Opening Statement

Monday 25 February 2013

Mid Winter Teachers News Link Digest

News link updates below + throughout. Acronym Guide on Jan 13 blog. 

Teacher News

ETFO won't back down on EC's until they see some concrete actions on the governments behalf. Seeing is believing. Read the full story on my Feb 28 blog.

ETFO's Sam Hammond stays the course!

CBC news reports: CBC

Globe + Mail reactions: Globe

The Ottawa Citizen reports: Ottawa

Kim Zarzour monitors the Twitter response + "We are the 80%": Twitter

Urgent: CTV article bad mouths ETFO + then includes poll on whether you support their decision. Vote now + share link!! See: Vote 4 ETFO!

MOE Sandals asks to know what ETFO wants. Duh. See: She doesn't know?!?

Public Boards threaten to fight ETFO over EC's. Actually that all ready began with the current ETFO WTR OLRB test case. Seems they are telling ETFO now to volunteer or else. We ave a word for that at OECTA TSU. The board has "voluntold" what to do. Ho boy! See + weep at the sheer stupidity: Hey! You were voluntold what to do!

OSSTF's Ken Coran + MOE Liz Sandals share a laugh.

Jim Stringer's "Open letter" posted on OSSTF's "We Are the 80%" Facebook Page responds to President Ken Coran's "recommendation" letter [see my Feb 26 blog] in no uncertain terms. Visit the new Facebook page for the full story. Woooo-Weee! I am also posting the open letter on my Feb 28 blog in solidarity! As teachers at the grassroots level we all need to be able to be say what we think and be heard. More OSSTF news below. Visit the new 80% site atWe Are The 80%!

OECTA TOTL [Toronto Occasional Teachers] : The "Teach Hard" blog provides a real hard line take on the difficulties of being a Catholic OT and of getting a fair full time hire with the TCDSB in Toronto. Tons of stats. Strongly worded. Passionate. Fair + transparent hiring has been a real big issue for OECTA and it sounds like all is still not well, MOU clause notwithstanding according to the writer[s] on this blog. See: Teach hard Toronto

Here's the Disenfranchised OECTA Teachers Link. They wrote the OECTA Bill of Rights which I forwarded to the OECTA Task force. I am also including a link to my blog on their efforts. Haven't heard much from your crew for while. Please update us here. I will post. See:

Face Book Page:  Go here!

Blog:  Go there!

Don't forget Rank + File Education Workers Toronto! Their pub is Friday nite [see side bar]. There website isSupport Rank + File! circulates an on line petition: No EC's or return to business as usual until a freely negotiated and ratified Collective Agreement is in place. The petition is addressed
to both MOE Liz Sandals and OSSTF President Ken Coran. See: A No Petition

It is great to see indie teacher sites sprouting up all over to carry on the good fight from a grassroots level. I highly encourage you to visit and share the link for the 80%'ers above. If you have started one up let me know so I can let teachers know. Please remember this is an all affiliate news site, so all are welcome. In Solidarity!

Before anyone complains + to be completely fair, if there is a site for the 20% who approve of the EC recommendation or a teacher petition to resume EC's, I will include the link too, without prejudice, on my blog if it is forwarded to me. We consider ALL points of view here!
Large ETFO Rally outside Trillium board offices with members joining in from across the province. They still await the results of their OLRB WTR case. Protest theme is "Justice + Respect". Local teachers very poorly treated with this complaint. Low morale within schools. Much speculation it is silently being supported by the public boards across the province as a test case.  Details + hopefully photos to follow.
CHEX TV video reports on big ETFO hullabaloo outside Trillium offices: ETFO Rocks Trillium!! 

Trillium discloses 95,000 in legal fees for OLRB, claims it's "not much". Board also claims 90% of high school EC's are back up + running since OSSTF announcement [?!] See: Not much!?

ETFO KPR VP Bill Betz + members proudly wear their "I am ETFO" t-shirts in defiance of a ridiculous Senior Board Administration threat to discipline teachers because they are "unduly influencing" students" when they see the shirts. Is it a big dangerous secret that their teachers are standing up for free collective bargaining and democratic rights?!? Or that we belong to a, God forbid, "teacher union"?!? For shame KPR!!! Teacher support has been widespread + without incident. Teachers have even taken to wearing the t-shirts all week, not just on Fridays. The School Edition blog salutes ETFO KPR for their principled stand + refusal to be bullied! In solidarity!

OECTA MOU OLRB decision released! See my Feb 27 blog. The complaint was dismissed but there seems to be a lot more to that then what OECTA Provincial is alluding to in their press release. We wait with baited breathe for the complainants response too. Here's the OECTA news statement: OECTA MOU OLRB statement

The ETFO OLRB decision could come anytime. OECTA's is out now, so Chair Fishbein must be really rolling up his sleeves + getting down to it. No small task!

ETFO MOE rally: Anybody else still going the protest route?!? Alas.

Globe + Mail Business Section article seems delighted we have agreed to remove guaranteed inflation security removed from our pension. Of course it will be grandfathered for our grandfather teachers, sorta like myself, but not so for those starting out. See: Pension Bluez

OSSTF Letter Verses We Are 80%

The OSSTF letter recommending a resumption of EC's has been posted on my separate Feb 26 blog. You will recall I have printed similar publicly available documents from all the affiliates including OECTA + EFO for our teacher information purposes as educated professionals who can read and think for ourselves. So this letter too, is printed without prejudice against the union. I am not centring OSSTF out any more than any other. Response has been overwhelming. I am posting here the info forwarded to me that might be of interest to our OSSTF readers. 

J26 to now: OSSTF EC's yay or nay?

"We are the 80%" also has posted the following contact info. It was provided by + for OSSTF members who would like to contact their elected representatives to express their pleasure or concern over OSSTF's decision. A member's election prospectus is also provided for those who might want to consider their next vote in light of the EC decision. It is your democratic right, be it yay or nay. You will recall I also did this for the OECTA PE + COP MOU votes too. 

The OSSTF Provincial executive (voting members) are as follows

Ken Coran, President  
Paul Elliott, VP              
Harvey Bischof, VP    
Cindy Dubue, Ex Off   
Scott Marshall, EO    
Leslie Wolfe, EO      
Earl Burt, Treasurer  

Pierre Cote ( is the General Secretary, our top staff person. Also, please note that Ken & Scott are moving on, Paul is standing unopposed for President, Cindy, Harvey & Leslie are running for VP, Earl is running against one challenger for Treasurer, and we have 4 new faces running for the 3 EO positions 

Ken Coran on CP24 Monday Feb 25 9:30 am. Members are divided.

What happened at OSSTF?!? 

OSSTF Pressident Ken Coran speaks on Tuesday Metro Morning. Audio clip at: CBC 

OSSTF pushes for mid term contract amendments, no grid changes, removal of unpaid days, + regulation 274 Fair hiring practices [but see Teach Hard link below]. Also a union run health + benefits plan. Concern cited over students transferring to Catholic schools. Sandals adamant it's about process + no new money is available Wynne is mum at QP. See: OSSTF

OSSTF Press Conference on CP24 Monday at 9:30 am. President Coran said that the membership is divided on the return to extracurriculars. He will need to show concrete results to get the 60% of the undecided members to reconsider. The public should just assume EC's will return immediately. They are voluntary. He said that there is a proper labour negotiating process in place now, where there hadn't been before. He noted the whole past year never should've been necessary. He hopes the results will begin to be made available this week. There are new central and local bargaining negotiations to take placeHe also noted that a news blackout will be involved in the upcoming negotiations.

Here's a video of the media conference from the OSSTF website: Video

Life was so much more clear cut when we were young ....

OSSTF estimates 20% of public secondary school teacher members will continue to boycott EC's, 20% will resume, and 60% are undecided. Email letter over the weekend lists union priorities including local CB protections, mid term CA changes, and no grid changes. After heated debate Friday most locals agreed to trust their provincial leadership. Reasons against EC's cited. See: OSSTF Letter

Here's an updated copy of the Globe + Mail report since the media conference: Update

Here's a good summary: Kim Zarzour reports on this mornings media conference: Summary   

Toronto Star Editorial encourages a return to EC's. See: Star says yes!

OSSTF Upper Midlands hesitant to return to EC's. Teachers are strictly deciding by individual choice, as always. Local ETFO President expects a provincial announcement Match 1st: March 1st?

OSSTF York Region EC's not happening. Student group starts petition. See: York no!

Tim: "Once I told a whopper About teachers this big!"

Much uncertainty in Halton over return of EC's. Remember, this is a teacher not a so called "union boss" decision, so go put that in your pipe Tim Hudak with whatever else it is you are smokin' these daze! We need your help like a hole in the head! See: What's Tim Smokin'?

OSSTF Sudbury member estimates majority still feel angry with the way they have been treated. Not ready to go running back to embrace EC's. See: Not Happy Campers!

Hamilton OSSTF teachers angered by "No Promises" deal on extracurriculars. Fight is being carried across the province via social media. You can also watch Toronto high school teacher Jason Kunin's CBC interview here. Jason rocks!! SeeOSSTF EC's?

Extracurriculars yay or nay? Teacher Jason Kunin speaks on CBC Metro Morning followed by MOE Liz Sandalsl. Ha. See: Jason speaks!

Returning teachers not "feeling the love". One volunteers to do an EC then parents + the public start demanding it , getting critical + indignant. The damage has been done? KW reports: Gee thanks! 

There is also a leaked agenda for Monday's meeting between ETFO + the MOE making the rounds which has apparently been an eye opener for some. Will post if see.

In related news see my "Union Politics: Life with the Lions" blog below.

Other Teacher News

OECTA TECT delegates including President Mario Bernardo [5th from left] with Provincial's James Ryan + Sonia DiPetta at the "Workers Rights" meeting this weekend. No to Right to Work [for less!]

Michelle Hurst provides a graph of a first year teacher's attitude towards teaching. Her advice? "Keep calm + carry on!" Isn't it the truth! Best wishes to her + all our new teachers this year. Check out her blog. I really like this one: First Year Teacher Blog

Article claims that in multicultural Ontario student's will be disenfranchised without more diverse teachers. Males + aboriginals are also cited as being under represented. Others too. Boy this is something new! It's been ages since anyone even dared suggest males were underrepresented or disadvantaged. Not politically correct? See: Teacher Diversity?

Here's a little "pick me upper". Photos of the students at the TDSB Africentric school showing us how to line up quietly, also how to sing! See: Showing us how it's done!

This news story is getting a lot of traction: Windsor Essex Catholic student alleges gay bullying at school: Catholic + Gay

OISE to axe undergrad teacher training program? See:  Actually I like FEUT better

ETFO President Sam Hammond praises First Nations Human Right Tribunal as a "teachable moment". See: First Nation Human Rights

Party Politics

Tim Hudak seeks $12 million line of credit from a syndicate of banks for spring election. PC's deeply in debt place $8 million campaign spending limit on him. OLP would enter the race with $12 million plus. Confidence in Tim within own ranks seems unsteady at best. Worries he could bankrupt the party + lose. See:  $Tim$?

Live Legislature Webcast with a daily schedule. A great resource: House Webcast

What a great double bill! PC Hudak + NDP Horwath both on Thurs night TVO AGenda at 8 + 11 pm! Host Steve Paikin usually gets right to the point with his questions! No fluff!

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath compare's Tory statements about teachers to throwing gasoline on a fire to put it out. Tim says that although his motion was defeated he will bring it back once he forms the next government. See: Smokin'

Lisa: What b.s. should we feed them next boss?

Tuesday Feb 26 CP24 Interview at Noon: PC Education Critic Lisa McLeod to introduce new motion preventing teacher unions from "naming, blaming, shaming or penalizing" teachers who refuse to boycott extracurriculars. New motion won't make EC's mandatory, but won't allow unions to enforce EC WTR either. Teachers will be required to completely fill out all report cards. She claimed Wynne received a $10,000 donation from the teachers after she was elected premier. She is working for the unions, who through the "Working Families Coalition" is pushing for "lower standards and less work". She claims to have a leaked memo in which the teachers claim to have gotten rid of McGuinty, defeated the OLP and put Wynne into office. Only the PC's can stand up to us for families and students. Without OLP or NDP support the motion of course, will not pass, but don't doubt the Tory's have a real hate on for us. Motion to be introduced at QP 3:45 today. Expect full scale Harris like teacher attack to follow as Tim + Lisa get down + dirty. Here we go again!

Tim + Lisa continue for second day with teacher attacks in the legislature. See: Tim + Lisa

Both Wynne + Horwath supported teachers against Tory attacks. NDP stole the show! A++

PC Lisa McLeod goes on a total Tory rampage for us. Keep watching or you will miss the finale! The speaker makes her to withdraw a statement then tells her the time is up. Wynne does OK is holding her own but still seems to be finding her feet as premier to me.See: Tory! Tory! Tora!

MOE Liz Sandals says PC's only trying to stir up teacher issue for political gain. True enough. It's a nasty scapegoat attack copied from Harris eraSee: Tory hate on 4 teachers

A Path Forward? NDP's Andrea Horwath tells PC + NDP where it is at, especially with the teachers! Nice one. Real nice. Watch: A Homerun!

Thank you NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh for standing up for us in the legislature in no uncertain terms! 

As teachers we owe our gratitude to NDP members Peter Tabun + Jagmeet Singh for their immediate strong + vocal opposition to the PC's "illogical + undemocratic attack" on us at the Legislature when the motion was introduced. Rest assured it was defeated by the NDP + OLP. BTAIM the Tory war against teachers is back in full force + they will make as much news out of the motion as they can.

NDP Education Critic Peter Tabun provides us with this link to the Hansard with the full text of the motion debate on Tuesday Feb 26. Thanks Peter! See: Handsard Feb 26

Summary: NDP knock one out of the park! Queen's Park that is........ a crack team! Bravo!

Nasty! Nasty! Grr! Grr! The Sun News of course jumped on this story el pronto. See: Sun news

Premier Wynne receives standing ovation from OLP benches in legislature this morning for OSSTF announcement. Hope OLP doesn't assume everything's all right now. Link to follow.

PC Education Critic gets standing ovation from PC benches for demanding to know the "real cost" of the OSSTF deal. Ditto.

MOE Liz Sandals  retorts this is " ... not a reason to get angry." Ditto.

OSSTF agreement ended a very rough + tumble week for Wynne on a high note. She's going to need a lot more good news stories to survive the next election due to all the baggage McGuinty left behind. See: A Win 4 Wynne

Here is an outline of OECTA's next provincial election campaign "When You Speak For Children". It's a continuation of "Who Speaks for Children" from 2011. Basically it seems the attempt is to focus on getting our members engaged to speak out for education. Member participation was way down last time + the rank + file haven't exactly been encouraged to get politicized or in the know about issues since, so colour me reserved. The posters + videos are similiar to last time too, which I thought were very effective. Possibly we can focus more on this after we do a little housekeeping at UAGM in March because I'm sure that right now a lot of us just don't feel the love with how things have stood since July 5th. Talk about a disconnect. See: When You Speak For Children 

Martin Regg Cohn thinks Wynne will be in for a rough road ahead when it comes to sex ed curriculum. See: Sex Ed?

Former Finance Minister Dwight Duncan scores plum job with the Bay Street bosses. See: Thanks from the Bay St Bosses!

Sounds like Tory Alberta is about to follow OLP's teacher contract path: Alberta Next?

A little late: there has just been so much teacher news! CPC-ML Ontario Political Forum provides a series of critiques of the Throne Speech. Meet the new boss? Same as the old boss! Scroll down to read. There are a series of articles which carefully dissect the language of the speech to reveal the Wynne OLP is sticking to the corporate austerity agenda under a faux pas "fair society" and "respect for the workers + the poor" window shop front. Start here: Throne Speech Critique

In Other News

Sook Yin Lee + Olivia Chow

"Jack" Layton now a CBC made for tv movie, airing Monday March 10 at 8pm. Rick Roberts portryas Jack. Observes Canadian actress + songstress Sook Yin Lee who plays Olivia; "I wound up combining the reality of Olivia with the mytholog of Olivia and then adding a little of myself." The real Olivia comments: Jack!

Widespread trend of "dumping" on labour + trade unions is only in the interest of conservative media + big business. Here's why: Big bad unions?

School + parenting in the new century: Don't say no + make sure nobody ever fails?

This writer wants her daughter to fail. Why? Because we learn from failure + in the real world you need to be able to stand on your own two feet and take the good with the bad. Do we still teach that in school anymore? See: Failure can be good 4 you!

What's the most dangerous city in Canada for women? Toronto? Montreal? Vancouver? Nope! It's Thunder Bay + the number of assaults may be higher than the statistics suggest. Police risk assessment training is being proposed by one agency. See: Ugly Stats!

Whoa Nellie! Ikea diner stops selling it's popular meatball dish in Sweden while they test for horse meat. Canadian outlet's continue to offer meal. Seems safe though: Ikea says they are made in the US, not Sweden after all. Guess that's just the name of the meatballs. sort of like the "24 Hours" sign out front of the dry cleaning shop that takes 48 hours ... See: Neigh?

Fidel y Raul Castro in Habana this week. A threat to capitalism + our way of life? 

Cuban President Raul Castro plans to retire in 2018. He will place a 2 year term + an age limit upon the Presidency + other top political offices. 52 year old politburo member Miguel Diaz -Canal has been raised to the #2 position; the first post 1959 revolution leader to become top lieutenant + possible successor to the president. 

Since rising to the presidency in 2006 Raul has introduced a wide range of social and economic reforms moving the country towards a mixed economy. Raul says he will not change the socialist nature of the revolution but Cuba needs an orderly transfer of power to a younger generation. There's speculation the US will lift the 1961 embargo since neither Castro brother will be in power, a key Canada has not participated in the embargo and remains a major trade partner with Cuba, a popular Canadian sun destination, despite the US controversy over our support for the socialist state. See: Castro to retire

Walking Dead lives! Zombies! Zombies! Everywhere

Rogers TV denies AMC claim that they will not renew distribution agreement. "Walking Dead" viewers terrified Sunday evening when AMC ads warned they were going to miss the end of the season if Rogers didn't sign. "Walking Dead" is currently the #1 cable television drama series. A real kool Zombie video bar is located at bottom of the article: Walking Dead Lives!.

Recovering Ontario politico George Smitherman exclaims "Trudeau kicked the state out of my bedroom." See: PET

Pssst! Ditch the kiddies. Want to see Beyonce in the shower? Peek-a-boo! Yes, she has a sense of humour too. ;-) Click here: She's clean!

Time shifters? The 50th Anniversary of "Let's Make a Deal!" is on CITY TV at 10 am! Set your recorders now! Last day a teacher dressed up like a bumble bee, along with her boyfriend, who's head was made up like a flower won $2500 in designer purses. She traded that and won a trip to Washington. Then lost it all trying to win a car. Never a dull moment. Actually quite bizarre. Just like school + politics these days ...... but more fun. Put your feet up after work, get a buzz going and ...... er .... Just an idea! Am just trying to help! :-)

NASA Video explains just what the heck happened with that meteorite which hit Russia + why! Great Science lesson! A very teachable moment. See: Meteorite!

Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper: Not so stupid as he seems? Here is his Master's thesis on "The Political Cycle + Fiscal Policy in Canada". Guess what? He is well versed in Marx. See  page 24+ at: Comrade Harper

Prime Minister Harper knows! He's just a "con" [servative] ... :-)


Anonymous said...

Hey David. How did you get your hands on Tim Hudak's childhood wish list? "Rule the World" lol.

Anonymous said...

When you speak for children, you throw your members under the bus and take it in the rear for O'Dwyer and the Liberals. Solidarity forever.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

There's no keeping anything secret anymore! How did you know it was Tim's?!?! :-)

Kulture Kult Ink said...

It's going to be very hard to support OECTA during the election. The trust + respect just is not there. We need to do some serious housecleaning at the March AGM before we can even start to think about where we go from here. Even still there are not lot a whole lot of choice executive picks. I'm going to request interviews or guest blogs + see who responds.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Have you seen this? If not, you've got to watch until the very end. Yikes. Absolutely shocking behaviour:

I have already sent this link to the very few people I know who plan to vote Conservative in the next election. Just watching the ignorant and completely repulsive behaviour of Lisa MacLeod should be enough to make anyone question the judgement of a party leader that would put a witch like this in charge of education. (The clip is actually quite comical. What a zoo that legislature is! )

Anonymous said...

Please post Mr. Grand Poobah!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

The Grand Poobah thanks you for that fine clip. Much better than the short edit I had. Andrea gives a fine, fine speech well worth watching in it's entirety. Be exalted! In solidarity!

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