Opening Statement



Sunday, 10 March 2013

James Ryan Elected OECTA President 2013-14!


Election Results:

639 ballots allowed/ 635 ballots cast/ 2 spoiled ballots

Final Count:



My School Edition blog congratulates our James Ryan!

James Ryan 324 /Kevin O'Dwyer 309

Summary: Yesterday's applause-o-meter was correct. It was a very close race! I don't get it. Everyone took a cut in sick days. Many of us lost our accumulated sick days and some of us even had our gratuities arbitrarily taken away. While our OSSTF + ETFO colleagues were on out the streets protesting, and withholding ECC's we were sitting comfortably in class after having willing signed them away with our local contracts ratification votes. I find the implications for our OECTA sense of solidarity and will to fight contract stripping, two of the most basic union principles, incomprehensible. 

The struggle is not over. There is a big internal and external divide which still threatens to destroy OECTA from within. Restoring our credibility + good will with the other affiliates remains a daunting task. Positive outcomes are by any means certain. Now the real work begins.

My blogsite has always encouraged constructive criticism + a wide range of different points of view. It is unofficial, so we can speak freely, to engage each other, or at least explain our different positions. I hope it can continue to be such a forum as we all try to pull together to make OECTA work. Many of my new OECTA readers, indeed even many of my existing ones might not agree with my point of view, especially on matters like the OECTA MOU. That is by no means a prerequisite for expressing your side of the issues here on my site, through submitting guest blog or by using the comment bar below each blog. Please do!

Point of interest: Kevin can step down, under our procedures, to run for table officer. If he were to win he would become OTF president next year. How will the other affiliates respond to that?

COMMENTS LINK BELOW

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Kevin does do that. Process hurt him not his leadership. I find it very worrisome that people based their votes on anger and fear rather than on merit and leadership skills.
I like James, but he does not have what it takes to fight the big fight in two years. This was a major mistake by our union and has weakened our position in my opinion. We are divided but not for healthy reasons, but for punitive reasons.
I find it embarrassing as a union member that so much negative energy was directed at Kevin when we should have been directing our anger at the government. Instead, the premiere gets 2 standing ovations and our leader, who genuinely did everything he could and was directed to do, gets ousted. Where is the justice in that?

Anonymous said...

Kevin O'Dwyer was instrumental in creating the education crisis in Ontario, when will OECTA members see this? His actions have affected 1000s of education workers throughout this province and shame on him!

Anonymous said...

Too bad so sad. The members have to kiss Wynnes ass not Kevin's. His was well deserved and her's will be a knife in the back while the members smile and wave.

Anonymous said...

The post above and voting results are "case in point" with what's wrong with oecta today and why the other unions must move to eliminate the separate school system...

Anonymous said...

I have had it with this feigned sentimentality towards OECTAS's now past president. Save your sympathy for OECTA members who loyally paid their union dues only to be rewarded with removal of their sick days banked. Our past president made the cognitive decision to not say, "wait...OECTA members deserve to have a vote on this MOU." He chose to exclude members from making that individual decision. But, more troublesome for OECTA? James Ryan wins by only 16 votes. Why are unit presidents and delegates voting like that? James should have won by a landslide. The only hope for OECTA is one member one vote on everything. We can cast an individual vote in the next Ontario election, why don't we have that basic truly democratic right in our union, OECTA?

Anonymous said...

Genuinely did everything he could, and was DIRECTED to do?! He gave in and quit without so much as a wimper. Obviously that isn't what we wanted was it. So who exactly was "directing" him?

If all affiliates, OSSTF, OECTA, CUPE, AEFO and ETFO had stuck together, and been as united and consistent as the government was in their message - who knows where we would be.

And ya know, even if we still ended up where we are today, O'Dwyer would have been elected with a landslide. Why? Because he had tried.

OSSTF - NEW PRESIDENT
OECTA - NEW PRESIDENT
ETFO - will probably go down in flames now that they've been abandoned by all of us, but guess what. SAM HAMMOND doesn't have to worry about his job. Why? Because HE DID EVERYTHING HE COULD!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh and by the way...OTF president? Who cares. The other unions won't even deal with this guy -so they'll do their own thing and just bypass him on everything.

The only shame will be that he'll be sucking up more of our members money in his salary for another 2 years.

Oh, and would the OTF job be a cut in his pay, offer half his sick days, reduce his benefits, affect his retirement indexing, reduce his LTD while increasing the premiums? He got exactly what he deserves, and so did Ken Coran.

Anonymous said...

As an ETFO member, I hope that Kevin O'Dwyer does not embarrass himself by running as OTF rep. No matter how much he insists otherwise, he has been a pariah at OTF and union leadership meetings since July 2012. For OECTA to have even a hope of beginning to rebuild bridges w/ OSSTF and ETFO, it needs to elect a provincial executive with little/no connection to the one that brought to life the much reviled OECTA MOU.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get some of these posts. Do people not realize what happened? Gov't stripped things away, they were going on the track to impose a contract, Kevin saw an opportunity to open dialogue and try to save some things and have a say - he did and I thank him for that.I agree with the first post, I can't believe the AGM would give an ovation to our Premiere yet O'Dwyer gets removed. I think if people would put there emotions aside and look at what actually happened we would be much more unified.
And by the way, if you get some leverage and some traction in negotiations, I as a member trust my leadership to do whats right - if Kevin had asked for a week or two to get a vote from the members (with no process in plan by the way) the gov't would have laughed us out of the room.
The AGM was clear, we are divided on the president and some people were not willing to look at facts. And I say this a fond admirer of james Ryan - I would have trusted him to in that same situation. But now because James ran for President, he created this divide - not very politically savvy at all.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't simply about 'punishment' or 'emotion'; it was primarily about judgement, especially regarding the basic right to ratify the major contents of one's own contract, as well as a rational difference of opinion over the contents of the MoU.

We ALL need to be "willing to look at facts" - not just those we disagree with.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the role of the trustees. If O'Dwyer walked away from that table, those trustees would have locked us out and there would be a lot bigger losses of salary. I'm not happy with the MOU, but Kevin had a very difficult decision to make, and it is a shame people are directing their anger at him and not where it belongs, the Liberal government. Grid teachers and occassional teachers should be praising him.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! Am I hearing the above OECTA members clearly? "We got the best we could have hoped for". Were your heads buried so deeply up O'Dwyer's ass that you were willing to give up all democratic rights and accept whatever the gov't wanted to do.If OECTA had joined OSSTF and ETFO many of the strips would have been negated. This all reeks like the Catholic Church's sweeping under the carpet the abuse scandals and lack of transparency with church funds (See London, Ontario building funds that have never been used to build or renovate- but I digress). It's that blind following by Catholics despite so much corruption in the hierarchy that makes me want to puke. The "me too" clause was the biggest joke. Let OSSTF and ETFO fight the fight and we'll score anything that they get. The church always talks about the sheppard and the flock. I have to admit your sheppard had a great hold on his sheep (at least the posters above). Throw him a party now. His sorry ass is gone. Oh! I have offended someone- not the Catholic way. Get rid of the Catholic system. What a bunch of sheep.

David Chiarelli said...

Hmmm. Strong words! But so are many of the public sentiments just boilig under ht surface about our Catholic thing. Please realize that there is a progressive left wing social justice wing, of which I am a member. who frequently does not agree with a lot of what the church has been up to. Then there is the ultra right wing conservative side which pretty much still runs the ship. We watch with interest to find out who will be the next pope + whether there is the possibility of any real reform.

I am no more in favour of the Catholic God the father top down way of thinking in secret rooms, so to speak, whether it is being done in Rome, in our school boards, or with our own teachers union. It is my personal opinion that we have seen far to much of this at OECTA since July 5th. And yes there are a lot of sheep, who have been paralyzed into member apathy, I think, by the lack of access to info and the oppressive all encompassing code of silence which has befallen our union.

You might not suspect how demonized and just plain hated I have become within OECTA circles because of this blog where at least I attempt to provide alt info + points of view. I was even physically blocked from entering one big hospitality social at last weekends AGM + told in no uncertain terms that it is only for special people. I was tempted to go public with this but you know, those are yesterdays battles.

I know incoming James Ryan is a frequent reader + comment contributor to my blog. With James, we will be working to make headway on some pretty big much needed changes. Will OECTA succeed? Maybe, or maybe not. I admit right now the prospects still look very bleak but I will pray and actively work 4 a breakthrough, but not in the traditional Catholic manner you describe. In solidarity!

Anonymous said...

One commentator here wrote that "if Kevin had asked for a week or two to get a vote from the members (with no process in plan by the way) the gov't would have laughed us out of the room."

Why would complying with the Labour Relations Act get a union leader laughed out of a room? One would think that a proposition by the government to NOT have a vote would be a non-starter for any union leader worth his/her salt. AEFO (the french language public federation) told the government there was going to be a vote on its MOU, the government listened and MOU votes were held. What not having a vote said to me was that OECTA Provincial Executive didn't feel it could persuade members/locals that they made the best deal they could. They couldn't sell the deal if put to a vote. That's not a good sign. If you're a negotiator and comfortable with what you've done, you can justify it to the people you're negotiating on behalf of. The fact that there was no vote on the MOU underscores the weakness of the deal OECTA made with the government - a real deal with the devil that impacted not just OECTA members but hundreds of thousands of other teachers and ed workers.

David, many of us ETFO members realize you've stuck your neck out in a very significant way by publicly expressing concerns about the OECTA MOU and MOU process. Very few people have the guts or moral compass to speak truth to power but that's exactly what you are doing, and we can't thank you enough for it. Thanks, brother!

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