Opening Statement



Tuesday, 12 March 2013

March All Affiliate Teacher News Link Digest 2

See my OECTA AGM 2013 reports in the blogs that follow!There's an acronym guide @ Explained Latest news links spread out below:

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 .

PARTY POLITICS

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 .

Good Jobs For All Community-Labour Coalition promotes the need 4 public service at the local community level. Their latest appeal is to Premier Wynne. Visit their site at: Good Jobs 4 All!

Did the OECTA MOU pave the way for public service pay freezes and cuts making life easier for Wynne now, though it cost her teacher support? As an OECTA member I think so. That's one reason why I have been fighting the MOU decision here on the home front. We sacrificed  our union solidarity + allowed contract stripping. See: Ghost Legacy?

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!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

David, I attended AMPA and the elections occupied a lot of time but were very entertaining. You did not mention if you were able to pass changes to your constitution to allow you the democratic right to vote on contract decisions decided at the provincial level. We were reminded we would have that opportunity on whatever comes out of current negotiations. Wondering if OECTA membership would ever enjoy that chance.

Anonymous said...

I am OSSTF and I must admit I am a little confused. When Bill 115 was wrongly imposed our membership was provided an informational session on the wonders that is the "OECTA MOU Roadmap" and all the improvements to our lives. It was clearly stated about the 67 and 90% pay option at the decision by the Board. Now most Boards have ceded to the 90% as arbitration costs too much, but that is yet to be seen. How can those who decided upon the MOU cannot inform their own members on all the clear improvements to their lives? Only venting at your past leadership David, not at you :)

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous poster above - yes, a full package of resolutions were passed at the OECTA AGM which do ensure that all OECTA members will get a ratification vote on ANY form of future provincial bargaining.

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks 4 pointing this out. I have been told that it was supposed to be a neutral third party arbitrator, + not the boards. Will need to verify + get back to you about this, on my blog.

David Chiarelli said...

The new OECTA member ratification vote has briefly been added to this blog but it is very complicated, so there will be more info to follow. I would like to consult with James Ryan and others about just how it works. It's not one member one vote, but a member representational vote. I'm not sure if I am exactly tickled pink, but the AGM assembly voted to pass all the new Task Force recommendations in block, this along with it. I hate when anybody does this but stay tuned. There was a reasonable reason presented 4 the new voting procedures to take into account all out units + the OT membmers across the province.

David Chiarelli said...

Regarding sick day adjudication: would seem the OECTA + OSSTF accounts don't match. See blog.

Anonymous said...

Oecta members still need a vote on all Oecta Provincial candidates, a complete detailed list of Oecta Provincial Executive/Staff Salaries/Benefits and an individual vote on all Oecta Political Party Contributions. That would be democratic, transparent, and accountable to all dues paying Oecta members, or shareholders of this union. Hey James...let's enact these things now!

Anonymous said...

Please include the letter posted on WAFLE Facebook page in response to Teacher's letter to ETFO in her choice to resume ec's

David Chiarelli said...

I can't believe how hard it is to search 4 this response. I searched WAFLE on Facebook and got the kind you eat. Shouldn't be so hard to find. I'd like to go big w/ this on a blog!
Anybody? Please advise. I'd prefer a link to text I can copy + past than a link, but either ...

David Chiarelli said...

We need to start working now on motions + support for more member voting possibilities now, to present at OECTA AGM 2014 for approval! OECTA differently needs more transparancy, democracy and direct member involvement.

Anonymous said...

Teaching is a funny profession in many ways. You walk into that classroom in September with no real idea as to what you’re going to ‘get’. Administrators come and go, with their changing visions, and their various ideas about what is good for the school and good for the student body. Board and ministry initiatives change all the time. We as educators really do need to embrace the idea of being lifelong learners, because things change, the needs of our classroom change, our students change just as fast as we can keep up with them. Because so much can change so quickly, we will sometimes hear teachers saying that they are either having a ‘good’ year or a ‘not so good’ year. This statement is almost never based on students alone. It is based on school climate, interactions with colleagues, and ministry, board, and administrative expectations, to name a few.
Over the last few days I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with a few colleagues that I haven’t seen in a while. The overwhelming statement seems to be that this is not a ‘good’ year…but that it is a very, very tiring year. To anyone in the profession in Ontario, this will come as no surprise.
And speaking of tiring. There’s this ‘article’ being floated around during the last few days. An article that can only be described as the polar opposite of ‘objective’. It’s making people angry, and it’s making people tired. It’s making people use words like ‘attention seeking’. I can’t disagree with a lot of what’s being said by educators who are responding to this ‘article’. More even than the action of the individual it features, I question the integrity of the media outlet that presents it. I am constantly floored by the misinformation that is served to the general public around these issues in education, but now I see that suddenly the voice of the vast minority is suddenly worthy of more media attention than any other voice. Of course, that makes the rest of us frustrated.
Our Facebook page, WAFLE, has been referenced in the media lately. Sometimes we receive vaguely threatening messages from individuals about how this site is being ‘monitored’ by the media and by OCT. It’s probably true. We are bigger in number now. People are noticing us. But you know who else monitors this site? ETFO. And we haven’t had our wrists slapped, by anyone. Sometimes, the members of this page engage in spirited discussions. We get frustrated by ‘articles’ (I keep putting it in quotes because I have such trouble taking it seriously) such as the one I referred to earlier. We vent a little. We voice our opinion. Provided that we remain professional in our demeanor, we are allowed to do so. This is our profession. Of course we care what’s being said about it.
I, also, have an ‘open letter’ to my union leaders. The name of my local leader is Tim Cunningham, and of course everyone is familiar with the name Sam Hammond at this point. I’m not sending my letter to the media because I don’t have need of extra attention. But I would like to share it with you.

Anonymous said...

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 eduation.
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 learned 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 eduators.
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.

K. Hansen, OCT.

Anonymous said...

Sorry the only way I knew how to get this to you!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you haven't heard of it before the facebook page is We ARE the Front Lines in Education...... a really good outlet for us!

David Chiarelli said...

Of course!!!! My sincerest regrets! I didn't recognize the acronym! I will add it to my list. I AM well aware of all the great work you do. I will post a blog on this too. I have quite a few readers so I hope that helps spread the message more. Main stream media seems unlikely too. Total solidarity! David C

Anonymous said...

It's not me who facilitates the Facebook page but colleagues do!!!!! I thought it was important that you write about this letter... Which has now become an open letter which will be sent o the media with signatures of those who wan to sign it!

David Chiarelli said...

OK!Sure. I will fix and sign myself too. There's no way ETFO should get hammered away at now because you stayed the course! In solidarity!

Anonymous said...

Also..if you can...please list a link to the sweet facebook page "Thank an Ontario Teacher Movement"...a nice idea!

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