Opening Statement



Sunday, 7 October 2012

James Ryan's OECTA Presidential Bid!

It's official! James Ryan has been nominated as President for this March's OECTA AGM 2013. He has notified President O'Dwyer of his intentions. Kevin has still not made it known whether he will seek re-election. However, 1st VP Chris Karuhanga has gracefully withdrawn his bid for the Presidential race, as announced here on my Labour Day blog. The call for nominations will close on January 15th.

James enjoys strong support from our OECTA units across the province, with quite possibly enough votes for a successful election bid all ready. Many of the unit Presidents have confided their support, so should their member delegates vote for James, he could well be a shoe in for President. Of course, 6 months is a life time or two in politics, so we will have to watch what happens between now and then.

James is well known for his friendly down to earth demeanour, and strong but responsive leadership style. He often demonstrated his efforts at seeking consensus during his term as our OECTA President from 2009 to 2011. He has enjoyed a good working relationship with the other Ontario labour and teacher unions. James has an astute understanding of Ontario politics.Many of us in OECTA have worked with him since the Harris years in developing and carrying out our Ontario election campaigns, and perhaps most notably, in successfully working with Liberal MPP and former Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.

In my discussion with James this morning, he made note that in the future, any PDT agreements will need direct membership ratification. Each one of us should be allowed to vote, to accept or reject a deal.  He believes we are inevitably heading towards province wide collective bargaining. The province will be insisting upon it at the PDT table from now on, as we have seen this fall, and the proper procedures will need to be put in place for that, where they don't exist today. There will without doubt be a flurry of motions to address our process issues at this spring's OECTA AGM. James believes we will need to create consensus, on a go forward basis, while addressing our members concerns, as we begin to plan for our next critical round of collective bargaining in 2013-14.

When questioned on OECTA's relations with the OFL [Ontario Federation of Labour], James speculated that they may be less judgemental of our OECTA PDT agreement than the other teacher unions currently are, in light of the new current economic realities we all face. He is certain that nobody at OECTA wanted to go the way we went with our agreement. He was not out to attack President O'Dwyer. I sense very much that he wants to rise about our current OECTA divisions, try to mend differences with our colleagues from the other unions, and create an OECTA environment of stability for the many political and collective bargaining challenges we face ahead.

History might be much kinder to President O'Dwyer than his contemporaries are, but only time will tell. For the present, I readily endorse James Ryan in his election bid. On a go forward basis, his more direct, inclusive and consensual leadership style is our best hope in overcoming the deep internal crisis OECTA faces, so we can move forward strongly united into the even more trying next two years ahead.



30 comments:

Anonymous said...

So this is the big OECTA news we've been waiting for? Spare me for feeling completely underwhelmed. I find it very, very difficult to get excited about the nomination of someone who has vigorously defended the MOU, and OECTA Provincial on Twitter for months. The return of a previous Provincial president back to the job doesn't exactly scream "change!" to all of us who feel OECTA has let us down, big time, does it?!?! David, there are many of us in this 'union' who will NEVER trust this association again, whether a friendly face rides back onto the scene to smooth over the waters or not. No, what this screams is "same old song and dance" from a union that is utterly in survival mode at this point. It screams 'desperation'. It is UNBELIEVABLE what is going on with OECTA presently.

angryoectateacherOTTAWA said...

Hi, I thought the news would be more like O'Dwyer finally gave himself a good shake and agreed to resign! I feel that this union should be dismantled. I want my money back and my union dues adjusted. I agree with the abuse of power from Exec as the poster above stated. When a union does what it pleases with complete disregard for its members, it's time to pack it in. I do not know James Ryan but the previous poster did provide some "oh oh" news. I also loved the song comments. So, did he lose last time round or give up presidency? I understand that OECTA spent 3 million getting liberals into power? Is this true? What an abuse of power. Also, at the Ottawa meet, there was one person who did agree with the MoU and this as only said as an exchange between one person from the back and the front person. I was glad that I attended and voiced my concern. I am also ashamed to be part of this union. It is so divided.
Dave, on another note, I am addicted to this blog. You sure do provide us with a lot of info. I wonder if you can rally the other local units and have a petition of sorts since you have all their contacts?
Also, so disappointing to read that the turn out in Toronto was so poor. Who would have thought? I was also bothered by the fact that undercover bodyguards were needed at one of the Q&A roadshows. This was not at the Ottawa meet. Where was it? Can that be substantiated?

Looking forward to more news!

David Chiarelli said...

Most regretfully I have had to make the judgement call to remove a number of the comments for the first time. When I checked the Blogger notice it showed me that anonmymous was usually the same person posting again and again. I think the two I left best summarize the points of view being expressed. Tut. Tut.

David Chiarelli said...

The body guard story came from a very close source.

Anonymous said...

Great news. James is the right person, at the right time for the job. James voted against ratification of the MOU and has been a vocal and strong force fighting against the accompanying legislation.

Kevin sold us out and acted with his best interests above those of the members. OECTA cannot survive another term with Kevin as president.

Anonymous said...

I hope James chooses to remember that Kathleen Wynne voted in favour of Bill 115. This can not be forgiven. OECTA needs to get out of the political party funding business.

Anonymous said...

People were asking me for updates on the MOU situation...and I was directing them here. But if you censor blog comments..what is the point of reading?...Curious George from OECTA

David Chiarelli said...

My regrets George! My aim is not to censor, far from it. The Blogmaster notified me that the same person was posting multiple Comments, and not as replies. I will certainly give you the question of doubt about this, and enquire further with the Blogmaster about what he means. Here's your comment. But please folks! We are honour system here. Solidarity!

Anonymous said...

The comments deleted were critical of James Ryan's potential return as OECTA President. Why can't someone write more than one comment in response to your blog? I hope it is not because they disagree with your opinion, David.

David Chiarelli said...

you are perfectly welcome to disagree but please be nice about it. this is a lot of work and sometimes i have to make awkward decision calls, as with the notice from the bogmaster. i suppose i should require names instead of publishing anonymous comments, but i like you to be able to speak freely without fear of retribution. the two sample comments i did leave were disagreed with me, both of them, so i hope this shows journalistic integrity. cheers!

David Chiarelli said...

pardon my spelling, grammar and caitalization. I am replying from my Iphone using the little letter keys at a very very very dull staff meeting at school:-)

Anonymous said...

Hi it's Curious George from OECTA again. No time for an anti--David campaign. James Ryan is a decent guy but not the sole answer. New people with new ideas should run for president and executive too. Please repost the comment that had parachute club's song RISE UP in it. OECTA could benefit from the democratic themes in that song!

Anonymous said...

I think James is a good choice. He has preformed well in the past and is politically astute. At this time I don't see a better choice. Rocky times call for experienced leadership.

Anonymous said...

Um "bodyguard"?

The fact that you don't even have the most minor details down accurately questions the integrity of your entire blog, which is clearly more of an attempt to bully than it is to communicate.

Sounds like TMZ.com for OECTA members, but even TMZ has credibility - Fox News and CNN may have more credibility than this blog for that matter.

This looks like a Kevin O'Dwyer smear campaign more than anything. If you have questions or concerns regarding the MOU, I suggest you contact him directly as both myself and many other members have. Hear it from the source, not through heresay.

Anonymous said...

Oh please! So David's blog is smearing O'Dwyer and bullying him too? Here's the truth : O'Dwyer did not let any OECTA member vote on the MOU he signed with McGuinty. Kinda makes me feel bullied by O'Dwyer. Did he contact me before he signed the MOU? NO. I was just thinking how kind David has been to O'Dwyer on his blog. Again, no room for disagreement...must follow the leader...not....Curious George

Anonymous said...

Kevin O'Dwyer was not interested in what OECTA members thought during the whole PDT-MOU process and its ratification - he certainly did not ask for input, nor did he put the terms to the membership before agreeing on their behalf. This blog is hardly a smear campaign as you suggest. What it is, is a place for frustrated OECTA members to vent their frustration, disappointment, and, often, disgust, with the actions of their leaders. The amount of disenfranchisement among OECTA members presently is the RESULT of those actions by their leaders. The only smearing I see is, ironically, in your own post - comparing this blog to TMZ, CNN, Fox News. What David has done with this blog is fill a void left by the radio silence by OECTA Provincial. To smear those efforts is a blatant attempt to stifle the democratic voice of OECTA members.

Marie said...

David, it's a real shame that some don't take the time to read through your entire blog and realize the lengths you DO go to show "both sides of the debate". I've poured over your blog since I discovered it this summer and see how hard you work to show everyone's opinion - including those who disagree with you - and you do it respectfully too. I can only imagine how much work it is to keep this blog up to date and can't thank you enough for doing so (since it's the only way I've been able to get any information about the MoU). Shame on those who insinuate that you are anything but honest. Frankly if you don't like what David's saying, claim he's a bully or that his site is like TMZ and with no credibility...feel free NOT to check in or comment for that matter - especially if you claim it's mere gossip or disingenuous. I'd rather not read YOUR bullying comments Anonymous, or at least have the guts to write your name.

Anonymous said...

Curious George nominates David Chiarelli and Richard Brock as candidates for OECTA provincial president. They don't monkey around in defending members' rights.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Executive Ryan would have had the opportunity to vote on the MOU. He has been quite vigorous on twitter supporting it. How did he vote at the meeting where the Exec endorsed it?

David Chiarelli said...

My best guest would be that James was one of the three who voted against the MOU on provincial executive, but I would need to confirm. He has attended many of the MOU and Bill 115 protests + stood outside Brotens office during the protest there, waving our OECTA flag too. He was also active in the K-W by-election.

Anonymous said...

Hi.....MOU VOTE....

James Ryan voted NO on MOU.
Sonia DiPetta voted NO on MOU.
Julie Pauletig voted NO on MOU.
Kevin O'Dwyer voted Yes on MOU.
Marshall Jarvis voted Yes on MOU.
Chris Karuhanga voted Yes on MOU...but now says if he had to do it over again he would vote NO on MOU...(at Halton OECTA Q&A meeting)
Two other people voted YES on MOU....why hasn't this vote result been officially released????

Anonymous said...

Me again.....the vote on the MOU was 5 YES to 3 NO.......That leaves 2nd vp Ann Hawkins voting YES on the MOU and 3rd VP Warren Grafton voting YES on the MOU....assuming they were at the table. Correct me officially if I am inaccurate.

Anonymous said...

All of these votes should have been made public immediately, especially given that WE were not allowed to vote for ourselves. The endorsement vote results (42-24) of each unit president should also have been made public. All of this secrecy only heightens the feeling by OECTA members that we have been absolutely railroaded by our leaders.

David Chiarelli said...

The "in camera" arguments carry little moral weight or persuasion. We elect representatives. They should be directly accountable to us for their decisions on our behalf.

David Chiarelli said...

Also I would think Marshall didn't vote on executive as he is not an elected member.Kevin was absent for the vote.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad commentary as to the complete lack of transparency and accountability of OECTA provincial to its dues paying members who pay their salaries (which are also not publically released to members...why not?), that we, as OECTA members, have to guess as to who voted YES on the MOU? And OECTA President Kevin O'Dwyer absent for such an important vote that it couldn't be sent to the membership for a vote? Explain...please.

permarev said...

My name's Tim Heffernan and I'm an OSTTF activist in District 12 (Toronto). This post has nothing to do with the above discussion but I don't know where else to place it.

There's a group of Toronto rank and file teachers, from OSSTF and ETFO, that have been organizing different actions/events related to education and Bill 115. The most notable one was a piece of political theatre at Queen's Park on the eve of the passing of Bill 115 - "Funeral for Collective Bargaining"

On Wednesday, it’s time for more political theatre, this time a wedding. It is described on Facebook as follows:

“When it came to embracing Conservative ideas, Dalton McGuinty once played hard-to-get, but with the passing of Bill 115 he has finally come out of the political closet, embraced his Conservative rival, and shown where his heart truly lies.

So now it's time to make it official and have a wedding! Yes, Tim and Dalton are getting married. Mike Harris has kindly agreed to officiate. Laurel Broten will be the Maid of Honour, and the adorable Rob Ford will be the ring bearer.

In a nod to older, more Conservative cultural customs, this marriage has been arranged by the families: TD Bank, BMO, CIBC, and Scotiabank.”

We cordially invite all OECTA members to the event and we would particularly like an OECTA member (preferably one opposed to your MOU) to speak briefly at the open mic session.

The Facebook event is officially titled “Tim and Dalton’s Big Fat Wedding.”

I can be contacted at: permarev@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Why are OECTA members so quiet when betrayed by the Ontario government and their own union????

David Chiarelli said...

All is not well. There are groups of resistance across the province meeting and organzing the effort. I would rather be loud and proactive myself. Outside of my blog though, I don't think many of our members are getting much information. Then there is the whole issue of direction, and help mobilizing. I can't believe this is actually happening!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, David,
Thank you for your response. BTW, I find your blog excellent and up-to-date. It took me 2 months before I was able to comment here as your "robot" check is quite hard to read.
I hope your members get it together soon!

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