Opening Statement



Thursday, 4 April 2013

April All Affiliate Teacher News Digest 1

See Jan 13 blog for my acronym list!

TEACHER + UNION

Apr. 10th Day of Pink: OFL issues statement on Anti-Bullying Day with focus on LGBTQ @ Think Pink


OECTA Provincial staff wear pink in support of anti-bullying @ Lotsa Pink!

OSSTF Provincial Staff too @ More Pink

April 9th Happy Equal Pay Day! For the CCPA download "10 Ways to Close the Ontario Pay Gap" @ here!

Rick Mercer, like myself, HATES the colour pink, but knows why that doesn't matter today. Seriously folks, that needed to be said! :-) See: No laughing matter

 
April 9th 2013 was Equal Pay Day!

OSSTF Deal? Download a copy of REW's 8 Reasons to Vote No @ Share

OSSTF's official explanation of why a strong yes vote would help the charter challenge. Sounds like pretzel logic to me but you read and decide @ Charter Challenge?

OSSTF reaches agreement with President Council support. See: OSSTF MOU?

See Ken Coran's conference here @ media conference

Further news + details as they become available will be posted on the blog one up!

Annette Funicello dies at age 70! We love you Annette! Please lower all flags! See bottom of this blog.

Trillium Lakeland + Upper Canada boards continue to fume over wait for an OLRB ruling on whether it will rule on their complaint over ETFO EC's. Although the ETFO advisory has been lifted many teachers are still not volunteering their spare time. Case has cost boards $100,000 to teach teachers a lesson. Bizarre:  OLRB ETFO EC's?
                           

The new logo for OSSTF Vote No! REWT group.

MOE reports secondary school graduation rate has risen from 68% in 2003-4 to 85% in 2012. Success 4 all? Love it when it means finding suitable programs and skills to meet the students different abilities and needs. Worry when it results in defacto lowering academic academic standards so everyone can trip over the line. See: Grad rates up!

PC Finance Critic Peter Sherman accuses OLP of giving into "labour terrorism". Now I've heard everything! See @ PC Terrorism

The Globe + Mail's Caroline Alphonso + Kate Hammer report on Wednesdays ETFO announcement + gives us a heads up on another one from OSSTF today. Nice to meet you Kate! See: Labour peace?

A report on the 25% sick day deal. Some cash figures are kicked around. Remember what I said about a formula? See: Sick Days?

This article claims the ETFO+ OSSTF leadership is going to be working hard to sell the upcoming deals to their teachers. I'm not so sure Sam Hammond exactly said it that way yesterday. I heard him note it ultimately will be taken to the teachers to decide, but didn't take that to mean he would be strong arming them to sign. Of course once the executive approves a deal, well then they would as a matter of course stress the good points but as a part of an the overall package. The unions won't be able to tell the teachers what to do, especially in sensitive cases like this. It'll take a lot of head scratching and some quite frank staff room talk. Naturally the members will be pretty worked up after a year of picket, strikes and boycotts. I can't see them taking kindly to that kind of tactic. Anyway, Sam has been quite clear he is here for the members, not the other way around. See: Hard Sell?


The Toronto Sun, in one of it's better moments actually posts a pretty well balanced report on the announcement and PC Ed critic Lisa McLeods response. See: Sunshine + McLeod

Hastings Prince Edwards ETFO president points out talks are not negotiations because this is not collective bargaining. It's a fine but very important defining line. Wynne comments on hopes both ETFO and OSSTF can ratify deals. See: CB verses Talks?

The Trillium Lakelands board is still trilling pretty hard for an EC OLRB ruling @ EC's

Bill 115 Charter challenge continues to move forward @ Charter

CPC-ML Political Forum accuses Toronto Stars Martin Reg Cohen as being anti-worker rights.The Toronto Stars apparent "Liberal" bent has often been called disingenuous by commentators on my site. An interesting + challenging article! Reg read it and put the link on Twitter. Ha ha. Well let's help get the story out too: Click link and scroll down 3 stories @ Toronto Star Political Bent?

BTW TVO's Steve Paikin gets put in the hot seat over his Rolodex of guests. See: TVO

In solidarity! My blog focuses mainly on Ontario teacher union news but for more trade union news from across the country you can always visit LabourStart.ca for the latest updates @ Cross Canada Trade Union News

Porter Airline launches new site to promote campaign to allow it's new "whisper jets" land and take off at the Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport. Even promises more [less than living wage] jobs. Porter created a big municipal election issue in years past. Only turboprop aircraft are now allowed access so as to avoid noise pollution + safety concerns along our Toronto lakefront. Time to turn up the heat more in support of the workers strike! See and weep at the audacity: Porter whisper campaign


Who wins with the Temporary Foreign Labour Act's new low paid Canadian jobs foreign give-a-way? Pitting the disadvantaged against the disadvantaged is a classic case of class warfare!

Incredible News! The Federal Conservative Temporary Foreign labour Act hasn't just been used to layoff senior aged workers at the Royal Bank. Other participants include Tim Hortons, MacDonalds, Walmart, Petro Canada, Loblaws, Dairy Queen, Molson-Coors, the National Post, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Porter Airlines, Sears, Scotiabank, Sunlife ... well the list goes on and on. There are 4000 employers in all who apparently can't find Canadian workers during the current economic crisis! Taking advantage of the disadvantaged against the disadvantaged to lower wages + work condition standards? See @ Doorey's Law of Work blog

In case you missed it here's the Royal Bank of Canada story that exposed how the Act is being abused. Put yourself in the place of an employee who is being told you are being laid off and to train the foreign worker they have just brought into Canada to replace you. Read + weep @ For Shame!!!

More from Doorey: a deadbeat employer is jailed for not paying his employees wages. Hmmm. Wonder if we could apply that to a certain provincial government that has stolen our accumulated sick days bank + is now trying to buy us off at 10-25% on the dollar?!? See: Doorey Rocks!

OTPP shows 13% return in 2012, funded at 97% 129.5 billion in assets. Surprised? See:OTPP

OECTA CB Inservice runs Monday evening through Tuesday. Promises to be especially interesting this year! I enjoy these type of activities just to understand context, not 4 scooping secrets etc. etc.

OECTA TSU teacher Robert D'Addario provides a useful overview + list of considerations for the use of social media tools in education @ School social media?

PARTY POLITICS


Get it? Communist party?!? Heh ... heh ... heh ...er ....

Day of Pink at QP: Who's wearing pink? Granted it's not a full angle shot. See: Seeing Pink?

PC Tim Hudak meets with the the editorial board of the National Post. Verdict: He needs to convince Ontarians that there is a big crisis he needs to save them from in order for us to vote for his big changes. Poking the unions in the eye is one trick. See: Crisis time?

Hudak tries for a makeover to take on the road during next election campaign. Critics figure it's make or break time. Can he present well second time around or are his leadership days numbered? See: Being Tim

Initial Twitter reviews mixed but Hudak spells out his anti union agenda at big name PC fundraiser dinner in Toronto. A link to his "Pathway to Prosperity" platform is also included @ Big Bad Tim!

Nice work if you can get it! See what former Premier Mike Harris is earning now as a "top researcher" at the Fraser Institute right wing "think tank". See: smart guy?

All Saturday's news is the Federal Liberal Showcase launch of the online voting from here in Toronto, after the candidates finished their speech. The results should be announced a week Sunday. Not nearly as exciting as a real leadership convention. The were giving away free tickets to try to fill the cavernous Metro Convention Centre. Outside was some live street theatre: a Zombie Trudeau Rally. PET return as the living dead while Justin spoke inside. See story + zombie video @ OLP Zombies

15 nitty gritty things you should know about the Federal Liberal showcase ... er ... I mean "Conference" last weekend. A nice summary, not to focus too much on the public relations event: See: The Low Down


PM Pierre 1969: Never a dull moment! Here we go again?

Trudeaumania redux: polling suggests Justin is winning because of his dad. Some charisma could really liven up the staid fare of Canadian politics, but as with PET + JFK the same questions rise again: is it all form + no content? What length will they go to prove it? A great PET photo album also included @: Trudeaumania

Federal NDP posed to drop references to "socialism" from their constitution. I hope the Ontario NDP won't follow suit. See: Bad idea

Federal NDP Montreal Conference this weekend: Socialism or Austerity?!? I will be quite frank. I'd probably make a lousy Marxist ideologue but this makes a lot of sense to me. See the Marxist critique @ Whither to the NDP?

PC's "celebrate" 75 months of OLP government with this ad @ 75 months

Tim Hudak welcomes Doug Ford as a PC candidate for Etobicoke North. Maybe now he can pick up a Toronto riding? Hope not. This man is pure evil. Think of his brother Mayor Rob Ford with a brain. The Toronto neo right wing worships the ground he walks on. See: Meet Doug!

Doug Ford could be a total horror show, but for whom? Tim needs to carefully think this one through.Here's another interesting perspective on how his candidacy could play out badly in Toronto 416 too! See: Doug + Tim?

Forum Polling for the riding of Etobicoke North: Doug Ford = 45%/ Dr. Shafiq Qaardi = 39%. A Ford win would be the first PC seat in Toronto since 1999. Ford has star power. Quadri has held on by a handy margin of votes since 2003. See: A PC Win?

IN OTHER NEWS



Rolling Stones play Toronto May 25th! Tickets go on sale Monday at 10 am. I've heard advance sale tickets are all ready being scalped for $1000 each! Last time they played the Air Canada Centre I got in free for a review. I think I told you I met Mick Jagger and saw the club show at the Phoenix too. I should only be so lucky this time around. However, rumour is they will be rehearsing in Toronto before the tour. Spare me the ageism jokes! They still put on a fine show! I will have to put up my photos on the slideshow. Check the news + see the video @ Start Me Up!

A second show added! Ticket prices? $166 to $2500! It's only Rock and Roll but they like it! See: Tumbling Dice

Reality ~what a concept revisited: World maps @ perspective

How will you celebrate the big day?

North Korea threatens planned nuclear missile strike on the mainland USA. Tensions are over South Korean/ US military exercises, sanctions against North Korea's nuclear program, internal North Korean political machinations + disputes over strategic or resource rich islands, with China eyeing those north of Japan. OK enough of this North Korean missile madness. Here are my odds on their precision. reliability + capabilities for a nuclear strike. Mainland USA = 0%. Hawaii = 10% [at best close but no cigar], Japan = 40% [I'm being generous here], South Korea = 80% [exploding somewhere/ anywhere but not necessarily a precision strike]. China is North Korea's Allie. US could take North Korea out quick with an air/ sea strategic strike. There could be a messy radiation risk @ about 60%, and if it can fire off a missile or two that's 100% for sure.. Wild card is what China will do. Bad for trade and environment but there is a geopolitical interest here I still can't quit figure out. We haven't heard a whole lot yet if anything from China. Anyhow see the press release @ My nuclear strike odds?



Kim Jong Un ~ Rocket Scientist!

North Koreas Kim Jong Un's Twitter account hacked @ All a twitter! 100% odds he's royally p.o'ed but he's quite the dope. Can't say whether it will figure into the crisis one way or another. BTW, word is he has a HTC smart phone. Hacker's name was "Anonymous" who also reads + comments on my blog too ....! Scary! Scary! ;-)

This report definitely comes through a few news filters, but take it as you may. China has rebuked North Korea for it's recent actions and is in communications with Washington on the matter. See: Not like MASH?

Japan moves Patriot missile interceptors around Tokyo in anticipation of North Korea missile test. Not unprecedented but not taking any chances. Photo slide show of Kim Jong Un visiting the troops is classic communist propaganda. Also see my " Intro to ... " art show below this blog column. Go to @ war?

Pure Cold War redux as North Korea advises foreigners to leave South Korea by Wednesday in advance of a nuclear strike. Critics remain sceptical its just more grandstanding. See article and rally photos @ Ka Boom?

South Korea asks China to intervene as North Korea moves at least 2 alleged 3,500 mile range missiles into place for a "test" expected Monday. There's an odd sense of the incredulous to the whole crisis. Is the young, inexperienced Kim Jung Un just trying to prove what a "great leader" he is? Who knows? The margin for error is quite big. The stakes too high for most of the countries in the region. We watch with interest. Anybody makes one mistake and ka-boom! Link to follow. 

BTW: One nuclear explosion can ruin your whole day! Actually .... they have a radioactive half life of 500 years ....


RIP: The BBC reports Arch neo con Reagan era British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher "dies from a strike" @ RIP

The politics of death: etiquette + respect for the death of a person is one thing, to be critical of a politician with a controversial history is another @ always be nice?

Judy Garlands "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" re-enters the Itunes Top 10 chart in wake of Maggies death. No kidding. Link also contains video on how to play the Wizard of Oz song on a piano. See: Ding! Dong!

The "Iron Lady" was admired as a strong role model for women. Also her anti labour catch phrase "Labour isn't working". If you aren't nostalgic for her politics you can still lower the flags for ....

Mouseketeer  + Beach Blanket Star Annette Funicello dead at age 70. Any of us who were around in the 50' + 60's will remember her fondly from the Mickey Mouse Club TV Show, and later in the "Beach" movies with Frankie Avalon ["Venus"]: Skillfully surfing against a false backdrop. Singing tender love songs, smooching music, somehow with full orchestration as she and Frankie cuddle alone on the beach. And of course M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Annette didn't put up with any nonsense from the guys [Frankie/ Von Zipper?], but still revelled in her femininity. She had been sick for a long time with multiple sclerosis. RIP @ We love you Annette!


 

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

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

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

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

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!