Opening Statement

Monday 23 September 2013

Teachers September News + Views 3

Mea culpa! I know. I know. This latest news + views link blog has been a long time coming. OECTA's Mr. Brock is a leading dissident in the anti MOU movement. It will really help all the affiliates if OECTA can clean up it's act going into the PDT talks this year, so I hope you can appreciate how important coverage of this story is and has been. However, here's some other news links to get you started with more to follow. Newest additions in large type!

Blog acronym dictionary is Here!


New Federal ruling puts limits on union use of workplace email during job actions! All the more reason to start gathering private email addresses + creating interactive + informative websites in case of future strike actions. This became a big issue at some school boards during the Harris years with some school boards too. Read the latest @ Board email?

BTW: With all the secrecy + censorship on the net by OECTA + now ETFO it seems, freedom of info, speech + association might become very difficult for teachers at the grassroots level too. Fortunately the info is all out there somewhere on the internet in the public domain, but how come you are not getting it directly + in a timely manner? Let me guess: coz information is power? Not good.
MOE Liz Sandals announces new changes to strengthen the OCT [Ontario College of Teachers] disciplinary powers. Sexual Misconduct will be defined. School boards will need to inform the college whenever a teacher has been disciplined or fired for any reason. The Discipline Panels decisions will also be made more publicly available. It will be very interesting to see the teacher affiliate reactions. Are these changes the result of a knee jerk reaction to a series of sensational articles in the Toronto Star? Read @ Toronto Star

Emma Ann Hardy's indie blog explains the need for union solidarity in the forthcoming October 1st teacher strike in the UK! British NUT [National Union of Teachers] and NASUWT [?] @ Teacher Strike!!!

Teacher strike! NUTS to the Conservative Government in the UK!

Lawsuit launched against Ontario Ministry of Labour for providing minimal + misleading information on severance pay entitlements for workers @ lawsuit

CPC-ML Political Forum's Mira Katz expresses concern with OLRB Chair Fishbein's intention to rule in favour of two school boards complaints against EC's being used as an organized teacher work action tool. The school board + ETFO's lawyers last met at the OLRB on Sept 13. A decision has been delayed indefinitely. So when's that? During a possible breakdown in this years contract talks with the provincial government?!? More @  No Unionized EC Withdrawal?!?

My blog report on the Sept 13 OLRB hearing is @ ETFO OLRB

Should the Catholic + public schools be merged? A Young Liberal group's motion, a policy paper, straw vote + reader comments have been posted at the OLP Common Ground website @ Merger?

Don't forget to enjoy the Ontario Autumn!

Bullying 101: Your school principal has to actively lead the fight by being highly visible, not suggesting conflict resolution/ peer mediation between bullies + victims, or falling back on the Confidential Information excuse to hide inaction. Very interesting read! The TCDSB should be handing out a copy at each school. Your board too? More info @ Toronto Star

Edutopia lists 6 ways to improve teacher morale at your school. It's from the USA but I'm sure we can relate. Maybe the link to this article should be forwarded to each principal? Or the board itself? More @ Needs Improvement

Here's the OTF/OTIP teaching awards press release @ Top Notch

OSSTF posts info for new teacher candidates. Its great to see OSSTF reaching out to them as they arrive. God knows you don't want to leave it to the colleges to provide them with union orientation @ OSSTF

OSSTF recognizes Franco Ontarian Day September 25th @ Press Release

Congratulations: ETFO's "Social Justice Begins With Me" is added to the MOES Registry of "Safe and Inclusive School" resources @ ETFO

ETFO refutes claims they want Mother + Fathers Day to be renamed as part of a LGBT agenda @ Not true!

Toronto Sun accuses ETFO "Social Justice Begins with Me" of promoting a homosexual agenda @ LGBT?

At the latest British Columbia MOU Teacher Training Conference. See above!

ETFO expresses concern over balancing math + literacy with the arts, so they are not overlooked @ Don't forget the arts!!!

D'Addario Brothers [+ Jennifer too?] continue to amaze with their highly informative + useful news guide to social media in our schools by staff + students alike. As we say in teacher land: Keep up the good work! You can follow @ Tweeted Times!

OTF circulates petition calling for the release of the 2 Canadian academic activists being held prisoner in Egypt without any charges @ Petition

BC MOE snubs teachers by placing the future of teaching + teacher education in the hands of a 19 year old DJ he met at a wedding party. Sounds like he must be a good buddy of former PC Education Minister John Snobelen eh? Oh no, wait! he didn't finish high school before he was put in charge! But does the kid know how to create a crisis? Right! Anybody can do anything. Haven't I heard that in our Ontario schools too just before I retired? Read + weep @ DJ Ed Guru!

An all time greatest example of why Literacy tests are evil? This one comes from Louisiana in the 1960's. You have ten minutes. One mistake + you fail. Ready, set, go @ So you'd like to vote?

Upgrades on the excellent OTPP Pension Calculator make it even more excellent. Now even new teachers can check out their future retirement scenarios. This June I had the pleasure of actually calling them up to retire. When I started teaching 2013 sounded like a science fiction date but now here it is. OTPP were first rate all the way in helping me out. A real first class act: No surprises, disappointments or gray areas at all. Find the calculator @OTPP

Learn about the new youth leadership initiative by the Profession Aboriginal Association of Canada! Bravo @ Professional Initiative

How much is a workers life worth? Two for a million it seems. The Sudbury United Steelworkers also want criminal charges laid on Vale mines + a provincial mining inquiry into the 2 workers deaths. The Vale mining company showed blatant disregard for improper safety measures resulting in the grizzly tragedy @ Vale Mines Sudbury

Legal Aid lawyers are pushing for equal access to collective bargaining rights for themselves, including the many female lawyers in the profession. Then they can better help their clients too so everyone has access to legal aid. Hmmm. Wonder if OECTA members could apply for help with duty of fair representation? Oh yes! I forgot! The Discipline Panel can handle that! Info @ CB Rights Legal Aid

OECTA Provincial is circulating the petition on the lawyers behalf too. Hmmm @ Petition

Doorey's Law of Work blog explains the complicated issue of legal aid lawyers not being covered under the Ontario Labour Relations act @ Dr. Doorey

OSSTF D4 demonstrates teacher solidarity for the CUPE municipal workers strike in Bonfield Ontario @ OSSTF D4

Class cancellations spread at University of Windsor as CUPE pickets go up @ Labour dispute rocks campus!

OPSEU's "Made in the USA: Tim Hudak's Plan to Cut Your Wages" is a must see on Youtube @ OPSEU

Fellow News Pundits: Here are Twitter links + an assessment of most every major media comment board. Take the assessments as you will @ Save these links!


Timbo at the convention with his real inner cabinet: Harris + Hutton!

No more Mr. Nice guy!? PC party leader Tim Hudak claims he's not the personality type because he's not a pleaser. He compares union bosses to alligators and claims he needs to get the unions under control. He will run on issues. Seems he's not the type to try to work with others, will go the other way from Horwath + Wynne by seeking confrontation. Oh, except for union busting Bills like Ellisdon, on which he + Wynne have found common ground. How Mike Harris! Read @  Toronto Star

PC Education critic Lisa MacLeod introduces private members bill to end "Fair Hire" clause of the MOU. OECTA needed this included because of corrupt hiring pratices based upon nepotism in many Catholic school boards. However, it also means a teacher can't switch boards now without going to the back of the line-up regardless of how long they teached, as this article points out @ Toronto Star

Premier Wynne agrees Regulation 274 offers "over protection" for Fair Hire. Changes will be made. Beware the Tory Bill, it seeks it will give the principals arbitrary powers which we know are exploited in many schools, not just the Catholic ones. It is insightful how fast OECTA was to sign the MOU that such an oversight could be made. Teachers can't move between boards without losing their seniority?!?  Now see @ Oversight?

Globe + Mail editorial denounces Regulation 274 as a "Byzantine Seniority system", which it claims the MOE gave to "appease" the "teachers union". Whoa! Seniority is a pillar of unionism, but of course it is not the only consideration given, qualifications for example are as important as well in the fair hiring practice. That's conveniently left out in what I'd consider a cheap shot at the teacher unions.

Be careful, everyone might not be happy about the regulation but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Indeed, nepotism issues with the principals is just brushed off as a "so what" problem. Politics makes for strange bed partners. The Globe hopes the OLP + PC's can work together to kill the regulation + thinks that's great!   Maybe it's not so strange after all when you consider the neo con agenda they are voicing in common for teachers + education in our province.

The Globe, like much of the media establishment seems to little understand the seniority issue except as something they can use to teacher bash us with. They hardly know or are acknowledging enough about the complex issues to be speaking out with any credibility about our professional matters. Regardless of how you feel about the regulation, beware! Many of the opponents, jumping on the bandwagon like in this Globe and Mail editorial are not worried about you or the long line up of equally qualified out of work beginning teachers. Think about it. @ Administerial Nepotism

It's everywhere these days: See no evil! Hear no evil! Speak no evil!

Toronto Sun's Christine Blizzard panders to Hudak by claiming Wynne is pandering to teachers with changes to regulation 274. Once again, the misleading argument that Fair Hire is only based upon seniority is conveniently used. Pshaw! More @ pandering?

OLP + PC's join together to exempt Ellisdon, a private company, from needing to hire union workers. NDP warns the bill will be rushed through legislature with little or no debate allowed. Something smells here, big time! Also see the Globe Editorial above, but for now read the article @ Ellisdon

NDP's Andrea Horwath claims the OLP + PC's are so eager to push the Ellisdon Bill through the legislature because the company is very "generous" to it's supporters @ Now it can be told!

Y'know it seems to me that freedom of speech, information and debate are being severely limited nowadays in all of the institutions that "represent" us. The only difference is that each thinks its only okay in their case, not anybody else, least of all those of us at the grassroots level, in our case as teachers. Scary stuff!

A supposedly new + improved Tim Hudak 2.0 emerges from this weekends party convention in London. He survived, but for how long will he able to hold it together before the knives are out gain? Read @ Tim 2.0

PC's pull together to avoid leadership challenge in the public eye @ Toronto Star

The Inside Poop: The PC's are split on Timbo's union attacks. Even John Tory has been telling him to cool it. But damn the torpedoes, Tim won't back down. Right to Work for Less will remain a keystone of his election policy platform. See @ Harris Redux!

Tim will try to stick to his neo con policy platforms to win the next election but the party faithful still question his person ability to pull it off @ Policy Policy Policy

Allow me to be quite blunt here on my blog. If you can't handle this, please cover your eyes for the next bit. Hudak, like Harris before him has a permanent political hard on for the unions. The teachers especially. He is determined to screw us but good. Problem is the provinces voters have little appetite for 4 years of unnecessary labour strife just to satisfy his inner beast.

His own party is sadly split over this as a winning party platform in the next provincial election. The die hard PC's who disagree won't switch votes, but they won't come out to vote either. With an election victory possibly within close reach good old Timbo is really p.o'ing a lot of PC's, not to mention average mainstream voters off. The problem is not going to go away as long as the PC's have a party leader who's so hot to trot with us. Okay. Will somebody please tell the rest you can uncover your eyes now. Thanks! It needed to be said. You can all read my black grounder blog @ The Real PC Caucus

Timbo's speech attacking the unions for leading our province to financial ruin is not a big crowd pleaser at the convention. Note his praise for Mike Harris, one of his biggest supporters. Give some of the PC's credit. Not everyone believes this is a good strategy anymore @ Toronto Star

Sure I can blow the next provincial election -big time!

Broadbent Institute writer explains how Hudak's neo con labour attacks were a dismal failure in Australia + got the Conservative party there thrown out of power. Ontario PC's take note @ Hudak Follies

Toronto Sun's Sue Ann Levy questions the wisdom of wheeling out Mike Harris + ongoing problem with the PC's total lack of appeal to visible minority or gay voters in the GTA. She also found the Obama styled Holyday posters plastered everywhere kind of creepy @ Toronto Sun

Martin Regg Cohn's figures if Tim can win a provincial election on his policies then he can straighten out the public image problems afterwards. Otherwise his coverage mostly covers the same points as the other reports, but all in one read. His convention analysis is @ Toronto Star

 PC convention: Buttons, buttons, everywhere buttons!

The OLP circulated buttons to stir up questions about Timbo's ability to lead with slogans including "Et Tu Frank [Klees]", "Draft Randy Hilier", + "Shurman for Leader". Ok. I admit it. That was me. Ha. As if they'd let me in. ;-) Pretty old hat routine anyway @ Button anyone?

Hudak announces he will work with the OLP at QP this fall to pass 8 bills this fall including the odious Ellisdon union breaker. Is he trying to show he isn't just all appeal + charm now, but that he can also make deals? Ha. It would seem he's about to change tact in refusing to work within the legislature on anything with the OLP, which quite frankly has proven to be real bad PC public optics. Duh @ Timbo 2.0 Queens Park Action Figure!

Now the name calling begins: NDP leader Andrea Horwath is identified as the "Great Orange Pumpkin" from the convention floor @ Pumpkin

Timbo's failure to challenge the sexist joke demonstrates his inability to connect with women voters @ Toronto Star

New improved Timbo shows everyone he isn't heartless by promising not to go after kids with disabilities or little old ladies or men with a Tory budget. Nice Timbo! Somebody throw him a bone! Hey wait a minute ... does that mean the original master plan was to go after them?!? Bad doggie @ Toronto Star

$10 an hour or so? Hmm! Just a thought .....

Hip hopping youth perform a dance interpretation of what went wrong in the 2011 Hudak campaign. Just too funny, but hey, are these kids ever good! Watch @ Express yourself!

Wynne urges OLP to avoid negative election campaign at the Sept. 28-29 Provincial council meeting. Come election time the party will run on necessary tax or fee increases to pay for much needed transportation infrastructure costs. Read @ OLP election campaign?

Federal Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's $660 million surprise Toronto subway funding announcement is a pre-election time boost for buddies Hudak and Ford @ $ubway $$$

The Agenda's Steve Paikin explains Wynne's biggest challenge 8 months into her role as Premier: to disprove the counter narrative that she can't handle the economy. The heat is clearly onWynne or lose? 

OLP MPP Kim Craitor resigns his Niagara Falls seat creating the need for another another by-election within the next 6 months. Details @ Focus Ontario

Mystery Man? Craig and his whole office staff are missing since he suddenly + unexpectedly resigned. OLP is mum. News @ What?!


Support our alternate news sources now!

Congratulations to the CPC-ML Political Forum on it's 3rd year anniversary publishing top notch, detailed and analytical reporting on the working class + all working peoples' protest movement in Ontario. Consider making a tax deductible donation @ Forum Manifesto

Ho boy! Welcome to Toronto 2013! Rob Ford Forum Poll shows his approval rating is about to surpass 50% and he's on a roll! Alas! Guess I'm going to have to start another Cracked blog soon @ Who's yuh dawddy?!

Did you know that there's a flourish of right wing Ontario blogs on the internet? We examine all points of view on my site even though my blog would be to the teacher union left. So let's look at one. Blogging Wrath reports that a Men's Rights Rally at QP was disrupted by a "gang of deranged queers", or maybe it was OCAP, the writer doesn't seem too clear. Many insults, pointed jokes + name calling are then used along with a 14 minute video to support the headline and make the case. I thought the report on men's issues such as suicide rates + possible reverse discrimination in hiring practices in the workplace might make for an interesting + different, even challenging read. Alas no, though it does provide pause for thought. Maybe not in the way the author intended though. Guess I'll stick to the left. Blog article + video are @ Blogging Wrath

To my readers in Indonesia: the funny pictures + stories have been moved HERE!

Brace Yourself: Features have been moved to their own blog. An abbreviated version will appear here.

Be back soon! Much more to come in my October Teacher News + Views Blog .......



Anonymous said...

Libs and PC team up for union busting in the construction industry and not a peep from the teacher's unions. So much for solidarity eh? No small wonder unions are under such a sustained attack. Hudak too scary for teachers unions to back away from the austere Kathy Wynne? We are doomed to die a slow death this way.

Anonymous said...

David, if the OLP revokes Regulation 254 won't that pretty much wipe out any victory claims of the MOU from OECTA PE? Just curious as an OSSTF observer.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

I would think the pro MOU'ers at OECTA would argue that the biggest gain was they apparently ameliorated the original terms of the MOE's opening offer. However, 2 of the big selling points being touted were Fair Hire [Reg 254] and teacher professionalism.

I was at the spring COP meeting when it was finally officially acknowledged that Reg 254 did indeed prevent teachers from transferring boards for the first time, to much dismay. I doubt most OECTA'ers would be averse to revisions on that as long as other aspects, such as holding our nepotistic boards to still acknowledging seniority as well as qualifications etc. in making for Fair Hires, remain in place. How to do? An agreement is an agreement is an agreement, no? If the MOE starts arbitrarily changing that now, if could be problematic on other grounds. Dunno. Guess Wynne will figure it out.

Recognizing teacher professionalism was a score but it only applied to some kinds of testing. A start of sorts, but not enough to carry the day I would think.

Just my opinion though! We will await with interest for the OECTA official response to todays announcement by the Premier!

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