A Happy Easter to one + all! With spring comes the promise of rebirth + renewal ~ Now there's a sign of hope for us all!
TEACHER + UNION
OSSTF + MOE reach agreement! Announcement made Easter Sunday. Also see: Big story!
ETFO EC advisory lifted! See President Sam Hammond's letter to the members @ ETFO EC Advisory Lifted!
These two stories have been forward to separate blogs. Ongoing news link updates continue here.
The Premier's letter to teachers has also been moved up to a separate blog. See March 27.
ETFO EC OLRB hearing to resume Tuesday 2:30 to decide if verdict still needed. Boards say yes. EFTO says no! See: Back to the OLRB!
Globe + Mail writers claim "inside sources" at ETFO have told them the accord is a basically a goodwill gesture. No cost ways to regig the MOU terms and improve the CB process are likely being considered. Listen: I seriously doubt any insiders at ETFO are telling them ANYTHING. The news black out is just that. Anything else is just speculation based upon ideas that have been kicked around in public for sometime now even outside the ETFO context. Anyhow, see: ETFO Accord?
The Toronto Star engages in almost the exact same game of speculation with the added twist of also throwing teachers long opposition to EQAO into the guessing game. Notes Wynne's sparring matches with ETFO go back to when she was MOE during the 2008 CB negotiations and sees a draw in the war of attrition within the wider political context at Queen's Park these days. See: Guessing Games
PC's demand to know what's going on "behind closed doors" Strictly political posturing 4 sure. 4 Friday update see: Black out
Here's a recent letter to the editor on what a waste EQAO's are. Rumours persist that figures in somehow with new deals being struck. See: EQAO?
Commentary: It's human nature to be intrigued by guessing games especially when the personal stakes have become so high. Also considering the great distrust resulting from the high percentage of disappointing surprises we've experienced along the way. Fair enough. It is unreasonable though to take any of the above reports as gospel truth or privileged information. Proceed with caution and let's wait to see what if anything ETFO can pull out of the fire. We need to give them credit for holding out so long, nay, for being left high and dry in many instances by the other affiliates. IMHO, if all the affiliates had their veracity + perseverance we all would all be sitting there now with them in solidarity to strengthen our clout on the issues, rather than be watching from the sidelines with what table scraps we've been thrown. Give ETFO time to battle on!
Globe + Mail editorial is "galled" with ETFO's announcement! Repeats false claims teachers faced fines + punishments if they didn't do as they were told when the advisory was in place. Portrays ETFO as the big bad union bully again. Horrendous, however one might feel about the announcement. I hope ETFO takes them to task over this totally misleading garbage. See and weep at the diabolical spin @ A Loathsome + Odious Editorial
Kim Zarzour reports on parent, student and teachers reaction to the ETFO EC announcement in York Region. She also provides a cross section of the flurry of tweets as the decision is debated online. See: Reactions
Students should realize inflated high school marks will drastically drop in university where the average mark for a class of students who graduated high school is "C". No more giving A's and B's like candy to make you feel good. See: Reality Fix
Dunno where to include this now. I included in this blog before Tuesday nights unexpected announcement:
ETFO continues to openly share what the union is doing: Guelph President Doug Cook criticises MOE Sandals approach to teacher negotiations. All listening and waiting, no action? See: Sandal Scandal?
Latest ETFO teachers explain why they are taking a "pause" from EC's. Nice grass root insights! See: No to EC's!
IMHO, after a one year run the teacher protest is ostensibly over. None of the affiliates are involved in any ongoing organized protest activities now that the OSSTF + ETFO EC advisories have been lifted. Individual teachers, of course, can continue to withdraw from participation, but let's face it, the heat will be on for everybody to get onboard at the school level as the EC's resume.
After the Harris Eve years I did not resume EC's, from then on. I dedicated my voluntary time to our union activities instead. As a beginning teacher, I had been Mr. Extracurriculars, as many new teachers are. I teach in downtown Toronto where our supervision concerns can be quite serious. One takes on a lot of responsibility with very little support, should anything go wrong. Quite frankly I'd bet our board would wash it's hands of you rather than risk any legal liability should anything bad happen. In essence, it was much better for me, if not much more hour intensive, to get involved at our union local level, chairing the PAC [Political Advisory Committee] and later sitting on the executive between 2000 through until now. I believe I definitely made the right decision. Help our unions, our teachers and we help our students too.
The MOE has insisted from the beginning that approximately 20% of the teachers will not continue with voluntary EC service again. I suppose I am a case in point, going back to the last [until now] teacher protests, when I decided to do the same. It could be interesting for discussion purposes. Now that the advisories have been lifted what will you do? Will you continue with EC's? Why or why not?
Wynne's "labour peace" could be a short stop gap measure. See: Lotsa niceties?
Labour report shows rising wage inequality in Canada would rise as a result of PC Hudak's US style Right to Work [for less] plan. See: Weakened Unions
OECTA TSU follow up: It is worth noting that our release officers, including President Rene Jansen + 1st VP David Szollosy attended Joe Palumbo's visitation. [See last blog.] My complaint is that the rest of our executive, or me at least anyway, was not asked if we could attend his mass in the release officers absence as has been past practice when they need coverage. Most regretfully, when I was frequently asked if I was at the funeral in any official capacity I had to say no unless I be accused of trying to misrepresent myself back at the local office due to the ongoing dispute over my blog, and indeed the contentious notion of OECTA communications in general since July 5th. For that reason I did not attend the burial ceremonies.
I am growing weary of this b.s from at least one of our members, so take that as you may. Perhaps I should run as OECTA TSU 2nd VP this year to try to put an end to this nonsense? I truly appreciate that some of you [and not just the usually more well known opposition names] have been asking me to do so while promising your assistance + support, but I really have to ask myself if it's even worthwhile anymore, or I am accomplishing more with my writing than I can running against the tide in the TSU office, or with OECTA 4 that matter? Any input is appreciated while I roll this over in my mind, as the unit elections are coming up soon.
BTAIM OECTA activist Joe Palumbo's MOU OLRB stand with the Metro 7 needed to be acknowledged, and I hope that was accomplished here. Our great personal sympathy at his unexpected passing needed to be more openly shared between past union friends and foes alike despite any political differences as well. If in so doing I stand accused of doing wrong by our unit, well then mea culpa. Goodbye Joe and God bless!
See Joe's slideshow in the photo gallery @ Joe's photos
[I understand the need for confidentiality in your gmail responses to my OECTA TSU election discussion. I greatly appreciate your support and advice. Many thanks. I will think it over.]
Thunder Bay conference for First Nation youth discusses educational changes to meet their needs. Also see the Nishiyuu story in my "Other News" section below. For Thunder Bay conference info go to: First Nations Ed
ALT [Alberta Teacher Association] elects a new president and gets a tentative contract offer guaranteeing job security. Incoming President Ramsankar speaks to CTV Edmonton: Alberta teachers
OSSTF No Free Ride Youtube video going viral. Great! Watch + share if you haven't all ready! A must see: Free Ride Rocks!
Former progressive NDP MPP Peter Kormos dead at age 60! Story moved above to separate blog. RIP!
Ontario fiscal restraint? Look to Ottawa for 11 billion reasons why. This has often been a long standing element of our provincial cutbacks over the years that escapes many reports. See: $11 Billion!
Forum Poll ranks parties PC @ 35%, OLP @ 32%, NDP @ 26. Seat wise: OLP @ 50, PC @ 43, NDP @ 14 Here's how the leaders fared: Horwath@ 44%, Wynne up sharply @ 40% Hudak up @ 27%. See: Forum Poll
308 breaks the numbers down into charts + graphs while tracking trends, both provincially + federally. See: 308
ETFO provides a Queens Park summary for this week. Geez these folk are good. Wonder if they are hiring? :-) See: QP Highlights!
QP Briefing does so to with links to lots of goodies; documents + articles and so on. Ignore the error sign + it will load. You can only go so far here and they want $ but it's interesting: QP Brief
Leading by example? Brought to you by the folks who are telling us we need to tighten our belts: here's the Ontario Ministry of Finance's Sunshine list of public servants who are earning $100,000+ in 2013. See: come rain or shine ...
Global News Toronto provides a "who's who" on the Sunshine list: $100,000+
A PC business strategist toots the Hudak PC's horn as the "party of ideas". The "party of bad ones" as one wag tweets. Read this Globe + Mail news article. It doesn't say "opinion piece" ... @ Mr. Ideas!
Or are they the "Party of No" headed into a Tory Trap of their own making? Yes. See: Mr. No!
Here's OSSTF's pre budget submission to the provincial government. See: Ed Budget
People 4 Education's Annie Kidder claims education budget will hold no big surprises. Salary freeze already known. Cap on secondary credits. More FDK $'s, but less for operating expenses. We will see. Big issue of course will be whether the budget enjoys NDP support. If not this will be the calm before the storm as teachers launch our spring provincial election campaigns. Link to follow.
Expect much gnashing of teeth as our teacher affiliates work to co-ordinate their election strategies this time around if that's the case. I myself am leaning towards the idea of trying to do so under the TYLC [Toronto York Labour Council] Education Committee umbrella in Toronto, where there is way less animosity between the locals, but I will have little or no say on this, except for my one TSU executive vote. I think our one saving grace is PC Hudak seems hellbent on shooting himself in the foot. The last polls show little change in the overall seat count. I'd prefer the parties just try to make the minority government work. Quite frankly I am not confident in any of them should they somehow form a majority government. Anyway, go to my Comment bar + have your say.
Martin Regg Cohn claims NDP's Horwath is "rebranding" herself as a populist tax fighter and road warrior in the war of mass transit verses cars. I can hear the angry roar of my NDP readers all ready. See: NDP Rebrand?
One needs to read the Montreal Gazette for the story on how McGuinty stacked the judiciary with patronage appointments before he left office. See: Judiciary
TDSB school trustee Irene Atkinson remains on ventilator after house fire. Irene is a well know progressive. See: Get well!
Karl Marx: "I told you so". How his capitalist critique of the class struggle now seems to be coming true. How will it shape our understanding of politics? This is from the New York Times no less. See: Das Capital anybody?
Conservative leadership [read Prime Minister Harper] moves to silence a MP Back Bench revolt over abortion funding. I often tell my many good colleagues who have strong convictions about the issue that the PC's are not your friend. They will say whatever they think you want to hear to get elected but then? For a case in point, see: PC back bench MP revolt silenced
IN OTHER NEWS
What's there to a foot wash? Pope Francis raises eyebrows with his variation on a Holy Thursday tradition. See: Pope Francis
England teacher strike heats up with threats of civil disobedience. See: NUT's
270 Nishiyuu Cree youth trek 1600 kms on foot to Ottawa to protest 4 better conditions 4 our First Nations People. Bravo! See: 1600 km on foot!
Celebration rocks Parliament Hill: See the video of their arrival: Cree Youth
Lost residential student art find help tell story of aboriginal discrimination and abuse. See: Student Art Find
Prime Minister Harper passes on greeting Cree youth to see the new Toronto Zoo Panda bears. See: Prefers Pandas?
Sorry everybody, the PM went to see the new Panda Bears instead!
US Walmart sales fall as low wage understaffed stores + empty shelves drive customers to Costco. The workers continue to try to unionize for a living wage + decent working conditions. What you sow you reap. See: Walmart financial woes!
Fly Sunwing: Flight attendants ratify first contract! See: Flying High
Young[er] teachers: Who had/ has it best? Worst? Input your graduation date in the time machine link to see. Visit: a time machine link!
Remember I was writing about some strange police cases a few weeks ago. Seems Toronto Police Chief Blair is taking action, calls officers on conduct unbecoming. See: Need Top Cops
Here's an argument against the new media and the decline of the traditional media giants. Boo hoo hoo. Still, we examine all points of view here for balance. I would love to have a discussion with the writer about paradigm shifts. The media giants once benefited from such a shift, but now it has shifted again. There are always pro's and con's, and it requires new ways of thinking. See: Old vs new
OK comrades! Pose right there! Smile if you love Kim Un Jun!
North Korea dictator issues Full War Declaration against US + South Korea. Not necessarily anything new here, it could just be a trick to internally prop up the Kim Un Jun regime. Still, be aware that the US air force and navy are moving into position while North Korea is reportedly assembling an invasion force along the South Korea border. Supposed long range missiles are about as powerful + accurate as Iraq's outdated Scud rockets during the First Gulf War but could still deliver a very messy if not strategic nuclear strike on the south or possibly Japan. See: Text of statement
The White House responds: Not taking chances
This article seems to make pretty good sense of the situation and North Korean brinkmanship, so to speak. See: North Korea?
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: His 12 greatest gaffes to date. Incredible but true. If you are not from Toronto do not watch this. Good Lord what other folk must think! See: From Bad to Worse
The latest: Was a totally pie eyed + stumbling Mayor Ford kicked out of the Military Garrison Charity Ball for our wounded soldiers? Brass confirm disgrace.Toronto Star article and the Ford press conference @ Plastered?
Even more recent: This week a city aide solicited a football coaching position for Ford at Marshal McLuhan CSS offering them $10,000 to start up a team. The Parents Council is meeting this week at Don Bosco CSS to discuss his future as football coach at their school among much controversy. See: Mr. Football
Ford: "Who's drunk?!? Me??? C'mon! Kiss the Panda bears! Kiss the bears!"
Canadiana: 15 things to grumble about in the Great White North? See: Oooooh Canada!?
Welcome to the Dark Side ~A Monty Python Easter:
"The Killer Rabbit + The Holy Hand Grenade": Language may offend. Tell the kiddies to go to the other room and see: Killer Bunny!
Then there's "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" if you enjoy a little more dark humour. Watch: Bright Side?
More from Life of Brian:
He's a very naughty boy!@ Brian + His Followers
Blessed are the Cheesemakers! @ On the Mount
Stoned 4 saying "Jehovah" @ Jehovah
For lighter fare see my Jesus Christ Superstar Videobar below this blog column!