditions. The MofU took away these fundamental rights from my members. Even worse, my members lost significantly more under this MofU than any other unit in the province, as stated by the Provincial President, yet they cannot refuse to accept this MofU. In fact, when the Presidents from all OECTA Units were called down to a Special Council of Presidents Meeting in July, we were told that even if the Council should fail to endorse the MofU, it was ratified by the Provincial Executive and so was a done deal,” said Kent MacNeill, President OECTA Sudbury Elementary Unit.

Please also see my earlier blog on OECTA Halton President Richard Brock's opposition to the deal: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/08/brock-breaks-oecta-cone-of-silence.html

When will the levy break? My guess is to expect the trickle of simliar actions by other OECTA units to turn into a fludd in the weeks ahead. Maybe I'm wrong, but if my reader members' "Comments" under each of my blogs is any indication, the current of discontent runs deep!

And in other protest news:

Excellent "you are there" Youtube video of the Liz Sandals protest. Love the soundtrack. Great editing + visuals too. Not too long or boring. Very effective + top notch! See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qn9Vc5rHvc&feature=youtu.be

Star Editorial Opinion piece angry teachers won't volunteer for extracurriculars. What does voluntary mean? Duh. Seehttp://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1260777--ontario-public-school-teachers-take-frustration-out-on-kids?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

See Broten and OSSTF President duke it out on Focus Ontario video, with John Tory + Leslie Roberts: http://www.globaltoronto.com/video/mcguinty+vs+teachers/video.html?v=2282522442#focusontario/video/full+episodes

David Doorey's "The Charter + The Law of Work: A Beginners Guide." [19 page pdf]. If you really want to be in the know you better start reading. See: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2150279

Monday Sept 24

Know thy enemy. The Toronto Sun begins it's venomous attacks on teachers in earnest. Those of us who were around during the Harris years will remember this well. Editorial cartoons showing us as lazy, selfish and incompetent are on their way. Every right wing kook in Ontario will be writing letters to the editor drooling at the mouth. In today's attack, we are accused of brainwashing our studenhts to protest for us, and they don't have any choice anyway, because thy are afraid we will fail them, parents too. See: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/21/teachers-arent-protesting-for-the-kids

Durham letter to the editor claims extracurriculars do not an education make: http://www.durhamregion.com/opinion/letters/article/1506915--students-are-getting-a-full-educational-experience

Parents for Education primer provides an up to date balanced view of the current education crisis for your average reader: http://www.peopleforeducation.ca/pfe-news/answers-to-questions-about-the-current-unrest-in-education/

Rabble.ca analyses the failed McGuinty gambit to turn on teachers thinking it would gain him more public support: http://rabble.ca/news/2012/09/responding-mcguintys-attacks-labour-why-we-cant-just-roll-over

Windsor Star story pops the propaganda ballon that teachers are overpaid, and responsible for the deficit:
http://www.windsorstar.com/blame+public+sector/7288572/story.html

ETFO strike votes across Ontario pack members in. Most support is in the upper 90% range. Take a gander at one such meeting in Ottawa Carleton. Are our OECTA members content to just sit back and just do nothing? Please see:  http://twitter.yfrog.com/g06nrpoj

OSSTF is experiencing the same result. Here's the press release from Bluewater, where members voted 97% in favour of strike action. Will we be good Catholic boys + girls? Just keep on going to teach at school if something happens? That's the plan! It could get tense in the days ahead. Read + think hard
for yourself: http://www.osstf.on.ca/MR-Sep-24-2012-04

This student protest video has gone viral on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AVJqApY_vbY#!

A young student's letter to Mr. McGuinty. Just plain folks love this. Definitely stirs the cockles of one's heart. Very well done. Very effective. Mom + Dad should be proud. Please give the little lad a pat on the head for us all. Share: https://twitter.com/profmush/status/248948515798147072/photo/1

Saturday Sept 22


This cyber flyer for the Student Queen's Park Rally in support of teachers is available to retweet at: https://twitter.com/TheGrandSolo/status/249272320840044546/photo/1

Putting Students First is getting out the message from students that our Ontario teachers put students first. Looks like the Premier's media office is following them now: http://pbs.twimg.com/media/A3X-0JzCQAAx-cm.jpg

A CTV video of student strikes in Vaughan: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-students-protest-ontario-teacher-job-action/article4542689/?from=4561078

To read this lawyer's blog on the constutionality of Bill 115 see: http://seanbawden.blogspot.ca/2012/09/whats-really-being-put-first.html

Regg Cohn comments on Dalton's strategy + alliances at Queen's Park. Also on tweaking his tough guy act vis a vis "tough love" but "no grenades" with the other public servants. I'm not convinced it's going to help the Liberals. With all the ongoing teacher protests, who's he kidding but himself? He's blown it big time with his strongest supporters, and is paying the price. Now if only my own affiliate OECTA would get off it's duff and go kick him where it hurts over Bill 115, for starters. See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1260966--cohn-once-more-with-tough-love-from-dalton-mcguinty

Public school boards investigating legal means to force teachers to attend parent/ curriculum nights. See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/boards-may-force-teachers-to-attend-parents-nights/article4561078/?cmpid=rss1&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

People 4 Education's Crisis Primer is at: http://www.peopleforeducation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/People-for-Education-the-education-situation-in-a-nutshell1.pdf

An opinion piece on extracurriculars, followed by an online poll for 2 year strike ban. Vote: 
http://www.guelphreview.ca/2012/09/19/students-caught-in-the-middle

Rumour: Sudbury OECTA is taking Ontario Provincial to the Labour Board. Can anyone confirm?

More to come. I've just kept  adding links below too, where appropriate......


Friday Sept 21

ETT staging Toronto wide protest outside Lib MPP and Minister offices today. For more details see:
http://ett.ca/media-centre/whats-new/let-ontario-liberals-know-well-never-forget-september-21-2012

OSSTF D10 teachers vote 99% for strike action in Lampton Kenthttp://www.theobserver.ca/2012/09/21/teachers-vote-99-for-strike-mandate

Finance Minister Duncan says teachers should "leave students out" of contract dispute with extracurricular boycott and praises automaker union negotiationsFiance Minister Dwight Duncan acccuses teachers of using students.

Protesters stop traffic in downtown Guelph: https://twitter.com/tk1ng/status/249242678326337536/photo/1

Teachers and EA's protest outside Lib MPP Gen Murray's office today: https://twitter.com/Leslie_Wolfe/status/249245381072941056/photo/1

Young protester has a message for Education Minister: https://twitter.com/OSSTFdiva/status/249265194608500736/photo/1

Lots of photos from large Guelph protest outside MPP Liz Sandles office today: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111381450809947186802/posts/MVcxXh6Ftqs

A recording of TVO's Steve Paikin's Sept 21st live chat on Queen's Park verses the Teachers is available here: http://theagenda.tvo.org/blog/agenda-blogs/live-chat-queens-park-vs-teachers-friday-sept-21-130-pm-edt

Student protests, walkouts and rallies across the GTA listed today to protest 115. Silent treatment in one Gr.8 class because they can't go outside: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/education/article/1260122--students-plan-to-protest-loss-of-extracurriculars-with-mouths-shut

CP24 reports on student walk outs today in support of teachers + democratic rights: http://www.cp24.com/brampton-students-protest-liberal-teacher-legislation-1.966596

Black Out: A great student move to wear black on Black Fridays, to protest Bill 115. Easy to do. See: https://twitter.com/i/#!/search/?q=%23SLSSBlackOut&src=hash

Durham Board decides not to punish students for "orderly" walk out protest: http://www.durhamregion.com/community/education/article/1506629--no-punishment-for-clarington-student-protest

100's of Bowmanville High and Clarington Central Public students march on city hall and MPP John O'toole's office Sept 20th in support of teachers. See: http://www.durhamregion.com/article/1505880--what-about-us-clarington-students-protest-bill-115

100's of students walk out as protests continue across Grey Bruce in support of teachers. Scroll down the 923 News page for this: http://923thedock.com/local-news/

The Kingston Whig [?!] reports on student movement's use of social media to mobilize protests. Wow! These kids are good! This is a leading edge new wave protest for sure Watch them to see how it's done.
We have much to learn. The Sixties in 2012? For starters read: http://www.thewhig.com/2012/09/20/students-use-social-media-to-support-teachers

Got a Smart Board at school? Many excellent documentaries available for free to teach very relevant social, politcal and other relevant issues to the new generation of young protesters. Thanks to Rob D'Addario for the Twitter tip! See: http://www.freedocumentaries.org/  Also tres kool: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/watch-online/ Ditto: http://paper.li/humanrightfilms/1294921398

Reality fix: The sad truth for  many: Parents face legal liabilities + must closely supervise and often hold activities off school property if they decide to run extracurriculars themselves. That's the way it legally works folks, and teachers regularly volunteer for this all the time: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/education/article/1260103--parents-told-they-can-t-take-over-cross-country-teams-from-teachers

Surly Ottawa Sun editor snarls at citizen letter blaming boards and government for underfunded and unpaid teacher extracurricular activities. Teachers to "keep in mind it's the public that pays their wages." Duh! These are voluntary duties above + beyond what we are paid for dummy! Read + weep at the Sun's mentality. It's only going ot get worse: http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/09/20/letters-to-the-editor-sept-21-2

OSSTF Media Advisory: Halton teacher protest outside Lib MPP's Kevin Flynn's office today [Fri] at 4pm: http://www.osstf.on.ca/MA-Sep-20-2012-01

Change.org petition for premier to reverse Bill 115 because of no extracurriculars: https://www.change.org/petitions/protest-bill-115-the-putting-students-first-act-and-support-teachers?utm_campaign=action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_so

CUPE President Fred Hahn  + NDP Leader Andrea Horwath speak out aganst public service wage freeze: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/education/article/1260103--parents-told-they-can-t-take-over-cross-country-teams-from-teachers

Reg Cohn takes neo realistic stab at union concessions during tough economic times. I'm going to look at the OECTA deal from the same perspective in an upcoming blog. Many will disagree but it is important to consider the protest from different points of view, to have any depth or balance to your arguments. Do we educate or indoctrinate? Hold your nose as you read, if need be.If the argument is wrong, well then, you need to be able to explain why, to have any credibility beyond the party faithful. Neo real is a pretty hard take. Hard nosed and often quite brutal and nasty. Breath deep. See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1259527--cohn-how-some-unions-make-the-best-and-worse-of-tough-times

Guelph Record reader disputes Cohns arguments against extracurricular protest in earlier column: http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion/letters/article/801653--teacher-dispute-has-broader-ramifications

Bogger + history teacher Sean O'Conner lists reasons why the OECTA MOU negotiations were a good idea: http://www.goingupfield.blogspot.ca/

Apparantly a special OETA Provincial letter was sent members at the Halton schools in President Richard Brock's unit regarding Bill 115. I need to confirm. Anyone have a pdf copy?


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I love your blog. Thank you for doing such a great job keeping all teachers - ETFO, OSSTF, and OECTA - up to date on what is happening in the province. I am an ETFO teacher but did read a comment about Sudbury OECTA filing a complaint against your provincial leaders. Then I saw what appears to be a copy of the Sudbury OECTA press release on the Ontario Teachers' Network:

http://www.ontarioteachersnetwork.com/index.php/component/kunena/5-comments/40-oecta-silence-is-compliance?Itemid=0

Quite frankly, if the leaders of ETFO had agreed to such a deal without gaining input and ratification from our union members first, I would be furious.

Take care,

Christina

Anonymous said...

Well done, OECTA-Sudbury! The time to make Provincial answer for their actions is NOW. Speak up, people!

Anonymous said...

I also commend Sudbury for taking a stand. Well done! If only we can get Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay, and the rest of the North to follow.

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