Opening Statement

Tuesday 19 March 2013

March Teacher Union News Link Digest 3

Welcome Spring! The equinox if not the weather!

To everything there is a season ...


Toronto Star relents + prints ETFO President Sam Hammond's letter disputing "open letter" EC claims a week later. It would be nice to think the social media buzz had something to do with it but who knows ....? See:  Sam's letter finally published!

Was Susan Beattie's open letter misguided + demeaning? See: EC bully claim

ETFO General Secretary provides an update of what the affiliate has been doing to help it's members + uphold the charter. Can you imagine OECTA's Marshal Jarvis doing this? It would probably be locked up in the official website's ridiculous top secret members only area! C'mon OECTA, lets get with it. Hope you  + the new PE can look into this and try to do something about it next year James. Please!

Such commentary adds to and becomes an important contribution to the teacher dialogue going on all around us. Meanwhile OECTA is left sitting on the sidelines with the OECTA code of silence still in place like we are the teacher Vatican or what not. Seriously, there are few interesting OECTA links I can add to my weekly digest that most folks don't all ready know about or would want to read.

Instead the monolithic OECTA offices invariably issue some dull communique referring us to somebody else's document, or saying as little as possible that might be remotely interesting or informative. Or it's "private." 

I know your tweets are good + even contain worthwhile links or info to share. For crying out loud they are even personable. Still that's just something you do and it's definitely the exception. The rest of OECTA provincial? Ho boy! It's about as interesting as watching paint dry. My regrets all, but it needs to be said. For contrast go check out the public online and regularly updated: ETFO Voice

Meanwhile ...

Here's an ETFO update on continuing talks with MOE this week and next: Steady as she goes. Team is sticking to their talking points as members have been advised. Members reply with 1000 signatures to "open letter on EC's acknowledged with thanks. See: MOE talks

Sundays spent marking .. at Dufferin Mall Toronto!

ETFO/OSSTF Sunday teacher "Grade In" protest makes it's mark at Dufferin Mall in Toronto. Nice one. Gives folks a better idea of what we actually do besides teach class. See: Marking

People 4 Education explains "the invisible side of teaching:" all the many things we do beside teach class during the day and perhaps volunteer to do EC's after. Excellent. Please share @ All this + more

OECTA take note: Here is how you are supposed to use, not oppose or fear the social media. A handout+ presentation link attached. Might I suggest this does not just apply to twitter either? From the CLC Political Conference, where most of my executive probably was on Saturday. Hope you were listening GV!? See: Viva la Social Media Revolution!

Popular misconceptions #1: Parents assume teachers should be providing EC's for their kids as a part of our job. Obviously they have little understanding of all the work we need to do besides teach during the day. In what other job do you do extra work for less pay? Bottom line? It can't be expected or bought with vague MOE promises of better days ahead, after what we have been through. Will the madness never end? See: Teacher duties

Popular misconceptions #2: Big bad unions? ETFO is not threatening teachers who participate in EC's: Think again

The damage has all ready been done though. Don't think the media doesn't know what they are doing. See this irate letter: Grrr unions!

Don't give up the fight!

Popular misconceptions #3: No EC's = no success? Students who didn't get EC's this year are still applying for university in record numbers. Surprise! They don't just come to school for EC's!!! If anybody is going to university because of EC's perhaps they got it all wrong to start with? See:   EC's or else fail in life?

Twittering tweets! Teachers discuss EC decision: EC's?

Interesting retweet making the Twitter rounds: If EC's are so important should students be required to participate?!? :-)

ETFO members explain why they are taking an EC pause: EC's still on pause

Toronto Star claims EC's are back on across Toronto. "School spirit" days more or less require everybody to participate. TDSB Chief Academic Officer claims sports returning as a result of OSSTF lifting EC advisory. The Toronto Star continues to lead the charge. See: EC's back in Toronto?

ETFO Waterloo advises members to hold tight on withdrawal from EC's until MOE puts something concrete on the negotiating table. Seems EC's are still up in the air despite MOE claims to the contrary. Sports + proms remain uncertain + it's getting late in the school year. See: MOEs Waterloo?

Here's a video link to TVO Agenda's round table discussion on "Is a teachers work never done?" See: TVO Agenda

ETFO ETT is advising teachers who receive the TDSB survey on EC's to contact the local office. See: Toronto Board EC Survey Advisory

Need some hugs + to know you are appreciated? Visit: Thank an Ontario Teacher!

Metro 7's Joe Paumbo had a moving and well attended funeral mass this Saturday morning at St. Clare Church in the old Italian section of Toronto near Dufferin + St. Clair. Joe's mother, family, the students + staff of Chaminade CSS were in attendance, as were the Metro 7 [MOU OLRB complainant group]. Also other political activists from our unit. His contribution to the teachers' union movement was mentioned in the eulogy. For full details + to send messages or flowers go to: Joe

Good bye Joe Palumbo. Thank you for your stand against the OECTA MOU!

My heart broke for Joe's mother. Whatever the age, the sorrow of your children dieing first, must be unbearable. Please remember her in your thoughts + prayers.

Nobody from our local union exec attended. I was surprised that as 3rd VP it wasn't even mentioned to me especially if everybody was busy. I'm persona non gratis + not to be trusted because of my blog and my hard line MOU position in support of the OLRB hearing + against the local contract in December. I went to Joe's funeral anyway strictly on my own out of respect + because I felt it was the right thing to do, other internal politics not withstanding. We should always honour our union fighters.

My blog on Joe is @ Joe Palumbo

BTW: Overheard at OLC training session today: "Social media is the only tool where you have complete control of the message. If you don't have it you're dead."
Quite essentially, that is why my colleagues hate and are afraid of this blog. Thanks to @SimaSaharZerehi for tweeting this.

Re-meet  Past President James Ryan as he wrapped up his last term in office. In "Heart Speak" James talks about OECTA + teaching. I think it gives us a good insight into the kind of person and leader he is as he returns to the challenges of our presidency during these difficult times come July 1st. See the youtube video @ James Ryan

A world map showing which countries have the highest and lowest teaching qualification standards for teaching secondary school. US is still just a bachelor degree. Canada a bachelor degree with training. More countries require a masters now. A few still just require you complete high school. It's interesting how they are spread out, not necessarily what you might think. See: Worldwide Teaching Requirements

Go see the full map! Blue is masters/ Purple is secondary school/ Red includes that with training.

A crash course on effective leadership 4 principals. Even though this is based upon a US study I think it makes some good points here. Y'know I think it was better when we had the principals in the teachers union. The collegiality principle [ no pun intended or is there?! ;-] was much more solid. Any comments? See: Real School Leadership?

OSSTF past President Earl Manners in a news article from 2000 when he was staunchly in support of withholding EC's. Boy how times change! See: Yesteryear reflects on "Which way forward for teachers?" since the J26 Rally. See: J26 Follow Up

Rural school bus companies in jeopardy as big boys move in on contracts. See: School buses

The OECTA Porter Airline protest. Hear Chris Karuhanga speak. See how well I hold the flag. Sid doesn't say much but I think he was impressed! ;-) See: Porter Protest

Justin Trudeau given the screws by a lobbyist over his teaching background, asking why that would make anyone qualified to be the Canadian Prime Minister. Excuse me?!? A lot of folk have no idea of our qualifications or training standards! See: No respect

Poetic Devices X blog explains "Why am I tired of teaching?" No. It's not the kids. Read:
Plain Truth Of It All

Teaching career doesn't pan out. Don't try this at school! It's not hard to understand his frustration these days though. Hmmm. Are teachers being psychologically bullied by a system where we have to teach with our hands tied behind our backs while the MOE + media dump stupid ideas and abuse on us. Then somebody snaps? This clearly isn't a good idea but like I said .... See: Snap!

Wizard of Odd? MOE Liz Sandal's wish list! If only I had a .... See: Wish away

Hey! R U sure U didn't just come here 4 my Hendrix review at the bottom of my blogpage?!?!?


Wynne's OLP hold Toronto 416 ridings by 42%/ NDP 30%/ PC 25% in latest Forum Poll. Honeymoon continues. See: Toronto Lead

Trudeau to Wynne: "Well I guess I'll be catching a Porter flight outta here .... "

OUCH!!! Justin Trudeau spotted crossing Porter Protest Picket Lines to catch flight out of Toronto after OLP Heritage Dinner date with Wynne!!!

A tale of 2 Trudeaus. Like father like son? Robert Fulford of the National Post writes: Trudeaumania?

Wynne's OLP: "dead government walking"? Despite the niceties + bump in the polls nothing has really changed. Wynne stays Dalton's course. See: DOA?

Down but not out: OLP still able to fill the "largest room in the province" for the $1200 a seat yearly Heritage Dinner fundraiser. Kathleen wore a dress. Her speech was received politely but not with a lot of enthusiasm. It would be foolish to underestimate the size of the OLP election war chest. TVO Agenda's Steve Paikin reports: Heritage Dinner

Here's Wynne's speech on "collaboration". See it on Youtube: Heritage Speech

Wynne's high tech digital strategy + tools 4 winning  the leadership race. See: Wynnes high tech win

OLP Health Ministry "social farter joke" goes viral on CNN. It's a part of an anti smoking campaign ie: Are you a social smoker? Get it? Never underestimate the laugh power of a fart joke. Just ask any grade schooler or Gr.9 student. Still ..... ? 4 my money I prefer the "Free Ride video." against RTW [below] See: OLP Fart Jokes?!

PC Hudak promises to raise the retirement age for teachers + public servants. Dunno how carefully he has thought this through with our OTPP pension plan. It isn't that easy, unless he can legislate ..... Tim eyes your pension

OTF Press Release: Agreement reached. Stability for Ontario's Teacher Pension Plan. Hmmm. Anyone seen the facts + figures on this yet? See: OTPP?

Tough questions + decisions: Andrea speaks @ London Canadian Club luncheon Friday.

NDP Horwath acknowledges "Made in Toronto" economic solutions don't always work well for the rest of the province in London speech. She promises to recognize the cities unique challenges. See: Andrea in London

NDP: Students can't afford tuition hikes. Ontario's are all ready the highest in Canada. See: Tuition Hike?

Socialist writer argues that the NDP on the wrong side of the progressive political spectrum in supporting Mayor Rob Ford's counter attack on the supposed "war against the car" at the cost of public transit, which is of greater value to working families, if not the middle class in Toronto. See: Car Wars

Usual party differences, along with the traditional male political sensibilities put aside, Horwath + Wynne are starting to talk the same talk using the same new political style. But can they walk the walk in actually delivering the political goods? I wonder, will it become a question of choosing between tweedle dee and tweedle dum come next the election again? See: New QP style

Do the gas plants, helicopters + the Toronto casino issues show Kathleen Wynne could be a "warrior premier" with a twist or will next weeks budget be her Waterloo? See: Wynne winning?

Back to the future? Here's a 2005 TVO Agenda video of a Wynne, Horwath, + Hudak debate. Take it as you may. Is it insightful or have things changed? Comments? See: TVO debate

Hudak continue to drive supposed wedge between teachers + union in Mississauga News editorial board meet. Presses Right to Work [4 less] issue. Make no mistake, it's a full fledged corporate agenda assault folks! See: Hudak interview

Disingenuous Fraser Institute reports engages in fear mongering before our spring budget warning Ontario could become the next Greece. The CCPA [Canadian Council of Policy Alternatives debunks the story. Repeat after me: Ontario is not Greece. Duh. See: Pre budget fear mongering

CCPA counters the austerity binge arguments: Tax cuts create a deficit. Corporates get all the breaks for little return. Read: Read this!

Made in Canada: Author Activist Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine!

2012-13 Ontario Budget Time? The Shock Doctrine comes to Ontario! Take advantage of a self made economic crisis and then cut cut cut public services come budget time to balance the books 4 right wing fun + profit! Don't worry about the real facts or let them stand in the way. Folks will flip anyway! See OPSEU report: Crisis bloody crisis!

Budget primer: A must read for our political erudition. Download the full text of the OPSEU Ontario budget crisis report here: Shock Doctrine Budget Report!

While you are at it you might want to participate in the OFL's People Budget consultations too. See: The Peoples Budget!

Useful NDP backgrounder: Closing corporate tax loopholes could save $1.6 billion by 2018! Hey! We could eliminate the deficit starting here!!! No. Why not? See: NDP Backgrounder

Queens Park Morning Briefing: You can check these daily for a good overview of what's happening. I'm basically just sticking on my blog to those issues with a teacher/ educational angle. For more see: QP Morning Briefing

No fooling about with gas jokes here! Hazel tell them all off at QP hearing!

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion gives all parties at QP holy old hell over the gas plant issue. Decision not a question of if but when. See: More QP gas jokes?

Province mandates 20 minutes of physical activity a day for elementary students which few get. Mental heath resources also lacking despite new emphasis. It's all about reading, writing + arithmetic: P.Ed?

So who lit the spark of reality beneath the provinces butt? People for Education reports on the issue of mental + physical health programs in our Ontario schools. Ouch! Download the report at: Healthy Schools?

Here's a real interesting point of view to consider! MOE concerns with EC's: Curriculum on the cheap? See: EC's: a cheap substitute?

Ya can't blame it on the little old ladies! Home care focus could be a smarter, more comfortable, cost effective + realistic way to deal with the medical health care needs of our ageing population. Gurneys + hospital beds? Given my druthers I myself would much rather die at home on my reclining chair in the music room surrounded by my loved ones listening to Jimi Hendrix with some nice lighting and meds and .. and .. No seriously this makes sense! See: Senior Health care


Giant sea monster spotted off coast of BC!!! Good lord! Would somebody please call in the Canadian Armed Forces? Yah! A couple of CF-18's jet fighters should suffice! What?!? It's just an 18 meter cephalopod???? Whew! Well I for one will sleep much better tonight knowing ... For video and report see: Sea Monster!!!

Trouble in BC! [Artists Conception]

Tres excellent OSSTF video by Canadian Producer Bruce MacDonald [Hardcore Logo] puts free ride Right to Work [for less] provisions b.s. in a very easy to understand context + explains what a contract is + why you need one at work. Required viewing! Please share: No free ride!

Canadian provinces differ on how to define "bullying" while trying to stop it at school. See: Bullying

"The Old Man + The Car": Papa Hemingway's 1955 Chrysler found in Cuba!

Cuban Soul: Car lovers rally to restore Ernest Hemingway's 1955 Chrysler New Yorker convertible. Ernest left it to his doctor. Same family in Cuba has been using it since he died in 1961. Can't get spare parts because of US economic embargo. Still has original motor. Amazing "only in Cuba" type story of perseverance. God I love them. You couldn't meet a more friendlier down to earth people. See video: Hemingway's 1955 Chrysler

Hooray! I reached my 85 factor on March 21 2013! The date always sounded like something out of a science fiction movie to me 26 years ago and now it's actually here! The future certainly isn't what it use to be, some big mistakes but otherwise I'm a pretty happy man. Confident + gives me lots to think about. My life part 3 ...

The fall of modern journalism before the techno onslaught. I love this! Are the big boy main stream media giants about to fall? Can I help give a push with my blog. See: Son of Gutenberg

Theatre of the absurd? A Toronto friend gets a ticket for driving too slow. He's hesistant to turn on an advance green because a lot of drivers don't stop for them anymore. What next?

I have always wanted a pet ostrich.I would ride it to school to help the environment and avoid traffic jams. I would keep it on on our condo balcony during the nice weather or in our laundry room when it is not. Janet says absolutely not. Too bad. Ostrichs can be trained to do many things. 4 example: How to train an ostrich to dance: Pet Ostrich anyone?

Ipolitics considers Canada's place in the world today: the past isn't what it use to be? The Cold War is over + the UN loses clout. What's a peacekeeper to do? See: Oh oh Canada?

"C" is for cephalopod"

Campaign Life Coalition crowd of 350 protesters march on Queens Park with 25,000 name petition demanding abortions be defunded. Politicos speak. See: QP Rally

Bill 18 version of GSA issue creates furor in Manitoba. Gay student shouted down + victim of slurs during tv interview at school. See: GSA Pt 2

"On Jesus and Social Justice" from the Journal of Socialist Renewal @ Opiate or Social Justice?

Canada's latest US retailer, Target stores, require new employees to watch this anti union  video. See the video and transcript @ Targets Unions

Liberace spotted in Lake Ontario! I think ...

The CRTC neo con Sun News Media application to be put on basic cable package, giving them access to t.v. sets in most everyones' living room in Canada?!? The CRTC has received 53,000 names for it verses 20,000 against. Those in favour claim it reflects their values and views on Canada. Sun News is scaling back to requesting a 5 year licence now, to clinch the deal. Well, it's in the CRTC's hands now. See: Sun News Cable? examines the anti union bias in the Canadian media. Are the journalists shooting themselves in the foot by buying into the agenda? Very interesting read: the irony of anti union journalists!

Teacher protests to rock England + Wales. A VERY familiar story, same government  characters + media lines. Ho boy! See: our story is international in scope! Maybe we should send over some teacher union advisers? Umm. No. Not Kevin or Ken ... See: Nuts!

Teacher protest and strikes spread to UK!

Hear why the teachers in England are upset. A first hand account of their working terms and conditions. It's really, really bad. Read the farmdonkey blog @ English Farm Donkey

Yoko Ono joins US anti gun protest by tweeting photo of ex Beatle John Lennon's bloodied glasses. Lennon was killed by a rabid fan who senselessly shot him with a few exploding bullets to the neck and back. Powerful messaging! Read: Imagine no guns!

Bonus Feature [4 if you read this far ... ] The 50 most common popular misconceptions?!? Visit Youbabaloo @ Yababoon!



Anonymous said...

OECTA is spending the members money at the Ontario Liberal party Heritage diner. This is the worst case of Stockholm syndrome I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

David - I was wondering if you cared to comment about the pension contribution/future valuation agreement reached on Fri. March 15 (what a shock that it was releasaed on a Friday). My concern is that the only way to pay for future pensions is - more contributions from members or changes to the plan (85 to a 90 factor, reductions in benefits etc)

Anonymous said...

Hi David, ETFO member here. Thanks for highlighting the Toronto Star's disgraceful performance when it failed to publish ETFO President Hammond's letter about voluntary activities. I've no doubt that your column, plus the social media outrage, got the Star to relent.

I hope that hint about reaching the 85 factor in March doesn't mean that you're considering retiring - we need your voice in the next bargaining round in 2014! But if you are going to retire, consider becoming an occasional teacher for the TDSB. That would make you an ETFO member!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Tahnks! I haven't decided yet, but that's a very interesting idea to consider.

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Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

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Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

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