Opening Statement



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Bill 115 McGuinty Letter Sets Stage For Broten!


Premier McGuinty has set the stage for Education Minister Laurel Broten's 10 am news conference tomorrow. In a three page letter to the province's teachers he reiterates the governments position on Bill 115. Nothing new and nothing has changed. It would seem they are staying the course and planning to implement Bill 115. The timing suggests that the *&%#  is about to hit the fan.


In review: Bill 115 overrides the Ontario Labour Act allowing the province to unilaterally impose new contract terms on the provinces teachers, most notably ETFO and OSSTF. Neither have reached a provincial Collective Bargaining Memo of Understanding with the MOE or local contracts with the province's school boards.

Both OECTA English Catholic and the province's AEFO french teachers are exempt from the legislation since they have all ready reached contentious MOU's with the government last summer. The CUPE education workers have been granted an extension to seek ratification of their agreement within the next two weeks.

Shortly after the open letter to the teachers went out both McGuinty and Broten shared it across the province through Twitter. It would seem they are off full steam ahead early into the new year after the midnight December 31st deadline passing without any further contracts being signed by either OSSTF and ETFO.

Both teacher unions have threatened to hold a one day province wide strike and further job actions if the government uses Bill 115 to impose a contract upon them. Strikes would be outlawed under the terms of Bill 115. The teachers and the government now seem eyeball to eyeball without either side being willing to wink. It now seems the much anticipated showdown looms immediately ahead.

The OLP also faces a leadership race on the weekend of Jan 25-26. Only candidates Gerrard Kennedy and Eric Hoskins have spoken out against Bill 115. Large teacher and labour union protest rallies against Bill 115 are planned for outside the Maple Leaf Garden's convention hall in Toronto throughout the weekend.

The Opposition PC's are claiming the OLP government hasn't been moving fast or strongly enough to impose contracts. The NDP is opposed to Bill 115. All three Ontario political parties poll within a few percentages of each other.The Queen's Park provincial legislature remains closed through prorogation since Oct 15. A provincial spring election is widely expected sometime soon after the new Liberal Party leader is chosen.

Here is the Premier's letter to all the province's teachers who have not reached a contract agreement under the terms of Bill 115: Premiers Letter

Here is the complete text of Bill 115 for easy access: Bill 115

Check out the news reports below to gauge reactions + see how the story is being reported:

The Toronto Star report includes comments from OSSTF President Ken Coran: Toronto Star

The Globe + Mail report focuses on the contract process, deadlines and terms: Globe + Mail

The Toronto Sun reports original focus is McGuinty's reference to parent concerns: Toronto Sun

The National Post expresses uncertainty over McGuinty and Brotens' messaging claiming they still don't clearly state that they will impose the contracts: National Post

Canada Press report includes comments from NDP Education Crritic Peter Tabuns: Canadian Press

CTV news report includes earlier comments from Kennedy + Wynne: CTV News

CP24 report includes reference to an interview with Tim Hudak today: CP24

York Region's Kim Zarzour report includes comments from ETFO's David Clegg. Otherwise ETFO is reserving comment until after tomorrow's announcement: Kim Zarzour in York

Metro News report includes comment from OSSTF President Ken Coran: Metro News

680 News opens with McGuinty's comments that the terms and process have been fair. See: 680 news

Chatham News report includes the complete text of the letter: Chatham News

Oppostion Leader Tim Hudak urges the province to impose contracts upon teachers before we return to school next week. I saw him being interviewed on CP24 at lunch today on all his new "Bold Moves" to create jobs and solve the teacher crisis. When pressed for details he just kept repeating the word "bold" over and over again while amusingly trying to strike a tough pose. Even the reporters were badgering him about how ridiculous the whole press conference was. I'd bet this is all edited out by news time tonight. See: Tim Talks Tough

OLP Leadership contender Kathleen Wynne was on CP24 earlier. She would not commit to repealing Bill 115. She kept saying she supports the government and the time to talk about Bill 115 will be after a new leader is chosen. She was clearly just spinning her wheels. The announcement followed shortly thereafter.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Part 1/2
Ok, so by now many of us have seen (and had a violent intestinal reaction to) Dalton McGuinty’s media release…er…sorry…I mean his ‘open letter to teachers’.



Obviously, it is infuriating, as it is clearly not intended for educators who actually have an idea as to what is going on or what Bill 115 is really all about. As an ETFO member, it frustrates me greatly. However, in all honesty, I can’t even fathom how I’d be feeling if I were an AEFO or OECTA member.



Once again, the good premier has not only implied but actually openly stated that FIFTY FIVE THOUSAND teachers happily stayed at the table and negotiated a deal that lines up perfectly with Bill 115.



Those of us involved in this page know that this is not the case…that there were three signatures on OECTA’s version of that MOU, and that you, the teachers it directly impacts, had no say whatsoever. I have often thought that I would be even more angry than I am right now if I were a member of your union, who has been forced into this situation and who has been paying significant union dues that have served no purpose.



We know that there are some AEFO and OECTA members who are perfectly ok with this arrangement, and who are in fact relieved that they don’t have to be involved in this battle. That is, without any doubt, your prerogative.

Anonymous said...

Part 2:
However, I have begun to suspect, given dialogue that I’ve had with fellow educators, that there are a great many MORE who are hopping mad. Who feel slandered each and every time that McGuinty or Broten blatantly lie and say that you negotiated this deal and are content with it. And for those of you…I really, heartily sympathize. Because it is such a feeling of entrapment and frustration, and I can only feel it on your behalf, not even directly. I know you feel powerless.



We have done some digging. An AEFO or OECTA member cannot ‘deflect’ or denounce their union and join ETFO. The Education Act stipulates that an educator must belong to the union that represents their place of employment.

However, the fact that so many of you are asking this question at all is leading me to put a thought out there that I am sure will be controversial…deep breath. Here goes.



Those of you who are AEFO and OECTA who are hopping mad…Why don’t you consider ‘pausing’?



Ok. No lightning has struck me down…yet.



I know that it would create division in your schools. That some members really do feel ok with how things have played out. But we have had division in our schools, too – before we started job action - when we paused, and we managed to stay respectful and professional about it.



The letters put out by Broten and McGuinty today make it clear that this is not going to go away on its own. We need more action if we want to protect our democratic rights.

Anonymous said...

Part 3:
Your unions, and my union, can’t make this suggestion. But me, I’m absolutely nobody at all. So I can throw it out there for consideration. When I read that nonsense today, my blood boiled on your behalf. If yours boiled, too, why not do something about it?



I am in an interesting situation in that I work in the public elementary system, but my own children are educated in the Catholic system. When my kids come home and talk about milk day and intramurals at lunch, I feel a whole bunch of conflicting stuff. As a teacher, I am frustrated, because I am busting my butt here to try to change things. But as a parent, one who knows the finer details of what’s going on, I feel a little sad. Because I would really rather they not be doing intramurals or having a book club or drinking milk brought about by a program that’s run by teachers. Because I happen to think that a season without these things would be an awfully small price to pay if those teachers could have a voice, and if it could bring about a change so that in the future my children could enjoy collective bargaining rights and life in a world where their provincial government doesn’t get to put itself above the law whenever it feels so inclined.



So I’m just kicking it out there for your consideration. A gentle reminder that all of that extra stuff is not stuff you are obligated to do, even if you don’t work for ETFO. I know that this will be a controversial idea. I would love to hear your thoughts…both for and against.



But what a neat little underground movement you could get started, if you felt so inclined. To say ‘in support of my ETFO and OSSTF colleagues, and as a show of frustration with my own union’s lack of collaboration and discussion, and as a show of my repulsion for the complete lies about my own and my coworker’s acceptance of Bill 115, I am hereby Pausing in my participation of voluntary activities’. Picture the power. Picture the change that it could precipitate.



Once again, I realize that this suggestion could very well inflame some members of AEFO and OECTA. It really isn’t my intent to do so, and I want to state, strongly, that these are only my own ideas. Because it is the holiday season, I haven’t even run them past my colleague and co-administrator, Susan Burtch-Goode, or any of my ETFO contacts. They are just my own thoughts. And again, I welcome your own ideas on the subject. Please share them in the comments section. But if you happen to agree with my thoughts, why not ‘share’ this post with other like-minded colleagues? For I can assure you that there are no words to express how gratifying it is when one gets the sense that one might be making a difference.

Anonymous said...

Please do go to the press conference; live tweet it for us :)
Solidarity from OSSTF!

David Chiarelli said...

Short post first: ok i will try to tweet live. Then after i will go to cafe and post ad hoc report & fit it up later

Anonymous said...

I too am an Etfo member with children in the Catholic System. I am torn because I watched my daughter's team win a city basketball championship in the Fall. That is something she will remember for ever. The sheer joy with her team mates piling on is something I will never forget. We will now eliminate those things (government initiated) because what other recourse do we have. When my students ask I blame our government. There should be no muzzle when bullying occurs. Isn't that what our leaders suggest. A sad time to be in education.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Why should OECTA members follow any commands on doing Extra-curriculars from a Provincial Office/President who took away their right to vote on the MOU? As an OECTA member with no vote on anyone running for Provincial Executive either, I planned on Pausing on extra-curriculars long before this post. Time to show some respect to rank and file OECTA members. If they want business as usual they better get used to a more empowered and demanding membership.

Anonymous said...

OECTA has now proudly place the McGuinty letter on its website. Some people I have talked to believe OECTA wrote whole sections of this letter for McGuinty.

Anonymous said...

Will the love affair between McGuinty and OECTA Provincial ever end? Is it clear now that El Presidente is representing the Liberal Party ahead of OECTA members?

David Chiarelli said...

OECTA members have been boycotting extracurriculars in solidarity with ETFO + OSSTF. These are hardly reported and only known locally. Most members/ others are thereby kept in the dark, I would suppose to make sure the idea doesn't spread. In at least one school in the province educational workers took over the extracurriculars when teachers refused them. It gets pretty confusing, which I would suppose also helps maintain the status quo in the Catholic schools.

Post a Comment

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!