TEACHER + UNION NEWS
My blog will feature some of Sima Sahar Zerehis Jobs For All campaign photos. I like them because they show the diverse face of our union movement + those we help with the public services we provide! Sima is a journalist, media buff, photographer + political activist. Her own photo is included first to acknowledge thanks. Her hashtag is @SimaSaharZerehi .
OECTA TSU staff rep and union activist Joe Palumbo dies March 15th of natural causes. Joe taught at Chaminade CSS here in Toronto. Our members are in shock. Viewing, funeral, obituary and other details forthcoming. Please remember Joe and his family in your thoughts and prayers!
OSSTF AMPA 2013 elects a new Provincial Executive: OSSTF Election Results
I will have to hear from my OSSTF protest colleagues if this is good news or not. I've been busy covering the OECTA AGM elections, so any AMPA news links would be much appreciated. Is he in favour of Coran's MOE concession on EC's? OSSTF'S new president is Paul Elliot
Yes! In reply to my reader questions: OECTA now has a CB member ratification vote, with a strengthened COP, and much tighter rules for the PE + the Bargaining Team. However, it is not "one member one vote" but a "representational member vote" based upon a very complicated formula to take into account the interest of all units big + small, and our OT members. I don't think I am exactly tickled pink over this. However I will need to review it all again very carefully. It might well need to be fine tuned @ future AGM's. Anyway,stay tuned, I will still be providing a lot more info on this and the other motions passed in blogs to come when we get back to school from March break.
OECTA elects a new executive at OECTA AGM. A thumbnail bio for each winning PE officer is also provided: New OECTA Executive
Here's the non political social justice side to incoming President James Ryan: James
James goes campin' on Superhero Day as our OECTA President in 2009! ;-)
TCDSB is seeking a legal opinion on whether they can provide FDK for all children but not at all schools. The OPSBA trustees watch with interest. FDK has become a major funding issue for all boards, public and Catholic: FDK
Right wing bloggers all afire that the TDSB is trying to silence Blazing Cat Fur blog. For an article on the situation by Sun Media columnist Brian Lilly, which involves blogger threats of violence or sarcasm, depending upon who you believe see: Bloggers Harassed?
The Ugly Hockey Sweater blog comments: Ugly Hockey Sweater
Here is the blogspot that is causing the kerfuffle. I told you we examine many different points of view here on my site. Well this is different all right. Check it out + decide for yourself: Blazing Cat Fur
Right wing blogs are also very popular these days. Google "Ugly Hockey Sweater" to figure this graphic out.
Here's a CBC interview with an ETFO Gr.1 teacher over her "open letter" announcing that she will be resuming EC's. See: Union Boss Pressure?
The full story on the ETFO members "open letter", WAFLE's reply, + news links with commentary can be found on my March 14th blog.
An interview with MOE Liz Sandals who claims EC's are gradually returning. Tut. Tut. ETFO is still holding out. Do you think it's a co-incidence she says this now? See: Liz says so
A Globe + Mail video of Liz discussing changes to Collective Bargaining during the interview, + why she thinks the EC's will resume. Emphasis in the final part is on the teachers not our unions: CB + EC's
OSSTF Ottawa Valley High School Athletics Association to meet March 19 to discuss setting up EC sport schedules. ETFO EC's in the region remain a no go. OLP divide + conquer? See: Ottawa Valley EC News
Why is the government bullying teachers? To deflect public attention from their real goals! See: Red Herrings
Better Google it quick if you don't know what it means .....
Attacks on teacher unions are part of a much larger federal and provincial war against all workers rights to organize and reach collective bargaining agreements through an open, transparent just legal procedure, in place in Canada since WW2. Perhaps I oversimplify, but read: War on labour!
Know thy enemy: How does the business interest get the public riled up 4 the teacher attack? A Financial Post article on how we earn way too much. Grit your teeth + see: The Pay Freeze/ Cut Argument
Here is a very interesting TVO Agenda article on our gratuity buy out and the new sick day plan. Did you know that there have been more changes, not necessarily to our advantage. The school board's own insurance company can arbitrate whether you get 67 or 90%, not an impartial third party. If that's true, there goes a big selling point used for our OECTA MOU. I will need to confirm this story. See: Explanations + Changes
BTW: [Re] Read the text of the latest Hudak's PC Bill on removing + limiting our sick days: PC Sick Days Bill
The OECTA Website MOU Q+A notes that the OTIP [Ontario Teacher Insurance Plan] and that the school boards will not be included in the third party adjudication process.See C4 at: Sick Day Adjudication?
How far can society limit a teacher's freedom in the classroom setting? Two cases: A teacher in a detention centre is told not to include reference to the teacher protests because it apparently might incite the inmates to violence. Then there's the teacher with the controversial drama lesson activities. See: Where's the dividing line??
Sima Sahar Zerehi tells the story of an Iranian who sought political refugee in Canada after he became a governmental "person of interest" following the fraudulent government orchestrated Iranian election in 2009. He got a job as an Educational Assistant. All seemed to be going well until Immigration Canada locked him up in jail pending a hearing he has now won. It's a fairly common story many of us are totally oblivious about. Is this our Canada?!? Immigration Canada
Here are the OFL-OECTA photos of the Monday Porter airline protest: Porter Protest
Here's a video of the protest. You can't see much except the traffic jam but you can hear some of the speeches. See Protest Video
Read more about the Porter strike and send an online message to the airline in support of the workers. See: Act Now!
Moreover see below 4 how you can make a contribution to their strike fund!
Photo Courtesy of @SimaSaharZerehi .
Thursday: NDP Andrea Horwath + Premier Wynne sit down 4 a budget talk, while Hudak waits in the wings ready to pounce. A spring election? Andrea emerges 4 a short media conference. Says she just reiterated her 6 point demands, including the 15% cut in car insurance. There's not much more to say, but as we know, the gauntlet has been dropped. Budget should come out within next month. Toronto Star reports: Spring Election?
Bela Blizzard on Bludget Day: "I Vant to suk your bluuud!"
Toronto Sun's Christine Blizzard screaming bloody murder for bludget cuts not more NDP + OLP debt as a result of next budget. Think Bela Lugosi! Read: Neo Con Bludget Woes
Wynne verses Horwath: What are they thinking? See: QP Back Room Talk
Ha ha ha! Now I'm Premier .... er ... er ... er ... let's talk and ... er .... er ....?
All about Tim: Hudak gambles on a hard shift to the right. Lose again + he's out on his butt. There's some fascinating bio insights here. His family were hard core lefties. He watches Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones + The Walking Dead. Likes 70's classic rock. [funny but a lot of neo cons do: Harris (Springstein] + Harper [AC/DC] etc. etc. [Whenever I informally meet a public figure the first thing I usually ask about is their musical tastes]. He watches Batman movies + spaghetti westerns. OK. Sounds pretty good! So how come he's such an a** h*l* [$@#&^%] ? See: Meet Tim
A shocker! TDSB Trustee Irene Atkinson in critical condition after house fire. Irene ran for the NDP in Etobicoke Lakeshore against OLP's Laurel Broten in 2003. See: Irene Atkinson
Here's an article about Tom Allison, Wynne's campaign manger, who's now moving up at Queens Park after he seemed to be on the outs after McGuinty left. See Tom Allison
Greg Sorbara, the OLP's campaign manager in 2003, 2008, + 2011 bows out of the next election. The old guard continues to leave QP. Will Greg get a Bay St. plum position like Ex-finance Minister Duncan? Greg is also a very successful land developer. See: Sorbara
Tom Allison: Steps up to Premier's office and ...
Will Tom Allison step up to become Wynne's provincial campaign manager? The article speculates the OLP might not be ready for a spring election so might want to delay while they get their team together. The old battle weary backroom boys + girls are cut and running with Dalton while the new team needs time to complete the overhaul. See: OLP Staff Turnover
Premier Kathleen Wynne's latest memo advises the cabinet ministers about the new Liberal terminology. It is now the "Wynne government", and not the "new government" They should learn how to say "hello" in Algonquin, so they can use it in their memos and public address's. The work goes on in rebranding the OLP. Still just sounds verbal window dressing to me! See: New OLP Phrases
Photo Courtesy of @SimaSaharZerehi .
IN OTHER NEWS
Happy St Paddy's day! Here are some Clancy Brother videos to help wet your whistle! [62 actually ... that's going to be one wet whistle you will have ... ;-] See blogger Cathty From Canada @ Cheers!
Porter workers badly need our help!
Support the Porter Workers by contributing to their strike fund. They usually earn $500 a week to refuel passenger aircraft! On strike they are only getting $250! Meanwhile Porter Airlines is just waiting them out, unwilling to negotiate a fair first contract. I was originally going to donate $250 through OECTA but am now going to so directly using their link. Much easier. I challenge everybody else to give what they can to support these Toronto Island Airport workers in their struggle against Porter Airlines. Please don't flyPorter Strike Fund
"Habemus Papum Franciscum", as we say in Italy. See how good my Italian is!?! The Catholic Church has a new pope. Pope Francis age 77 is a Jesuit from Brazil. Two firsts there. Is he conservative or reform? It will be a question of how conservative he is. Does his age suggest he is another interim pope? Hmmm. Is the Catholic church just spinning it's wheels or will he surprise us? Meet the new pope: Youtube Pope
So. What kind of cellphone does Pope Francis have? An Iphone? A Blackberry? Nope. An Android. Do you think he Twitters or reads Blogs? Probably holy ones. I've never tracked him around here .... ;-) I asked Torotno Archbishop Collins what he listened to on his Ipod. He said classic, showtunes + had downloaded two audio books: The New Testament + Dante's Inferno. Dunno about Francis tho!
OECTA TSU teacher Rob D'Addario was escorting a class trip through the Vatican today! What timing eh? Read his first hand account + check the photos: Holy Smoke!
10 quick facts about Pope Francis: 10
The further adventures of Rob D'Addario's class trip to Rome. More photos: What timing!
Canuck Country Folk legend and patriot Stompin' Tom Conner's memorial service was a huge song + dance fest with fiddlers, guitar players, singers, down home speeches + plenty of wheat seed. Even past Gov. General Adrianne Clarkson quoted a few lines from "Sudbury Saturday Night". There was a big crowd sing-a-long to the "Hockey Song". Many references to "Bud the Spud" etc. His familiar black stetson sat atop the Canadian flag draped over his casket on the stage. Pure Canadiana hockum. Here's a link to about a dozen Stompin' Youtube videos: Stompin' Canada
US Target capitalistas screwing around with our Mr. Rogers!!!
US Target stores hits a sour note with Canucks! As a part of their Canadian launch they feature the title song from children entertainer Mr. Rogers classic baby boomer show, "Won't You Be My Neighbourhood"! As we all know Mr. Rogers kept us safe as kiddies as far away from commercial messaging as he could. Also his theme of respect hardly ties in with Target Canada's anti union policies. This is serious business! I hate to say it, but a clear cut case of "Yankee go home"?!? Stuff the Canadiana images + go do it in your own neighbourhood? See the video + commentary at: Mr Rogers Targeted!
Why Toronto is so a really great city .... so there! Except 4 people who stand in doorways! I totally sympathize with that don't you? What a rude place to just stand eh? Duh. See: Toronto the good
Toronto the bad? The "Trapped in a Whirlpool" blog provides a horrific tale of 2 police cases in court this week that weren't investigated by the SIU [Police Special Investigation Unit] but should be now that they have gone to court instead, and been found wanting. I really hesitated posting this because the Toronto's finest, as our police officers are often called, who I have often met over the years in the course of my work in the troubled Jane Finch area of Toronto surely were just that -Metro's finest! You would not believe the garbage they have to put up everyday. It's like entering into a war zone when I drive to school sometimes. Still this story is very disturbing. See: Toronto the bad?.
Step aside Canadian Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise! It's Commander Chris Hadfield of the ISS [International Space Station]! He's a Canadian too eh? Chris just got the promotion, yup, along with the keys to the ISS yesterday. Chris' mission is in space: the final frontier! These are the Canuck voyages of the ISS, it's mission; to orbit the world, to take kool pictures + do Science experiments, to seek out a new wife + plenty of libations, to bravely go where all the astronauts go these daze; around + around + around + around the world, time after time after time again + again + again ... and .... Seriously! Except for the new wife ... + the libations .... and ... and .... See William Shatner + Chris Hadfield discuss space travel But what's this thing about Canucks speaking like they are from the USA!?! TV ratings??? See: Youtube ISS
Canucks in Space #1: Captain James T. Kirk from the Starship Enterprise
Commander Chris explains the latest scientific breakthrough in making peanut butter sandwiches in outer space. Watch "Chris' Kitchen" for tips: Peanut Butter Sandwich!
Gaming News: Zombie Dead Island Riptide anyone? I know. I know. Not nice. Grizzly, perhaps a touch pyschotic. Some survival tips for zombie wave attacks that acknowledges the sound of guns and explosive will attract even more zombies. However these zombies can run and it seemsseems they even can think a little bit which breaks at least two golden rules from the Zombie Survival Handbook, I would suppose to make the game more exciting. See: Zombies!