Opening Statement



Wednesday, 14 November 2012

OSSTF Job Actions + The OLP Race


On the OSSTF Job Action Front:

Both the MOE and OSSTF claim they are ready to resume talks again under certain conditions. Premier Dad has intervened adding it would be helpful if OSSTF called a halt to job actions. OSSTF Ken Coran says OSSTF needs some clear signals the government is being serious about the talks first. Lot's of political jockeying going on! See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1287372--ontario-teacher-protest-province-teachers-union-set-conditions-for-resuming-talks



Is the MOE trying to take over the school world?!? Dr. Evil'sprice? Teachers told to pay billions!

ETFO York will be in a strike position by November 19thhttp://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1070597/conciliation-fails-etfo-york-region-teacher-local-receives-no-board-report

More signs a showdown looms? The school boards and MOE continue to "monitor" the job actions. Two boards have given senior administrators the go ahead to lock teachers out if the schools are deemed unsafe, North Eastern and another unnamed one north of Toronto: http://www.thespec.com/article/835951--student-safety-under-scrutiny-amid-job-action?src=http%3A%2F%2Fm.thespec.com%2Farticle%2F835951--student-safety-under-scrutiny-amid-job-action


Are the MOE + public school boards dancing step to step to keep students safe?!?

The OCDSB director is given permission by the board to close schools. A cafeteria food fight and fires of an undetermined nature are sited [?!]. See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/11/14/ottawa-school-board-close-schools-labour-disruptions.html?cmp=rss

OPSEU and government negotiations are now under way. Look at all the OPSEU protesters! They aren't taking any chances! See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1287372--ontario-teacher-protest-province-teachers-union-set-conditions-for-resuming-talks

McGuinty announces a deal has been reached with the doctors: http://m.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1286947--dalton-mcguinty-announces-deal-reached-with-ontario-doctors

Commentary:

There is so much gong on behind closed doors it's almost pointless to speculate on what's happening right now except to say the situation is really heating up. Let's hope that OSSTF has lit a fire under the Liberal's butt that will lead them to reconsider their fight with teachers. On the other hand, as some pundits have pointed out, that puts them between a rock and a hard place. Backing down could also be seen as a sign of weakness in the public eye. The PC's would certainly attack them as being soft on unions and not everybody will be sympathetic with us. It's a fact of political life. Of course we think the public is or should be on our side. Still see some of the criticisms below, and keep an open mind. That doesn't mean they are right or that you can't disagree. Just beware in drawing any safe conclusions between now and a spring election!

The OLP Leadership Race is off and running:

NDP Party Leader Andrea Horwath reminds the OLP leadership wannabees that if they want the top job at Queen's Park then they should go back to work there. Ha ha. See: http://ontariondp.com/en/horwath-challenges-leadership-candidates-to-get-mpps-back-to-work

The Agenda's Steve Paikin declares it a real race now for the OLP leadership. It was quite the sleeper for awhile there. Nice photos and overview of the past week at: http://theagenda.tvo.org/blog/agenda-blogs/now-its-race

The National Posts Scott Stinson notes that 5 of the OLP leadership hopefuls are from the Toronto area. Pupatello is ostensibly from Windsor but she works on Bay St. A "Toronto-centric" party does not sit well with much of the province. Is there life north of Highway 7? West of the airport? East of the Scarbourough bluffs? You bet! See: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/12/scott-stinson-liberal-hopefuls-vie-to-become-premier-of-toronto-er-ontario/


The OLP Leadership Race: "Mini Me" Time?

Alas! The Liberals vie for renewal the old fashioned way: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/14/scott-stinson-ontario-liberals-seek-renewal-the-old-fashioned-way/

The National Posts Kelly McParland sees the race between 5 Mini-me McGuinty clones, none of whom represent change.  Gerard Kennedy is an ex clone but McParland argues his support for teachers will be a liability with voters if the party is seen to back down in it's fight with us. Hmmm. Consider all points of view.....See: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/13/kelly-mcparland-ontario-leadership-race-consists-of-five-little-mcguintys-and-a-former-mcguinty/

London Free Press article argues that whatever the next Premier does, they will still need to find billions in cuts, on top of being plagued by the lingering scandals. Again.......Necessary cuts? Double hmmmmm. See: http://www.lfpress.com/2012/11/13/van-moorsel-liberal-boss-must-traverse-shaky-ground

The Toronto Sun's Chrisitna Blizzard argues that Kennedy's support for teachers will in effect be a big bullseye on his back for the PC's. He will also be a liability for the Liberals because he doesn't have a seat and she figures the NDP have Parkdale High Park sewn shut. See: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2012/11/20121113-144208.html

Here's a video of Dr. Eric Hoskin's leadership announcementhttp://toronto.ctvnews.ca/eric-hoskins-joins-growing-list-of-ont-liberal-leadership-hopefuls-1.1035970

Hoskins defends prorogation! Whether one is right or left wing on the issues Ontario faces I can't see that being a winning position come provincial election time. Nope. See: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/13/eric-hoskins-sixth-to-enter-ontario-liberal-leadership-race


Metro Morning interview: Eric Hoskin says he's not out to repeal Bill 115 either. Alas. Be the young turk! Don't suck up! He seemed like such a smart and earnest lad. I will find a link.

Commentary:

Politics in Ontario, and indeed Canada usually fluctuates within a centre right to centre left continuum. The parties participate in brokerage politics. They need to put together a coalition of support that meets enough interests and needs within that spectrum to form a government. A party leader, even a Premier is not independent as some might think. They represent the competing groups within their party and need to maintain a consensus, both within the party and with the electorate to win and hold on to power. We see that happening now within the OLP, but it is common to all the political parties regardless of their political stripe.

It's certainly a far from ideal system, but we are not gods, we are only human. Don't expect too much and you won't end up frustrated and disappointed.

Through our political brinkmanship the Ontario teacher unions are a key interest group within the political process. If we weren't actively involved what would happen? Often it's simply a case of being a player, or being played. Although there are and always will be setbacks, when you compare our gains with those of other teachers across Canada, in the US and indeed around much of the world, we have done very well over the years. There are of course threats and set backs. Despite our best efforts and intentions we will sometimes be taken for granted. Sometimes we do get played. It's not good to become too discouraged during the bad times. Likewise it's very important to remain ever vigilant when all seems to be going well. IMHO, whether we like it or not, this is our political state of affairs, the ball field in which we must play. It's far from ideal but it can work to our advantage when we keep our wits about us.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any details on that new oecta members bill of rights yet?

David Chiarelli said...

No! I wish I could.

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