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You should be able to sign up with this link. If not please advise asap: Sign letter here
Susan Beattie, a Gr.1 teacher in Richmond Hill has publicly announced she will be resuming EC's on Monday. You can hear the CBC interview and newspaper articles + editorials at the bottom of my blog.
Please go to the WAFLE Face Book page to sign this letter before it is forwarded to the media. Show your support + solidarity! It's busy because of March break not to mention St. Patty's day [s] but please read, sign + share. See: We Are The Front Lines In Education
Here is the text of the member response to the "open letter":
Dear ETFO Union Leaders;
This has been an unbelievably stressful year. I get to do a job I love and I work with great people. But, as you well know, it’s still stressful. I want to thank you for your unfailing support during these hard times in Ontario education.
I have not forgotten that when I signed a contract with my school board, I agreed to be part of, and to be represented by, a union. Do I consider myself a ‘hard line unionist’? Not even a little bit. In truth, during my 12 years of teaching, I’ve given the acronyms PETL and ETFO very little thought. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve never been falsely accused of anything, never been slandered by a colleague, never had an unresolvable conflict in the workplace…in short, never had real need of you. I’ve paid my union dues and I’ve carried on as usual.
Until this year. This year, I learnt your names. And I know that every time my profession is slammed in the media or by elected government officials, you get it even worse. And I am very, very grateful not to have to be in your shoes. But I am grateful for your existence.
I understand completely that decisions around extra curriculars and other voluntary activities are a personal choice. I know that there will be no ‘fines’ or consequences for those who choose to participate in such activities. I personally still believe that the rights of thousands of Ontario workers are more important than choir. I understand that to ‘cave’ now, when no REAL progress has been made with new government leaders, would be pointless. Then, it would mean that I would have withheld things for this long for NOTHING. That, to me, would be even worse than to withhold them for a while longer in the hopes of action.
I wonder sometimes if my year might be ‘better’ if I started doing some of the things that I enjoy, like coaching. But I do understand that a protest isn’t effective if it is easy to ignore. This, really, is the only thing that I can do that isn’t so easily ignored. I also walk through the halls of my school, and I bump into students I coached last year, and I realize that they are really very happy. I haven’t ruined their lives by withholding extra curriculars. Their teachers continue to do their jobs and are working hard to provide dynamic and exciting learning opportunities for these kids, regardless of how stressed out we are as educators.
And when I try to think ‘big picture’, I do remember that these kids will grow up, and that when they do they might like to have the same rights as workers in Ontario that I, up until this year, have enjoyed. I do realize that if we allow the current travesty in Ontario education to set any type of precedent, that those rights could easily be denied these children when they become adults. I am continuing, in spite of the negative attention, to continue to try to think ‘bigger picture’. I thank you for doing the same. Not everyone gets to belong to a union. But everyone who works ‘for’ someone else benefits from the progress unions have made. Competitive wages, health benefits, and reasonable working hours are only a scant few of the things that have been achieved by unions over the years. These things benefit many, and I hope that one day they will continue to benefit my current students…even if it means that we won’t enjoy some of the ‘extras’ this year.
Thank you for representing us well, and for your strength in times of such unfairness and adversity. Please continue to think ‘big picture’, and remember that the majority of those you represent support you whole heartedly.
Signed by K. Hansen.
The full WAFLE commentary is posted below my March 12 blog @ Go down to Comments bar
The links below will give you just an inkling off all the negative media attention the original open letter has received and how it is being used by the main stream media to misrepresent ETFO in it's struggle against the MOE:
Here's a CBC interview with Susan Beattie over her "open letter" announcing that she will be resuming EC's. Tim Hudak will like this. One wonder if she will also turn down any union gains ETFO makes during the voluntary boycott. Hear @: Union Boss Pressure?
Divide + Conquer: This Toronto Star editorial uses the open letter as a call for all teachers to speak out against their union + supposedly for students. For shame! See: The Letter
Susan sent an "open letter" + suddenly the Toronto Star spot a union mutiny! The article doesn't say who else or where but no matter. All they need is an unconfirmed reason + there you go, it's for real. I wonder if she understands how she is being used? See: Mutiny?!?
My school edition blog is totally in solidarity with ETFO + WAFLE over the union attack that has been unfolding in the main stream media using the "open letter". IMHO, the ETFO teachers' steadfast courage in sticking to your protest agenda sets an excellent example which all the affiliates should be following. I encourage everyone to check out their Face book Page @ We Are The Front Lines In Education
Don't forget to sign the letter while you are there to show your support + solidarity, whatever your affiliate!!!
You can also share my link using the Twitter in the left hand column, or copy it from the address box above.