Opening Statement

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Teachers Sept News + Views Links #1

OK. Here's the routine. I will keep adding your teacher news + views links here on this blog with some editorialising over the course of the first two weeks or so of September. There will without doubt be lots more to come, so stay tuned!

Teacher News + Views Links: Back for more ...


Trillium + Upper Canada Boards verses ETFO Extracurriculars MOU hearing resumes 9:30 am Friday Sept. 13. Lisa Mastrobuono will be tweeting live on her hashtag "@ETFOcb"

OECTA Provincial examined the Discipline Panel hearing decision dismissing Halton Elementary President Rich Brock at its Monday meeting. It was unable to offer Richard a "stay" as the Handbook rules were examined with legal council and all the rules and procedures  would seem to have been followed. Details on my Sept.11 blog.

Richard: Yours is no disgrace!


No news still on the Halton Elementary President Brock Discipline Panel case! I'm waiting to confirm OECTA PE will continue to meet Wednesday Sept 10th. Don't forget, there's a very pro verses anti MOU split on the new executive. Will this prove decisive in deciding whether the Panel erred in finding Brock had worked against the union interests? Who's interests? What? Hmm. Anyway here's a link to the spring executive election results to ponder @ 
2013 PE Election

Best bet? A decision will be based upon the By-laws +Constitution. But can everyone agree what these do or don't say about the process + procedures? Let alone even what references to the best interests of the association means? This is a real nail biter!!!

Little birdie in the window tells me this years PE either likes my blogsite or thinks that it should be removed next. A question of openness + transparency verses shhh! Shhh! Shhh? Oh well, if the site suddenly starts to disappear, then you will know ...

Guilty as charged! OECTA Halton Elementary President Richard Bad Boy Brock has been removed from office and had his membership services suspended for 2 years! OECTA Provincial General Secretary Marshall Jarvis has released the verdict from the Halton Elementary President's  discipline hearing. It went out to the school board, local executive and then the membership, in that order. It is now public information though it seems OECTA Provincial has still not yet informed it's general membership at large of the decision. More on News Flash, my blogs above and @ Richards news blog

BTW I'm surprised the names of Richard's witnesses who didn't get to speak weren't released in the hearing decision. They could cast the case in a whole other light.


Here's a Toronto Star forecast for the year ahead in our schools. It touches on some key issues between teachers and the OLP arising from last year. However it does not even refer to the fact we face another contract year head @ Coming soon?

PC's win an audit of the 2012-13 teacher contract deals. The Toronto Sun sneers at Kathleen Wynne's "friends" meaning us. Could somebody tell them that .....oh never mind! Also of interest is the reference to the Implementation Cost Effectiveness Working Group Committee the OLP has set up with the school boards. Story @ Toronto Sun Reports

How many hours a week do teachers actually work? See this Manitoba survey then consider how many you put in too @ Real Working Hours?

TYLRC President John Cartwright on the Local 52 Food Service workers protest line.

Richtree Workers Protest rocks the Toronto Centre at rush hour Monday evening. It was a very raucous and high spirited affair outside the doors on Queen St. W. at Yonge! The food court restaurant laid off all it's workers, then reopened as a non union shop with all new staff! Our unions need to work for the small labourers struggling at the grassroots level! More on the story to come!

What can you expect if you ever try to protest inside the Eaton Centre Food Court? Just in case you ever need to know .... Security will stop you within one minute. If you do not leave immediately you will be banned from the Eaton Centre for a day. If you return within 24 hours, you will then be banned for a year. You will need to wear a hat, moustache and fake beard when you go shopping there! Like at Christmas! The protest life is a hard one ....

See REWT protesters Janice + Tim! See REWT protest sign! See no OSSTF Insignia gear! Or swag .... or related good will! Intriguing story to be posted ... ;-)

Yay or nay? Ontario Chamber of Commerce wants minimum wage hikes linked to inflation @ Inflation Rate

Union is not a four letter word! Check out this short but sweet video @ Youtube

GTA Real Estate Agent develops her own neighbourhood school rating system for potential home buyers based on # of ESL students, single families, home income, + parental education. Thanks to the "Frontlines in Education" Facebook page for bringing this to light. BTW the Fraser Institute thinks it's a great idea. More from them below. For now see @ Where to buy?

CPC-ML Political Forum has a good summary of the difficult negotiation process OSST + ETFO have been having with their school boards. As with the OECTA school boards they don't want to honour the terms of the MOE MOU's. The MOE has not intervened. Most of the statutes are only policies and not by-laws so I've hard it through the grapevine that the boards are arguing they are not binding. They are also asking where's the cash to implement the terms? Look for the MOE to announce the new Provincial Bargaining Table  procedures for the 2013-14 contracts, probably next month. Anyhow, read "Updates on Negotiations" by Mira Katz @ MOU Chaos!

OSSTF President glad public boards are agreeing to meet the MOE's MOU terms. Lone holdout now is TDSB. We await word on whether there has been a breakthrough yet with the Catholic boards, most noticeably the intransigent TCDSB. Good Lord, the MOE forced the MOU on the teachers through threat + imposition, stripped our contracts, but now has nothing to say? Of course the boards aren't objecting about that, just issues that do not benefit them, so don't assume they support our anti MOU fight. More @ TDSB + TCDSB: no to MOU!

ETFO Provincial gets new General Secretary @ Victoria Reaume

The witch hunt is on to explain lower EQAO math skills at the elementary school level: MOE Liz Sandals blames the teachers math training. Jeez. Maybe the test scores are just getting more accurate without the need to pad them so most everyone passes. More training? Let me see. We draw a low math standards line in the sand and hope the students trip over it. If not we are to give them a push so they fall over it! That way everyone is smart as a rocket scientist! Parents are proud. The political agenda behind rising test scores is met. "Anybody can do anything" continues as the pop psychology drivel that passes for informed education theory. Sigh. Read more @ Here you go again!

No No Richard! It wasn't Tabuns you were supposed to kiss! And not on the cheek ... well, not that one.

Falling math EQAO scores: Maybe its just plain bad MOE pedagogy?!? So what's the latest flavour of the month going to be now?!? Alas. Sigh. Will the madness never end @ Even more latest? Greatest?

ETFO Sudbury expresses strong concerns about MOE Liz Sandals comments about "teacher training." Questions Ministry focus on literacy, literacy, literacy @ Literacy emphasis?

More from the Dept. of Bad Ideas: Should teacher evaluations be based upon their students performance scores? You can vote for or against too this in a poll @ From south of the border!

So we are just greedy self serving teacher union fat cats?!? Teachers spending big $$$ out of pocket for their classes. Quite frankly, this is nothing new, but perhaps folks need a reminder of all the things we do above and beyond the call of service, not just including extracurriculars @ For the students!

TYRLC rocks!

This really sucks: CURC [Congress of Union Retirees of Canada] says most baby-boomers won't be able to retire until age 75. They provide a frank assessment of the pension plan situation. Read @ Servitude 75?

Sparky is still teaching me how to be retired. He's top notch all the way, and I am an eager study. Tonight we attended the Toronto York Region Labour Council monthly meeting [TYLRC] as retirees. You can still put your hand up a lot to vote here! What fun! I was beginning to miss that! I keep wanting to stick my arm in the air every time somebody has a good idea I like! ;-) Anyway hello TYLC members! It was a happy surprise to learn how many of you read my blog. Hey, we even got some excellent info on the "Labour Advantage"! Crunch the numbers and see why unions make sense. Also why it's bad business for the neo cons to hate us @ Labour Advantage

More? The CLC presents "why fairness works!" Duh. You'd think it would be obvious but no! Not in these trying times my friends. More info on the important new campaign @ Fairness works!

This Walmart Flash Mob goes High Steppin' for Justice. It's amazing!!! They got sass. It's very positive and a good time too, for everyone, customers + workers. Definitely not management. A must see @ High Steppers Protest Dance Line!

Think we got it bad right now? Police tear gas and water cannon teacher protesters armed with metal pipes + wood clubs down Mexico way!!! Educational reforms have become quite the flash point. See the video @ This is war!

An oldie but goodie: ETFO: Our Teachers Change Lives 2012 video hits the airwaves again. Watch the video @ Teachers!

Book covers + reading posters as a collectible art form!

This is pretty cool: See a rare collection of Maurice Sendak's little known children books covers + love of reading poster lithographs bound together into a long lost book. Also check out the other reads. Worth a gander @ Brain Pickings Blog

OECTA local claims Windsor Catholic Board teacher + support workers layoff a result of top heavy administrative costs @ layoffs

Waterloo Public board begins investigating high number of teacher miscarriages at one school @ Insecticides?

Contrary to popular misconception, union membership has actually been on the increase in Canada over the past few years @ Stats

BS Alert! [Good phrase Wendy! Thanks!] Fraser Institute claims merit pay and higher licensing standards would make for better teachers @ "Harris" Institute!

Confirm or deny? Fraser Institute doesn't seem to think so ..... hmmm!

Right wing Fraser Institute asks should Right to Work for Less come to Canada? Read: Kill off the unions? Fraser Answer? Yes, it would be good for the economy @ RTWFL?

[Ed] Broadbent Institute debunks arguments that anti labour Right to Work for less laws help the economy @ Not much help

Indiana judge rules Right to Work Law violates their state constitution. You can't be required to provide free services. Interesting! Makes sense! But that's in Indiana. Here .... ? Story @ Indiana

More on Right to Work for Less below in Party Politics ...


Latest Innovative Research Poll:

OLP=37% /PC=30% /NDP=22%/ Green=10%

More @ Gas Plant Stink?

Latest Abacus Poll:

PC=33% /OLP=30% /NDP=30%

Crunch the Abacus numbers @ Poll

Three Hundred Eight:

They provide an aggregate result by combining all the different polls. Here are their numbers:

PC=33.8% /OLP=32% /NDP=27.2% /Green=6.1%

Premier Horwath? Toronto Sun Is worried! See below.

Three Hundred Eight provides the numbers to crunch @ 308

Toronto Sun "straight talk" warns the numbers could auger that a Premier Horwath might be on the way. Evokes the Rae Years to make all the neo cons shudder. If the Toronto Sun is that worried, you can be happy. More @ Danger! Danger?

QP legislature resumes Monday Sept. 9 @ Here we go again!

Here's a handy Knowlton + Hill Strategists primer for the Fall legislature @ What next?

QP First day: Lots of jeers + heckling. Wynne won't rule out an election before next Spring if the opposition parties can't make legislature work @ Election?

Hail! Hail! The gangs all here! Watch the CITY-TV news video @ Here!

Latest: Hudak PC votes 4 sale!

A week [or 2] of PC scandals:

Tory votes for sale? Senior Tory's allegedly advise PC QP MPP's that party donations will be made available if they vote for Ellisdon anti labour legislation bill. Hudak office central? Tut. Tut. Pigs at the trough. This scandal is real bad @ Big Tory $$$'s?

See how PC MPP Hillier "votes for sale" revelations deepens Tory fracture as the party turns on itself @ Dog eat dog fight

NDP leader Andrea Horwath proposes end of corporate donations to the political parties. If it's so controversial for unions then why not big business?

"Say what?!?" The Shurmanator gets caught with his pinkies in the cookie jar!

Tory moral outrage with the OLP: a double standard? Takes one pig at the trough to know another? Another day, another PC scandal: PC's the "Shurmanator" bilks Ontario taxpayers for his second home @ For shame!

Timbo cleans shop on eve of the fall Legislature: The Shurmanator has been fired as PC Finance critic over his housing allowance scandal. Peter Shurman was a big gun. I wonder how long he'll be gone for or if there is any bad blood. Read @ PC Fire Clearance

Hudaks announces he fired the Shurmanator as PC Finance Critic because he refused to pay back taxpayers for his second home. May play well with the Hudak party faithful and help Timbo at his leadership review later this month. Maybe this is good news for us too? He's hit a polling approval ceiling with his Harris era neo con rants and continues to make a lot of enemies within his own caucus. Can't be a good thing for the PC's going into the next provincial election!! More @ Shurmanator says no!

Is this really more about Tim's showing everyone who's boss more than anything else? See @ Radwanski

Even PC boosters the Toronto Sun acknowledge the party split, as seen during the Shurmanator Affair @ On self destruct?

Hudak fires another PC heavy weight, Labour critic Randy Hillier. Hillier is not exactly the kind of guy you'd wan to pick a fight with. So who's next Frank Klees? Both Klees and Hillier would seem to have been involved in the dump Hudak movement. Tim's leadership review is about a week away. This is getting real exciting! Read @ Hillier too!!!

See Timbo slam Randy for not being a team player @ Sure trouble!

Timbo's tough guy act within the party: A lot of Tories are not impressed!

Fight ! Fight! Fight! Timbo + Randy are having a fight! Randy isn't taking this sitting down @ statement

Hillier fired over "votes for $" insinuations. Hillier won't apologize. Nor has he backtracked on calls for a grassroots leadership review at the PC conference Sept. 20. Frank Klees on the other hand has been qualifying his comments on having a leadership review. Situation explained in some more detail @ Hillier + Klees

Ditto. Sounds like Tim's circling his waggons before the conference but Randy doesn't seem the least bit interested in taking this sitting down. Expect fireworks! @ Toronto Star

Toronto Sun is sniffing around on a possible conflict of interest scandal involving Premier Kathleen Wynne's wife Jane @ Here comes the sun ...

CPC-ML Political Forum list the slew of anti-labour Bills to be introduced when the Ontario legislature resumes on September 9th. Remember, both the OLP + the PC's are actively involved in supporting many of these. Read about the "Status of Anti-Labour legislation" @ Austerity Binge

Birds of a feather ...

And guess what issue Wynne + Hudak can agree on? Surprised?@ Ellisdon!

Gas stink lingers: Demanding access to OLP emails is good for stoking a sandal but it might come back to bite the PC's in the butt. Or for that matter the NDP. It's a very slippery slope @ Martin Regg Cohn

Reading the political tea leaves: Might a snap OLP election call catch the NDP and PCs off guard resulting in a majority government? Also Premier Wynne makes the rounds of Northern Ontario to show her face and address issues @ Fall Election?

A good analysis of the Wynne off and on fall election strategy @ Yes or No?

Premier Wynne rearranges seats on her OLP election campaign team @ changes

Hudak's new Communications Director from the Toronto Sun reassures the party faithful all is well with the Timbo. The "inner circle" has complete faith. Hmm. Who's that?!? You mean at QP or ...... BTW somebody from the Toronto Sun accusing the Toronto Star of bias is rather ridiculous, no? Read @ Timbo lives!

Hmmm. Now what's this all about?!? The Tories are nudging in on the MOU seniority "fair hire" debate @ So concerned!

New Ontario Power Plan [as in wind turbines etc]: Now you can earn money in your spare time by not making power. Wow! It sounds like an ideal way for me to earn some spare cash now that I am retired! I don't have a wind turbine! I won't make any power! Now can I please get paid?!? Hmmm. Maybe I better go quietly down to QP with my plan in case everyone catches on and wants to not make power too. God only knows how much $$$ is available!!! Or I'll do something like that .... yeah! Er .... Never mind .... article is @ Bright ideas Part 1 ;-)


Still rockin' [in] the free world .....

Canadian troubadour iconoclast Neil Young has been banned from Fort Murray radio station for criticizing the Alberto Oil Sands Project. He compared the city to Hiroshima after the atomic bomb blast because of the pollution from the sands. C'mon now! Neil's a Canadian legend!!!! Plus he would seem to be onto something here. Yup! Hooray Neil! More @ Heart of Gold

Neil Young's comments strike a raw Canadian nerve. We can all sing-a-long to songs about "Ohio", "Southern Man" + the Iraq War but now that he's focusing on protest issues in our own backyard?!? Interesting perspective @ Helpless?

Free videos etc: The official Neil Young Youtube Channel is here @ Like a Hurricane

Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps!

Former OLP heavy weight + Toronto Mayoral candidate George Smitherman's husband Christopher has been reported missing by Toronto police. George writes @ Missing

Christopher Peloso found safe but disorientated + has been taken to hospital. Apparently there was a cell phone lead. Maybe through GPS? News Story @ Found

Make no doubt about it -one nuke leak can spoil your whole millennium!

Yiiikes! Fukushima a go-go ...... as in get out your butt out of there as of yesterday! Ever notice how all the really big stories, at school + in the world at large, are being reported less + less? Alas. Read this @ Big "News"Leak!

Know thy enemies: Here's a link to the Blogging Tory news link site. It covers any and all news from a Tory perspective and connects you with Tory blog links across Canada and around the world. A nightmare, I know. Hmmm. Good idea though. We should co-opt it. Follow @ Blogging Tories

Frosh week at UBC continues to draw shock and ire over the underage rape chant. Jeez, initiation week has always been a pretty awful spectacle. Fun for who? Good to see folks sitting up and taking note @ Frosh

Off to class on the first day of school in Damascus ...

Russian President Putin warns against one sided strike against Syria as Obama's plans to sell idea to US and Western allies flounder. The longer this drags on the less likely it is to happen. Might doesn't make right. Too bad so much focus is given to military options rather than the International Court of Justice or other UN options. I know they haven't proved successful but then neither has the War Against Terrorism or other uses of force [Afghanistan, Iraq etc.] options since 9/11. Read @ Syrian Crisis

We need more of this: 9 questions about the Syria crisis that you were too embarrassed to ask answered in the most basic of terms @ Syrian Enigma

Dubious foreign wars: Oh no Obama! Not you now too!

Obamas Syria Missile Speech: If I was still teaching Gr.12 Politics [+ if there still is such a class] I'd like to do a lesson activity comparing President's Kennedy's 1962 Missile Crisis speech and Obamas now in 2013. I know. Different times, different presidents, different conflict. Though wonder what conclusions one could come up with by examining these differences about politics and world affairs in the new millennium.

US President Obama seems to be handling this well now, and I applaud dealing with the crisis in the United Nations. Now maybe if the world leaders [of sorts] can put as much effort into collective peaceful solutions and world law as they have before in military posturing and strikes, maybe we can finally make the UN work? I'm probably a dreamer ...... Anyway here's a link to a transcript of Obamas speech @ Complete speech

Here's a video of the complete Sept. 10 Syrian Missile Crisis speech @ Youtube

1962 Cuba Missile Crisis: Serious business!

A comically annotated version of Obama's speech from the Washington Post is @ this link

Here's a video of the Oct 22 1962 Kennedy Cuban Missile Crisis speech @ Youtube complete

Here's a complete audio copy + transcript @ JFK Cuba

Syrian rebels reject Russian deal and want the perpetrators of the chemical gas attack to be taken before the ICJ [International Court of Justice] at the UN [United Nations]. Makes sense to me to do both propositions. Interesting though, if the Syrians are found guilty of the attack. See @ ICJ at UN

Not a great idea!

Pope Francis has called for a day of global prayer and fasting for world peace on Saturday Sept 7. His recent emphasis on the situation in Syria is particularly poignant. I understand huge waves of refugees are fleeing the country in fear of an impending mass air strike. Info @ National Catholic Register

An Ottawa Valley homeowner makes light of archaeological indications that his land was a historically significant aboriginal site. Some of the references in the news article are rudely dismissive. Couldn't a settlers farm been built on an aboriginal hunting ground? Might the small creek not once been bigger + more significant than he suggests? 20 identifiable items were found which are laughed off as junk except for the old coin worth $400. Anyway the Tory MPP is adamant that he should be able to do whatever he wants with his private property. See @ Archaeological stake?


Bachelor Dictator Kim Jong-un: Careful ladies!

Bad Date Alert: In case you haven't already guessed, North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un might not be the best guy to date. His ex-girlfriend has been executed on pornography allegations @ Bad idea!

Seriously, here's an interesting program idea. I brought an old stereo system to school and used it for years while I taught in the James Finch corridor. Tunes upon arriving to class, sometimes during work + study periods. Maybe "student music" when all was going well, "teacher music" when so so or if not. Music calms the savage student beast? Puts a happy jump in their step? Read @ How Pop Music Can Help Improve Learning Skills?

2 Kool: The Strypes!

The 4 piece Irish retro rock r+b band "The Strypes" were taking the UK by storm while I was in London. They dress Mod Sixties, think like Beatles 65, play like the early Yardbirds, and early Who. Their average age is 15 but this is no kiddies act. Nothing cutesy. They have excellent musical pedigrees and are the real thing. Someone must've taught them well. Anyhow, so far they have only released vinyl 45's and EP's. Their latest hit is "Blue Collar Jane" from the forthcoming first cd album on September 9th. Check out their tunes + videos @ Youtube Strypes!

UK's Grrrrrl band "The Savages" play the Toronto Opera House Thurs. Sept 12 at 11:30 pm. I've told you about them before. No I don't think they will sing any opera, but if you like your rock hard,  + gritty with no punches spared you might like this. Tickets $20 at indie music shops or here @ Savages!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! It's the Savages!

Bright ideas Part 2: Maybe I can sell the movie rights to my blog. It could be a big hit. I would be in it. Then I could go on the red carpet at TIFF. I could get a lot of swag. I wouldn't have to pay for it which is good now that I am retired. Hmmmmm. But what about all the screaming girls? No .... Janet would not like that. What would I do? Well, maybe I should think a bit more about this one before I do anything rash? I don't like screaming girls either ...

On the red carpet at TIFF for the movie premier of my blog [or something like that ... ]

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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!

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!