Opening Statement

Monday 10 December 2012

Ontario Teacher Strike Week 1

[Confused? Please see acronym list in the December 10th blog below]

December 14 - 15 2012 [Updated Saturday]

Newton Conn. school shooting has been posted in a separate blog. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the students, parent and staff. We are teachers. The horror is beyond words.

SAB 115 [Students Against Bill 115] marshals at the Student Queen's Park Rally: Put up your hand if you don't like Bill 115! ;-)

ETFO ROTATING STRIKES: Simcoe! Upper Grand! Kawartha!

Major push on to ratify OECTA contracts:

Huron Superior Catholic Board reports OECTA local ratified contract by 72%. Board reports local president recommended members vote yes!  See: See here

Toronto Star says 6 OECTA contracts ratified, 20 more ready to go. If you are like me scream out in major embarrassment. See very end of article: OECTA Ratifies 6 20 to go 

Back on the Picket Lines:

Toronto Star lists ETFO strikes up til next Tuesday. First time I have seen this. Whew! Hope this isn't a one shot deal. See: collected ETFO strike dates

Check the ETFO strike announcements for Toronto + the GTA "Super Tuesday" Dec. 18th. News of the rotating strikes are being announced separately with 72 hours notice and they are coming fast and furious! I don't have the resources to keep compiling accurate lists here myself but you can keep checking day by day, local by local in the ETFO Media room yourself. Lots + lots there to try to sort through so better get going. Love ETFO and understand how very busy they are but this is near impossible. It would be very useful info to have at a glance for parents and non members alike. See: ETFO Strike dates

ETFO Toronto + GTA Super Tuesday strikes are coming Dec 18th! See: Toronto GTA

ETFO teachers mobilized across province. "If you work in Ontario this is your fight." See: ETFO Strikes

Student Queen's Park Rally

More on impending Toronto strike and video of student protest at Queens Park Thursday: TO + QP

CBC coverage of the Queens Park Student Rally + government reaction: CBC QP

Toronto high school students rock Queen's Park!

I dropped by the Queens Park Student Rally yesterday on my way to an appointment at Toronto General. The news reporters can say what they will, but the front third of the grounds was packed tight with a few thousand students at least. It was raucous, high spirited and amazingly well run by the SAB 115 [Students Against bill 115] Marshall's. The body surfers upfront the podium was a very 21st century touch. Actually rather amusing except for the other media as they tried to position their big cameras while partying students were being passed around overhead on a sea of hands. Ha. ha. Hey! Everybody was having fun. 

White shirted student SAB 115 [Student's Against Bill 115] marshaled today's rally. I wonder if they have a Manifesto? Seemed to really know their stuff!
The signs were homemade. I saw few adults or union signs. The student speeches were good. Many of the students I talked to were from the Toronto Alternative schools, Central Tech, Don Mills, well there were too many to list. Many were for their teachers, but there was diversity, no sycophants here. Some just wanted their extracurriculars back and are truly upset about it in a quite human and teenage way. All were demonstrably against Bill 115 and they weren't politically null and void either. They knew their points and could express them quite well. The future of protest in Ontario looks very healthy indeed if the Queens Park rally was any indication. Bravo! In solidarity! 

The students run a great protest. Better than us in the 60's and 70's I'd say! :-)

A good idea! The students used their cellphones en mass and called up the Queens Park offices and MPP's during the rally. It was quite hilarious and no doubt tied up the lines!

See the student promo video for the December 10th walk out here: Walk out!

York Mills Collegiate student walk out protest: Viva la Revolucion [with a "Twisted Sister" soundtrack]! See video: York Mills Students

Keep watching my slide show on top left of my blog page. I took 100's of photos!

Think what we are teaching our Catholic students by sitting out protest and strikes! They are missing it all! Will they end up politically null and void? Never say never! Alas X3!!! How sad! Sad! Sad!

On the Ontario Political News Front

Adam Radwanski considers how the province screwed up the teachers negotiations by not providing enough give and take. See: Give + take

NDP's Andrea Horwath still on a roll with a reminder prorogation tied up necessary provincial business for everybody. She might've included the list of Bills that died on the floor to really add punch. Still, it needed to be said again. See: Progrogation

Province scraps idea of amalgamated Catholic + public boards in Kawartha. No substantial financial savings seen. Provincial plans + direction were unclear. Public board agrees good to scrap idea but notes joint co-operation to date has helped everyone anyway. ETFO insists it could still work. See: amalgamation

Teacher bashing anyone?

National Post's Matt Gurney insists teacher unions are the undemocratic ones. Didn't ETFO + OSSTF vote for these strikes Matt? Duh. See: Teachers Undemocratic?

Pass this on to any teacher bashers you know: Teacher bashing misconceptions

PC Oppostion leader Tim Hudak plans to llegislate US Style Right to Work into law here in Ontario if he is elected this spring. See:  Hudak Right to Work

NDP party leader Andea Horwath speaks out against Tim's race to the economic bottom with Right to Work plans. The title "Right to Work" is as disingenuous as "Putting Students First" Act. It sounds like a motherhood issue everybody should of course support. Good thing Andrea is hammering away at it now before the notion takes hold! See: Horwath speaks

Doorey's Legal Workplace Law Blog examines whether US style Right to Work laws would violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Our laws are not the same! See: Charter Rights

In other news

US President Obama address American people on Newton Shootings. See video: newton shootings

Dexter star shocked by copy cat murders. The Newton school shootings seems more like something out of Criminal Minds. I love crime shows too, but it is very disturbing to consider what somebody might come up with next. Being one who supports education over censorship, in times like this it does seem very, very hard to argue outright against it. See: Dexter anyone?

Maya Calander: World Ends 21 12 12! NASA disputes facts. Maya scholar weighs in. Ground Zero is supposed to see Chichen-Itza Mexico. See my photos below blog column: End is Nigh?

December 13 2012  

ETFO York + Renfrew + Trillium Lake lands strike!
OSSTF full job actions continue!
OECTA Dissidents: Let's get out there + show solidarity on the lines!!!!!

Mass student protest planned at Queen's Park 1 pm today!

Student walkouts spread across Ontario. I will report on the very successful Queens Park rally tomorrow. Had a chance to chat off camera with CP24's Cynthia Mulligan today. Just tell everyone I am a blogger and I get to position myself with media too. They are hip to it. Will post the photos in my slide show above tonight. See: Student walk outs spread

Rumour from reliable sources OECTA has 6 contracts ready to be ratified with possibly 20 more on the way. Big rush to meet MOE deadline by midnight Dec 31st. Some pretty scary stories surfacing. See my Comment bars.

This blog reached a grand total of 70,000 reader visits at midnight! Please share + tweet the link in solidarity! 

ETFO Renfrew County. here's Sam Hammond with picket in Deep River this morning.

Greetings + Solidarity Renfrew readers! Really wish I could be there with you in both body and spirit. My grandfather Toby Chiarelli settled in the town of Renfrew to raise a family with my grandmother Martha from Killaloe. He ran the shoe repair shop on the main strip until he died in the 1960's. I have many fond memories of the town of Deep River too! My family lived there for a stint when my dad taught at St. Mary's in the early 1960's. I went to Kindergarten through grade 2 at the school. Readers please note: The Ottawa Valley is God's country! Beautiful! Pure Ontario, Canada! In solidarity!

ETFO's Sam Hammond promises one day province wide walkout in January if MOE imposes contract: Province wide walkout?

ETFO asks OSSTF teachers not to cross pickets in junior high school setting where both teach. See: ETFO picket lines + OSSTF?

ETFO TDSB and Peel strikes scheduled for next Tuesday! The fight has arrived! Welcome to Toronto! This should be real exciting. OECTA  TSU + TECT activists! Here's a great chance to show solidarity on the picket lines before and after school or at lunch. Please get the word out to our colleagues now and start making plans. The whole city will be watching. 

So what's that? 2.5 million Torontonians and many more folk in the GTA. OECTA's absence is sowing a lot of bad vibes. Wouldn't it be great if we could pull out all the stops and take charge of our situation? TSU flags are available for use through the local unit office or make your own signs. Toronto news coverage will be seen across Ontario. Let's go for it! See: ETFO to strike Toronto + Peel

ETFO strikes Toronto + Peel on Tuesday! Let's get out + show solidarity!

Just a note if anybody from the ETFO office is reading. I have a hard time getting a list of which locals are striking or joining work to rule each day to share here. There are the press releases in the Media section of your website but one needs to go back through them to sort it out, which is hard and it's easy to miss somebody. Maybe this info could be gathered on your Events Calendar or be posted prominently somewhere on the site each day? I called but my understanding is that isn't being done. I don't want to be a bother because I know how busy everybody is. Still I'm sure you'd want the public + non ETFO teachers to have easy access so they can check at a glance and be in the know. I'm not aware of anybody else who posts your info regularly + accurately for non members. It is very hard to find. Anyway, it's a thought .....

NDP leader Andrea Horwath in the lions den! Read her Toronto Sun guest column; "Liberals putting us through the wringer" She's definitely out to wash that gang right out of our hair! ;-). [South Pacific? Never mind ... ] Gotta love her pluck! See: Andrea in the Sun

Horwath gives interview to London Press challenging  Hudak's claims about his so called Right to Work plans. Seems in fine form and back in action. See:  Right to work benefits?

NDP's Andrea Horwath back on a roll!

Kennedy's peace plan: teachers would halt actions until after the OLP leaders race. Province would not impose contracts by deadline. Peace talks would follow to de-escalate situation. I'm definitely going to want to hear a lot more before I comment on this one but it's the first concrete idea so far in the race. Still the devil is always in the details and the parties reaction. Is Kennedy onto something? See: Kennedy plan

CUPE officially applauds Kennedy's "sensible" plan. See: CUPE Approval

Kennedy working the Liberal backrooms to gain support for his teachers peace plan.

OLP leaders race: Hepburn article in Toronto Star claims party insiders questioning whether Ontario is ready for a gay premier. See: Gay Premier?

TDSB lets province in to help "get finances in order." Hello Pricewaterhouse Cooper? See TDSB

Toronto Stars Thomas Walkom claims political right  like "jackals" with a "hate on" circling their North American union prey who have yet to come to terms with new worker reality. See: Jackal right union prey

Canada in space: so whats a Canuck to eat? Maple cookies?!? 

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield onboard International Space Station eats maple cookie treats. That's probably coz they got no back bacon or poutine eh? See: Canuck astro eats?

December 12 2012

ETFO Ottawa - Carleton + Hastings - Prince Edward Strike Today! Am I missing anybody??

Ottawa pickets! Canada: The true north strong + cold! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Trivia: Today is 12 12 12. Now there's something that only happens once every thousand years. I can tell you are real excited ....... ;-)

TVO's Agenda considers what happens next: TVO Agenda What next?

ETFO media room: Lots of  new strike announcements are being made all the time, too many to just keep listing here for you. Keep an eye on this link and you can find out quickly for yourself. Remember, the are being announced within 72 hours of the strike. See: New EFTO strike dates?

John Lennon spotted at student Kill Bill protest! Background right. Love the look! Stock photo from earlier but still no snow in Toronto.

Here's a good question that's making the Twitter rounds: How can Premier McGuinty be against 1 day strikes while approving 3 unpaid days off for teachers? Ha! Let's see him put that one in his pipe and smoke it!

BTW: I  got a Christmas card from Premier Dalton McGuinty today[!?] Maybe he reads my blog? Then why does it say thank you? Have I somehow helped him get the @#$# out of here? It is a nice card though. I'm not too god at this Christmas thing. Do I need to send him one back now???

OLP leadership candidate Gerrard Kennedy says no contracts should be imposed by Bill 115 until after new leader is chosen and peace talks held. See: Kennedy Bill 115 Statement

Here is the official statement on Kennedy's peace plan proposal from his campaign office. See: Peace Plan?

The Ottawa Bulldog delivers a right fist punch. Hey, we are teachers. We consider all points of view here. Think about them. Compare. Make up your own mind. The truth will set you free. See: Bulldog right fist

Kill Bill 115: The Ontario Sequel!

TDSB will keep Toronto public elementary and junior high schools closed when ETFO strike hits unlike years past: TDSB announcement

A tip o' the hat to OSSTF D12 activist Tim Hefferman + colleagues! Tim reports 300 students walked out at York Mills Collegiate in Toronto today. An article should be forthcoming too. See his message at: York Mills Collegiate TDSB

My understanding is OSSTF members are in contact between units through the social media before and after each contract vote. In OECTA outside of this blog and a few other online groups we are all in the dark. Do you think that's an accident? It's certainly a big handicap.

Do our members who ratified contracts realize they just willingly handed over their gratuities, sick days and so on voluntarily? Did you check if your contract agreement incorporated the terms of the MOU? If they did you are beat for these. You agreed. You have no recourse to appeal or legal action. Listen if you have anything else valuable in your contract you'd like to give away please give it to me okay? Not the MOE .....

Our hearts go out to the OECTA OT's who are so badly taken advantage of and abused by the Catholic boards because of unfair and nontransparent hiring pratices that they desperately need help with that, regardless of everything else. Still, had you waited until midnight Dec 31st it would've been imposed on our boards under Bill 115 anyway! Why do you think they don't like the MOU

Here is where the problem largely lies. We have all fought side by side before. We know our fellow members are not bad people or even stupid. IMHO we are all cut off from each other and operating in ignorance, separate and apart. You only hear and know what you are supposed to know!

Ultimately I don't believe any of us can just say we can't help it. If the info is not being provided we need to make sure we get it ourselves. Share my link and/ or send me a blog to post about what you are doing for the good fight! Comment on the Comment bar below each blog. Start your own online blogs, Face Book pages, email chains, twitters and tweets, underground beer hall groups whatever!!! You have heard and read about OECTA Halton's Bad Boy Brock, Toronto's Metro 7, the Disenfranchised OECTA Teacher Petition, and the OECTA Bill  of Member Rights here on my blog. They have all done something on their own. The consequences of not doing so are too great to risk!

While we are on this, here is also the list of ETFO rallies across the province for the next month or so. Why not get an OECTA group together and plan to attend one nearby? Also remember you can go show your solidarity at their strike pickets before or after school or at lunch too! One or two, even just a few teachers but the more the merrier! Don't worry if nobody else will go. I've gone alone. No problems. They will appreciate seeing you there! It really helps lift up spirits. You might make a sign. Bring a flag. You can let us know here on my blog if you do. You can also send pictures too if you want to help us get the ball rolling! See: ETFO Rally Dates

Altogether now: No to MOU + Bill 115! United we stand! Divided we fall! What will you do?

Mississauga high school security guards arrested for selling high school students drugs.

Toronto Star piece claims PC leader Tim Hudak is scaring off thoughtful voters with his dividing tactics and neo con vision.  IMHO we need the NDP to now very noticeably and convincingly fill the void to the near empty centre left void of the Ontario political spectrum where the votes can be decisive come a spring election. Polls showing the NDP slipping back to 3rd place are not reassuring. Quite possibly the OLP leadership race is stealing the thunder but let's see and hear a clearly articulated and demonstrated vision with no excuses about the media. It's a game we all need to learn how to play. Also the messaging needs to appeal to the typical Ontarians sensibilities more so than the party faithful while also keeping them on board. It's a difficult balancing act. I still sense the NDP are playing it very safe on the teacher protest. They say the right things to us but we've heard that a million times before from others. What can they actually do? I certainly wish them well in figuring it out. A progressive political party in power is very exciting and very much needed indeed. BTAIM, Nobody outright deserves the blind or strictly ideologically unquestioning trust and support of the teacher movement. See: PC Neo Con

Ottawa Carleton Pickets today: Ho ho ho! Bill 115??? Dalton didn't know?!? 

I am going to repost Doug Nesbitt's Rank and File article "Kill Bill 115: Where is the [teacher] movement going?". It has some very interesting perspectives I'm still rolling over in my mind as applied to my own ongoing political commentary here on the blog. He can be quite constructively critical of all our union sides in the current crisis while also being a unionist himself, which is a quality of thinking I highly respect, agree with him or not. Also do not doubt that a vibrant teacher political movement is recreating itself here in Ontario. Sometimes successfully. Sometimes not. I will develop this a lot further in a future commentary or two as well. For now, please read and consider for yourself: The Ontario Teacher Movement

Ontario Provincial and federal right wing verses left wing sides battle it out in court. The judiciary is very important part of our Canadian constitution. Some say too much so, others say  not enough. See: Right verses left

Frank Sinatra would have been 97 today. He was "the voice." No "stranger in the night" for those of us who grew up while he was around, like his style of music or not. He interpreted a song with his voice. Was a major change in popular music from those who came before him. I like "the voice". Still do. A lot. Listen and see him even if you haven't all ready on the Youtube Videobar below my blogs. There's even a complete concert with the Rat Pack.

Sinatra: My Way, New York, New York, That's Life, Stranger in the Night, Love + Marriage, All or Nothing at All, One for My Baby, Chicago, Come Fly With me, All of Me, Summer Winds etc. etc. etc.

IKEA Monkey Update: See a video of him at home with his owner. Yup. Owner wants him back. IKA Monkey is in Canada illegally and is being detained as a disease risk. No word on what's happened to his snazzy winter coat. Trite I know, but let's face it; everybody wants to see him. International readers note: It's freezing F%@King cold in Canada during winter!!! Not often you see a monkey. So this story is just one of those oddly Canuck things about us, eh. IKEA Monkey detained!

December 11 2012

Today's ETFO strikes: Niagara + Keewatin-Patricia
OSSTF is on work to rule

2 OECTA units ratify contracts: Bruce Gray: 94% + London District 93%. Details forthcoming. OMG! They must be partying at provincial office. This is horrific!!! See the reader Comments on the bottom of his post for reaction, and some very interesting insights from our OECTA members.

The OECTA Press release for today's votes is at: 2 OECTA Results

TVO Agenda on Bill 115 tonight 8-9pm. See: TVO Agenda

Education Minister Broten re-iterates she'll use Bill 115 to impose contract midnight New Years Eve. See: in the midnight hour 

Avon Maitland teachers: United they stand! 

OSSTF job actions could last life of Bill 115. No extracurriculars for 2 years? See: 2 years

McGuinty replies with appeal to restore extracurriculars until court decision on Bill 115. My understanding is these can take many years and are only useful on a go forward basis. See: McGuinty

Stratford students protest: Kill Bill 115! See: Student protest

There were numerous student walkouts across Peterborough on Monday. See: Kawarthas

Students plan walkout and rally Thursday at Queens Park! See: QP Rally

CTV news coverage of the strike in Avon Maitland: CTV

Simcoe County District board strike confusion. See: Wow!

CBC FAQ on the Ontario teachers strike. See: CBC FAQ

NDP's Andrea Horwath back in the news claiming under a NDP government there would not be a Bill 115. Sounds great but NDP in the early 1990's renegaded on auto insurance promise and introduced social contract cuts on teachers. Now we have been burnt by all three parties with the Liberal debacle. How do we hold her feet to the fire? See: NDP 115

Looks like Andrea is back to work.

PC Education Critic Lisa McLeod retches up neo con rhetoric claiming PC's would protect students, parents and teachers from big bad unions who "run" the province. How do you US style Right to Work legislation?!? Remove mandatory fees to hand tie unions! See: PC's for teachers?

Other union workers seek clear guidance and support on how to show solidarity for teacher strikes. See: union solidarity

For CUPE Education Worker information seeCUPE

OECTA teacher joins ETFO picket line is Temiskaming. A leading light! Very sad but true my fellow Catholic teachers!!! Is this the best we can do?!? Would somebody please get this man a beer!  See: Show solidarity!!!

Michigan approves historic "right to work" legislation meaning auto workers don't need to pay union dues. Obama calls it "right to work for less money":  Michicigan Approves RTW

CBC analysis of "Right to Work". Hmmm. Their unions sound a lot different then ours or is that just an anti-union bias? See: CBC RTW

Much more too come! Much much more pertinent news below:

December 10 2012

Huffington Post Canada provides a brief overview as we enter strike week 1. See: Huffington overview

Early morning ETFO strikers in front of the school board office in Timmins!

ETFO Media Releases are posted here so you can keep up with the strike dates as they are added. See: ETFO Strikes: where + when?

A handy list of when each ETFO local unit will be in a legal position to strike. See: Possible ETFO dates

Cold Labour Winter Ahead? Watch the snow monkeys for signs.They know!

Here is the ETFO list of protest rallies currently scheduled across the province between now and the January 26 OLP leadership convention. Very handy! Pick one you can attend to show your solidarity! See: ETFO Rally Schedule

16 ETFO locals also begin work to rule today. See: 16 ETFO locals

Here is a good overview read on Bill 115 and the teacher movement forwarded from my Rank and Solidarity brothers and sisters! Please post my link too. See: Rank and File

As you may have guessed I am not a big fan of Christmas Carols. "Teaching in McGuinty's Wonderland" is a must listen/ sing though! May it keep you warm on the pickets. See: Teaching in McGuinty Wonderland

McGuinty blames ETFO strikes over "pay dispute", which ETFO President Sam Hammond has openly said is not the case. There is a disingenuous poll attached to the article. I can't recommend it.It splits the "no" vote between "no" and "it's more complicated than that" allowing the "yes" vote, agreeing the strike vote is over pay, to lead by a wide margin. Definitely a hit below the belt. Seepay freeze issue

ETFO press release sticks to democracy script insisting the strikes are about democracy and free collective bargaining. Sam Hammond rebuff's McGuinty's claims accordingly. See: ETFO Media Release

Avon Maitland teacher parent solidarity: tea and cookies for teacher! Great photo! See: Avon Maitland

CP24 news report video with Sam Hammond interview on picket lines in Stratford. Video starts with a short commercial. See: ETFO interview video

Ontario teacher Karen Elizabeth's excellent letter dispelling the popular misconceptions about the teacher dispute has gone viral on the internet. Please continue to pass on and share! See: Popular misconceptions

Toronto Star editorial praises MOE Broten for resisting "union goading". See: Union Goading?

Front Page Cold Canadian Monkey Stories: A bridge over trouble during these trying times! Hey everybody look at this not the teachers! Have you no sense of compassion!?! ;-) ;-) ;-)

Province still plans to use Bill 115 to end impasse. Duh: Bill 115

Updated Star article includes PC Education Critic Lisa McLeod's mad flurry of  union bashing statements. She is also dumping big time on the Liberals for "sucking up" to the "union bosses" for not denying teachers their democratic right to strike. Lots of very vile ultra neo con fear mongering. A lot of folk will be susceptible during these trying times and McLeod and Hudak know it. 

Expect the Tories to get really nasty and bare their teeth in no uncertain terms as they work to rile everybody up for a frenzied teacher hate fest. It's one thing to hate Liberals but realize this is the other side of the coin being tossed in the air. I support the strikes and job actions big time. Still I can only urge caution that Ontario's teachers be very careful we don't end up like in 1995 when the Harris Conservatives won by a landslide and we went through 8 years of pure hell. 

The Conservatives nearly decertified our teacher unions and they had us teaching 71/2 periods a day. In the evenings Premier Harris would go on t.v. to denigrate us and we'd pay the price the next day from the parents and the kids at school. Teacher evaluations were punitive. We were told to pay for mandatory PD that had to be completed outside the school day on a regular basis. The list goes on and on. Next time they won't be so nice.

IMHO OSSTF job actions and ETFO's rotating one day strike strategies are very reasonable and being carried out in good measure. But not's not doubt the PC's are licking their lips and loving every moment of it now waiting for a wrong move. See: PC''s hate fest

Alarmist outdated "stats" based letter to the editor insinuates one day strikes and teacher voluntary disputes could result in student failure. Gimmie a break! Students aren't even required to repeat a course or school year if the parents pull them out for a couple of weeks extra holidays anymore. We are supposed to pass them along anyway. See: Fear mongering

Ontario's schools ruined? "OK class: Who wants a day off?" Look smart to me!

NDP Education critic Peter Tabuns says strike leaves parents scrambling. Who is he trying to help here? 72 hours is a pretty long scramble. I realize he's appealing to working families and blaming it on the Liberals. Still I would think he should reconsider his strategic focus in case the messaging gets confused. Not everyone is going to get the fine points here or care who's to blame if you are working them up about their childcare arrangements. His help is appreciated. He is usually a sharpie but ................... See: Peter Tabuns

A great Facebook page of photos from Sundays protest rally outside the OLP leaders debate. I see Kennedy, Wynne and Pupatello talking to the picketers. Lots of snow. Brrr! Very Canadian eh?: OLP Leaders protest photos

See a Youtube clip on Kennedy, Pupatello, and Kennedy reply to Bill 115 question in yesterdays OLP leadership debate. No clear answers, just generalities again. Alas. You also have the option to see the whole debate here. See: OLP Debate

Wynne, Pupatello and Kennedy hold 90% of the OLP caucus endorsements between them. Could make for a very interesting OLP leadership race off come Jan. 25-26. See: 3 hold 90

OLP's Erick Hoskin's latest leadership race ad. At least he has a sense of humour. None of the rest really crack me up. The robocalls are worst of all. Even Kennedy.

A rather corny NDP attempt at a Youttube video on prorogation that is not without it's laughs. Andrea Horwath sure has a lot of base make up on. Does anybody know what's wrong with her health? Seriously,  this video looks like it might be made at home. See: NDP Prorogation Video

CP24 covered 45 minute student protest outside Earl Haig Secondary school this morning. Stephen Leacock Secondary students are planning a two day strike. Oh oh! Somebody tell Laurel! ;-) The reporters were goading them to say who they blame, the government or the teachers. Most didn't take sides.

In Other News

Meanwhile down in Michigan the Republicans are about to take on the big auto unions ...... I hope labour puts it's foot down big time + stomps this out. Gives the Conservatives too  many bad ideas up our way. Pure copy cats! Maybe it's time we build our own "bridges" over the Great Lakes through our union solidarity? Pickett exchanges? Ha. See: Michigan Right to Work?

Have a merry anti-consumer Christmas! Maybe it can actually have a true heart felt sentiment without buying vast amounts of material goods that put you in debt to stimulate the economy?!? See: Happy un-materialistic Xmas!.

You can buy Elvis Presley's North Beach leather suit. He doesn't need it anymore.

If not, how about buying a North Beach Leather Suit Elvis wore for $15-20,000? It sold at an online auction for $13,500, far cheaper than was expected. Maybe the new owner will give you a good deal. Then you could wear it at Christmas to amaze your family and friends! Perhaps with how stupid you are! :-) See: Elvis Beach Leather Suit 4 sale!

A cold monkey in a fancy winter coat? What's the fuss? CP24 tells all. See: Too much monkey business?

Canadian media covers the big stories of the day!?! Support your local blogger or alt.internet site!
Sure, we love a good monkey story too but ...........................


Anonymous said...

I like all the pictures of Dwight Duncan at the IKEA store.

Steve said...

Right next door. Hmmmmmnn . . .

Steve said...

Oh yeah, watch the video and then let the next one play. YIKES!!!

Anonymous said...

Shock the Monkey!

angryoectateacherOTTAWA said...

That is disgusting that two units ratified! Which ones? I sure hope Ottawa takes a stand and says No. How pathetic that it was so high in percentage as well! Which unit? If this is the trend, we might as well disband this union.

Anonymous said...

WOW! 93% and 92%! I know this blog is not the "official" position of your federation, but man, you seem to be out of touch with the rest of your provincial brothers as they sent a strong message that they are pro contract stripping and reduced rights! Proud moment indeed...

Anonymous said...

David: Regarding your comments about NDP and past track record. NDP has a new leader, has purged itself of its old guard party executive and has made leaps and bounds towards growing as a pragmatic party. Bob Rae (their old leader) who turned his back on his promise on auto insurance and enacted the social contract is gone and was proven to be a liar or Liberal if you like. Andrea Horwath is no Rae and its pretty weak to try to make that connection but I guess an old Liberal loving (so called social justice activist) such as yourself who admits to voting for the party of big business and corruption just can't help himself eh?

Kulture Kult Ink said...

I've taken critical stances on all three parties. I will continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

Bear in mind that the first OSSTF agreement was ratified. We can still be hopeful. That being said . . . when exactly is it that the meek are supposed to inherit the world?

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Re: The OECTA contract ratifications. Yes it really really really sucks. No, That is not the official position, and it is very tragic that our members voted in support of it. I'm sure those of us in the
dissident wing like myself feel very embarassed.
It really is a slap in the face to our colleagues out on the picket lines or involved in job action.

Anonymous said...

Just spent the afternoon protesting Bill 115 in front of my school. I was very encouraged with the honking horns and all the thumbs up and friendly waves of encouragement. I want to thank the support we received from our friends in OSSTF, CUPE and even our local Liberal MPP...but no OECTA??? So I called my friend from another school and we talked about all the support we received. I told him I was surprised that no one from OECTA stopped by. He thought for a few seconds and responded, "ME TOO."

Anonymous said...

When the Upper Grand local of OSSTF ratified their agreement there was an outcry via social networking that led to the rejection of the next agreements. Perhaps it's time for OECTA to wake up! SNAP OUT OF IT!!!! The rest of us are really going to feel the wrath of the right wing fanatics over the next few days. Come on Ottawa, show us your mettle.

Anonymous said...

ANY Bruce Grey and London teachers please respond to the following: how on EARTH could you have willingly accepted this contract? I am utterly speechless with shock at this result.

Doug Nesbitt said...

Hi David,
Thanks so much for linking to the article I wrote at It's heartening to know yourself and other teachers are reading it and understand it to be constructive criticism and analysis. It is intended to be read by all workplace activists, union or not. I really want to see Bill 115 repealed and the government defeated on this issue, as well as the emergence of stronger, more democratic unions with an empowered membership. Thanks again!

in solidarity,
Doug Nesbitt

Anonymous said...

All OECTA members need to ask their presidents questions, like "how did you vote on the MOU?"

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Hi Doug!

Glad to share your link. I am really interested in the development of the teacher movement in Ontario since the Harris Eves years. It is quite unique and interesting as a union and political development. Compared to most other countries I can think of we are doing quite well, but of course we still have a long way to go, and then there are the current setbacks to consider too.
It requires an open constructively critical discussion to be more than just ideological and rhetorics. I am quite excited about what is happening. Let's keep contact and share each others links!


Anonymous said...

Hi David, I am an ETFO member and walked the line today.An OECTA member who is on sick leave came to our line and thanked us for standing up for all teachers. He told me that he was sick about how your members werent even given the right to vote. It was nice to have the support. I think OECTA could step it up as individuals tho. Your unions betrayal really gave Broten a weapon she is using with glee. On another note I grew up in Deep. It was nice to see the photo of Sam Hammond with the teachers. Many of my friends went to St Marys! Valley people are awesome!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

If an OECTA member on sick leave can get out to offer solidarity and support to our brothers and sisters on the ETFO picket lines, then there isn't any excuse for the rest of us!

Hooray Deep River!

My dad moved there from Malton after they scrapped the Avro Arrow in 1959. I started Kindergarten at St. Marys the following year.
Suppose I'd be ancient out that way now. We used to live on Laurention street. The baby boom was in full swing and all I can remember is having tons and tons of friends but most names to escape me right was such a great place to live!

Valley people rule!

There was one buddy named Chris Thomas.

Anonymous said...

My friends and I really wonder about helicopter parents nowadays. It was the baby boom then ( we must be close in age) and our moms would take us all down to the town beach and leave us there(for the day) to be watched by several teenage lifeguards. There seemed to be hundreds of little kids. They didnt lose one kid. We had swimming lessons in that cold river come rain or shine.LOL! Makes for tough teachers!Back in the day......

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Yeah, I learnt to swim in the Ottawa River with all those kids + teenage life guards. We'd just all head down by ourselves, walk or bike, and be there all day. The rule was everybody had to be home to eat, and come in by dark. Come sunset and you'd hear parents calling everybody, coz we'd forgotten and were playing tag or hide + go seek. The river was cold. In winter the would be carnival on the ice which would be cleared off for ice castles and rinks. There was a snow sculpture contest. Dad and I built one. The winners made the newspaper. We won for the old lady who lived in a shoe. It didn't matter tho, coz everybody was making one on their front yard and having a ball.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if you remember but there used to be stock car races on the river. My dad was involved in those. I remember it vividly. Times seemed to be simpler then. We played in the woods all day, made forts, climbed trees and ate wintergreen berries. No one worried about a deceptive government or being kidnapped. I feel for parents today-so many worries.

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