Opening Statement

Thursday 3 January 2013

Bill 115: MOE Broten's Big Announcement?

[Updated Sunday 5:20 pm. So far a slow news day. NHL deal is the buzz. See: NHL]

January 5-6 2013: The Reactions Continue!

Protests continue outside OLP leader debate in Ajax today. Another sign read: "We won't be beat by your olive branch!" Reports to follow.

OLP Leaders debate: Eric Hoskins quoted as saying he will renegotiate teachers contract. Will need link to verify. That would make 2 now; he + Kennedy. More below.

Is Tim Hudak electable? What will average everyday Ontarians be looking for in the next provincial election? See: Hudak Dickenson?

Schools reopen tomorrow. Will there be extracurriculars or not? See: Toronto Star

Here is OSSTF President Ken Coran speaking on the unions next move after the Broten announcement: OSSTF Position?

OSSTF Rank + File members urge their affiliate to take a stronger stand. See my Jan 6 blog above.

You are reminded of ETFO President Sam Hammond's message to members:  Extracurriculars are still off! See: ETFO

Former MP + Federal Cabinet Minister Jean Augustine at today's levy.

I saw Education Minister Broten this afternoon at her New Years Levy. I will be frank, take this as you will. The event was slightly more reserved than usual. There were no protests outside. The Minister recognized me and waved hello. She seemed quit confident and determined in her address. The contract announcement was not referred to except perhaps in passing. She noted she doesn't get asked on CP24 to discuss her work with the riding's hospices and woman's shelters. She is locally well known and respected for that, and had a good turn out. Not everyone present was exactly enamoured over Bill 115 and the MOU but they were polite. I also met former MP Jean Augustine, Canada's 1st black Cabinet Minister and member of parliament. In her 70's now, Jean is still active. She's helping new immigrants to Canada have their skills and qualifications accredited for their work placements.

MOE Broten at her New Years Levy today.

See Minister Broten's Jan 3 announcement. There is also an interesting article below the video on why imposed contracts don't work well. Go to the: The Announcement

Here is the text of her announcement for those who would prefer to read it, or do both. Very insightful sometimes. Go to: Text of the announcement

Minister Broten has written a special piece on why she imposed contracts on OSSTF and ETFO for the Huffington Post.  You can read it at: Minister Brotens article


Commentary [IMHO time]: There is a logical consistency to Laurel's arguments within the parameters she sets. I say that in the value neutral sense. What I don't get is why the PDT talks and terms were initiated in a confrontational "my way or the highway" approach from the get go by the MOE?

Our teachers enjoyed nearly 10 years of a stellar working relationship with the ministry to build many of the same gains she now seeks to protect, class caps, all day kindergarten. These are but a few of the many accomplishments that we were able to accomplish together. We didn't always agree on everything but we both always were reasonable and made it work together, teachers and the ministry alike.

One could argue that big cuts like those we faced were unlikely to go over well with any unionist because of course we are going to fight to at least maintain the status quo by our very nature and mandate. Then again, if with our track record we couldn't have worked out a plan that was mutually agreeable with the Ministry, well then nobody ever can. The working relationship seemed rock solid to me. I think it was worth a darn good try before all the rest of the nonsense began. 

I will never understand why the ministry had to set some very arbitrary MOU terms and then play hardball with us. If she had first set the budget limitations and then asked us what we could do together to creatively work out a plan with the Ministry, might we not have been able to reach the same goals in a more mutually acceptable manner? Is that a pipe dream?

A pay freeze may have been hard to sell to our members but I think it could have been accepted if the other ways of seeking savings could've been resolved better without going after the grid teachers, our sick days and gratuities. A lot of great alternatives have been forwarded by the affiliates and been shot down because they did not work specifically within the rigidly preset terms.

I've said it before. I have worked directly with Minister Laurel Broten for many years as the chair and later the executive liaison of TSU PAC. I thought she would be a great Education Minister. The Laurel I have known was never antagonistic, confrontational or in any way hostile with teachers, quite the opposite, and we worked very well with her for so many years. I can only wonder why she wouldn't have approached the contract negotiations with us the same way in an open, co-operative and flexible manner. I just don't get it. Who assumed it couldn't work and why?

Unfortunately whatever initial errors were made have now taken on a life of their own, to the detriment of both a once great MPP and the teacher unions that actually enjoyed and were honoured to work with her since the Great Tory defeat in 2003. It is a tragedy of epic proportions.

BTW I saw the minister on City TV Breakfast Television yesterday morning. She actually said that if she didn't impose the contract to freeze teachers salaries she couldn't protect all day kindergarten or caps on class sizes. Both Janet and I were both totally flabbergasted. She knows this is not about wages. I could hardly believe my eyes and ears!

Broten has apparently become a dictionary word! ;-) See: Dictionary

CUPE Executive ratifies contract. Then thanks "elected" bargaining team. Now takes it to membership for final say. Compare that to what's happened with the OECTA MOU. I still find it hard sometimes to believe it. One can argue and play games with the by laws to justify and do just about anything I suppose, but that doesn't make it right. I was a rock hard supporter for many years as a Catholic teacher and local executive member. Now I can only say I don't know or understand my union anymore. For shame. See: CUPE Process

A bizarre local scandal that smacks of patronage politics: The MOE extends the original terms of the trades council workers at the TDSB until 2014 while teachers and boards face cuts. Allegedly $253,000 in gift cards for Tiger Direct were handed out to members by the OLP after they helped with an election campaign one year. As teachers we don't expect nor receive such gratitude, so to speak,  when we help out a party, be it the Liberals or the NDP. I'm somewhat worried this story is going to be used to attack our teacher participation in election campaigns as an educational advocacy group next. Other business and interest group members do the same with all three parties. I'd hate for any union to suddenly end up looking like the bad guys, so I would proceed with caution. Still something seems terribly wrong. Possibly some of our union brothers or sisters working for the Toronto Public board could comment with some insight?!? See: TDSB?

Brass tacks for you: I'm going to post this again. Please go see! These are the MOE details on the "enhancements" to the MOU: SeeMou Enhancements 1  SeeMOU Enhancements 2

OLP leadership hopeful Gerard Kennedy says he would reverse imposed contracts except for those locals who have all ready agreed. I suppose there might still be some divine justice after all. ;-)  No saying he will win but if he does I hope OECTA likes eating crow. See: Kennedy would reverse imposed contracts

Pupatello is a lot less specific but says the province must extend the olive branch to the teachers. Hey waaaait a minute! Didn't they all ready?!? Been there. Done that. Doesn't she know??? See: Does she know?

Grab a cold one from the fridge. Then see and hear both Pupatello and Kennedy at an informal 7 part Q+A in Jack Doyle's Pub Sarnia. Interesting, perhaps even insightful, a picture can be worth a 1000 words. Go to: Youtube

Here's the short abbreviated section about Bill 115. Watch how poopy shrugs it off by trying to just glad handle the Sarnia residents with her" just a local gal" routine: OLP Bill 115 GK SP:

Regg Cohn Hart looks at the landscape of provincial politics as we enter the new year. He provides an interesting critique of each OLP leader candidate. As for what they do after the race? All deals are off! How about the NDP and PC's? Ditto! See: Age of Uncertainty

Happy new year from the CPC-ML. 

Our teacher fight may very well be an political awakening for many of us who haven't felt the need to get actively involved in the public affairs of our province before. We'd all much rather just go to school and teach. If only it were as simple as that. One can keep digging deeper and deeper into the issues we face now, and quite often it becomes even more scary and serious than any of us imagined possible. The assumption behind the austerity measures underlining our teacher struggle against the MOU and Bill 115 provide a case in point. 

I studied Marx-Lenin, Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto among many other ideologies at university when I was earning my political science degree. Since the Cold War ended with a whimper not a bang, that whole school of political thought might seem discredited nowadays, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. The Marxist concepts of a class war, as 19th century as that might sound was at the heart of many of the revolutions that swept through the 20th century. These revolutions in thought and practice are perhaps even at the heart of out own struggle today in the 21st century whether one is a communist or not.

Regardless of how one might otherwise feel about different ideologies they can still make sense and be helpful in critically analyzing the situation we find ourselves in. We consider all points of view here on my blog. Remember we examined the neo real perspective at one point? I'm going to suggest you put on another pair of political glasses today. Let's consider the basic assumption that the MOU and Bill 115 are necessary austerity measures due to the economic crisis we face in Ontario today: There is a large provincial debt.  Ontario needs to balance the budget. Most everyone goes about chanting this mantra these days, perhaps even our own unions in reluctantly downplaying or putting aside the wage freeze issue. Now apply the CPC-ML class warfare perspective to the situation. It suddenly looks quite different eh? What do you think? You will find it at: An Austerity binge? 

December 4 2013: There's Got To Be A Mourning After

Globe + Mail's Adam Radwanski considers the OLP's flubbed negotiations strategy and how MOE Broten was left holding the bag. See: OLP Strategy

National Post's Scott Stinson compares Broten's repealing Bill  to extending an olive branch after you've been beaten with it. See: Olive Whipping stick?

ETFO President Sam Hammond's message to his members: "Political actions" will continue. That's a pretty good choice of words. In 1997 we had a province wide protest that was never actually called a strike because we couldn't strike and we were protesting it, out of classes for 2 weeks. A judge even upheld it when the Harris Tories tried to get us ordered back to work. Hmmmm. See:  Sams message

Premier Mike Harris wanted a fight with teachers and he got it but good!

Mike Harris Redux? He tried to mandate extracurriculars. It was a dismal failure. I remember well. Personally I just didn't do them period. There were so many questions with workload, liability, insurance, qualifications etc that few schools seemed willing to try enforce them. Finally the discussion got so absurd it was being suggested that we all make up our own clubs. Extracurriculars under duress anyone? Extra work equals more pay? How about paid extracurriculars? Workload cuts? You can imagine where that leads. A go home right after school club anyone? ;-) Here we  go again? See: No extras?

After Bill 115 is repealed complaints become OLRB problems again. The court challenges can still move forward. It can be repealed by cabinet. Read the Agenda Q+A: New Bill 115 Q+A

OSSTF's press release laments loss of goodwill, trust and respect between teachers and the MOE. On a personal note my head still spins when I consider how any of this debacle could've happened from the get go after the nearly 10 years of excellent co-operation and communications we had with the MOE. Nothing like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in working together to build one of the greatest school systems in the world. Anyway see: OSSTF Press release

Persistent rumours Coran and McGuinty met for a one on one. Will need to confirm.

IS MOE Broten's strategy working?

Teachers royally p'od #1: Kitchener: Not happy campers!

Teachers royally p'od #2: Windsor: No way!

Teachers royally p.'od #3: Orillia: Nope!

Teachers royally p'od #4: Kingston: Uh Uh!

Teachers royally p'od #5: The Sault No again!

Teachers royally p'od #6: Renfrew: On It Goes!

Teachers royally p'od #7: Bluewater: On + On It Goes!

Nope. I don't think its going well!

According to the MOE this where is where you can get more info and have your questions answered. Offensive or just plain reality disconnect? However, check below the Putting Students First propaganda and you can find the relevant documents. All legislative wording + so on, but the devil is always in the details. Happy reading! [not] See: Hear ye! Hear ye!

People for Education provide an overview + consider all possibilities: Annie Kidder

CBC provides 20 minute press conference with Sam Hammond, an interview with Broten, a shortie with Ken Coran, and Hudak does his tough guy act. Watch atCBC Videos

Here are some of the MOU "enhancements"MOU+

Here are more "details": More

OLP leaders response: Kennedy only one to directly speak out against exercising Bill 115. Not his style. Others play middle of the road, just glad its being appealed after the dirty deed is done etc. etc. etc.  Poopy washes her hands of it, noting she wasn't there when Bill 115 was voted into law. Takhar and Murray: no comment! See: OLP leaders?

Kennedy exorcising Bill 115? "Out Satan! Out! Out!" Can he do it?

For an updated backgrounder with video for each candidate visit this page. Now's the time to putting the screws to each candidate as we approach the leaders convention protest on Jan 25-26: Profiles

Our gratuities are cut. Senior QP bureaucrats get 21.% million in Christmas bonuses. For shame! Whatever happened to leading by example? Also more money for friggin' bureaucrats?!? Read and weep$ 21 million bonuses

December 3 2012: A Day that will live in Infamy!

Education Minster Laurel Broten has implemented Bill 115 to impose contracts on ETFO and OSSTF teachers. Bill 115 will be repealed by the end of the month once agreements are in place based upon the OECTA MOU. The Minister claims that it will have served it's purpose and need  not remain in place.

MOE makes her announcement at Queens Park this morning.

She made reference to the provinces need to save the Junior Kindergarten program and to keep caps on class sizes. She noted Ontario's teachers in the province are the best paid in Canada, and  that is deserved. Due to the world economic crisis wages need to be frozen, and the other terms of the contract are necessary too.

In the press conference that follows the Minister is grilled on the negotiations with OSSTF and ETFO. She says that as a result of the OSSTF talks the province has added changes to the contract terms including:

>The vesting period for Gratuities is 10 years.
>Teachers with under 10 years experience will receive pay 10 cents on dollar for their non vested gratuities.

Strike activity remains illegal under Bill 115. The minister will not speculate on what actions she will take towards them ahead of time.

Reporters continued to press her on what she would do about work to rule, to no avail.

One reporter called her dual actions cynical politics to solve the the problem of Bill 115 and improve the situation for the OLP leadership conference later on this month.

Another questioned her on why she hadn't met with the teachers before she had come up with her original PDT terms.

CUPE has until January 14th to ratify their contract. The Minister made reference in her speech to the 65 local contracts that were in place by January 1st. She again repeated that 55,000 Catholic teachers had agreed to the OECTA MOU. The Bill will now impose the contract upon those who would not negotiate a contract before the deadline.

NDP's Cheri DiNova claims the Liberals know it will loose the court challenge against Bill 115 so is now just using it to achieve their negotiation goals then discard it. She calls this the worst in cynical politics. She says this is not in keeping with the proper spirit of negotiations.

People in Educations Annie Kidder says it is very unfortunate that the teacher and province got into this struggle after nearly 10 years of an extraordinary relationship. She does not want to weigh in on extracurriculars until she hears from the unions first. She did note it is a professional if not a contract requirement.

ETFO President Sam Hammond responds. He calls today's decision an unprecedented autocratic approach to negotiating teacher contracts. He says it is disgrace to use a hammer to dictate the terms. He claims the Minster was not available to talk to ETFO over the holidays nor did it put anything new on the table. He says the province has violated the local collective bargaining process. He notes they can't impose goodwill and the decisions made will not be forgotten. When pressed by reporters he repeated ETFO's claim that it would have a one day province wide walkout if the Minister did what happened today, but provided no further details, except that his members will not be intimidated.
Here is the ETFO news release: ETFO

OSSTF's President Ken Coran responds that the teachers will not be in a strike position on Monday since that is now prohibited by Bill 115. He also shares Sam Hammond's confusion on how the contracts can be imposed by Bill 115 which will then be repealed. The contract terms are now also confusing as well.

PC Leader Tim Hudak responds with his usual gobbly de gook about balancing the books and Ontario's increasing debt which he blames on the Liberals without mention of the world economic crisis. He claims school test results through standardized test scores are declining across the province [?!] By tossing out Bill 115 he claims the Liberals are handing back control over education to the union leaders. It's pretty much his standard neo con union attack based upon glittering generalities and scare words. All form no substance, but it does have a fair bit of airhead appeal.

Here is the MOE press release: Press release

Huffington Post reports:  Huffington

The Toronto Star reports: Toronto Star

The Globe + Mail reports: Globe + Mail

The Toronto Sun reports: Toronto Sun

CBC News reports: CBC

CTV reports: CTV

CP24 videos of speech can be seen at: CP24 Videos

Labour Reporter reports: Labour Reporter

You can also see various CTV news videos on the announcement at: videos

Doorey's Workplace Law blog examines how Bill 115 can be repealed. It's not as easy or uncompicated as it may now sound. See: How to repeal?

Laurel Broten on CP24 at lunch: Calls the contract imposed today an OECTA Master Agreement Plus. Refutes ETFO claims she was not available after Dec. 21st for discussions. She notes CUPE came in and a deal was reached. Laurel acknowledges extracurriculars are voluntary but she's hopeful teachers will return to extracurricular activities Monday morning when classes resume. It was a protest against Bill 115 which she will now lifted once the contracts are all in place by the end of the month.

OECTA Provincial posts premier's open letter from yesterday praising the union on the front page of its web page: OECTA

MOE Broten visits Toronto Star this afternoon which then releases an editorial scolding teachers and telling us not to take it out on the students come Monday classes. The Star obviously still hasn't figured out the extracurricular issues or doesn't want to. See + weep: Star Editorial

Scott Stinson opinion piece doubts Liberals have bought labour peace and good will with the teacher unions today even if they get their way. See: Scott Stinson

Doctors warn folk to stay home if they are sick so it doesn't spread. Meanwhile teacher sick days are cut in half. Another question I have. If we are going to be financially penalized if we allow sick kids into our classes, even with the sniffles, do we fill out a WSIB 6 every time we are exposed? A Bill 168 Workplace hazard report? Or just send them to the office from now on to deal with it? What next? Sick days?

OPSBA Public School Trustees make a statement expressing concern about imposed contracts: Public School Trustees

ETFO + OSSTF to pow wow next week to decide next move. Coran thinks its unlikely job actions will halt immediately. OSSTF Job Actions?

Comments button below:

From earlier today:

Hello Readers!

I will be posting details here as soon as they are available. CP24 will be broadcasting the announcement live from Queen's Park at 10 am. The Minister will be interviews live on City TV at lunch would be at about 12:30. One would expect that the teacher union affiliates will be quick to respond, as will the PC and NDP party leaders.

Caught the sniffles and a cold [Hack! Hack!]. I won't be able to report live or by Twitter but then again I can watch and get the links up asap. Stay tuned!


David C


Anonymous said...

Everyone saw this coming. What cannot be predicted is the public teachers private reaction (extra-curricular). I am an ETFO member. I will not be doing the extras and I will be quiet about it in my school. "No" will be the answer when my principal comes asking me to start extra things. I will use all the sick days available because I am sickened by this assault on our rights. Heck, even my own family members have their heads buried so far in their own daily struggles that they do not realize what has happened.

Anonymous said...

So now CUPE needs to NOT ratify.... What's the point. It will be imposed anyways. They have the opportunity to show this government that they are not accepting anything under bill 115.

Anonymous said...

CBC is having a vote on whether or not teachers should have the right to strike this evening but it is impossible to find where you vote. I think that teachers provide essential babysitting services so they should not be allowed to strike. We parents do not want to be inconvenienced by having to (God forbid) look after our own kids for a few days so that teachers can assert their rights!

Anonymous said...

I find the Minister of Education's statement that she was forced to impose contracts on educational workers incredibly disingenuous and self-serving. Yes, the government needs to find 2 billion dollars in savings; not because teacher salaries and benefits are responsible for the Ontario budget deficit but because the Liberal government has through inadequate oversight and poor fiscal management wasted our tax dollars.

Secondly, despite Ms. Broten's claim that the provincial bargaining units of OECTA and AEFO were able to successfully negotiate contracts on behalf of their members, that is simply not the case. Contracts were imposed on the Unions and their membership. This was a top down process and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was never ratified by the Union membership.

To say the least, I am incredibly dismayed by Ms. Broten's announcement this morning and as far as I am concerned it will not be business as usual when I return to work on January 7th.

Anonymous said...

Whoever posted that letter from the Premier on the OECTA website should be punched in the face. I would volunteer my time and fist for this worthy endeavour.

Anonymous said...

I have been a teacher for 30 years. Just for the record, I do not have a retirement gratuity. This was bargained away in our CA over 12 years ago. Now, I have lost my sick days. There are many years that I did not take even 1 sick day or apply for personal days.
I will not engage in any extra work now, even though I enjoyed the extra curricular activities. However, I did end up paying for many of the materials we used from my own money. I will also stop buying items to be used at school. I estimate that I spent between 80K and 100K during my career. This is money I could have invested for my retirement. I purchased pencils, books, snowshoes, raw materials for science experiments, fancy paper, etc.I also contributed to fund raising efforts for about 300 dollars or more annually. I also provided food for students from my own pocket. When teachers no longer do this, the students will feel the pain. I hate to stop, but until the Government gives us the respect we deserve, I have no other way to express my objection to their lies, propoganda, and illegal actions.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

As an OECTA member it was horrific to hear her say we had agreed to a contract. We did not. Our PE went and did that for us. We did not get to vote on it and it was approved during the summer after school was out and everybody had left for for holidays as a fait accompli.

IMHO when it came to our local agreements the scripts were then forced thu asap with a minimum of time to read, discuss and consider them carefully so OECTA could have them on her desk by midnight New Years Eve.

This is an all time low for me as an OECTA member in my 26 years of service.

I'd bet the Premiers letter was placed on the website to rub it in to the other affiliates that we were all good boys and girls or something. How embarrassing. The other possibility is that they are so delusional at Provincial that they still think everybody is going to thank them now for having gotten everybody the OECTA MOU deal.

it's a very sad day.

Anonymous said...

"As a sign of good faith, and a commitment to future negotiations, the act will be repealed". Are you kidding me!!!! I honestly can't take anymore from the spinmeister broten. Folks, do you have any idea what this minister intends to do in 2014 if she is still in office? A repeal after implementing contracts is just rubbing salt in the wound! Since she has taken office her and mcguinty have completely destroyed the goodwill of teachers in this province for years to come for their own self-serving agenda. Also, will SOME REPORTER SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW SOMETIME get atop the isssues challenge her when she keeps spinning that 55000 teachers have signed off on the MOU!

The ONLY way to fight this and minimize what they will come after in 2014 is stop doing the extras completely. Yes, I know some will say we should keep kids out of it but I'm tired of hearing that. WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTION - THEY HAVE TAKEN ALL OPTIONS OFF THE TABLE. Heck, most of the kids support us. The only reason I see them killing the bill is because of demonstrations by students and an intent to turn them on us. It makes no other sense - it doesn't help them defend it in the courts. And, course, they know this won't direct us to recommit to extras.

The ways this govt. has recently handled education in this province is a case study for how politians can be self-serving and cynical.

BTW - I wonder where we'd be today if OECTA didn't sign that MOU?? Some may differ, but I suspect in a much better position. I again say to my oecta friends STOP DOING THE EXTRAS and at least help us somewhat in this fight.

In solidarity!

Anonymous said...

OECTA reaches a new low with the Premier's letter on the OECTA website. It's Limbo time at Provincial-"How low can you go?-Lower every day! Anything to appease our Liberal Party Overlords! Members? Who are they? O'Dwyer must be proud! How many more sleeps before he is replaced at the AGM and/or surgically removed from Dalton McGuinty? The NDP is our only hope.

John R. said...

If this is the way unions stick together these days, they are dead. Cause of death? Suicide.

Proud OSSTF member here. We feel abandoned by OECTA, especially in boards that actually voted YES on their local agreements. If we had all stuck together from the start, this would be a whole new ball game.

Why are you not cancelling extra curriculars en mass? Why are you not protesting outside your union headquarters, why are you not running information pickets after school, on public property, and telling parents the truth, why are the dissident OECTA members not flooding the media with their anger and disgust? Why are you not filing for decertification (the very threat is even good enough)?

Of course CUPE is going to vote yes on their deal...I guarantee it includes extra money for them, and when you only make 30k a year, you're damn well going to take what you can get.

People undervalue themselves in this province, people are scared. Rather than demand more for themselves, they'd rather see it taken away from others. Do they think this savings in education will go into their pockets? It will be squandered like always.

When the HST came to B.C. and the price of things went up, there was a revolution. The law repealed, the premier resigned in disgrace. Here? ho-hum, guess I have to pay more for EVERYTHING. Democratic rights are trampled on? The same stinging silence. Are we really all such sheep?

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to a fantastic response to today's events posted on Facebook:

The author perfectly articulates the level of disgust and outrage I - and most teachers - are feeling right now.

Our next move as teachers (all teachers-including OECTA members) should be to personally 'choose' to do only what our imposed contracts require us to do until such time as Laurel Broten resigns.

**It would also be great to have every teacher in the province (OECTA members included) show up at the Liberal convention on January 26 to protest the travesty that has just occurred.

Anonymous said...

I agree with John R. Disgruntled OECTA members need to reach out and contact the media. I am certain a teacher could remain 'anonymous' if he/she asked for that as a condition of speaking. Heck - if you don't want to talk, simply send reporters to this blog!

I encourage angry OECTA members to reach out to key reporters from the Star, Globe and Mail, CBC so the BS lie about Catholic teachers ACCEPTING the MOU can be put to rest once and for all.

The government created this CHAOS. Time to take it up a knotch. This is not business as usual. Otherwise, the message we impart to kids is that the bully wins. (I also think OSSTF needs to change their TV commercial tag line to "the only thing standing in the way of your child and extracurriculars is Laurel Broten." ALL teacher unions need to demand her resignation.

Anonymous said...

This Minister has posted all ratified "collective agreements" on her website:

Anonymous said...

With every ETFO and OSSTF member listening yesterday, outrage was expressed everywhere, except for OECTA of course! I did get some teeney comfort in knowing that the "Me clause", as I think O'Dwyer was counting on, will NOT happen! BTW, if parents do not like the withdrawal of EC, I will be the first to suggest that they send them to OECTA schools, ALL with IEPs and behavioural issues!

Anonymous said...

David you have done your part and we appreciate that! The rest of oecta memebers need to rise up against you provincial leadership! Storm the office - do something! These people are tyranical and self-serving! Enough is enough! How can you stomach them glouting by posting the Premier's letter on their website??? This is an all time low for all unions! SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!

Anonymous said...

Go to the MOE website. The MOU enhancements apply to all Boards. According to this info the "me too" clause has been applied.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

OECTA is planning a Bill 115 protest outside the OLP Convention on Jan 25th, but somehow I can't see too many folk joining in solidarity. OFL protest is next day.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

If I am approached privately one more time about trying to misrepresent my blogsite as representing OECTA's officials position I will scream.

First, who could be so lame brained to think so?

Secondly, I have NO desire to do so WHATSOEVER. I can stand on my own two feet thank you.

Pardon my rant but this is so ridiculous it's insulting.

In Solidarity!

Anonymous said...

David - THANK YOU for all your hard work to keep us all informed. Much appreciated!

I am a new teacher and I abolutely love my job teaching and making positive influences in the lives of our kids. But now i am even am even more angry

. Have you read this in the star today?? $253,000 in gift cards to the tdsb trade union from a special LIBERAL fund and now Broten has renewed their contracts?!!!! And this was done evem adter a comprehensive audit and report to make changes! COMMON SENSE!!!!


John Kimble

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Hi John! Thanks! Let me look into this!

Anonymous said...

David maybe you can answer this? I am a reasonable guy and the disdain I have, along with my colleauges and many others, for this minister of education is palpable! You say you have known Broten for years. Does she really believe in what she is doing or is she just taking marching orders for mcguinty who has thrown her under the bus and hunkered down out of sight. Her actions have become farcical. This can't be good for her career.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Nope. She's probably dead in the political waters of the next election. Odds would be she will be target for defeat 4 sure.

I tried to address your questions in today's entry in the blog above. Somebody made a big miscalculation from the get go. I can't see Laurel having thought this up though she is certainly stuck with it now that it has taken on a life of its own.

Whoever was holding sway in the Liberal cabinet when the PDT terms and negotiating strategy were decided upon did her and everyone else a great disservice. It is a trajedy of epic proportions.

After all is said and done I'd think McGuinty has thrown her under the bus and walked away leaving her holding the bag. A sad way to end what was up until last spring a great working relationship.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight David. From what I've heard about Laurel prior to last February was that she was a decent reasonable MPP dedicated to public service and the advancement of education in this province. It's just too bad the Liberal party decided to go in this direction. To destroy the goodwill and positive working relationship between teachers and this govt. is most unfortunate for the overall minimal fiscal savings. But I guess that's where politics comes into play.

Anonymous said...

Hi David. Not to worry. Your pal Gerard Kennedy just wants to give all you Liberal sycophants a big hug to make this all go away. Kathleen Wynne wants to massage the hurt she caused right out of you poor OECTA members. You and yours will probably vote Liberal again and even wear the big red t shirts! These Liberals are the corrupt and fascist party of big money and you blindly sit on their lap like dogs, OECTA in exchange for a few treats. Where were you OECTA and teacher's labour unions when they suspended the right to assembly during the G20? Where was your outrage then? You teach people? No wonder the world is the way it is. SHAME.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

The Ontario voter mindset is in the middle of the political spectrum. Go too far to the left or right
and few will follow. Progressive change is often incremental and the prerequisite mindset must be eatablished first. Good luck trying to do that from way out in the political wilderness.

Anonymous said...

No need to insult David. I didnt vote Liberal last time but know many good people who did for all the right reasons. They were going in the right direction until they stabbed us in the back. I remember when Bob Rae did this to us, I tore up my NDP card at the time.

Parties do these things and when they do, for their own sake, they have to be punished so they learn not to do them.

We have a process for dealing with backstabbers. We need to, as they say in Brooklyn, "kick the bums out".

Anonymous said...

How does that saying go? It takes years to build a reputation and minutes to ruin it. Broten didn't think about that. She could have done things differently. She has no one but herself to blame. When I was watching the news conferences on Thursday, she came off as an arrogant, tough-talking bully. Hammond and Coran came off as sincere, hard working middle class. Both also had a look of defeat. Teachers will not win this fight in the media. They need to stick together, the way Broten stuck by her man, and quietly withdraw all voluntary activities. As Hammond put it in his letter to members, it is appropriate and necessary. Teachers who do not understand this need a history lesson in the evolution of labour unions, democracy, and education in Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Why Stand Up?

This was written by Jeff Bersche, a fellow teacher in District 18. He has given his permission allowing us to repost his, and our, point of view. We are trying to find some way to get the word out about why teachers feel so strongly about repealing Bill 115… now you can tell them why.

Bill 115…
•Removes the right to strike
•Removes the right to “talk about striking”… yes the right to “talk” about it!
•Gives the Minister of Education unilateral power to extend the “2-year” frame of this temporary bill without negotiation in perpetuity (forever)
•Gives the Minister of Education unilateral power to change any part of any contract (even those already signed) if the Minister deems necessary without negotiation with ANYONE
•Makes it illegal to protest
•Makes it illegal to challenge the Bill in the Ontario Court System (which is why it had to be challenged in Federal Court) – yes – the Bill makes it illegal to challenge the Bill!!!
•It also bars the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) from commenting on any human rights violations associated with the Bill and bars the OLRB from commenting on any part of the Bill that does not fit with OLRB laws.

Are you getting this??? Where are the “putting students first” parts of the Bill? this is just a piece of the Bill; there’s plenty more where this came from – and the kicker:

IT AUTOMATICALLY BECOMES LAW AS OF 12/31/2012. Again, this auto-triggger is part of the Bill! Oh, you want to complain or vote against it??? You can’t because McGuinty prorogued government! I wonder why??

THIS is what I am fighting against. THIS is why is am willing to protest. THIS is why I am willing to stop coaching, even though my son is on my team and I LOOOOOVE coaching. Fighting THIS is worth taking the hit that I will take. Fighting THIS is the OPPOSITE OF SELFISH. THIS threatens us all – public and private workers alike. THIS puts the Government first – workers last – students after that.

Mr. McGuinty: does this sound like it has anything to do with my salary?
Go to “” and get the straight goods to find out how we can fight THIS. Find out why many parents are with us… and about the backroom deal that will bring hiring by seniority only into LAW!!! without anyone even knowing about it.

Be sure to visit “” to find out more.

Anonymous said...

Globe and Mail refers to OECTA as "the relatively compiant Catholic teachers association".

Anonymous said...

An idea for protest? Send copies of the OECTA Bill of Members' Rights to Provincial, Unit Presidents, Media Outlets, other teachers, whoever. Write on it-One OECTA Member Against the MOU. Get that message out! Ask those running for OECTA Provincial if they endorse the OECTA Bill of Members' Rights.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Thanks for sharing Jeff's piece with us! I don't think one can put it in more simpler direct heartfelt terms! Wow! Solidarity!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Maybe somebody could redraft the Bill of Rights with a few of the recommendations that were made [no political involvement?]. Share it here on my blog. Anyone can cut, and paste [but not download] to distribute. Myy readership is province wide so a lot of members can access it to distribute. Just a thought ....

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Yeah, "relatively compliant". The writer was being nice. Ho boy! As they used to say when you danced the limbo "How low can you go?"

Anonymous said...

The Liberals have never been headed in the right direction. The only thing they have done is buy off teachers with pay increases and improvements to their working conditions. Teachers accepted this and turned a blind eye while they drove the province into the ground, lowered corporate taxes, participated in numerous scandals, handed out massive pork to their faithful and lied their asses off to the voters. All Bob Rae ever did was turn to the unions for help when the chips were down and be brutally rebuffed. He may have opened up contracts but he never did anything on the level of Bill 115. You tore up your NDP card and gave us Harris and then crooked McGuinty (your hero). SHAME.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Broten would smugly state that she will repeal Bill 115 as a 'gesture of goodwill' after using it to attack teachers is honestly more than I can stomach. I would be less furious had she simply imposed this disgusting contract and left the bill in place. However, to imply that the government is now going to remove the 'one thing standing in the way of extra-curriculars' after having used it to shove a contract down all of our throats is really beyond belief. Who is she kidding?

Obviously, Broten doesn't realize she is being used by the Liberals to do the dirty work that needs to be done BEFORE the next leader of the party is chosen - simply so that the new leader will hopefully not have to deal with any of this mess. The contract will have been imposed, the contentious bill removed, and the new leader can spew whatever BS he/she would like to say with respect to how much they disagree with how teachers have been treated. What a sucker Broten is to fall for this for she is nailing her own personal coffin in terms of a political career because of it. (Of course, who the heck knows what back door deals have been made. The TDSB contract Broten recently 'approved' is another example of either her incompetency and/or some other sneaky deal.)

In my 20+ years of teaching, I can honestly say I have never been this angry or disillusioned. I am realizing - as I try to muster up the motivation to head into school today to get ready for work tomorrow - that the saying about not being able to legislate goodwill is more true now than ever.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Dunno, but if anyone is expecting all will be fine once the province elects an NDP government I think you'll be in for a big shock + more disappointment.
Liberal bad -NDP good? Way too simplistic.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Kennedy and now Hoskins are appealing to teachers for support tells you that they have limited delegate support and are in bad shape going in to convention. Attending Broten's levee is sad for a so called dissident activist. More like a Stockholm Syndrome OECTA political action sock puppet wannabe. Guess the PE is really leaning on you David. Hang in there. You were doing so well. Oh well gotta get back to the free union lunch circuit eh?

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Thanks Don!

Anonymous said...

Broten is a politician. Watch her get a plum Liberal appointment.

Anonymous said...

We need to continue to engage all 3 parties in discussion including Hukak's #$^%*'s. David going to Broten's levee was a good idea even though I think teachers must target her for defeat in the next election.

If we elect the NDP thing will not be perfect but likely better. Any party that does what McGuinty/Broten have done to us must be spanked for their own good.

Elle Fury said...

It doesn't matter who we elect... the Liberals and all other parties are following the neoliberal/austerity agenda that is being forced on the working and middle classes all over the world. Ontario is only a small part of the picture.

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