Opening Statement



Friday, 16 November 2012

OECTA, OSSTF + ETFO Flags Fly High!l



Late Friday finds me driving down Highway 427 to Sherway Gardens Mall, more specifically the Minister of Education Laurel Broton's Etobicoke South Constituency office on Evans Avenue. I'm headed to the teacher's Friday protest. OECTA Past president James Ryan has attended before. I've even seen him with the crowd of OSSTF and ETFO protesters live on CP24 news. His car broke down. I show up with old blue, our OECTA flag. It's good to see our union colours flapping in the crisp autumn air alongside those of our affiliates outside the ministers office. It's my pleasure. It needs to be done.

It's a good sized protest. There are a sea of signs, circling out front the office from across the street where I park and grab a coffee. A huge protest banner greets the busy Friday rush hour traffic at the street corner.Cars are honking their horns. Always a good sign! There are the familiar faces of our many colleagues from OSSTF D12 and ETT whom I had the honour of joining in solidarity at the courthouse protest in September, and the Queens Park vigil in October.  It's great to be welcomed and for everybody to see our flag flying high once again.

What's it like being the lone OECTA protester at a teacher rally? Somewhat like a curio. "What's that?", our colleagues wonder, "an OECTA flag at a MOU and Bill 115 protest?!?"


Our OECTA teachers need to get the message out that we're here and are angry too! It was an honour to join OSSTF D12 President Doug Jolliffe and ETFO ETT VP Andy Lomnicki for a short speech. I never misrepresent myself as being at a rally in an official capacity when I'm not. I will never disrespect our union, although I certainly don't have to like or approve of what OECTA has become, that is something different altogether.

Greeting everybody as OECTA TSU 3rd VP does lack a certain pizazz ["I'm number 3! I'm number 3? Nope it doesn't really work!"] but  protesting is important work. It has to be done. It's always a surprise how many of our rank and file colleagues from the other affiliates don't realize that our members didn't ratify the OECTA MOU! That's a message we certainly need to get out. We are all teachers. We need to start rebuilding solidarity again. All of us are hurting from what has happened this year.


My teacher protest activities date back to the Harris years during the mid 1990's. Since 2000 until fall 2011 I chaired or was executive liaison for our TSU Political Advisory Committee. We worked with the GTA affiliates to co-ordinate our successful political campaigns during the 2003 provincial election. As TSU 3rd VP I've been able to actively contribute in working with our fine OECTA TSU executive in the political  service of our members throughout the Liberal years. Being in the background's fine with me but it's great that my blog now lets me speak directly to those who've put your trust in me. A political representative should be directly accountable for explaining what we do for you and why.

I have worked  for OECTA TSU PAC with Education Minister Laurel Broten in her many different OLP capacities since 2001. It might not be popular to say, but I always respected and trusted Laurel. We worked well together for our teachers, our students and our schools for many years. Most regretfully, I can't continue to support her as the Minister of Education on your behalf, any more than I can OECTA provincial's decision to approve the MOU without allowing you our members to discuss and vote upon it first.

Loyalty doesn't mean supporting folly. If we really believe in the values and principles for which we stand as teacher unionists, then the ultimate act of loyalty becomes to speak out against it. Otherwise we are being untrue to ourselves, our colleagues, our union and others with whom we work. In fact, as your representatives we are doing everybody a disservice. That is not what we are entrusted to do.



OECTA Provincial and the MOE have cut themselves off in a glass bubble, little understanding how our teachers, and colleagues from the other affiliates really see and feel about the MOU and Bill 115. As the voice of responsible dissent we owe it to ourselves, each other and them to stand up and speak out in one voice.

Please plan to attend the next teacher protest nearest to you. Details will be posted here for the next one on Evans Avenue well in advance for those of you in the GTA. Hope to meet you there! Together we can still make a difference!


Related:

Toronto Courthouse Protest: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/09/toronto-court-house-protest.html

QP: Queen's Park Vigil: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/09/collective-bargaining-funeral-for-friend.html

QP Student Rally: http://tsu3rdvp.blogspot.ca/2012/09/queens-park-rally-review-student.html


11/22/63: In the motorcade.....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right on union brother David! News Release the OLRB hearing is on Friday November 23, 2012. Check Halton oectaelementary website.

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks for the tip! We all wish you well. It's important work that Halton Elementary is doing. You must all be very proud of your unit, and rightfully so. God bless + a prayer 4 success.

Post a Comment

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!