Opening Statement



Thursday, 29 November 2012

What Next? ETFO Strikes!

[Updated]

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: http://www.controlyourfuture.ca/etfo_news/72-hours-notice-strikes-december/


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: http://www.cbc.ca/hereandnowtoronto/episodes/2012/11/28/elementary-teachers-enter-a-strike-position-1/

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: 
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1294435--dalton-mcguinty-not-worried-after-two-high-school-unions-reject-contracts

McGuinty and Broten defend Bill 115 and MOE's actions. See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/11/28/ontario-elementary-teachers-schools-planned-strikes-notice.html

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: http://www.cp24.com/news/government-won-t-allow-teachers-walkouts-broten-1.1058767

The Toronto Star reports. The PC and NDP response included: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1295168--laurel-broten--teachers-will-be-ordered-back-if-they-strike

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: http://stopbill115.ca/message-to-parents/

Trenton local news reminds parents they will need to make day care arrangements for next month: http://www.trentonian.ca/2012/11/28/etfo-plans-to-strike-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: http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1545107--teachers-planning-december-walkouts

Global Edmonton reports! The whole country is watching? A straightforward account of events from over the past two days. See: http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/money/mcguinty+stands+by+anti-strike+law+as+teachers+reject+new+contracts/6442762100/story.html


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: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/02/teachers-unions-in-self-destruct-mode


Commentary

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!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is a history lesson for OECTA members: Cut and paste it to your browser, read and learn. You'll long to feel pride like OSSTF teachers do.

http://www.osstfd20.ca/pdfs/The%20Battles,%20The%20Wars%20and%20the%20Victories.pdf

Anonymous said...

Dave, what is to be gained by ETFO members striking? At this point, wouldn't they just end up losing pay (during strike) and still get the legislated contract come December 31. With the government prorogued, Bill 115 cannot be repealed. I think assuming the courts will side with the union legal challenge is a dangerous assumption to make.

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have added it to my "OSSTF Says No" blog for wider exposure. [often 1000 reader visits here a day now]. The irony is, I proudly remember many if not most of the same struggles as an OECTA member, especially those since 1972. [ok i participated as a student in 1972 :-)] In our case the story now comes to a halt.

I was telling James Ryan some time ago that the definitive story of our struggle during the Harris Years will need to be written. Yours is great! There's a lot of detail here for those newer teachers who might be confused about what really happened. In solidarity!

David Chiarelli said...

Why strike? I would agree Bill 115 isn't going to be repealed anytime soon, and the teachers, who one assumes agree to the strike actions, do stand to lose pay before Christmas. Still ETFO has maintained a hard line position though out the PDT process.

To my thinking, if they are going to go down come Dec 31 better to go down fighting and take an honour guard with them. Then come January the OLP will have taken another big hit as well as ETFO, and the would be OLP leaders are going to have to get off the fence on whether they are willing to stand up for teachers or not.

There will be question they are forcing ETFO under great resistance and duress to bend to their autocracy. The lines will be clearly drawn between the Liberal left and right. Who will reach out their hand out to ETFO in earnest or face an all out teacher war come a spring election? No threat but the real thing in no uncertain militant terms.

IMHO ETFO has unfortunately no other options but to back up words with actions or just roll over and take what the MOE is going to stick them with. Of course I am not an ETFO member so I don't know what they are thinking. This is pretty much just my own personal credo for what I would say has to be done this stage under similar circumstances. I would be prepared to do it too, with my head held high.

Small consolation eh? One hopes all our unions, including my own friggin' OECTA will not just let this pass looking out for ourselves or we have lost the fight anyway. Time to separate the big boys and girls from the little ones. Once smack up against the wall the teachers movement needs warriors not boot lickers. Just my opinion, and I KNOW others will disagree...

Anonymous said...

OECTA? Warriors? Riiiiiight.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of striking is to prove to the public and ourselves that we are serious about resisting bill 115. That we strike with the full knowledge that we will suffer pay loss, scorn and sorrow and at the end will only be handed an imposed contract that is the same or worse than what we might have originally received had we cooperated like OECTA, is proof of our principles and conviction. It is indeed ironic that OSSTF may have to thank OECTA for their hard work on the MOU if that is what the Liberals force onto all teachers. At the end of the day this is resistance against tyranny and holds the promise of forcing the Liberal leadership candidates to declare their intentions regarding bill 115. It is sad to this day that OECTA's leadership has refused to speak out against Broten and the Liberals. This executive needs to go come your next election.

David Chiarelli said...

Well, with all due humility please know there still are militants at OECTA. You might imagine what it is like to be side lined and hand tied like we are right now. I am probably in my element at a protest, riot or demonstration where I excel best rather than with this talk talk talk stuff when it's time to act decisively. I can and have put myself on the line at personal physical and career risk before, but suppose I am viewed more like a dinosaur at OECTA these days. I understand your confusion. Please consider me confused at best too.

Anonymous said...

O'Dwyer all over Twitter talking about how scary Tim Hudak is. Political Action trough feeders follow up his comments by posting that Tim is the real threat. My god why don't Kevin and Victoria just run as Liberals in the next election for godssake. Oh that right Bill 115 Kathleen is going to save them. DROLE.

Anonymous said...

No worries OECTA - we will CONTINUE to fight the good fight! I think OSSTF leadership has finally go it - it may cost us financially, but WE WILL MEET THE CHALLENGE OF BILL 115 AND DEFEND DEMOCRACY FOR EVERYONE! Btw - has OECTA leadership heard about Bill 115?

David Chiarelli said...

OECTA Provincial silence on Bill 115 is deafening. Perhaps the silence speaks louder than words about what is going on at the office? If not we need to hear them speak out loud and clear!!! For shame!!!

Anonymous said...

I just hope OECTA membership will not be silent and elect new leadership come 2014. We MUST take a stand now and set the stage for 2014. And we ALL must be united in 2014. In solidarity!

Btw - thank you for a wonderful and balanced site, David. And all the hard work you do to keep it updated.

David Chiarelli said...

Our OECTA dissenters NEED to sign up for Spring AGM 2014. Applications should be available through your unit in December. Ask. Then get a group together and go! It could to be a real political bloodbath if you come to challenge the executive in the Presidential election this year. Otherwise? Expect some wishy washy comprimise or god forbid the status quo. It depends upon you taking action on your words. We are the union. We won't be represented correctly if we are not there to make sure there is no more B.S. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take the time during March break to go for the 3 days. Your hotel, meal and transportation expenses are covered so it is just an investment of your time and commitment to saving our union! I look forward to seeing you there this year! There is lots of work to do but believe me, we will have a lot of fun with it too. Submit your application asap!

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