Opening Statement



Saturday, 22 December 2012

OECTA: My Blog To Be Censored?


AKA: Weekend Before Christmas

It's the weekend before Christmas and school is out. Janet and I stayed indoors today. She headed off shopping or something for a while today, gave up due to her cold and the frigid cold windy weather. Don't blame her. Mostly I sleep, sit in the music room writing, surfing the net, or watch t.v with her on the couch in the living room. Usually do for the first few days of the holidays, unless we are going away. I'll stay in my pyjamas, wear this nice deep blue Japanese kimono I have for around home. I will put off going out for as long as I can. Same with doing anything except what I like which right now is just being here in doors and spacing out. It sure beats being busy busy busy all the time!




 Vote no contract! John, Ian, myself and Frank. Chris took the photo. We spoke out and now this blog is being monitored. Watch for upcoming censorship attempts! No OECTA free speech?

Wrote a long letter to my executive today. Some are royally p.o'ed because of my challenge to the contract. One really took it hard, accusing me of a lack of solidarity and responsibility to the membership and so on. I asked for a guest blog about it, in specific about the concerns in my writing, sharing and discussing my opinions and reports on this site. I will respectfully post it here. I am perfectly serious, not making jokes. If you read me regularly you will know I always encourage different points of view!

Also I have OECTA Provincial snooping round. They called up a reporter who interviewed me on dissent among the Catholic teachers. The official story remains that its not happening. Everything is hunky dory. Although the real story is gaining traction outside of our own teacher ranks, KZ is one of the few reporters who has a good sense of what's been going on among all the confusion. She included it in a teacher story. I thank her for that. Here's what she wrote back a day or so ago:
Received a call this morning from OECTA head office, querying your qualifications as spokesperson for your union. I noted that I'd called you a union rep, not spokesperson, and you were voicing your own opinion.


OECTA's become notorious for trying to put down any dissent since July 5th. The stories Bad Boy Brock could tell you! Also the 4 units who along with the Metro 7 filed the OLRB complaint against OECTA Provincial. Their response? They used Bill 115 against our own teachers to have their case thrown out of court. Then there was the supposed task force investigating MOU concerns to make recommendations for the Spring AGM. Few of my readers had time to respond. The rest wondered how credible it could be with Kevin sitting on the team. I don't now. It's all a big shame.

The silence from the main office remains deafening except for the occasional glib official statement that I've posted here. There's info that's apparently been released but nobody could seem to find. I've posted quit a bit of that too. My best guess is that's ticking them off, as well as my comments to KZ, which by the way came mostly from my blogs. It's quite ridiculous. I know of more than a few reporters who have been regularly following me for quite awhile now. I'd guess OECTA thinks it's better to keep everyone quiet and in the dark until the storm blows over or we hopefully just run out of steam and lose interest. It also helps to sometimes make a few examples of members or units who challenge the status quo. Possibly that explains our member apathy? Sort of reminds me of the Kremlin and the KGB. Or maybe of being in occupied Europe during WW2. I wrote about that too in my Vichy mentality blog.



First snow covering as seen outside our home.

I've noticed my readership has dropped down, probably due to the holidays. Don't really know how long it will be before a few more MOE news bombs drop from the dark clouds of the huge education showdown rolling ominously overhead. We head onwards slowly but surely towards January 1st. Can't see too many contracts being settled now except for the squeamish few OECTA units that are still waiting to sign. Well you've seen the anatomy of one contract ratification if you read my blog on the vote with all those embarrassing numbers. I would guess that is pretty much the pattern. One never sees a list of who settled and what the numbers and percentages of the votes were. Hmmmm. Anyway come the new year OECTA will be happily sitting out the crisis in class. I think for some of us anyway, and for the long term good of our union, that's the worst place we could be. Nope OECTA didn't say that! It's just my opinion. As if you couldn't tell  :-)

Well fa la la. I'm not going to dwell on all the doom and gloom over the holidays. I do what I can plus its so comfy now at home. I think I would be feeling really bad if I had done nothing. Anyway, I'm going to go watch a movie with Janet, and will write again sometime soon, maybe tomorrow. Please know I really enjoy our discussions in the Comment sections below each blog. I have plenty of time now to read and respond. So do drop by and have your say.

December 23

Another very lazy day. We stayed up late but I woke up early. I wasn't tired. I just preferred being awake and lazy. Finally mid afternoon we went to the Superstore to get a ham and cake for Christmas. Everybody was racing around with big shopping carts banging into each other, blocking lanes. They remind me of existential steam rollers. I think therefore I am. You're not. Nobody else exists either. Bang. Ouch!

I started to get an anxiety attack so I gave Janet my credit card and went to sit on an orange plastic chair by the door. It belonged to the Salvation Army man but it looked like he'd left with his pot. Fine by me. I don't like people ringing Christmas bells in my ear. I'd hate to be standing there for long with that going on! I know its for a good cause in his case, so I wouldn't say anything bad. I'd put some money in the pot and wish him "Merry Christmas!" Still it would've been very annoying. So I sat there out of everybody's way on his orange plastic chair just people watching. People of all age, shapes and sizes. Everywhere. It was actually kind of nice for a little diversion before going home to be lazy again. Very Christmasy.


Well I got another email complaint from a fellow local member because I reported the contract ratification vote as 6.2% on my blog,  when in fact it was 62%. Since only 10% of our membership voted my numbers still seem right to me. Rather insightful though, don't you think? We can add that trick to the anatomy of an OECTA contract vote too. Quite frankly though, it is a common strategy. We never seem to get the vote counts or percentage of members who voted, in any of the numbers that are released by the other affiliates either, most of the time. Maybe just locally?

Oh, here's another  insightful observation into the mindset: the reason I have so many readers is that half of them are fellow OECTA members trying to find out what I am going to say next. They need to exercise damage control over my incorrect facts and self righteous opinions about what our union is doing, especially with our contracts. 40,000 of them? Wow! So many of you fooled me dear readers! Especially with all the anti-MOU comments below each blog! Ho boy! Am I red in the face!


Apparently I am also confusing readers because they think this is an OECTA website [?!?] I shouldn't send any links to my readers at their school email address from my own Hotmail account on my computer at home either. I hardly do that anymore. I have no need to. Everyone knows my blogsite address by now. I don't think its breaking any rules how I have done it when I do. I think the last time was once in September and once in December. Not very many either. Hmmm. Anyway, my request for a guest blog to be written explaining the concerns to you my dear readers will not be forthcoming. No way. In no uncertain terms. Same with my request for a meeting together with our President to discuss the concerns. I rest my case.

So there's at least one member who doesn't want any more contact with me! I feel like Dr. Evil plotting to take over OECTA unless you give me a million billion dollars! [Insert Dr. Evil laugh here]



Do I sound like Dr. Evil? It will be very interesting to see what happens next. Stay tuned. Seems the witch hunt is on. OECTA is after me! What's with all the censorship anyway? It really is the wrong way to go in the information age.

Anyway, we stopped to get some take out food for dinner on our way home from the grocery store.
Everybody in the line up was pushing and butting in! The cashier served whomever got up to the head of the line up first! I went to sit in the car, listen to the news and check email on my cellphone while we waited for our order of Portuguese chicken with rice and potatoes. They also make a very good hot dipping sauce. Last night we just ordered a pizza.

The Christmas frenzy seems to be in full gear. Non stop Christmas muzak is being piped through the speakers everywhere. Crowds everywhere are spending lots of money. The Christmas lights seem back after years of little or no Christmas lights. They're on big buildings, skyscrapers, stores, and in huge lawn displays. The lights look nice, especially in a city this size. There are so many of them. Maybe we should go out for a drive to see the Christmas lights. Naw. I don't think we have to go outside again until Christmas, so I'll try not to too.

I should clean up around here at home. It's not dirty, just cluttered and untidy. I usually am the one doing the house cleaning because otherwise it drives me nuts. Janet cooks. I can burn water.


Recently she tried the old "little train that could" trick ["I think I can! I think I can!" it chugged going up the hill]. Remember the book when you were a kid? I do. That and "The Littlest Angel". I actually found my copy when I was cleaning out the family homestead after my dad died. I still have it! Good catholic boy eh? I digress ....

I cooked up some burritos and pulled pork sandwiches that were actually inedible. Janet even said so. She seems to have put that one on the back burner again, so to speak, for now.

Truth be told, I can make a good grilled cheese sandwich with chips. Also a bowl of cereal. I got the touch. I make a dynamite cup of java. Lot of cups. Drink them and you will grow hair on your chest or something like that, they are so strong and aromatic.

Janet also does the laundry. I mix colours. Everything will turn pink. Good for Pink Shirt Day at school, but not much else. Have you every put a nice wool sweater in the washer and dryer and it comes out real small? Looks like its for a doll? I have. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to fix it. It's quite disturbing.

I do clean up the home very well and am very thorough. Except for now because I feel too lazy to do anything. Fortunately we aren't having everyone over here this year. Whew. I use to do the yard work and shovel the snow but now we live in a condo. No need for that. However I am on the condo board. Sign checks. Make decisions. Go to meetings. And so on. I am just acclaimed every year now. The same thing happened with my union position too. The condo board people are a lot nicer. We talk and smile. Nobody gets angry at me. We contract out to union companies. We have two staff, a superintendent and an assistant superintendent. We pay them very well. I like the condo board. OECTA however, is definitely getting on my nerves with all the b.s.

December 24

It`s lunch and I`m sitting on the couch watching Criminal Minds. I am also finally tidying up. I really am enjoying all the reader comments. Please keep them coming. There are so many interesting questions and observations worth developing further when one isn`t wearing blinders or trying to censor each other! My teacher news links will continue when they do.
Comments? See Comment bar below:

27 comments:

Skinny Dipper said...

I did a test comment because as a fellow teacher, I want to remind you of the words "its" and "it's." The dog has its bone. It's going to be the contraction of "it is." Change your "its" to "it's."

"...that it's not happening."

"...plus it's so comfy..."

No need to publish this. I did protest at Queen's Park with ETFO. My teacher-friends and I did make sure that all homemade signs had correct spelling and grammar (unless there was a joke implied).

Anonymous said...

Boy, do you report the truth on patterns in OECTA now. One pattern is selective information release. Even the better people in the union don't really seem to vary from the status quo power structure of Provincial Office. For example: Halton Elementary Unit-no report on the percentage of voters who actually voted (voter turnout) to ratify that contract,but voter turnout was included in the symbolic MOU vote News Release. Also, a News Release issued when most OSSTF units voted down their tentative contracts and a News Release issued when other OECTA units voted in favour of tentative contracts before Halton unit's vote on our tentative agreement? Holy contradiction, Batman! Give us members a break! We see through these actions! We know what you are doing! Voter Apathy may be happening now but it's only a temporary stage of disgust with this union's leadership, which is desperately clinging to its power at the expense of members.

Anonymous said...

Sadly PVNC OECTA (a joint secondary and elementary unit) ratified despite the efforts of fellow dissenters.. the numbers were 65% for and 35% against, but with less than half our members even bothering to vote... shameful!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas David. I have but one word for OECTA Provincial: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE CHIARELLI FREE PRESS AND STOP HARRASSING HIM!!!!

David Chiarelli said...

Well, if anybody ever does go for it, this site is set to explode and take a lot of them down with me, an honour guard, all figuratively speaking. My audience is quite wide and diverse. You'd be surprised at some of the people who read me.

Plus I know a helluva lot more than I am telling because I am not out to hurt + it could just really really screw things up 4 a lot of good people too. That's not why I am here.

Then again, I do what I must.

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks 4 sharing with us the PVNC numbers! It really is unfortunate that OECTA is operating this way. No, let me reword that, its very "sad". However if information is power then they must feel they need to control it.

An interesting point on the numbers game though.
Even with all the other affiliates, they rarely if ever give them all out. How many vote? The percentages except for the score they want to highlight. It's surprising how effective that is and nobody says boo. Too bad!

David Chiarelli said...

The numbers tell a lot, as does the timing and selection of the news releases. Gotta love some of the info thats shared here. Its incredible. Even scary when one senses just how deep the b.s. runs.

David Chiarelli said...

In your comments I mean. Sorry if my replies are getting scrambled too. When I publish them it seems the system posts them in the order originally received [?!] Ned to try figure that all out, if there is some way around it.

David Chiarelli said...

Hey Skinny Dipper! Naw, I'd like to publish your comment, because you are absolutely right. My spelling and grammar are atrocious.

Anonymous said...

Happy holidays David. Thank you for the work you do. As a student of labour relations and political science I like that you expose some of the more (sinister?) inner workings of your teacher's union. As an aside there are a number of political science and labour relations grads following your blog that I know of. We find it fascinating to track the messaging that comes out of PE via political action staffers on Twitter and note the connection between frequency of posts and related messaging. The link between those occurences and Liberal press releases is interesting. A definitive link between OECTA PE and staff and the Liberals is the focus of at least one research initiative I know of. On a personal note I wonder if OECTA in tying itself too closely to the Liberal government will lead to its downfall. (OECTAs that is) As you say, sometimes examples have to be made. Anyways keep up the good work and Merry Christmas!

David Chiarelli said...

Wow! That kind of research is right up my alley as a Political Science major back in my university days. Glad to be of some help. No doubt OECTA has some very strong Liberal ties from the 9 good year or so we had working co-operatively with them. My understanding was that it was strategic tho and now they can't seem to let go. Lost focus and their mojo. Basically the MOU IMHO was a gamble on the Liberals still winning the next election. As you say they both could be headed for a big downfall. I'm not sure many still even know it they are so caught up in it the plan and believing their own hype.

I did a lot of PAC work from the Harris Years through to the Fall 2011 election, was up to hear in it, provincially, but mostly with TSU. I will post a blog someday on it or we should talk.

Anonymous said...

Hey David. I have been reading your blog since the summer and it has been very informative. You were one of the first to relay info regarding the MOU contents and when I first looked through them I could not believe that anyone would accept them. Alas, I was wrong. However, as an ETFO member along with my spouse I will continue to fight against these measures. We have been at this for 26 years and have never seen such an affront to the rights of education workers (and we all must remember that it is not just teachers included in this mess). As I say to the younger teachers on staff...this is your fight for the future and it will define your working conditions for years to come. I am almost done, but will continue to fight for myself, my colleagues and my daughter who will be entering ConEd in the fall. I sure don't want her working conditions to be worse. Keep up the fight and have a well deserved break!!

Anonymous said...

David, you are doing the right thing and please continue with your blog. Your PE should be arrested for harrassment and are considered by many to be in the same league as LB and DM and in my personal opinion WORSE for selling out their members. They are so uncatholic and makes me ashamed to be a catholic!

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks! I plan too! Your support is reassuring. I really appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work. I love reading your blog. I am happy that I belong to ETFO and not that 'other' sellout union!!!!

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks! Right now I'd rather be in ETFO or OSSTF too. I bet a lot of OECTA members would. However, I think the vast majority of apathetic OECTA members would probably not want to pay union dues now at all if they had the choice. Very scary. Unless something happens in the next 6 months I'd say this is a sunk ship. Of course nobody is supposed to say that because the main office is off in la la land.

Anonymous said...

David with all of its flaws and worts, I would still rather be a member of OECTA than ETFO or OSSTF. All of us together will fix OECTA's woes and make it once again the best darn teachers' union in the world. God help us if we ever became like OSSTF or ETFO.

Anonymous said...

David, I have enjoyed reading your blog since I came across it in early July, and while I initially opposed the MOU, as the days go by, I am finding I support O'Dwyer's decision more each day (and I am a "middle" teacher in Toronto that got the short end of the stick). The apathy and ignorance of the membership is more concerning, but not at all baffling, to me. I'd rather be paying my OECTA dues than be on a picket line in my Canada Goose jacket. Wishing you and your readers a blessed Christmas.

David Chiarelli said...

God bless. You are right. It can be very discouraging sometimes but it is our union and we need to get it back! To the good fight!

David Chiarelli said...

You have thought about the MOU and come up with your own decision about it. You strike me as very heartfelt and sincere. What more could any of us do? Hope you stick around! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hi David, I have been following you since last year and I must say that your blog gets better with time. I appreciate and respect the fact that you must do and say what is right - irregardless of your future with TSU. I know they are trying to oust you at every turn. Your blog makes people very nervous...truth does hurt! The attempted censorship and betrayals do not surprise me at all; it is shameful and sad. I wish you all the best! I admire your courage.

I am very dumbfounded about the lack of voter turnout (TSU ratification). Although, like yourself, I should not be very surprised. To this day, I still support in-school voting. TSU has never had such a large number of votes than in the May 2011 TSU elections. Why do the execs want to so desperately back away from that? Too much work? BS! There were and still are so many volunteers who made the events of that day happen flawlessly. I believe that incumbants are afraid of in-school voting because it is truly DEMOCRATIC! Teachers who are unlikely to cast a vote will do so because of the convenience and/or discussions that happen between colleagues during the day. That could be a scary thought - to lose control of the voters! We should have had in-school voting to ratify this collective agreement; every statistician knows that when you have a small sample (turnout), the results mean absolutely nothing; they are not valid and conclusions/decisions should not be made based on these invalid results!! Any Grade 12 math student knows that! It would not have taken much for staff reps to set up polling stations right afterschool...all reps have an official list of their teaching staff. Easy as pie! But that would mean too many votes...votes that could not be swayed and controlled!

Once again, thanks for all your blogging and pics! I really enjoy knowing what is REALLY going on!!

David Chiarelli said...

Unfortunately the in school ballet voting procedures were not that secure at a number of the schools and it turned into a free for all. The telephone voting was probably the most accurate + safe but the number of votes cast was small. Maybe in time,or with online voting, member participation will improve??

Had we voted by telephone or online on the contract and MOU it would cost approx $2 a member. Money well spent i think. Of course you can't do everything last minute which would be the excuse. Then why have a vote on 24 hour notice? Its pretty scary stuff.

I had an executive member try to shout me down and cause confrontations when I tied to explain to members why I opposed the contract on the night of the vote. I was told my actions were "unncessary" and "uncalled" for. Then others said I was trying to misrepresent myself. Never was it announced that I had opposed the recommendation to vote. I have every right to tell members how I voted and why. I have no need to say my position is the official executive position, nor would I even want to. The paranoia runs pretty deep and is pretty irrational. When i got up to speak at the microphone I was cut off by points of info and order.Exec and LCB team members were handing out ballots, talking to members in the voting area and involved in the count. Fortunately we managed to get one scrutineer after originally being told no.What does this tell you?

One reader has suggested that this is in fact harassment. I think so too.

I hope our Poli Sci and Labour Studies students are taking note.

David Chiarelli said...

By the way Mr. Cafferky was working with me on the no side that night and also saw much of this. Read his latest letter to Kevin O'Dwyer on my Dec 27 blog and tell me we are just troublemakers and kooks running amok trying to fool everybody with false facts, misrepresentations, and self aggrandizement. But this is what I am now up against.

Anonymous said...

Two Words you might benefit from: Clayton Ruby.

David Chiarelli said...

$$$$ or else that he would be great. :-)

David Chiarelli said...

By the way, everybody! Thanks for your words of support! Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

David:OECTA's 24601: The Finale Lyrics from LES MIS say it best-same class struggle, different players:

Do you hear the people sing?
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest nights will end and the sun will rise

They will live again in freedom in the garden of the lord
They will walk behind the ploughshare
They will put away the sword
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes!

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