Opening Statement

Friday 30 November 2012

Media Alert: Some end of the month thoughts!

[Updated Noon Saturday]

Media Alert: Some thoughts on strategy and messaging. Some old, some new. Let's refocus a little bit before we get on with the December news links starting tomorrow: 

Education Minister Laurel Broten takes a karaoke break! Want to guess what she's singing?!? Visit my Comments link below........................... ;-)

The OSSTF strike threat should finally cut threw the ridiculous OLP media spin that the provinces MOU plans for teachers are unfolding as they should. The MOE's December 31st MOU deadline fast approaches. All is definitely not well. Can the government simply bully it's way out of this one vis a vis Bill 115 without getting a really bad black eye or two.? Hopefully both ETFO and OSSTFs strategy and communication departments have thought this through very, very carefully.Will they seize the momentum or just set themselves up for a knock out punch? It's damn risky, but we do live in dangerous times! I'm going to go against the odds and  bet on the public school unions. Even should the MOE force the MOU on everybody, they are going to pay very dearly for it. Here's the Toronto Stars latest report from the Liberal bully pit:

Problems ahead? Latest Forum Research Poll shows majority support teachers, but a majority also don't approve job actions and strikes. Article does get it's unions mixed up. Significant? See: Latest Forum Teacher Strike Poll

McGuinty education speech totally omits labour strife. There is a very serious disconnect with reality  in the OLP. Eh? Oh yes in OECTA Provincial too. See:

Thomas Walkom's Toronto Star column succinctly explains the "better to go down fighting" argument I was discussing on my blogsite earlier this week. I'd add, "Take down an honour guard with you!" See:

Metro News sticks to tied, old "schools on brink of chaos" argument requiring MOE intervention. Claims ETFO is planning on a one day strike. I've heard that rumour too, but also of rotating strikes. Would be great to be a fly on the wall down at the ETFO war room eh? See:

Are Ontario's Public Elementary schools teetering on the edge of chaos?? ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

PC Education Critic Lisa McLeod considers ETFO's actions politically "shrewd". The National Posts Scott Stinson thinks they will backfire in the public eye. See:

MOE Broten approves the OSSTF tentative contracts with Ottawa, Kawartha, Lakehead, Durham and Simcoe boards for ratification purposes. So far this week the contracts have been turned down 2:1 by the membership. This has been a real public optics debacle for the ministry. It's different when the rank and file is sending out a resounding no! Can't blame that on "barking union leaders" as the Sun claims eh? See:

Late News Tip: OSSTF Hamilton Wentworth teachers rejected their contract today! Voted no! Thames Valley votes next week. Still no voting numbers being shown for any of these ratification votes or am I missing something [?!] Por que no/ Why not? I personally am quite pleased the contracts are being rejected but it's only fair and transparent to show the results! BTW This link is very cheesy. It keeps trying to re-direct you to the newspapers Christmas shopping section. See: OSSTF Hamilton Wentworth Rejects Contract

OSSTF Upper Grand contract ratification irregularities being cited! Executive officers resigning as accusations fly! Controversy focus on violation of proper ratification procedures as per by laws and constitution! See: OSSTF Upper Grand Ratification Challenged

OSSTF President Ken Coran claims there is a clause in Bill 115 that would allow it to be repealed by an Order in Council. I've heard this before too. He urges the OLP to use do so to avoid more chaos. See:

OSSTF's Ken Coran will hold a press conference Monday on their next actions. It will be held at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel at 3pm. Details at:

Grits bounce back into 2nd place behind the Tories edging out the NDP in the latest poll. The leadership race is sure to give the OLP a big bump just by dominating the news headlines. Don't doubt for a minute this was a big consideration behind McGuinty suddenly resigning this fall. See:

Read the Forum Poll tea leaves for yourself to try to figure out what's going on:

Going for the top? OLP Leaders Forum at Canadian Club by $ ticket $ only. Moderator is Steve Paikin. I know Steve is top notch and the Canadian Club provides a challenging forum but it just somehow rubs me the wrong way as being rather elitist especially with the theme "Who Will Be Ontario's Next Premier". Colour me wrong. Here's the ticket info:

OK Good news I guess. You can watch the first leadership debate on line at 1pm Saturday. Personally I plan to go Christmas shopping. Only problem with that is I usually just end up buying stuff for myself that I see and like. Alas. Watch the debate atWatch First OLP Leadership Race

Let's not forget CUPE's struggle in December either!

Taking it to the streets? CUPE Local 4400 runs new transit videos and still ads to show how school board workers are necessary for quality education. A top notch media campaign all the way. Definitely check this out. Placement of ads at transit and subway stations is a fabulous mass outreach program too. IMHO teachers should consider video shorts running at regular interviews on the subway screens like CUPE is doing, especially during rush hour! Just a thought. See:

Pension Alert: Both the OLP and the PC's are coming after our pensions in the new year. Make no doubt about it! Here's Tim. More to follow. See:

Rob Ford Again? Listen: this guy is our number one local union buster and right wing #@$#@%. The scary thing is his popular appeal. TVO Agenda's Steve Paikin considers the horrible possibility that he could still win the next city election if forced out of office:

Toronto Star Royson James article describes why Ford is his own worst enemy. He also focuses on the bare truth that Ford was accepting "donations" from "lobby groups" who would usually want something in return. Why do folk think the complaint went to the integrity commission anyway? Left wing pinkos just out to get Ford? For shame! This is a must read. See: Ford Lobby Donations

Why the left must reclaim the Ford conversation in Toronto from the "tabloid and talk radio poo flingers" or face losing the battle. How? They can hate. We don't have to. Still we don't give in. Sound complicated? Blogger Sol Chrom provides an interesting argument. See:

News Flash! Ho boy! Wouldn't you just know it! Only in Toronto! Judge decides Rob Ford can run in a by-election before 2014! More details to follow. For now see:

Worried?!? Remember: Rob Ford has at least one other court case for libel coming up in December.

BTW: Get this! Ford showed up out of the blue in our condo lobby this week to say hi to all the kids! Reaction? Kids? Parents? Innocent by-standers? They had nothing but praise. Apparently he really turned on the old charm. Wish I was there! ;-)

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

Sometime I'll tell the story of how Ford showed up staggering drunk on my buddy Sparky's front porch while election campaigning door to door asking if he had any beer. I kid you not!!! Sparky invited him in! Why couldn't that have happened to me!?! What a great blog that would've made eh? An interview with Rob Ford. Drunk. On my couch. We could put on party hats. Photos and all......

PS: Sparky! Glad you have escaped winter in Florida! I plan to post the articles you sent me on teacher politics from down your way soon. Reader jaws will drop in shock! Wow! Take care good buddy! Any chance I could drop down during the holidays to ... er .... check out the school conditions?!?

PPS: Will spell and grammar check this blog later, gotta run for now....................................

PPPS: A lot of this weeks blogs have been updated below........................................

Thursday 29 November 2012

The Disenfranchised OECTA Teacher Petition!

In October I was asked to share this Facebook page by a reader. I am reposting it again in response to your interest in the OECTA Bill of Members Rights. You can visit the link to sign their grassroots petition at the end of the blog. You can also quickly share it through my blogsite using the Facebook and Twitter links on the left side column of my blog page. Here it is again for your consideration:

The Disenfranchised OECTA Facebook page notes:

I've noticed a few groups that have been created on Facebook that represent the Public School Boards across Ontario but have not come across any that allow a voice for the Catholic Teachers to speak about their dissatisfaction with the terms of the agreement that have stripped us from our rights, those teachers who did not have a voice or a vote in the recent legislation. This can be our sound board to show our solidarity with our colleagues in other unions to fight for our rights as a united front. Please feel free to post any information, voice any opinions, and invite other members to finally allow our voices to be heard.

Here is their statement:

We are Ontario English Catholic Teachers seeking to have it recorded that:

1. We are not in agreement with the contract stripping provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Provincial Association and the Provincial Government’

2. We have not been allowed to vote or demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the terms of this agreement which have stripped us of hard fought for rights and robbed us of our sick days.

3. We accept the need for wage restraint and for sharing the burden equitably among teachers.

4. We stand in solidarity with our other union colleagues who continue to fight for teacher rights.

Here is a petition link to sign and share:

If you are in agreement with the following statements, please sign your name and school to show your support at:

[Have you have read the letters I 've posted here from OECTA provincial this week? They claim most of our members support the MOU.  Do you really think that's true? If not, please sign and share the petition link. Enough is enough. In solidarity! David C.]

What Next? ETFO Strikes!


Despite all the recent news focus on OSSTF, Rob Ford and the OLP race it seems that's about to change big time. ETFO has stepped up to the plate announcing public elementary walk out strikes will start in December. Parents will receive 3 day advance warnings. President Hammond is willing to talk to MOE but wants them to take the talks seriously.He blames Broten for putting ETFO into a strike position: Read the official communique:

Hear ETFO President Sam Hammond's CBC radio interview this morning. Sam explains the strike. No choice. School boards and union can't negotiate under parameters of Bill 115:

Updated link/ More details: McGuinty's quaint "What me worry?" replies are in the Toronto Star. Two OSSTF and ETFO right and left fist hits in as many days! Liberal- teacher differences indeed! See:

McGuinty and Broten defend Bill 115 and MOE's actions. See:

MOE's Laurel Boten tells CP24 the government can and will respond to strike if and when it happens. Otherwise not about to give away her hand. She hopes negotiations will succeed. See:

The Toronto Star reports. The PC and NDP response included:

Here's  ETFO's parent letter. It puts the strike action within a wider inclusive context of democratic rights and how Bill 115 effects others. Explains steps of concern to parents to date [ie voluntary activities + progress reports] Seeks empathy and involvement through notion that both parents and teachers should always teach children to do right. Has a minimum of $10 words the average person might not immediately understand. Good spacing and layout make it easy to follow. Perhaps best of all it's not just about us us us. Nice one. See:

Trenton local news reminds parents they will need to make day care arrangements for next month:

ETFO York Pesident David Clegg is interviewed for Kim Zazour's York Region article on impending strikes. York public board feeling the stress after OSSTF didn't ratify contract and now this. See:

Global Edmonton reports! The whole country is watching? A straightforward account of events from over the past two days. See:

The Toronto Sun ETFO strike report: ETFO leaders "bark" orders to obedient hoodwinked teacher troops while poor little Johnny Q Public's mother worries what to do about the boy.The big bad teacher union only belatedly sends her messages about what they will do next [?] The end of the teacher unions is nigh. Sigh. Alas. Be prepared for a rash of Toronto Sun stupidity. Here it comes. Scary part? It forms the opinions of a lot of common folk who believe this trash. See:


Glad to see ETFO finally getting some much deserved headlines again while they raise the protest ante. Are the OLP leader race candidates watching and listening or in they still operating in a glass bubble? Probably the latter. They have gotten a lot of coverage with the race so far but the story wears thin and is pretty lacking in any specifics. Will be very interesting to see how the NDP's Andrea Horwath responds to the strikes in public too. Hudak should have fun. Expect a lot of tough talk from him with the Toronto Sun and probably the Post braying in the background. Everyone has got their eye on a spring election. Expect a long cold winter ahead.

PS: Speaking of which, I saw the first snow accumulation on my car at 8:05 pm tonight as I headed out to the TSU parking lot near Wilson Avenue and Keele St here in Toronto. Not much, but yup! It's here!

Wednesday 28 November 2012

OSSTF Votes No!

[Updated Nov 29th]

OSSTF York and Niagara vote no to their MOE approved contract! Upper Grand ratifies it! Democracy in action! See:

MOE: "Dear OSSTF! Please drop by so I can strangle you!" ;-)

So far no vote tallies! What are they? I haven't seen them anywhere yet!

Toronto Star reports the Education Ministers response. She hangs hopes on the Upper Grand deal. The school boards respond with disappointment. A report on the foul mood at the OSSTF York meeting where members expressed their resistance to ratifying contracts reached under the terms of Bill 115. Good for you!!!! Now that is being pro-active at the grassroots level. See:

The Globe and Mail reports on the vote results:

Ditto the National Post who note McGuinty is "standing firm" with "anti strike legislation". You mean they actually like the guy for a change?!? Maybe they are confusing him with Tim Hudak??? Easy to do these days! Emphasis on ramifications for teacher court case against Bill 115 and with an eye on the OLP race. See:

You will want to keep any eye on OSSTF's Bargaining Bulletins. A statement has been issued. OSSTF Niagara will resume their job actions, OSSTF Yorks will now commence. No further "interviews" or "comments" are "scheduled". Hmm. Are they shutting down tight like OECTA provincial in damage control mode, or am I reading too much into this?  See:

OSSTF announces all further contract negotiations are on hold until further notice after last nights vote, and a MOE decision not to approve a number of tentative contracts. Hamilton Wentworth vote will proceed on Friday. All other ratification votes are on hold. All unit presidents to meet on Monday Dec 3 to receive outline for the next step in OSSTF's strategy. See:

Gerard Kennedy says it time to "mend fences" with teachers. Okay what how will you do that Gerard? See:

The OSSTF protest story! I remember proudly my own  active participation in our OECTA fight during 1972, the Rae Days and Harris Year struggles. I only regret we seem to have reached a dead end now, while OSSTF still marches on. Here's a good overview of their story by Rod Albert:,%20The%20Wars%20and%20the%20Victories.pdf,%20The%20Wars%20and%20the%20Victories.pdf

Standing tall: The Sarnia Lambton teacher rally!

Now see what OECTA is up against: The St. Clair Catholic board complains to the MOE about its loss of "control" over us as their "employers" under the MOU. Their authority as been apparently "usurped" because OCSTA [the Catholic trustees association] walked out of the PDT talks on July 4th insisting upon a whole list of ridiculous strictly self serving demands. Now they have to also consider an OT's years of experience if they'd rather just hire somebody fresh out of teacher colleges who has "special qualifications" and "new ways of teaching". They note experienced teachers haven't had the "opportunities" to get these qualifications. So they just want to dump them or keep them on the OT list for life?  What b.s!!!. Ever heard of staff development?!?  This is exactly why some OECTA members are more interested in provincial collective bargaining rather than have to locally bargain one on one with our knucklehead local school boards unit by unit everytime our contract expires. See:

A new Task Force has been set up by OECTA COP to bring forward late resolutions to our Spring AGM regarding policies and procedures for dealing with future PDT. Sudbury elementary president Kent MacNeil has been elected to the task force. More on this later!

An special COP session has been called for tomorrow. Hmmmm. I see none of this on our OECTA Provincial site. Guess its all top secret eh? Who are we but the members? Hang on a second, I'm TSU 3rd VP and I don't know either?!? Ho boy. More details forthcoming.


Gee I wonder why OECTA Provincial really insisted on ratifying the MOU rather than letting our membership do so eh? It would've been in keeping with the spirit of the law as per our policy that we don't, up until now anyway, support provincial bargaining. Perhaps last nights OSSTF vote says a lot!!! Bet OECTA didn't want to risk the same thing happening! Fancy procedural footwork within the existing by-laws that were out of step with the MOE PDT demands might've met the letter of the law under the vagaries of our OECTA Handbook.  They provided a handy excuse for not allowing a democratic membership discussion and vote. Now we hear these policies and rules can be changed at Spring AGM?  Isn't that like closing the door after the horse escapes?!? Are supposed to feel all warm and reassured??? How convenient!

My regular updated news links continue on the Rob Ford blog etcetra below....

Tuesday 27 November 2012

The OECTA Bill of Members Rights

[Updated: a Disenfranchised OECTA Teachers Statement and Petition is also included below ... ]

The following is a copy of the proposed OECTA Members Bill of Rights. It has been circulating across the province for awhile now among our members. I have offered to post it here on my blogsite since it reaches so many readers, for the widespread  consideration of anyone who might've missed it. It remains a mystery why I didn't receive it at my unit office where it was apparently sent to me awhile ago. I regret the delay.

 It is being posted as received. I have left the text unchanged except for a few grammatical and spacing adjustments that should not vary the interpretation of the Bill. If in doubt, I left it alone rather than possibly change the meaning. If I made a mistake I gladly stand to be corrected. Finally thanks to the reader who sent this to me via the Comments bar. I've decided this is too important to just be published there. Here it is:

Dear OECTA members! Here is what was mailed to me: A copy of the new:

 OECTA MEMBERS' 6 Step Bill of Rights. Or The 6 Steps to Put OECTA MEMBERS First Act. 

1. All OECTA members get to vote on any future tentative agreements before signing by OECTA Provincial President/Executive. 

2. All OECTA members get to vote on all people running for OECTA Provincial President/Executive Office.

3. Any OECTA Provincial President not following the above rules be required to immediately resign from office. 

4. Ban all OECTA political party contributions and variable fees. Refund money saved back to members. 

5. Creation of an OECTA Provincial Executive Sunshine List to allow transparent and accountable disclosure of all salary and benefits compensation of every OECTA Provincial Executive member. 

6. The next OECTA Provincial President is to issue a letter of apology for actions of OECTA's Provincial Executive members in the signing of the OECTA MOU/PDT agreement to OECTA members and OSSTF, ETFO, and CUPE.

My Commentary: 

#1: Absolutely without question. This needs to be included as a by-law in our Handbook too, not in the policy section, so it's use cannot be interpreted otherwise.

#2 Sure. We might be surprised how few members actually vote unless there is a controversy but it is our democratic right. I would suggest the vote be conducted on line and by telephone voting for those who can't make it to Toronto or don't have easy access to a home computer. Other unions all ready have these in place so we don't need to reinvent the wheel, just find out how they do it and adapt it to our own needs. Change the word "people" to "candidates" however, just to be more specific.

#3 Absolutely. Might want to reword "the above rules" to be more specific.

#4 I will disagree here. We have made many significant gains as an education advocacy group rather than just being at the mercy of the political parties. Sometimes they don't do as we want, and that part of the strategy can be re-evaluated, but otherwise we would be losing a very important tool and seriously handicapping ourselves. Since OECTA became actively involved in Ontario politics in the mid 1990's we have made more significant gains than we have lost, even despite the current setback. Please, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the expression goes.

#5 Yes. We have the right to know how our dues are being spent, and to be able to examine the books without any unnecessary inconvenience or restrictions. However, this should also  apply to the Secretary General and the rest of our hired officers in a position of responsibility on staff.

#6 A member apology would be great. Possibly a solidarity letter to the other affiliates followed by a series of meetings to work out the details of our working relationship in issues like the PDT to avoid the current confusion in the future. If OSSTF now signs their current MOE approved contracts, do we really owe them an apology? Maybe we should all apologize to ETFO and CUPE? I am not as interested in apologizing  to the other unions as in finding a way we can move forward from now on in solidarity with a means that is fair to all.

PS1: Please also read and consider signing the Disenfranchised OECTA Teacher's Statement and Petition  at:

PS2: Please feel free to post your Comments via the link below:

Monday 26 November 2012

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? Chair Vacant!

Updated November 29th

Toronto mayor Ford has been found guilty on conflict of interest charges. The mayors seat on city council has been "declared vacant" by the judge. See:

[Ex] Mayor Rob Ford: "Boo hoo! I got caught red handed again + somebody actually did something about it!"

Read the judges full decision:

Here it is in short for when you get a break if you are busy with school work:

The Toronto Star reports on the court decision:

An earlier Toronto Star article explains the judges options today and speculates on the councillors possible response should he be removed. See:

Twitter is a tweet with news + views as decision is announced and starts to sink in. See:

Rob Ford shows he really gets the Toronto Multicultural thingy. Look! Here he is even teaching the Caribanas how to dance!

"All Toronto will pay the price" of Ford's blatant violation of our cities integrity rules. An overview of the charges against Ford, and a few more that are still pending. See:

Rob Ford has nobody to blame but himself. It is ironic that he was brought down by a private citizens complaint. See:

An air tight case. Rob can run but he cannot hide.

Christie Blatchford bares the National Posts right wing fangs for us. How can a citizen complainant, a lawyer and a judge dare depose an elected mayor when nobody voted for them? Duh. It's called rule of law and is a foundation of our democracy. Anyway, skip the nonsense if you must but check out the video links for today's comments by Ford, Clayton Ruby etc. See:

More of the same National Post drivel. Are they trying to say we should vote for our judges and who can take a case to court? Bizarre. The alleged indignation reeks of empty headed desperation to support a Grade A #1 bully. It might be good to read so you are familiar with and know the arguments. My best guess would be that's going to be one of the two main tracks the Ford Nation vodka train will take. See:

Oh no! Oh No! What should I do?

The other is fear mongering over a "left wing resurgence". The National Post picked up on Robs theme right away but is more careful not to insinuate the judge made a political rather than a legal decision with his verdict. Slanderous? Very, very dicey grounds  See:

The Sun New's Christina Blizzard broadens the neo con argument to attack the OLP for Tim Hudak no doubt. Extra interesting: The voters should decide if Rob Ford's guilty or not. Now we are going to have popular vote on whether a right wing clearly corrupt convicted politician should be considered guilty or not? Wow! See:

Tory MPP Shurman laments Fords "tragic" removal from office but at least has the decency and smarts to add it is rightly a court decision to make:

A weekend Forum Research Survey suggests NDP's Olivia Chow at 40% could win a Toronto mayoral race, beating Rob Ford at 35% and Councillor Adam Vaughan at by 13%. See:

"No Rob. You need to give the big shiny mayoral medals back too."

Time Line:

What next? Rob Ford has 14 days to ask for a stay and appeal the court decision. More details as they become available. 

See below:

11:30 Complainant Paul Madger and his lawyer Clayton Ruby respond, "If you want to run for office you must show integrity". Clayton also questions what Ford's actions actually teach his student football team and calls today "a sad day for Toronto" that Rob Ford has brought upon himself through his own actions. See:

11:50 Citypulse 24 live interview: City Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti [+ Ford's chief boot licker + lap dog] [or the "Little Gino" as Ford nicknamed once, no kidding!] blames "legislation" [?] for treating Toronto like "a small city up north" because of the integrity judgement against Ford! Incredible!

Giorgio sez: "I can be a good foot stool for anybody who wants a foot stool. Pick me! Pick me!"

12:30 Rob Ford's first press scrum. Media throng greets Ford's arrival at his office. Brother Doug Ford begins to push and shove reporters. Rob announces he will "appeal" the courts legal decision and still be around. He is  a "fighter" who has done "a lot  for Toronto". He will fight the court decision "tooth and nail". Blames "left wing politics" for the integrity ruling. Is he accusing the court judge of having made a political decision?!? Incredible!

1:00 Ford is headed to make a speech on the Christmas toy drive. Ford's press secretary warns reporters outside his office door that he can only answer a few questions because there are "children waiting for him." Well that explains everything eh? Ford repeats he will appeal court decision and run for mayor again. Thanks "tax payers" who are phoning to support him. An angry mob of Ford supporters [the so called "Ford Nation"] waits downstairs at city hall heckling and trying to shout down the media as they interview the city councillors. Totally bizzare. If you are near a t.v. in the Toronto area turn it on to see!!!! Truly this is a teachable moment!!!!

1:15 Ford is all choked up noting what a great day this is for Toronto because of the Christmas toy drive. He is about to get his "elves working." for "every little boy and girl in the city." Wow! Somebody! Hide the children! Quick! This is almost as scary as watching "Walking Dead" on t.v. last night.

Rob: Aaargh! Lefties! Lefties! Everywhere lefties! Can't a guy just lack integrity, ethics and be a mean p@$#k without you picking on me all the time?!?

1:30 City pulse 24 cuts to a special announcement. Toronto Police to the rescue! The man who stole the Salvation Army children's toys has been caught and charged! However, only two of the bicycles have been found, the two donated by Premier McGuinty! Reporter, "But who would buy hot toys?" Officer makes a pleas for more toys. Notes a second person from a company called "Northern Toys" is still being sought in connection with the diabolical plot. A twist on the "northern city" spin?!? Those darn hoozers from up north outside Toronto are up to their evil deeds again eh? =8-(  Yeah! Who's being unethical now?!? Wouldn't you just know it! Northern Ontario! Harumph!! Fords media team must be in full swing to deflect the spotlight from him. Today's show definitely deserves a Grammy, a Juno, whatever........ Maybe TVO can make it into a made for t.v. block buster movie?!? Unfortunately for now though, CP 24 once again craps out. Remember their "Wynne" speech coverage?

Toys! Toys! Toys! If they interview one more person more about stealing toys I think I'll scream. What do they expect folks to say? "Oh yeah. I think it's a great idea. We should all steal the children's toys."

Could somebody from ETFO please go tell them to clam up! They will frighten the children! Lisa?!?

Thinks: "A plan?!? What plan???? H-e-e-e-y is he a pinko? Seems strange to me!!!!!"

2:45 Ford Councillor "Lil' Gino" Mammoliti skitters about the reporters looking like he needs to take a pee. Can somebody find the poor pooch a newspaper?!? He is resigning from the executive council. His "constituents" have told him to do so and they are his "boss". Reporters accuse him of jumping ship. He has done this before. Depends on whoever is winning. Even if they call  him "Little Gino." He claims no, no, no. He wants to work with "everyone now." Shameful. Icky. A complete denial of reality! Oh get this, he claims he is a "scrapper". He is only a "puppet to his constituents". Get this guy off the news. Now! Sheesh! I'm going to yell at the t.v. set! For a highly sanitized account of Giorgi's glib shifty eyed speech see:

3:10 Premier McGuinty is scheduled to comment. The provincial angle? The premier is surprised by the decision but won't get involved. It's a municipal matter. See the video at:

11:30 Toronto Argonauts Parade to Nathan Phillips Square: Yup. The Argos Grey Cup parade begins at 11:30 today, marching north along Bay St. to Toronto City Hall.  If we could go, which few of us can, you could expect fire trucks, marching high school football teams, and players in open top cars, followed by a speech from the [ex] Mayor. Can you tell I am not a football fan? How much coverage have I given the big football win? Politics is my sport. For parade details see:

What really happened: "Tell one more lie Rob and I'll bite off your ear!!!

Tuesday Nov 27 1:00 It's a bitter cold and damp Toronto day in late November. Rob Ford delights in bellowing the 2 symbol "Aaaar-gooooes" moose call from the stage at Nathan Phillips Square out front Toronto city hall. The throng of excited Torontonians bellow back and cheer. Again and again Ford engages the crowd. A huge muscular football player grabs Robs head practically raising him off the stage as he plants a big wet kiss on his fat cheek. Reporter notes its unclear if he grabbed Fords butt. Ford is in his element figuratively riding atop the back of the winning teams crowd adultation as it rises and falls in a mad orgiastic frenzy. It's Rob Ford style football fascism. He is having the time of his life working the crowd. He has shouted himself coarse but does not stop. Its a little train that could themed speech. Everyone can understand that. A 139 year old Toronto Team. Winners of the 100th Canadian Grey Cup. [first win since 1952]. Ford shouts that today is Toronto Argonauts Day at the top of his voice. More cheering. He tells everybody to buy tickets for next year. Ditto. Gary Glitters Rock + Roll Pt 2 blasts from the speakers as everybody on stage performs an incongruent funky dance, the crazed crowd pumping their fists in the air. A very Toronto moment. Wait to see the photo of Rob getting a big kiss on stage before the cheering football mob in tomorrows Toronto Sun. All is forgiven? Forgotten? Give him credit. It's a brilliant media spin for Rob Ford -what he does best. All form, no content. For a moment in time at least the media is the message.

1:50 Rob Ford has addressed the citizens of Toronto about the court ruling requiring him to vacate the mayoral seat. All his tweets and other announcements have been football, football, and more football instead. A real crowd pleaser. Ford played the emotional card explaining how he just wanted "to help under privileged kids play football". Had a very hard time pronouncing "underprivileged", a definite cringe moment for me anyway. Of course he didn't mention how he had been accepting donations from lobbyists to do so, in exchange for what we don't know. Or how he voted on a motion against himself. Instead he only focused on how he had stayed in council to defend himself during the debate, which doesn't sound unreasonable. Poor Rob! Boo hoo hoo!  For a video of his scripted "I'm sorry" speech, see:

A day in the life of Rob Ford! An excellent National Post hour by hour account of Rob' s capers on Tuesday November 27. See:

The judge has given the city council 14 days to get it's business in order! Rob will be staying in office at least until then! He will be appealing the court decision on December 5th. He could then ask for a stay in executing the sentence that he be removed from office pending the outcome of the appeal, which as we know can drag on and on and on!

Rob Ford?!? No. He's not mayor anymore but I can help! I am Santa Claus! Yup. Ho ho ho ....

 If Rob Ford can't pull this off? City Council met today to hear their options, either to call a by-election or they will need to choose somebody else on council to sit in the mayors seat until 2014. That's a rather long time not to have a duly elected mayor! The counterargument will be that a by election is very expensive. The city lawyer interpreted the judges verdict to mean Ford can't run in a by-election. He an only run again when the current 4 year term is up.  See:

Wednesday November 28

 I was wrong! The Toronto Sun didn't publish Rob Ford's "big kiss" on it's front page today. Instead we did get this of ultra venomous expose of a supposed left wing plot against poor Rob. Incredible. Wait til they turn their attention to us as teachers. it's coming. See:

The big buzz at city hall today is a Ford brothers switherooni: Doug for Rob with the Ford Nations support to maintain his "taxpayers" agenda should there be an by-election in which Rob can't run. Read and weep. Doug Ford is the smarter of the two, he's got half a brain. The Toronto Sun will benignly suffer Rob as a lovable bimbo because he's a right winger but they absolutely grovel while licking Doug's boots. See:

By the way: If you are an out of towner who's wondering what the big kerfuffle over Rob Ford is all about feast your eyes on "the best" [worst!] of his Youtube videos.  If you live in Toronto and know him only too well, you still might want to watch this. It runs the full spectrum from ludicrous to downright scary. See:

"City of Toronto business?!? Ahhh look I'm busy at a um .......... private meeting!" ;-)

November 29 2012:

Councillor Adam Vaughan critizes "part time mayor" Rob Ford. Fords itineraries show private times regularly scheduled during council meetings. These coincide very closely with when he goes to football practice. I know I have seen him out in the football field behind one of our schools when he was supposed to be at council. Teacher friends tell me he's a real pain in the butt over at St.Basil's CSS too. Wanting to extend the football change room into the music class area, cutting it in half. Recruiting players. Strutting about like the king. Now all the bad press has given their school an unwarranted black eye. See:

November 30 2012

The ongoing story of who's got a ticket to ride: Toronto Star reports 2 city buses were redirected to pick up Ford's football team after an altercation between the coaches at a high school game. Regular passengers unceremoniously dumped to  make room for Ford and his team. Even driver questioned what she was being asked to do. Incredible! Ford of course claims he's not to blame. See

Rob Ford the Peoples Mayor? "Get off my city bus! I want it!"

December 5th: The court hear Fords request for a stay of execution until an appeal is heard. Oh oh.

January 5th: The court will announce it's decision on an appeal.

The Donald + Ford: Can you judge a man by the company he keeps? Yes. Here you can judge two!

Commentary: I try to be as unbiased as possible in reporting a news story on my blogspot. It would be ludicrous to do so here now. Toronto [ex] Mayor Rob Ford has been caught red handed in today's court decision on his conflict of interest charges. He has clearly and blatantly violated the city councils integrity laws. The news story is going viral around the world. Rather than show any integrity whatsoever Ford blames the court's legal decision on "left wing politics". Is Rob Ford above the law? What a major embarrassment and a black eye our for our city!!!

The Judge has ruled "willfull blindless" and a "stubborn sense of entitlement" along with a "dismissive and  confrontational" response to the City of Toronto's Integrity Commisssion in misusing his position in office to raise money for his "football foundation", more specifically the Don Dosco CSS football team. Rob Ford is a populist neo con politician well known for his strong anti union stance and seemingly unwavering and overwhelming public support. He has stripped the Toronto city workers contracts and privatized garbage collection in the cities west end. It will be of great interest if our teflon football mayor can still pull off an end run with the appeal process and also get re-elected in the next Toronto Municipal election. Don't forget to vote in todays poll testing his ongoing public support:

Rob Ford: Is his song + dance routine finally over?

Sunday 25 November 2012

OSSTF Contract: What Teachers Lost?

Word from the cyber street is that the situation is tense in the OSSTF camp as members consider the first of their teacher affiliate contracts to be ratified or rejected by OSSTF York. The local members have a big decision to make now within the unit. Other OSSTF members as well as the different teacher affiliates and school boards from across the province are watching carefully with baited breath to see the outcome of the vote.

As you will recall OSSTF Provincial has refused to agree and sign onto the July 5th OECTA MOU agreement. The OSSTF membership have been involved in a long, difficult and often quite heroic job action campaign to resist both the MOU and Bill 115 though out this fall. Now a decision with deep ramifications is about to be made by the first OSSTF unit to reach a MOE approved locally collective agreement with their board.

Tensions are heightened since five more local OSSTF tentative agreements approved by the MOE will  soon need to be ratified as well. The MOE has said that all the provinces school board and teacher contacts need to be in place by its midnight December 31st deadline. Few are certain if an important breakthrough, or even a reversal in the OSSTF position is about to be reached. Suggestions are that it will
certainly not be an easy vote decision to make

A comparison chart between the OECTA MOU and the OSSTF York contract has been circulating throughout the weekend on the busy internet lines. Twitter has been a tweet with what critics of the OSSTF York agreement are referring to as MOU Lite. You can find the chart posted here to consider for yourself if the criticism bears weight:

Late last week OECTA President Kevin O'Dwyer  presented reasons for why OECTA wouldn`t want to agree with any changes to the OECTA MOU by evoking the "Me too" clause. Reasons include the possibility of increased class sizes, layoffs, and an enhanced school board role in new 120 sick day procedures. His arguments are presented here;

 Regular readers will know that my blog respectfully aims to provide first hand resources from all points of view for us to examine as teacher professionals, as we each consider important issues effecting our paychecks, benefits, jobs and school work environments, regardless of our different teacher affiliates. I have taken criticism from within our own OECTA ranks for the many divergent documents and views I have shared with you since OECTA Provincial executive ratified our MOU on July 5th. Whether we agree or disagree with what is said, I still believe it is important for all of us as teachers to be able to examine a wide variety of points of view as we consider thoroughly and intelligently the very important issues effecting us.

In that spirit I am now posting the latest source document that has become available. It has been written and shared online by members from within OSSTF York as they consider tomorrows vote. I do not have an opposing view here to share with you or I would include it as well as I have with other controversial issues in the past. Here are the concerns of some members:

What teachers lost

Generally Speaking
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost the ability to win a strong court case that tramples the democratic rights of teachers, public sector workers, and potentially all Ontarians
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost the ability to preserve the current agreement that we have fought for decades to earn
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost our position of strength which managed to force the Premier to step-down, forced the government to prorogue, which strains the timeline for the government to solve this issue before naming a new Liberal leader, and which weakens the strength of the Liberal party in general before the next election
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost trust in our union leaders who lied to us for months by telling us that “This deal wasn’t good enough for our members,” who told us to “Stand up, stand strong, stand united,” and that “We are going to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.”
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost a sense of trust and respect amongst colleagues as we became torn on how to proceed with very ambiguous and often confounding directives from our union

More Specifically
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->frozen for some and gone for others.  Monetary losses of up to $48,000 and potentially more as salaries should increase by the time most of us retire

Sick Days
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost 10/year
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost the ability to bank and carry them over year to year
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->lost privacy in taking sick days by being forced to answer questions in an EAP meeting
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->this is a concession that hasn’t happened for nearly 60 years.  This eliminates the security that teachers had in case of longer term sickness or injury.  Most of us are healthy now but a day may come when we’ll need the blanket that’s being stripped away

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->adjustment of class sizes and ratios (which will cost teachers their jobs)
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->reduction of centrally assigned and/or non-credit staff to 6 (which will cost EAs, CYWs their jobs)
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->as class sizes increase, the total number of sections decrease, therefore resulting in fewer teachers

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->A move toward a Provincial Benefits Plan will cost York Region teachers as it will be less than what we currently have (health, dental, extended)

Salary Grids
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->movement up the grid is delayed by a half year twice, making it the equivalent of a 12 year grid
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->the government has the right to restructure the grid and how people move up it making it harder to do and paying out less each year
Bargaining Rights
<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->teachers are forgoing their rights to bargain locally from now on, starting Jan 1, 2014. YRDSB no longer cream of the crop.

Things to consider...

How worrisome it is to know that the government has been able to completely strip us so quickly?

Why do we think we’re not worth what we had?

How are we ever going to get back what we’re giving up?

What are they going to come after next?

How does all of this put student’s first? 


We have nothing to lose if we fight bill 115.... voting YES is a loss starting this year.

If we don’t fight to repeal Bill 115 now, it’s not going away... It stays in place for the next “negotiated agreement” 2 years from now, and so on.  It’s a bill and it doesn’t have a firm expiry date.

90% of us voted to strike a while back...  90% of us need to vote NO to ratification!!!

Pass this message along to everyone you know in D16 before Tuesday!!!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!