Opening Statement



Monday, 19 November 2012

News Flash: 6 Tentative Contracts! Etc!


[Today: 50,000 blog reader visits + counting! See counter to right.....]

These blog news links updated regularly.  Friday Protest Blog Follows Below:


Please vote in the Toronto Sun poll, before you read any further! Are public sector pensions too rich? We are losing so far!!! See: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/19/tories-would-overhaul-unsustainable-public-pensions

Flash! Flash! OSSTF D8 lifts sanctions in Avon Maitland District [Huron Perth] and announces tentative deal!!! Seee: http://osstfd8.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/sanctions-lifted-tentative-deal-reached/

OSSTF reaches five local tentative contract agreements! OECTA hasn't reached any despite the provincial MOU agreement signed on July 5th. An interesting change in developments! See below:

OSSTF D18 reached the first tentative contract agreement with Upper Grand District School Board at 5am Saturday morning! Must now be approved by MOE,  OSSTF members and board. OSSTF local unit and York Region Public Board have also reached a tentative agreement unit too. See: http://m.thestar.com/living/parent/article/1289357--two-ontario-school-boards-reach-labour-deal

[PS Above link has been fixed. My sincerest regrets for any confusion.]

OSSTF local reaches a third tentative contract with Thames Valley District Board: http://www.lfpress.com/2012/11/18/london-area-public-high-school-teachers-reach-tentative-contract-deal

OSSTF D21 and Hamilton Wentworth District make it four: http://osstf21.posterous.com/

Fifth agreement was with Niagara District. http://www.osstf.on.ca/MR-Nov-19-2012


The tentative agreements are being forwarded now to the Minister for approval. See OSSTF's official statement: http://www.osstf.on.ca/MR-Nov-18-2012

Martin Regg Cohn speculates more OSSTF contracts will be reached leaving ETFO the odd union our come December 31st. Sticks with the wage freeze argument being disputed by teachers with the Toronto Star. See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1289417--ontario-s-year-of-bargaining-dangerously-with-teachers-and-doctors-draws-to-a-close

Remember, the MOE still has to agree that the agreements meet the terms within the MOU. The weekend before OSSTF and the MOE met to discuss an OSSTF proposal that they'd discussed with a number of boards. I believe it was five. The Minister cut the meeting off at 1:30 am. Are these tentative agreements related?

In an article from November 12th the Education Minster says she wouldn't agree to OSSTF's proposal that additional unpaid days be used to help teachers move more quickly up the grid. I'd think it would be harder for the Ministry to nix the idea now if OSSTF and the boards have both publicly agreed to it. Ostensibly it could also allow the MOE a face saving option. Imagine the optics if they say no. But if the MOE agrees, then they too could then be seen as being reasonable and accommodating in agreeing to a deal made between the school boards and the union. If they can claim it meets the provincial collective bargaining agreement, and it was reached through local bargaining then that could be a win-win-win situation. Don't bet on it yet though. See:
http://m.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1286350--teachers-start-work-to-rule-campaign

November 22 is the 49th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Jack + Jackie arrive at Love Field Dallas Texas to the cheering crowds. Then they climbed into the presidential limosine.


Baby boomer generation will probably  never forget. Special pictures are posted around about my blogsite for the next couple of days if you go look.

OSSTF sanctions commence at a additional 11 school boards across the province today. See: http://www.osstf.on.ca/MR-Nov-19-2012-01

ETFO York job action of escalating withdrawal of administrative support begins today. See: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/york-region-elementary-teachers-to-begin-escalating-withdrawal-of-services-1.1043859

Joining them are ETFO Algoma and ETFO Sudbury. See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/story/2012/11/19/sby-teacher-job-action.html

Here's an open invite to a ETFO/OSSTF teacher protest outside the OLP Dinner at the Toronto Harbourcastle Westin on Tuesday at 5:50http://d12teachersbargain.com/
News Tip: OECTA Halton Elementary OLRB hearing for their Duty of Representation" complaint is being held this Friday November 23rd! Who else? Stay tuned for more details!



OPSEU/ CUPE?

Hello to my OPSEU readers! We look forward to following in solidarity your negotiations with the provincial government. Here are a few links for everyone to keep an eye on:

OPSEU's News Bulletins: http://www.opseu.org/news/press2012/november-12-2012.htm

Follow OPSEU on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OPSEU

Pension issues will be a big focus in the current negotiations. Here's their Pension Plan Page: http://www.optrust.com/Home/p_home.asp

See the CUPE 3902 Facebook page representing academic workers at the University of St. Mikes College [SMC]  in Toronto. They are striking for a fair first contract. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/SupportStMichaelsWorkers


Einstein was no dummy! He was a union organizer! It's a fact!

The U of T Varsity reports on the SMC instructional workers and TA's [teaching assistants] concerns over job security and advancement. It also explains what students showing up for class can expect. The CUPE 3902 workers situation leading to the strike is totally mind boggling. Some of the instructors teach classes of 30-70 students strictly on a year by year basis! See: http://thevarsity.ca/2012/11/19/smc-instructors-on-strike/


The OLP Leaders race

Martin Regg Cohn lists 6 excellent "political questions" that need to be asked among all the "beauty contests" and "power splays" typically associated with a leadership race like we are seeing now. Go to: http://osstfd8.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/sanctions-lifted-tentative-deal-reached/

The OLP leadership conference January 25-27 may be anti-climatic. The Toronto Star suggests the outcome may be known once the delegation selection process is completed on the weekend of January 12-13. Also provides the number of ex-officio members who get a vote: 800 in addition to the 1712 delegates who are to be chosen by the riding associations, 16 each. How democratic is that? It could be quite a decisive number! See: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1289197--ontario-liberal-leadership-front-runner-and-eventual-winner-could-be-known-2-weeks-before-vote

OLP Leadership candidate Glen Murray envisions Northern Ontario into an "autonomous region". It's good he is acknowledging the great Ontario north - south divide. He notes a lot of our wealth in southern Ontario is generated using the natural resources from the north, which often feels left out of the provincial decision making process. Still, he doesn't consider what would happen with tax redistribution and how autonomous northern governance would be set up and run, if in fact that is what he means. The Timmins Daily Press reports: http://www.timminspress.com/2012/11/18/liberal-leadership-candidate-in-favour-of-autonomous-north

The Toronto Star article projects Wynne and Pupatello as the forerunners. The Doug Little Report shows how he figures it will end up a race between Kennedy and Wynne on a 5th ballot. An interesting analysis of the race! See:  http://www.thelittleeducationreport.com/Educationthe.html

Doug also explains why he thinks the teachers have the upper "card"  hand in the next provincial election. Also that Broten has no more authority or credibility left and is only complicating unpopular issues for the OLP leadership candidates. See: http://www.thelittleeducationreport.com/


Ho boy! You'd think the letter to the editor asked if Sandra Pupatello likes Twinkies!!!

Warrenkinsella.com exposes Hudak worker submitting a letter to the editor against Pupatello. Says it shows the Conservatives are afraid of her. Here's the original letter: http://www.windsorstar.com/touch/story.html?id=7563689

Warren's "expose"? OMG!? Let's not get too glib here. Letters to the Editor are wide open. Heck I've written enough of them for political purposes as have many hardcore politicos, probably including a lot of you who are reading me now. Still, it's good if it shows the PC's are worried, but I'm not sure I would read too much into it. From a value neutral media perspective what Warren has done very well here is flip the story over so it can actually work in Sandra's favour. Lot's of folks will gobble this up. See: http://warrenkinsella.com/2012/11/the-hudak-pcs-are-very-nervous-about-sandra-pupatello/

Just a note for Doug Little, if he reads my blog. Thucydides in 500 BC claimed those who do not study their history are doomed to repeat it. Santayana must have got that from him.

Kingston OLP MPP John Gerretson opposes prorogation. Support was not unanimous. See: http://www.thewhig.com/2012/11/16/mpp-gerretsen-opposes-prorogation

Windsor West OLP MPP Teresa Piruzza in passing along Bill 115 concerns [?] notes teachers aren't the only ones who want a settlement. Hmm. See: http://blackburnnews.com/windsor/windsor-news/2012/11/19/piruzza-passing-message-along/

In Other News:



Rosie the Riveter says "Teach union studies at school! "

Unionism needs to be taught to the next generation of workers in our schools. Might I suggest for my OECTA colleagues that it would tie in well as a social justice issue in out religious studies, and leadership programs, and of course union studies would have an obvious angle in History, Civic and Business Economics? See: http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/unions-need-to-get-to-school-and-soon

A recent study shows 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis at work. Consider workplace harassment at out schools, be it from bullies in the school and board office, to even students who have no respect for anyone these days. It can involve our department heads and colleagues too. There are methods for dealing with the problem now under Bill 168: The Workplace Health and Safety. It's the companion piece to the Safe schools Act for teachers. You have every right to a safe workplace too. Unfortunately a lot of our boards will not acknowledge the full implications and importance of the act. The unions and our lawyers have a heck of a time even getting harassment acknowledged let alone dealt with appropriately. Anyway, consider these bullying survey results as they apply to our schools. We are still in the dark ages in recognizing and dealing with bullying even as it applies to ourselves as teachers: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/45838.html


Would you believe toast resembling Lee Harvey Oswald is beginning to appear as we approach the 49th anniversary of the JFK assassination? Would you also be interested in buying some private property in Cuba from me? No?!? ;-)

An interview with Tim Hudak who is "apologetically Conservative". Check out the implications for us as teacher unionists should he win the next provincial election. We need to strategize very carefully. A Liberal right and left wing divide and crash does not by any means guarantee an NDP victory. A lot of support could lean the other way, and result in a Conservative win. We are in many ways stuck in between a rock and a had place. As the interview points out the teacher unrest under a Hudak government would make the Harris years seem like "child's play." Quite frankly allowing a Conservative victory even by default to defeat the Liberals once and for all could be as successful as drinking Draino to get rid of a sore throat! Still, Hudak is on pretty shaky ground, even within his own party. Nothing is for certain anymore, so nothing can be taken for granted. See:
http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2012/11/18/the-nasty-edge-of-unapologetic-conservatism/

PC Education critic Lisa McLeod is angry at the OLP for proroguing the legislature and not sicking it hard enough to us. See: http://www.ontariopc.com/news/open-letter-to-education-minister-laurel-broten-from-ontario-pc-education-critic-lisa-macleod/


Poor Tim: "Please! How can we screw you over royally if we can't trash your pensions?!?"

PCs like the NDP are getting little news coverage these days because the OLP leadership race and MOE/ teacher dispute are crowding them off the news radar screen. Tim Hudak decides he will try to make a headline by announcing he wants to cut public sector pensions. This is scary stuff. He's really appealing strongly to his hardcore support with promises like this. I'm sure he means it too. He said today if elected he would even risk a strike to do so. Full news links to follow. For now see: https://twitter.com/spaikin/status/270569832565575681/photo/1

Ah, here's the article. Wouldn't you know it, the Toronto Sun ran with it right away, and included a poll on whether public pensions are too "rich". Vote now, we are losing: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/18/hostess-bankruptcy-twinkies_n_2156051.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-business

The Agenda's Steve Paikin gives us an overview of Hudak's plans to gut public sector pension plans. Don't forget -we are public servants too. Wouldn't Tim like to get hold of the OTPP for the provincial government and his business buddies! See and shudder: http://theagenda.tvo.org/blog/agenda-blogs/paths-prosperity-sustainable-retirement-security


The Mayans knew! See my Maya ruin photos below this blog column.

Mad rush on Twinkies in NYC as Hostess Foods files for liquidation, worried they will never get to eat one again. Ha. Janet and I bought a 3 pack last night for curling up on the couch watching t.v., the first time since I  don't remember when. The Twinkies that is not the.............well, never mind. :-) Apparently they are selling for $20 to $30 on Ebay. We got ours for $1.49 at the local corner store stuck in between stacks of Vachons and Joe Louis, neither of which we've bought for ages either. Not since the bad old days! All those sugars and preservatives in a whipped cream filled sponge cake roll makes you nostalgic doesn't it? No! Ha ha. There's also a story that Hostess Canada is still in business and doing fine but I haven't found a link yet. See:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/twinkie-shortage-hostess-bankruptcy_n_2147012.html?ir=Canada+Business&utm_hp_ref=canada-business

Canadian Press specualtes on whether Canadian junk food giant Saputo, maker of Vachons and Joe Louis snack cakes might purchase bankrupt US Hostess Foods or their Twinkies line. Saputo, in fact, is licensed to manufacture and sell Twinkies in Canada. It is is looking to develop a US growth strategy with it's own Vachon and Joe Louis junk food lines. They are undecided. Americans love Twinkies but Joe Louis' is more popular in Canada. Saputo might have to wait anyway.


 Joe Louis is not a Twinkie, eh! The Yanks love Twinkies. In Canada folks prefer Joe Louis!

A US judge has insisted the the bakers union be invited to participate in the bankruptcy procedures. The union is being blamed by Hostess' for their financial woes because they are striking over a 3/4 cut to company pension contributions, a 17% cut to employee health benefits and an 80% executive pay raise. 

All 33 US factories were closed on Friday. Everybody was laid off except for staff at the 500 bakery outlet stores whom will stay until the last of the Twinkies and so on are sold out. Hostess Foods earned $68 million in revenue from Twinkies alone last year. That's down from years past. It will possibly sell off the product line separately as a part of its bankruptcy proceedings. Hardly a teacher issue per se. Still the anti union arguments give cause for pause. It's very typical of the larger right wing thrust in Canada and the US today to blame the unions for the economic crisis. In effect, that's what is happening to us too. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/18/hostess-bankruptcy-twinkies_n_2156051.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-business


Me: "Psssst! Pssst! The protective roof!... Put up the roof ....the roof.... No! I'm not kidding!!! Ho boy!"

Blog report on the Friday teacher protest outsider Education Minister Brotens office below ...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

All Oecta members (female and male) need to vote individually for the next Oecta Provincial President because..."A man without a vote is a man without protection."
Lyndon B. Johnson

Anonymous said...

The Liberals are finished. Vote NDP!

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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!