Opening Statement



Friday, 11 January 2013

ETFO Rocks the OLRB!


News Updates from the OLRB hearing[4pm] ETFO lawyers arguing that OLRB does not have authority to hear the case. As a "protest" it comes under constitutional law. Government rep says Bill 115 clearly states that as a "strike" it's an OLRB issue. ETFO claims no further such protests are planned. Admits it's timed to come before the OLP leaders convention. Sounds like this could take a loooong time to settle.



It's knock 'em sock 'em downtime at the OLRB  tonight! ;-)

[5:15pm] OLRB takes break to decide if it should hear case or not.

[5:25pm] OLRB decides it will continue to hear case!  OLRB still to decide if it's a legal protest or an illegal srike. No early end in sight ...


[6:00] OSSTF + lawyers are at OLRB hearing as observers. Makes sense! Government lawyers continue to make their case.

[6:15] OLRB will decide case, and not refer it to courts on constitutional grounds. 



OLP + ETFO are dukin' it out at the OLRB!

[6:45] OLRB Chair disagrees with ETFO lawyer on legality of walk out ...

[7:20] OLRB Chair Fishbein doesn't plan to leave his seat til this is finished. He wants to focus on merits of the case ... MOE lawyer argues a one day walk out is illegal regardless of whether it's a protest or a strike. Quite the nail biter eh?

[7:55] No end in sight. Hammond present. MOE Broten not. Fishbein takes off suit jacket and says, "It's still early." 

[8:20] Broten is waiting to make an announcement if decision is reached by 10pm. ETFO argument: Bill 115 overrides all other statutes but does not define what a strike is. MOE can't end a strike under the Education Act anyway.  



Fight! Fight! Fight! ETFO + the MOE are having a fight! On + On it goes!

[8:55] Chair makes joke about staying at hearing until dawn. He's not necessarily a very pleasant man and often is given to cutting sarcasm. Sometime I will show you some more of the minutes from the Metro 7 hearing at the OLRB.

[9:10] Fishbein says if Government can convince him of their case he will issue a declaration. 

[9:15] Half hour dinner break called. Afterwards ETFO will present their case. McGuinty is waiting to make 9:30 am press conference tomorrow if Broten's 10pm deadline passes.

For fight bell go here: Fight Bell!


For fight bell go here: Fight Bell!

[9:45] MOE + OPSBA have finished up their arguments. So now it's up to ETFO to show us their stuff. All back. ETFO now to begin ... Go ETFO Go! Give 'em a good hit in the ol' kisser!

[10:05] Nobody has any idea how long this can go on for! We need a good KO!

[10:15] ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Wait! What's this? MOE has no business bringing this to the OLRB. It should be the school boards. OSSTF is ready to say something too!

[10:30] ETFOSpecial circumstances exist. There never was an opportunity to bargain. OLRB is not bound by BC court decision. Bill 115 has undercut " normal regulatory structure." when it comes to CB + the right to strike. ETFO had to bargain with "a gun to it's head." Arguing protest is illegal would be an "infringement on freedom of expression." [that's what I was going to say! ;-) [Took the words right out of my mouth!;-) ETFO lawyer is Steve Barrett. Not to be confused with Sid.

[10:35] Steve "We are talking about fundamental speech here"



[10:45] ETFO is asking if the OLRB can rule on a charter related challenge!

[Special announcement: OSSTF D17 asks all teachers to wear black tomorrow! It is the 4 month anniversary of Bill 115. RIP]

[11:00] So is it a "legal protest" or an "illegal strike"!? Fishbein scratches his head.



Who's that sitting in the back? Could it be ......... ?!? Naw ......... Don't think so anyway ....

[11:15] Barrett: there is an element of altruism to this protest. It's about the the impact on everyone. This protest is about the injustice of Bill 115. The protest is not aimed at sick days, contract provisions but unfair legislation. It's aimed against the process and the lack of ability to bargain.

[11:20] This has been going on 8 hours now. Next up is OSSTF, then government and after them the OPSBA gets a rebuttal.

[If anyone is going to the fridge could you get me a beer?]

[11:30] Media looks at their watches. Shake heads. Figure this will wrap up about 1:30 am.
OPSBA whispers they are here to represent students [?!] Twitter is a tweet .....

[11:35] Barrett:Teachers are trying to tell others that this legislation is stripping them of their freedom of speech. Makes reference to case law. Chair is irritated: "You are just going in circles Mr. Barrett."



Just going in circles? I'd say he's smacking 'em up but good! Yup.

[11:45] Tag match?!  ETFO's Goldblatt takes over. There's a need to balance constitutional questions with rule of law.

[12:00] Goldblatt seems to be wrapping it up for ETFO. He + Barrett = outstanding effort!.

[12:15] Goldblatt jokes about the time. Passionately argues MOE Broten brought this case about by "robbing the teachers" of the right to work out CB details with the local boards. He claims there was local bargaining going on before Bill 115 ended the possibility of local CA's. Provides some case law to back up his caseOSSTF lawyer arises ...  says OSSTF is caught in the same vice as ETFO.

[12: 40] Five minute break!



Intermission Time: Remember the man who boxes the bear?

[1:00] Revised finish time estimated at 2-3am. More time was spent tonight debating the protest than was spent at the legislature to pass Bill 115. Ministry lawyer Charney rises. He says if ETFO is protesting about justice and democracy you can strike. Both sides of  the debate exchange some terse words. Charney argues illegal strikes are counter to good labour laws. He says it is impossible to divorce labour relations from this debate. Also you can't know the motivations of every single teacher [OMG -how low can he go?!?] He rests his case [I should think so!]

[1:20] Hines from the OPSBA school boards rises to make a few points about ETFO s submissions. Goldblatt is not impressed. Union and board lawyers clash. Fishbein appeals for civility. He asks the lawyers how long it will take for submissions of remedy?
Minister lawyer Charney claims if Fishbein rules tonight the schools could still reopen tomorrow [what planet does he live on?!?] He claims some boards are treating this as a snow day and advising parents to keep checking online. [And what are they going to be able to do then?!? Make last minute arrangements/ cancel others? There will be total chaos! Listen dude! Whatever happens Friday is now toast!!!]

[1:40] Fishbein says it is up to the school boards to decide what to do if he orders a cease and desist order against the teachers. He claims "whatever my authority is I don't get to censure the premier." He doesn't want everyone "screaming" at each other about "whether the premier was over the top". Charney starts to defend the premier's statements. He claims the premier didn't say the teachers should be fined. An argument between the lawyers ensues ....

[1:50] A ten minute recess is called to investigate.



For fight bell go here: Fight Bell!

[2:15] Break is over. Now Fishbein is going to leave for a half an hour and may return with a decision. Sam Hammond might have press scrum afterwards. Remember McGuinty has booked a 9:30 am press conference ...

ETFO: Win or lose [and I hope you win] you've scored a great victory here tonight. You followed through and stood up for your union rights and democratic principles. You did not take the MOU/Bill 115 sitting down. You leave the OLRB hearing with your head held high and your dignity intact! Bravo! 

My fellow OECTA members! What did we save by not standing up to the MOE? Two days pay, one for a strike, and one for a protest?  Was it really worth it? Did we have any say in it? ETFO followed it's members wishes, not the other way around. OECTA? For shame!


For fight bell go here: Fight Bell!

[3:00] Yawn! OK Mr. Fishbein, where are you? A mad flurry of school boards across Ontario have been sending out messages that elementary school classes are cancelled in the morning, since he left the court. It's been 12 hours since the hearing began. ETFO has defacto won by virtue of the fact they spoke up and were heard. Also by the late hour. There will be many cancelled or empty classes today no matter what Fishbein decides! I wonder if he went home or maybe just fell asleep? He can be a peculiar fellow. 

[3:30] Soon it will be 25 or 6 to 4 like in that Chicago song of the same title .... I can't believe I am staying up so late but it is a good story eh?

OLRB Decision:

Fishbein says the CBA is not in dispute. ETFO encouraged the strike.  The Charter defences are not applicable. He rules it is an illegal strike! He orders the teachers not to strike. He has issued a cease and desist order at 6 minutes to 4 am. Did you hear that everybody? You better go to work! ;-)



ETFO President Sam Hammond says the union will respect the board's decision and not strike today ....  read my earlier comments! ... Good night/ Good morning! It was a good fight! Solidarity!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for covering this. It's hard to find out what's happening.

Anonymous said...

Another Sad, sad day in education. I guess the government can whatever, whenever they want!!!!! ETFO will do down fighting!!!!!

Anonymous said...

A permanent pause for me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us all updated! Solidarity!
J.Kimble

Anonymous said...

You rock Dave. I am counting on you at the Spring AGM! So long O'Dwyer.....you will NOT be missed.

Anonymous said...

I personally think Sams actions at the OLB have highlighted the deviousness of the bill! Way to go!

David Chiarelli said...

I wouldn't miss this springs OECTA AGM for love nor money!

Anonymous said...

OECTA attempts to sabotage its own rally by giving the following warning on its own website: "OECTA members attending the Democratic & Economic Rights Campaign rally at the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention agree to assume all risks of travelling to and from Toronto and of participating in the rally and march on January 26, 2013 and agree to RELEASE and SAVE HARMLESS OECTA, their officials, employees and agents from any and all liability, claims and actions in respect of injury, loss or damage to their person or property wheresoever or howsoever caused including, negligence of OECTA or their officials, employees and agents arising out of or in connection with taking part in the OFL Democratic & Economic Rights Campaign rally. "

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