Opening Statement



Friday, 4 October 2013

Is OECTA to be Trusted? An ETFO Member Letter



I am taking an unusual step here today which hasn't been done for a few years on my site. A readers letter is being posted as a blog. Here's my standard disclaimer: this is not an official ETFO communique but rather a readers opinion. It is written in response to the COP Letter from Sept 28. My commentary follows and I'm sure we all look forward to reading and considering your Comments for discussion purposes. The reader writes:

This is from my perspective as an ETFO member.

If somebody with gumption like Richard Brock had been OECTA's president (or general secretary) last year, the concession bargaining OECTA Provincial decided to engage in would never had occurred. With that concession bargaining, OECTA effectively destroyed the ability of the other teacher unions to get through this round of bargaining unscathed. OECTA's provincial exec members also gutted THEIR OWN MEMBERS' contracts and told members it was a GOOD THING, which we on the outside still can't understand.

We at ETFO have not forgotten OECTA PE's betrayal. We also haven't forgotten that a majority of your provincial executive continues to think that the OECTA MOU was a great idea, and so we are primed for the real possibility that OECTA PE will once again stick yet another shiv in the backs of the affiliates in the upcoming round of bargaining and engage in further concession bargaining. As far as I am concerned, and as far as every other ETFO member I know is concerned, the decision to remove Mr. Brock from office for publicly speaking truth to power only confirms that the following expression: "Meet the new OECTA PE; same as the old OECTA PE."

If I was an OECTA member, I'd set up an email list with the emails of all your politicians (i.e., provincial executive members and local presidents) and write them frequently to say that I expect them to not engage in concession bargaining this next round and at least pretend to cooperate with their union partners. My apologies for sounding so angry. I appreciate all the OECTA members who came out to rallies and provided so much support last year. OECTA members are fabulous, sensible and brave people; but the politicians seem to be cut from a different cloth.


COMMENTARY: 

Regretfully, the writers comments are quite understandable. They pose a very real question that is the elephant in the room. Is OECTA to be trusted as the different teacher affiliates begin new PDT talks collectively with the Provincial Government again this year?

It's an understatement to say that last year's PDT talks didn't go well. The government remained intransigent for the most part, demanding concessions that resulted in contract stripping of the collective agreements. OECTA PE's July 5th decision to break ranks with the other affiliates, ETFO, OSSTF and AEFO by unilaterally ratifying an MOU agreement which included major concessions without a membership vote was quite a compromising surprise and shock for both members and non members alike. It didn't exactly inspire much trust either inside or outside OECTA.

However, I am hesitant to blame everything that followed strictly on OECTA, although it was a major blow. Perhaps the same concerns should be addressed to the PEs' of all the teacher unions who sooner or later followed suit giving many reasons for why they thought their own MOU terms should be ratified by the membership?

We know, even from reading the reactions here on my blogsite, that many teachers from all the affiliates felt betrayed by their union leaders actions. I would suggest each affiliate should also have a reckoning with their PE's demanding that there won't be any more concession bargaining this year.

Unfortunately for the OECTA members there was a further surprise this summer that does not inspire confidence nor suggest OECTA is entering into the talks undivided among themselves. You can tell how split many are over the OECTA Discipline Panels dismissal of Halton Elementary president + leading OECTA MOU dissident Richard Brock from the letters. That OECTA PE claims that there is nothing it can do because if it's by-laws and Constitution remains very unsettling too. 

I have often heard OECTA stories that claim behind the scenes all the leaders are now okay with what happened last year, on a go forward basis. I myself find that very hard to believe for the reasons succinctly described by the ETFO member above. Furthermore I have to wonder if there is a major disconnect between what each of the leaders says about the status quo, and what the grass root members actually feel. Many of last years agreed upon terms went against the most basic of union principles regardless of whatever reasons might be given. Maybe they are cut off in how they see the general mood, and believe their own hype? These are all very scary thoughts indeed!

Rather than ignore the issue hoping that it will go away, or by claiming it's of a sensitive nature that's best left unmentioned so as not to undermine this years PDT process, I would argue the opposite. These are very important issues that crucially need to be voiced, addressed and discussed rather than ignore at your own peril.

So, dear readers: what do you think? You can use the COMMENT link below.  


Dare to be different!

COMMENTS

94 comments:

Anonymous said...

That ETFO analysis of OECTA's Provincial "Leadership" these past two years hits the nail on the head. OECTA members who have had enough of this dictatorial leadership (No vote on the MOU, No appeals process on the Discipline process/decisions, contract stripping, refusal to get members gains like Halton's members' cash payout for vested sick days that other teacher affiliates got for their members) need to send this email to James Ryan and the Provincial Executive of OECTA (j.ryan@oecta.on.ca):

I am an OECTA member and I want a union that fights for my gains, lets me cast individual votes electronically and does not pride itself on personal divisive vendettas. I want a union that can handle differences and treats all members equally. Sign your emails...FREE RICHARD.

Anonymous said...

The main reason why the Provincial Executive of OECTA is removed from answering to every OECTA member is because the Provincial Executive does not allow individual OECTA members to have an individual vote on candidates running for Provincial Office. Why don't they allow that? One might conclude that they have no intention of ever changing that so there could be accountability to the membership. Also, the time has come for every Provincial Executive member to answer in writing on the public record whether or not they support the discipline process and the decision that unseated a sitting unit president. Answer YES or NO. The membership is owed that at the least. Silence is NOT an answer. Or is it?

Anonymous said...

Oecta members need to phone, mail, or email each Provincial Executive member and ask him or her: "Will you being taking Unpaid MOU Days this year as part of your payment package, paid for by my union dues?" When you get an an answer, please post their answers on this blog for open accountability and transparency to every dues paying Oecta member. Thank them for building trust in our union. Actions speak louder than, or as loud as, words.

Anonymous said...

Hey David can you please verify exactly what position Kevin O'Dwyer was hired for by OECTA and who hired him?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the recognition by the ETFO member of the gulf between rank and file OECTA members and their leaders.

My trust in OECTA's leadership, both provincially AND locally, was broken in the process and events that culminated on July 5th, 2012. The recent events re. the Discipline Panel have only added to my mistrust.

I heartily commend the rank and file attendees at AGM 2013 who did their very best to send this union a message.

It seems to have been ignored. Politicians and lawyers are now the order of the day at OECTA instead of TEACHERS.

Anonymous said...

Kevin O'Dwyer has been hired at the Provincial Office and given a $60000 raise, cadillac benefits, tons of sick days, banking overtime for days off and GRATUITY. He has been exempted from all the hurt and losses HE imposed on us without telling us and without allowing all of us to vote. The architect of every that went wrong in OECTA in the last two years has now left us and removed himself from his OWN MOU.

The downward spiral continues and Kevin O'Dwyer is unscathed, OECTA has put its stamp of approval on someone who deliberately did not act in the interest of the Association while firing someone who was only acting in the BEST interest of his members.

PE stand up and fix all of this now or we might as well close shop because we are no longer effective in defending and promoting the best interests of all our members.

Anonymous said...

The PE and COP have lost/given up all control and authority within the association.

When the PE says there is nothing they can do, it is a 100% untruth. They have ultimate authority to make sure the by-laws have been followed and will continue to be followed. They have chosen to give up this authority.

The PE is meeting this Monday and Tuesday, October 7 and 8. It is an open meeting. David, I hope you and as many OECTA members who can take the time off show up, The meeting is at the Provincial Office.

Anonymous said...

At the last AGM people on Kevin's campaign team were referring to him as War Horse.

Yes, he took us into a war without our consent. He LED us into major losses and lost that war. His WAR leadership was incompetent and without a winning strategy or escape strategy, WAR is bad.

What ever happened with PEACE, JUSTICE, and RULE of LAW. These have been lost in OECTA and Kevin was the general in charge who lost them all. Yet he is rewarded.

Fighting for PEACE, JUSTICE and RULE OF LAW within our association and out of it is always best. WAR is an option but it should always be the last option. Kevin went to war from the start without any body with authority knowing, including the PE, and he went to war against his own members and sacrificed us all for the benefit of a few. Yet he is rewarded.

All sensibility and commitment to our members has been lost. Our best interests do not matter. We should shut down 65 St. Clair Avenue East and start fresh. It is beyond saving.

Anonymous said...

Four of the five people on the committee that decided to hire Kevin O'Dwyer were ACTIVELY campaigning for him as part of his unsuccessful re-election bid. One of the persons, Ann Hawkins, was Kevin's Campaign Manager in the past for many years. This is far worse than the nepotism the Keven O'Dwyer claimed HE STOPPED. Hypocrisy, disingenuous, set up, pay back, underhanded, lack of of integrity, lack of due process, unfair, and rejection of all that is right and just, are just a few words that come to mind.

Julie, James, Elaine, Marcie, and Chris, you were elected promising that things would change. Please change it on Monday at your meeting. Free Richard and bring integrity and honesty back to the Association. Do not fool yourselves, there is currently no integrity or honesty and there certainly is no openness or trust. Please do what is needed to EARN that TRUST.

Anonymous said...

The Provincial Executive is meeting this Monday and Tuesday. We will see what comes out. COP is meeting in early November and we will see what comes out. Do not give up on OECTA. Give us a little more time. I will always support freedom of speech and the truth. You have my commitment.

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

David Chiarelli said...

Does anybody know if Ann Hawkins declared a conflict of interest on the Personnel Committee? Also the 3 COP representatives, how did they vote on the MOU?

Anonymous said...

Ann Hawkins did not declare a conflict of interest. Four of the five members that hired Kevin voted yes on the MOU as did Ann Hawkins.

OECTA Sudbury Elementary Unit said...

Certainly the Sudbury Elementary Unit Executive and I were opposed to the MOU, not just because of the concessions that my members had to endure, but because of the lack of process followed. I still maintain that there were breaches to the Handbook, although the PE cannot be held accountable for breaches when done as a member of the PE, so I have since learned.

We do have a new process that the PDT Task Force proposed to AGM 2013, and it was adopted by the AGM. However, my concern is that even with this new process, unless changes are made to the discipline procedure 4.13, future PEs could still choose not to follow the process and be immune from discipline.

Rather than waste time on the "blame game", I believe we need to move forward and remain in solidarity as Teachers in this Province and show whatever party is in Government that we will not flinch. Regardless of 1997 and 2012, we will stand strong together. No more will we allow the Government to splinter us and "divide and conquer". That strategy is not only dangerous to the Teacher
affiliates, but to the Labour Movement as a whole.

OECTA Sudbury Elementary Unit remains staunch allies and supporters of our ETFO Rainbow, OSSTF and AEFO colleagues, and we are prepared to meet opposition from the Government head on. Together, we can negotiate much better for the 100 000 teachers than we can do separately. That much was clear from the improvements gained in successive MOUs last year.

To the next round of negotiations!

In Solidarity,

Kent MacNeill
President
OECTA Sudbury Elementary Unit

Anonymous said...

With the exception of Kent and Angelo and you David and countless OECTA members who have no voice because OECTA doesn't allow them to have an individual vote on anything...where is the uproar against such stinky hiring practices?

Kevin O'Dwyer responsible for OECTA's Worst Contract Ever stripping members of their rights and working conditions is rewarded with pay and benefit increases and Richard is REMOVED from office and suffers pay and benefits decreases for fighting for improvements for members.

Better yet, our new Provincial Executive stands there and says/does nothing to change it-we have no power to change anything-if that is true, why are we paying them one cent?

Does anyone care that evil is winning over good in OECTA? Why should members have any faith in this union? Do something to fix it!

Everything OECTA does now sends out the same message to the public:Provincial Executive/Staff first, members last! Just pay the bills and shut up.

I used to be a proud member but until things change back to being properly run I am currently ashamed and disgusted. But I better be quiet or I'll be disciplined!

Anonymous said...

Angelo and Kent, yes we need to move forward. However, that would be difficult without accepting and learning from we went through in the last two years. Addressing what went wrong and taking the required action must happen first.

Denial, relinquishing of authority, inaction, and silence will only perpetuate the wrong doings and cover up. Under this scenario we could not move forward, develop solidarity in labour, restore confidence in OECTA, and truly serve the best interests of the members. So far I have only seen the problems being compounded or ignored. This is not how we heal.

I note that only the two of you have shown the courage to speak publicly. Keep up the GOOD fight.

Anonymous said...

OECTA has no credibility with the other sister unions. We lost that when O'Dwyer signed the July 5, 2012 MOU with Broten/McGuinty, knowing it would be stuck to our members with no general ratification and knowing it would be stuck to the other sister unions. And now we see the payoff for O'Dwyer.

Anonymous said...

In order to have a solid front in labour there must be trust, commitment, and open dialogue among the parties.

The first MOU, derogatory statements made in the last two years, the firing of Richard Brock, loss of confidence of OECTA members for the top leadership, rewarding the architect of this disaster, relinquishing of authority by the PE, and refusal to do follow the rules, have destroyed the likelihood of this happening.

Time is of the essence. The PE meets this coming Monday and Tuesday. I believe this will be the last opportunity to take the required actions.

I want to trust Angelo and Kent, but it it would be great to know that there is an army of courageous unit presidents behind them. Kent and Angelo, be careful because you may be following Richard Brock out the door. It seems that this is how courageous unit presidents who try to get the truth out are dealt with. Do what you can but if your colleagues do not step up there is nothing that will happen.

Why did Kevin O'Dwyer protect his home unit's board paid LTD while at the same time giving up the gratuity many of us had and also Sudbury's retiree benefits without telling us and without letting us vote.

Trust? There is none. PE, you have one chance left and it come on October 7 and 8, 2013. After that, it will be too late.

Angelo and Kent, gather a group behind you. Without that the subjugation of rules, members rights, members interests, and the back room deals benefiting and protecting a few will just continue. I know you have a few behind you but you need more.

I will be running against my unit president at the next opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I agree with my colleague, Kent MacNeill, that a solid front is best. I believe James Ryan is the right person to do the right things to work towards this end.

I have not given up on OECTA. There is much good here and good will prevail. Reaching an understanding of what is BEST for ALL our members is what is being determined now and those BEST interests is what we must adhere to without question.

The truth, whatever that may be, will come out and once it does we need to act appropriately. OECTA will survive, be fine, and be even stronger, This my hope and vision.

Together we can restore and earn any loss of trust that may have occurred in the last two years. That is what we will do and we will do it well.

In solidarity,

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

Jody Dales said...

I recently read some interesting early history on teacher's unions in Ontario. I was surprised to learn that in most other provinces, there is one big union representing the teachers of all publicly funded schools.

It seems the only reason we have several separate unions in this province is because that's how it was set up - at the behest of government officials who didn't want unions in the first place.
The reason why they set it up that way is certainly made clear by what's happened in the last 2 rounds of bargaining, and the way we have been successfully set against each other now.

Really, this was a brilliant move by those long-ago politicians. There's a reason why they always leave ETFO for last when bargaining; as the largest union, we're the ones with the best chance of not caving. However, if we're the last bastion behind other unions who have already caved (with nice little "me-too" clauses to get them whatever ETFO fights for), really ETFO has no chance. Not only does this force through concessions, it also gives the government politicians every opportunity to mud-sling in the media, successfully convincing many voters that teachers are just a bunch of lazy entitled money grabbers. (This is compounded, of course, by the refusal of our unions to make the slightest attempt at any sort of proactive or even reactive media campaign).

When we hear cries of "one school system," I'm sure many of the voices really mean "one education union". If we all could join in solidarity, this problem of caving in but still getting the benefits of somebody else's tactics would go away. Until then, our next best bet is to outlaw the "me-too" clause. I think if we did that, the incentive any one union to cave in would be significantly reduced, because the would no longer be able to bank on getting any of the benefits resulting from the struggles other unions go through.

I know we can't amalgamate all of our unions in time to work out our next "contract", but maybe we COULD insist that "me-too" clauses are taken off the table for everyone. I've been teaching in the public system for only 2 rounds of contract negotiations, and I've seen ETFO get screwed both times as the result of "me-too". Until we get rid of "me-too" clauses, we can't trust OECTA or any of the other unions. Even with the PDT format the province wants to expand, we're still negotiating separately in the end.

Kate Tagseth said...

The undermining of the membership in OECTA has been happening for a number of years. As soon as OECTA got cozy with the Liberal Government in 2003, when Gerard Kennedy was Minister of Education, and DMK was OECTA president, the writing was on the wall.

Fast forward to July 6th 2013, the day after the MOU was signed off, I sent a note to Kevin indicating that this day would go down in history as the defining moment of whether OECTA would emerge as a provincial leader, or a rogue union. The answer is clear.

While I recognize Kevin's appointment in the collective bargaining department might have been borne of some necessity (he has inside knowledge of what went on last round), it certainly leaves a bad taste, given the price we've all been required to pay. That Richard was thrown under the bus for defending the "interests of the Association", and Kevin has been rewarded for undermining the "interests of the Association" certainly does nothing for cohesion and solidarity among the rank and file.

Because of the many problems associated with the OECTA MOU, it seems rather than bludgeoning our own who happen to disagree, and since there is no agreement on what constitutes the "interests of the Association", it seems fair to me that no member should be disciplined for daring to differ with the PE. When I read the first publication of @OECTA, I felt physically ill. This was an internal matter of our union, and now everyone in the world knows there is dissention in the ranks at OECTA. What an opportunity the PE has offered to anyone with a vested interest in undermining the membership. Timing is everything, and as we begin the next round of bargaining, one can only shudder at what will come next.

That none of us has a hard copy of the amendments from the 2008-2012 collective agreement (OECTA MOU cuts, local bargaining cuts, amendments from OSSTF and ETFO agreements, local interpretation of amendments), and that dozens of loose pieces of paper are all we have to cobble together, leaves each of us vulnerable for the next round because we have no real idea from where it is we are starting. If you consider the collective agreement a mission statement between the workers and the employer, read like a novel (it is a sort of work of fiction or mythology, given the belief system it embodies, and parts carry more "substance" than others), it is imperative that we have this document before any survey is completed in anticipation of the next round. We have a right to know. Requests for such have been answered with comments that no one has this yet. So, why?

The letter from the ETFO member is telling. OECTA has obviously created division among the affiliates, spent thousands of our dues dollars on legal fees, unceremoniously thrown one of the longest serving presidents in our history out, created unprecedented angst in the membership, and it has affected every teacher in the province. Bad enough Coran sold out for a failed MPP bid, our leadership continues to defend itself against the growing disagreement over the MOU and it seems possible it is prepared to do it all again. It is truly a sad time for our union.

That the PE has been made aware of the dissent, and has a fiduciary responsibility to represent all of the members, causes me to have some hope that cooler heads will prevail and that constructive decision making will emerge in the mandate of the new executive. We have to give them a chance. We really have no other choice. Right to work is not an option.

Kate Tagseth
Former President
Simcoe Muskoka Elementary

Anonymous said...

We now have four OECTA members who have shown the courage to put their names to the posts. They are, Angelo Ippolito, Kent MacNeill, John Cafferty, Kate Tagseth.

The snow ball has started down the hill. PE if you do not do something tomorrow it will grow and you will be buried.

The revolution is beyond your control. Many other names will appear soon.

If trust is important to you, you need to prove that it is deserved and then earn it.

Way to go, Kate.

Anonymous said...

For an ETFO member to lecture OECTA members on our union being a "weak link" is revisionist history at its best. Let us consider the last 15 years.

1997 Political Protest - OECTA was not the union that caved.
1998 Bargaining - 10,000 OECTA members on the picket line
Early 2000's Long OECTA strikes in Simcoe Muskoka
2003 OECTA Windsor Elementary strike
2003 OECTA's largest local Toronto Elementary locked out for 3 weeks leading to the first every supervision cap in Ontario
2004 Windsor OT strike

Average number of strike days for ETFO members 1998 - 2013 = one.

Yes the 2012 MOU and Bill 115 were significant set backs in OECTA's history but OECTA's history and future are long and proud. The way to build strong teacher unions is not to preach revisionist history or to attack a sister union. The best way is for all unions to put away petty politics and bigotry and to work together.

Anonymous said...

I would agree its time for unions to work together... however, OECTA hiring O'Dwyer again doesn't provide me much hope the plans are to work together!

Anonymous said...

OECTA crossed a very serious line. They acted against the interests of their own members, took away their voice, brought the rest of us down, worked for the government against labour, acted in what could only be deemed as stupidity in strategy and process, and then hired the guy that created this mess in secret from his own Provincial Executive and Unit Presidents.

This is the worst it has EVER been and your past president is where the buck stops. I would love for all of us to work together in labour solidarity, but remember who is responsible for where we are RIGHT NOW. There are two people that the responsibility lies with and they are affiliated with OECTA.

I have great respect for OECTA members and the great majority of unit presidents Don't blame them. Take responsibility for what YOU did.

Jody Dales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wake up James Ryan and Provincial Executive! Stop shirking your leadership responsibilities. Act and clean up this mess NOW. Or go down with the sinking ship. God Bless You Kent, Angelo, David, and Kate! OECTA needs more Davids and two fewer Goliaths!

FREE RICHARD

Jody Dales said...

Hm. The letter writer referred only to the Bill 115 / MOU fiasco. I mentioned specifically the 2008 and 2012 contract years. I wasn't aware that provincial level bargaining and me-too clauses existed prior to that since, as stated, I've only been aware of the last 2 rounds of contracts.
You can look farther back if you want. Regardless of how far back you look, I think you'll only find more evidence that the Other Side will use a divide and conquer strategy whenever they can.
That's why we need one big union, OR we need to get rid of me-too clauses as a way to force our unions to work together. Which of those objectives do you think we can realistically achieve in a short time frame? I'm thinking it's not going to be amalgamation.
It's got to be us, the members through our unions, that push through any changes, because as the long-ago politicians wisely saw, as long as they can divide us they can defeat us.
Have you got some other idea on actions that can be taken to prevent divide-and-conquer negotiations? We can all easily sit here and say "I'm with you brother" but unless something changes in the process, there's still the reality that somebody somewhere will cave and set the rest of us up for defeat. I'm not saying it will always be OECTA, or that it always has, I'm just saying that as long as there is incentive for one union to gamble with giving concessions in the hopes that another union will win them back after the fact, we cannot trust that all the unions will act in solidarity with one another. It could be ETFO next time, who knows.
If saying that removing ways we can be talked, pushed or bullied into the divide-and-conquer zone is revisionist, petty, attacking or bigoted then I guess I'm a petty, revisionist attacking bigot who happened to suggest an actual action that might have an actual positive affect on our ability to stand in solidarity across the province. Sorry 'bout that.

Anonymous said...

The buck stops with kevin odwyer and JAMES RYAN. Do something!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Jody! The OECTA PE can do something: BAN the use of the ME-TOO clause in all future negotiations. The ME TOO clause is proving meaningless anyway as the OECTA Provincial Executive is refusing to use the ME TOO clause to get cash payout for its Halton elementary OECTA members' vested sick days for whatever reason. Feel free to explain how you are advocating for members by doing that Provincial.

Anonymous said...

The PE meets today.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the battle to defend the OECTA MOU is going to continue and intensify. PE decided this today.

David Chiarelli said...

Can anyone fill us in on what happened today at the PE meeting?

Anonymous said...

If that comment is correct about the Provincial Executive deciding to battle and defend the MOU then the Oecta Gong Show will continue. Members need to decide if they want that kind of "leadership" which does nothing to promote "the interests of the association" but continues to run the union to benefit a few of the Provincial Executive/Staff at the ongoing expense of the members who pay their salaries/sick days/benefits.

Anonymous said...

Letter Presented to the Provincial Executive Yesterday


Dear James Ryan and the OECTA Provincial Executive,

As you are already aware, there has been a concerted effort by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association to prevent the July 5, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding from being appended to local collective agreements. Despite the efforts of OECTA Provincial, it appears as though this effort has been successful in most areas of the Province.

The July 5, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding provided to the membership two vital achievements that need to be protected in the next round of collective bargaining: the fair hiring practice and professional judgment on standardized assessments. Without these achievements being embedded into our Collective Agreements, through the appending of the July 5, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding and the May 16, 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (Update), these items are likely to disappear once our August 31, 2014 deadline passes.

It is therefore clear to the undersigned that the Provincial Government, as signatory to both of the aforementioned MoU and MoU Update, needs to provide clear direction to the school boards about their required compliance. OECTA has given this government labour stability for over a year; they need to be reminded that this stability did not come easily.

As such, we are requesting that the Provincial Executive write a letter to every member in the Province stating that if the Government does not intercede in preventing OCSTA’s continued efforts to remain non-compliant, that we as an Association cannot guarantee that labour stability within the Units of OECTA will continue to be maintained.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. The undersigned look forward to a response from the Provincial Executive.

Sincerely,


What this means, I don't know?

Anonymous said...

President’s Update
DATE Monday, October 7, 2013
FROM James Ryan




The Status of Bargaining

As I mentioned on Friday:

- legal counsel advises that since, “the Memorandum of Understanding dated July 5, 2012, was incorporated into and forms part of the 2012-2014 collective agreement by operation of the PSFA and the Legislation Act. The Board’s attestation and the presence or absence of a signature from OECTA… has no impact on that…” (the July 5, 2012 MOU)

- in the attestation, the Board has unilaterally agreed that the ‘relevant terms’ of the May 17, 2013 Memorandum is appended to the collective agreement. Since it has represented that fact to the Ministry as a condition for the receipt of funds, we can rely upon that representation if any hearing between the parties in which there is a dispute about whether a ‘relevant term’ of the May 17, 2013 Memorandum is a part of the current collective agreement between OECTA and the Board.

- the presence or absence of a signature from OECTA on the attestation does not derogate from that representation or OECTA’s ability to enforce the inclusion of those terms in the current agreement.

- legal counsel also advises that OECTA’s refusal to sign the attestation will have no effect on what is included in the current collective agreement between any OECTA jurisdiction and their respective Board.

In the event that a board does not honour a local collective agreement which includes the July 5, 2012 MOU, and the May 17, 2013 update, OECTA will, as always, fully support those units.

Provincial Executive Meeting

The Provincial Executive will be meeting at provincial office on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The OTF Governors’ caucus will be held on Tuesday afternoon at provincial office. As with all PE meetings, OECTA members are welcome to observe.

David Chiarelli said...

A lot of the Catholic boards have been refusing to honour the July 5th 2012 OECTA MOU. The President has confirmed that the school boards responsibility to adhere to the relevant terms of the MOU is a requirement for them to receive further funding from the MOE as per a memorandum signed on May 19 2013.

There's more here I am not to certain about regarding the MOU being attached to our local agreements whether it was agreed upon or not when they were signed. I was not aware of that myself over the past year. I know it was often the subject of much debate.
Can anybody comment to explain that aspect of the Presidents Oct 7 update on CB?

Anonymous said...

I am now clueless. Why would we want to defend a disaster? What is really behind this? Is it members interests? Who haa decided what that is? What is it? Is it protection of a few? Who are they?

The cycle of despair continues and the PE is afraid to take a stand and take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

It is apparent that the President is saying that it does not matter if we sign anything or agree to anything, the July 5, 2013 MOU is appended to the CA. Many of us have made it very clear we do not want that. Once again the PE is forcing many of us to accept something we do not want. The AGM passed resolutions making it mandatory that COP and all members at large must have a say and a vote. James, follow the new unanimously passed rules and put it to the COP and all members before you make such a claim. The rules have changed. The legal opinion you cite came after the the rules changed. We are in a new world. The AGM spoke and you cannot impose anything on us anymore, Before July 1, 2013 you may have had that right. Now you do not.

Any change of provincial position like this new legal opinion are under the new rules. OR do you plan to disregard the Handbook again and take away our right to vote. Sounds like the PE does not care about their duty to follow the Handbook. If you had listened to Angelo and others for the past many years we would not be in this mess. Sorry Angelo, I may have just put you on the chopping block.

David Chiarelli said...

Could somebody please tell us what happened at todays open PE meeting so we plebs arent the last to know whenever provincial office gets around to us? Next blog up would be preferable location, as our commentators seem split between the 2 locations and it is the most recent of the2. Cheers/ Solidarity!

Anonymous said...

No Problem.

Seeking justice and the truth is always in the best interests of the members. Those two things and our right to freedom of speech is what I have always been vocally about. No one has come after me yet. The problem is that we do not know the truth. Someone has to put in place the appropriate mechanism so that it all comes out. When it does I will have more to say. Until then any pressure to reach justice and the truth using our right to freedom of speech can only be welcomed by our Provincial Executive. Any other stance would be very difficult to defend.

Yours,

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Since James Ryan seems to be working against unit presidents and members in defending the MOU and rewarding/promoting Kevin O'Dwyer...maybe he needs to be replaced with someone willing to do the clean up job needed? James you were elected at the AGM to CHANGE things, not to run Oecta further into the ground.

Anonymous said...

The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.
Frank Serpico

David Chiarelli said...

It's better to go down fighting and take an honour guard along with you than for one to spend life on ones knees licking boots! If there's a will, there's a way! But for most of our OECTA colleagues, is the will still there?

David Chiarelli said...

With complete respect Angelo, I too am still confident President Ryan and the others on provincial executive who were elected on a platform for change have been trying to do just that. I also know James has been an advocate for freedom of speech, thought and a good debate throughout his years of service at OECTA.

However, as far as the situation in general goes, I known for a fact PE has at least once discussed trying to shut this blog down, same with others at provincial office. I'm sure the topic will come up again, if it isn't now as we speak. The Code of Silence remains alive + well in the Catholic world + for the past year or so, in our teacher union as well.

BTAIM last year we had a very silent + afraid teacher union membership. We sure have come along way, but still have an even longer way to go. It's great to see our Council of Presidents publically stepping up to the plate to assert the situation is totally unacceptable.Thanks to all of you for this, along with our grass root frontline teachers in the trenches too.

Ultimately, the truth will set us free, but I don't think we are quite there yet.

Cheers!/
Solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

Shutting down your blog isn't the answer to the daily strange things coming out of Oecta Provincial. You report many positive things about Oecta, but too bad if the Provincial Executive/Staff can't handle the truth about their behaviour and actions. If they were running things properly and transparently there would be no justifiable criticism of their actions. And who are they? Royalty above Oecta members? Untouchables? No. They work for rank and file members. They need to remember that.

Anonymous said...

Surprised at OECTA's actions? Don't be. Their behaviour mirrors that of their parent association. The Liberal Government of Ontario.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you David. The truth will come out. I continue to have confidence in James and any executives who work for truth, Justice, and transparency, There a few things that need a major look at. The right people are there. They can do it. Our encouragement can only help. Keep encouraging and standing up for the truth. The executives can only do the same.

Yours,

Angelo Ippolito

Anonymous said...

Until there is REAL change in the running of Oecta why should anyone trust the Provincial Executive? Actions are louder than words. We will believe it when actions of the PE show real change. Until then, business as usual for the past two years boils down to no individual votes on anything for individual Oecta members-change that first, have some "checks" on absolute power in this union for a change-it might prevent problems from happening in the first place. We placed our faith in the AGM/Oecta union current voting structure and look what it got us.

Anonymous said...

The handbook still continues to be used as toilet paper....plus le change plus le meme chose. OECTA provincial broke 60 handbook rules to push the MOU down our throats. Now they have ignored the handbook to vilify one of the outspoken MOU opponents. Without enforcement laws mean zero and our handbook/constitution is the same. Maybe we need President Brock in the Secretariat. It wouldn't be long before he would have the handbook problem straightened out!

Anonymous said...

What the powerful two or three in OECTA are afraid of are those of us that put the interest of the members ahead of our self-interest. This is what they fear most because they know there is nothing they can do, except fire us, to control us. This group is growing quickly and we have right and truth on our side. They can't fire you for simply seeking justice and truth as Angelo, Kent, and Kate have stated. The powerful few know this and they are afraid. The days of personal gain over member interests is over. Everybody is watching and those who have or will put themselves above the members will be found out and just accountability will be served. As some build walls to hide the truth, there are many more tearing that wall down. Those who would try to stop, truth, justice, transparency, and deviate from the acting in the best interests of all the members, have good cause to be afraid. Be very afraid, because those days and your strategies of avoidance and distortion are over. Run. Run fast. Justice in her balanced wisdom has you in her sights and the light of truth is almost blinding.

Anonymous said...

There come few opportunities in life when you can make a big and positive difference. That fleeting opportunity is in front of the PE right now. Bring us the truth, justice, and transparency we desperately need. It is all there for you to accomplish. Courage and a commitment to do what is right and follow the rules is all it takes. PE grab and go with it before it is gone forever along with OECTA. I agree that the light of truth is becoming blinding.

Anonymous said...

WE SHALL OVERCOME...the MOU, the hiring of Kevin O'Dwyer to Provincial Staff and a Provincial Executive and Staff accountable to NO ONE, especially not OECTA members. Dictatorships always fall.

Anonymous said...

james Ryan:

Accomplice to lies and self-interest or defender of truth and justice? Unthinking follower or practitioner of freedom of expression and servant leadership? Defender of the rules, transparency and the members or defender of cover ups and a personal gains at the expense of OECTA?

James, PICK from each question above and respond with your name attached if you have the courage we all believe you have? The answers are obvious, I know. Do you have the courage to publicly state the obvious.?

Ann Hawkins, Warren Grafton, Marcie Tombari, Chris Karuhanga, Elaine McMahon. Andrew Donihee, and Julie Pauletig do you have the courage to publicly state the obvious and answer these questions on this blog with your name on it.

I am not hopeful but maybe someone will have the courage to say he or she stands for truth, justice, freedom of expression, servant leadership, following our rules, transparency and the prime directive being to always act in the members best interests, This sentence should be a no brainer and of the highest conviction to all members of the PE. If they cannot even state this sentence publicly the we will know that OECTA is dead. James and PE state this publicly or let your silence speak the truth that you do not care about the members.

Teachers send this request to all members of the PE and then we will know the truth about their bad convictions or we will have in a public forum their commitment to what is right and just, If they do the right thing there may be hope but that would take courage even if it is obvious.

Contact them at:

j.ryan@oecta.on.ca

c.karuhanga@oecta.on.ca

a.hawkins@oecta.on.ca

w.grafton@oecta.on.ca

m.tombari@oecta.on.ca

a.donihee@oecta.on.ca

e.mcmahon@oecta.on.ca

j.pauletig@oecta.on.ca

Anonymous said...

Oecta as a union needs some new "checks" to ensure no one on Provincial ever again gets absolute unchecked, unaccountable power.

So send this email to everyone on provincial:

"My OECTA gives one member -one vote to every individual Oecta member. Why? We need some say because the bills we pay."

Contact them at:

j.ryan@oecta.on.ca

c.karuhanga@oecta.on.ca

a.hawkins@oecta.on.ca

w.grafton@oecta.on.ca

m.tombari@oecta.on.ca

a.donihee@oecta.on.ca

e.mcmahon@oecta.on.ca

j.pauletig@oecta.on.ca

Anonymous said...

I am not a provincial executive but I have no problem taking the previous posters challenge. Someone should write it up as an executive oath to be put in our handbook and recited by all elected members of the PE at each AGM. I have changed it a bit but the intent is the same. There are times when things must be in confidential.

I, Angelo Ippolito, will stand for truth, justice, freedom of expression, servant leadership, following our rules, transparency when it is not a personal matter, and my prime purpose will be to always act in the members best interests.

Hopefully, others will join me in stating this publicly, It is very easy and as the previous poster said, "obvious".

Happy Thanksgiving,

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Provincial Executives,

Can you at least tell us if you agree with these quotes? If not, which ones and why. We will then make up our own minds about how to proceed.

Too many people are only willing to defend rights that are personally important to them. It's selfish ignorance, and it's exactly why totalitarian governments are able to get away with trampling on people. Freedom does not mean freedom just for the things I think I should be able to do. Freedom is for all of us. If people will not speak up for other people's rights, there will come a day when they will lose their own. - Tony Lawrence

"Free people can say “no”. Free people can refuse demands for their money, time, and children. Slaves cannot. There is no freedom without the freedom to say “no”. If someone demands that you do something and you can say “no” and refuse to do it, then you are a free human being. If you can be forced to do something or surrender something that you do not wish to, then you are a slave. No other test need be applied" -- Michael Rivero

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. - Robert F . Kennedy

"They are afraid of the old for their memory,
They are afraid of the young for their innocence
They afraid of the graves of their victims in faraway places
They are afraid of history. They are afraid of freedom.
They are afraid of truth. They are afraid of democracy.
So why the hell are we afraid of them? ... For they are afraid of us." -- Czech Group Plastic People of the Universe, Prague 1968

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. --George Bernard Shaw

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. --James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

" I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have had the best training in the world -- in the field of advertizing -- and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency ... Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious ... I think that the fundamental difference between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours ... and we tend to disbelieve ours. "

-- a Soviet correspondent based five years in the U.S.

" History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. "

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of ... [Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government."

-- Thomas Jefferson

"The time is past when good men can remain silent, when obedience can segregate men from public risk, when the poor can die without defense."

-- Catholic priest-poet Daniel Berrigan

"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist."

-- Archbishop Helder Camara, Brazilian liberation theologist

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Abraham Lincoln 1862

Anonymous said...

That Abraham Lincoln quote was definitely from someone intelligent and concerned about fixing this union????

Anonymous said...


"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
-Albert Einstein

It is time for the Provincial Executive members and every Unit President to state on the public record where he or she stands. At the very least, they owe it to their members who elected them to serve and advocate for members' interests.

Anonymous said...

I think the latest actions of OECTA PE by appointing Kevin 'Dwyer to his new position speaks volumes about OECTA's leadership. I do not welcome OECTA in any part of my working life! Too much damage has been done. I am also bitterly disappointed in James Ryan who I once admired very much.

Anonymous said...

James, take a stand and make it public or remain silent and be named.

Anonymous said...

James, why are you ignoring the very reasons you were elected. Pandora's box was opened but we are not sure if it was closed in time to keep hope in.

James, you are a smart guy. You know what needs to be done. It is not protection of a very few people. It is the defense and protection from those very few people who have, would be, and are, tearing OECTA apart for personal agendas and gains.

If you do not show courage, we are finished. You will be known as the president who ended OECTA and publicly funded Catholic Education.

James, do it, There will be some pain but the alternative is total devastation of everything you have believed in your whole life.

Anonymous said...

James you are now faced with what is obvious and right for the integrity of OECTA and the members you serve.

You can choose to leave it and show complete lack of courage or take care of business, make the tough choices, bring hope, truth, justice, and save the future, while redeeming the past, of the best interests of the members.

All you need to do is obey the AGM and put that body and all the members it represents ahead of yourself, any staff or any unit president. If all our elected officials, provincially and locally, show courage, commitment to the rules the AGM wrote, and never act out of personal gain and personal agenda, we can save OECTA.

Not making the tough choices to avoid embarrassment will ensure that OECTA is finished. It is time to admit the truth, admit our mistakes, unify, and move on with dedication and COURAGE. This is the only way that TRUST and PEACE will return.

However, James you must start this by example. Without your lead, it is all over. There are some good and courageous individuals that will stand beside you. You know who they are.

Anonymous said...

James, there has been much talk starting right after Kevin O'Dwyer became president about drawing a clear line between operational and political power of OECTA. It has gone so far as to say that the operational aspects are beyond control of the Provincial Executive. This argument is without merit and unjustifiable. The PE is in charge of everything and accountable for everything. This is not to say that that the PE needs to be involved in the day to day minutia of running the association. It is, however, the responsibility of the PE, to make sure they set all policy, follow all rules. and direct the staff to adhere to their decisions. There is no such thing, nor can there be, as an operational aspect without political direction, oversight, and authority. When the rules are not followed it is the duty of the executive to take action. This duty is clearly stated in the Handbook.

Policies are there to guide the members. When something guides it is going in a certain direction. Going in the opposite direction would be a violation of policy. Staff can never violate policy without the expressed permission of the PE, COP, or AGM. There were many violations of policy in the last two years. James, can you send out the motions giving permission to violate these policies? If staff is ever allowed to break by-laws, procedures, or policies without the expressed permission to do so, then all power and oversight by the PE in non-existent. This is true for all staff.

Provincial Executive's, we are at a turning point. You either have to stand up for your own protection and the protection of the members or allow the complete removal of your authority and duty to put the members first (act in their interests). It is clear that you are afraid to do the right thing. Fear must be overcome or there is no reason for OECTA to exist because the paralyzing effect of that fear has made you you dysfunctional and unable to put the members interests above the protection of a very few people who have worked against the expressed directives of the AGM and the best interests of your members. Angelo has stated many times that there cannot be peace without justice and that silence is the enemy of both peace and justice. i would like to expand it slightly (even though i completely agree).

Without courage, there cannot be freedom of expression, Without courage there cannot be justice. Without courage there cannot be peace. Without courage there cannot be freedom. Without courage we cannot move move forward. Without courage all rights and duties are meaningless. PE, show the needed courage and act in a public way so that all members can see where you are headed or call an emergency AGM so we can put in people with courage we need and expect.

We have reached the point where OECTA must be seen to be ONLY existing for the best interests of the members or cease to exist. "ONLY" s a carefully chosen word. The PE, COP, and everyone that is employed by OECTA must "ONLY" always work for the best interests of the members within the context of our Handbook. ONLY the AGM can define those best interests. Any interpretation of those best interests between AGM's can only be made within the context of the AGM has written by the PE and COP. Non-members must always and ONLY rely on interpretations by the PE and COP of what those interests are. Any other process to determine the interests of the association is fraught with severe negative consequences and will only lead to chaos and the undermining of the rules and interests expressed by the AGM. if can never be up to an employee to decide what our best interests are. We tell the employees what they are and they must always and ONLY act in accordance with our direction. Did this occur in the last 28 months?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should elect a non-Catholic as president so we can start the dismantling of OECTA and join OSSTF and ETFO. At least that way our president would not have to worry about their conscience or our constitution. Do we have any non-Catholics ready to take on bringing us to end so we can once again serve our members. This non-action, and the divisive choices made in the last couple of years has fueled the one school system debate and has energized those who would have us gone. Who made those choices? We might as well put someone in place to finish the job.

OR, PE are you actually ready and willing to act.

David Chiarelli said...

IMHO I cannot see any committee or secretariat being allowed to determine the "interests of the association", regardless of whatever the guidelines or by laws might say, or how legal counsel might find a way to justify or make that binding on the democratically elected PE acting on the behalf of the membership.

I also don't believe the emergency crisis situation with the recent decisions of the Discipline Panel and Personnel Committee can be allowed to continue until next AGM with the members contract talks pending and the other affiliates depending on OECTA to act in good faith and solidarity.

Can't the COP call an emergency meeting to deal with this asap, at the November COP meeting, which I believe is in the next week or so, or an emergency one right away, as need be?

If its "not allowed", then I think the COP needs to take the situation in hand and immediately move forward with it anyway without doubt, reservation or provisos so as to act in the safety, survival and wellbeing of the membership in a power vacumn which pardon the expression, looks, feels and smells like a coup d'├ętat against the memberships duly elected representatives at PE and COP who should be making the decisions and calling the shots on the associations interests, not anybody else. This needs to be established now.

Anonymous said...

There is a clear line of authority. It is the AGM (Handbook), followed by COP and the PE. Staff has zero authority unless given expressly to them by the AGM, COP, or the Provincial Executive. All staff as employees, are governed under the authority of the duly constituted political bodies. This also protects staff. Only the political bodies can interpret policy. Only the AGM can change by-laws, the constitution, policies, and procedures. Procedures can be disregarded for less than one year with a 90% vote by the PE or the COP. Staff cannot direct members to do anything without the authority of the PE, the COP, or the AGM and it must always be in accordance with the Handbook.

I have no problem standing up in defense of the authority of the AGM (Handbook), the COP, and the Provincial Executive. I have done this publicly for 25 years., All authority stems from these bodies. There is no authority that does not come from them.

What this means in the current state of affairs is where we need the PE to tell us what's what.

David, keep up the great work.

Take care,

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Further to what I just wrote everything must be taken under the following context and definitions.

From the Handbook

1.1 - The Constitution is the fundamental principals of the Association.

Nothing can override the constitution except a 90 percent vote at the AGM.

2.1 - By-laws are a more detailed statement of the Association regulations deemed to be so necessary that they can only be changed by the annual general meeting.

By-laws supersede all other parts of the Handbook except the constitution. They must always be followed. Any motion or process not in accordance with the by-laws or the constitution is always out of order.

3.1 - Policies are statements reflecting the principals and objects of the Association constitution that guide the actions of officers, staff and members,

Policies are not debatable. They are not guides open to making them disregarded. They are there to guide our actions and not there for us to decide if they are actually policy. Our actions as well as staff, must be conducted in accordance with policy.

4.1 - Procedures are statements of how selected by-laws and policies are to be implemented and of how some other activities of the Association will be conducted.

Procedures are subservient to all other parts of the Handbook. If other parts of the Handbook are violated in order to implement a procedure, that implementation would always be out of order.

I hope this helps as we move forward. OECTA will survive and be even stronger if we all work together within the Association, within the teacher affiliates, and within labour in general. it is time to get united.

i am off to finish up our Thanksgiving dinner.

Sincerely,

Angelo Ippolito

angelo4you@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Angelo...so what happens to staff members when they disregard the AGM, PE,and Handbook?
Why doesn't the Discipline board do something about that, or do they just discipline members who don't agree with them?
Time to act, or let someone else lead and restore Oecta, James.

Anonymous said...

Since the Provincial Executive has chosen to not run Oecta properly with their "see no evil and hear no evil" endorsement of the destructive activities that have been going on, it is time for the Unit Presidents to call an emergency COP meeting to create some compliance measurements/penalties to ensure everything is being done in compliance with the Oecta handbook. Unit Presidents need to assume leadership of this union for their members' best interests. Start by banning the "ME TOO" clause and any other clause like it.

Anonymous said...

Democracy is often a slow and sometimes messy process. Following the handbook will mean that each of will not always get the outcome we want but respect for the handbook must come before expediency even when undoing an injustice.

Anonymous said...

My Response - Angelo

Everything has to be reasonable. If a local member is in violation of the CA or the Handbook it should be dealt with. It should be corrected by the unit president. The elected officers speak for the teachers. Local members cannot negotiate their own terms of employment. Anyone can disagree with a provincial position. The problem here is what is the interest of the association when local interests differ substantially from the direction provincial is going or has gone. No matter what, everything must still be reasonable. School boards cannot take direction from local non-elected members in violation of the CA. When this happens, grievances are filed.

The alternative is an unreasonable application of the rules or no application of the rules. If this has occurred, then concerns mount and due process and justice become problematic.

In the Handbook there are specific duties for specific bodies and individuals. Local members at large are not subject to these specific duties. The bottom line is that due process in accordance with the rules must be had when discipline of any kind occurs. All processes and decisions must be in accordance with rules and with the appropriate authorization. Without this the political entities become less and less important and lose their ability to direct and ensure due process. Discipline can then be seen as arbitrary and unfair.

We need to talk things out. If someone believes an injustice has occurred, they have the perfect right to state that, and again, everything must be reasonable including discipline.

Accusations that the Provincial Executive is doing nothing to address concerns, I believe are premature. I am sure things are being discussed and decisions are pending. I agree that we need something to start us back to unification and to build trust. I, like many others, have asked the Provincial Executive, to be courageous and just do the right thing. Timing is key here.

I do agree that we need to look at everything we went through in the last two years, learn from it, fix what needs fixing, and move on. We may need to eat some some crow but that is when courage comes in. (I found the "courage" post on 14 October 2013 11:53, quite thought provoking.) United is better than divided. Building unity and trust is the pressing task at hand for the Provincial Executive. They can do it.

I have NOT lost hope and my dedication and commitment to the members has not been diminished in the least. Seeking justice and truth is always in the best interest of the Association. My colleagues, I am sure, feel the same way.

Only the President can call an emergency COP.

I trust this is helpful.

Respectfully,

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

PS. I am starting to feel like I have a guest blog on this site. :)

Anonymous said...

David, with your permission I would like to start a guest blog. Please inform your readers on the two sites with regards to this issue. I will address questions and concerns from my personal view point. I will not resort to personal attacks and I will not break confidentiality. I will not undermine the integrity of individuals or duly constituted groups. Please start the guest blog with this full letter.

Feel free to say whatever you want but keep it civil. I will be truthful and answer appropriately. Rest assured that even if, “I disagree with what you say, I will defend to my dying breath your right to say it.' Voltaire.

As a unit president, the local members come first. I will answer in a timely manner without taking away my primary duty to the members.

The purpose of this blog is to move towards unity, foster trust, and cooperation. I understand that if I write anything that falls under the jurisdiction of the discipline board,that could happen. It will not. A respectful and appropriate dialogue that seeks justice and truth using our right to freedom of expression will help us and this is always in the best interests of the Association. There is nothing wrong with tough questions. I will do the best as one individual can do.

Let’s talk.

Respectfully,

Angelo Ippolito
angelo4you@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Maybe people would trust James Ryan more if he acted and did things like Angelo. Why doesn't James start answering questions on your blogsite? That might heal the union and address members' legitimate concerns. Silence does the opposite.

David Chiarelli said...

Sounds good Angelo. The blog readers need all the info they can get to develop a good understanding of the issues being discussed or of importance here.

Of course, I always reserve final editorial privilege in making decisions on blog matters when need be. However I don't micromanage, nor insist on any particular point of view. The more views the better and more challenging for the readers to develop a good thought out and well rounded point of view. We all learn something from these discussions, myself included. In short I rarely find I have to insist on much, and your guiding principles would certainly meet the blogsite criteria. If not I will let you know in a friendly constructive manner.

I would suggest you rewrite the above letter as your opening guest blog, directing it to the reader from yourself, as a sort of mission statement of guiding principles, a manifest or what have you, along with a short bio for anyone who might not readily know you. There are a lot of readers here from all over who won't. Also suggest a format. Do you want questions directed to you here through the Comments section below each of your blogs?

I like a weeks notice, or a few days in advance anyway, of when you will have a blog to post. There is often a few blogs coming in the que, two for the next week for example, all ready. If somebody is late or can't deliver I will bump what I have up the list accordingly. If something is time sensitive for a particular date or time let me know so I can see what I can do.

Please email to me as a word file, without any fancy lettering, borders or layout. Coloured text doesn't publish correctly either. You do the proofreading, spell and grammar check, and highlight key words or points in bold as you prefer.

Please use your own name, as you have been doing, to accept responsibility for your words. However, a bit of personal advice. We get bullied sometimes but cannot be intimidated by it to have a principled, intelligent and fair forum. Let the bully show their hand, and do as they might. If they do it rarely looks good on them, nay it exposes their true colours, intentions, the arrogance, presumptions and so on.

You can contact and forward your guest blogs to me through my gmail. Likewise anyone else who wants to try their hand.

David Chiarelli said...

The concern with a slow dedication to process is that it is being used to pull quick surprise decisions based upon loop holes in the OECTA constitution that once again get fixed later on, after the damage is done,for example at AGM, by which time its too late.

I don't think that is accidental or coincidental. The good intentions and adherence to process and procedures of our honourable members are being used against them. IMHO they shouldn't feel obliged to tolerate being treated like this when the system has become a joke, not worth the paper its printed on, as some here have pointed out.

Emergency times require emergency measures. The rules are not valid nor binding when they are being falsely used against good people for false purposes.

Adolph Hitler came to power by legal means in Germany during the 1930's. Think about that for a bit. Possibly it overstates my case in some ways but it certainly is pause for concern when we consider slavishly adhering to rules and procedures when there are others who will use them against good people for bad reasons.

Anonymous said...

James Ryan commented on the petition 11 months ago
Ontario MPPs: Repeal Bill 115
"An attack on anyone's democratic right is an attack on everyone's civil and democratic rights. Bill 115 is likely unconstitutional and must be repealed." See: http://www.change.org/users/23048016

I completely agree with James, an attack on anyone's democratic right is an attack on everyone's civil and democratic rights.

We have been under attack for over two years, Our democratic and civil rights were declared war on. Do something, James.

Angelo Ippolito commented on the petition 10 months ago
Ontario MPPs: Repeal Bill 115
"It is a vicious attack on democratic principals and human rights. We are not living under a dictatorship. At least, I hope not." See: http://www.change.org/users/29509376

I agree with Angelo but with respect to what we have been going through. It is a vicious attack on democratic principals and human rights. We are not living under a dictatorship. At least, I hope not. Angelo work with James because it seems you both have the same core values.

Anonymous said...

Another proud OECTA MOU REALITY CHECK MOMENT....Remember how Kevin and the MOU faithful said the MOU was great because it forced Principals to take unpaid days with teachers? While, guess what is happening on one of our board's unpaid days in Halton on December 20, 2013? Seems that the CUPE E.A.s are in schools that day with pay and guess what? Principals are in schools that day getting full pay too to supervise the E.A.s. No students that day. The ONLY group not getting paid that day are OECTA teachers. Great work on that one former President O'Dwyer/the OECTA new hire. I guess Kevin will get paid for that day, since he is not teaching. OOPS! I guess the MOU was a MISTAKE! But OECTA members are the ONLY ONES PAYING FOR THIS MISTAKE!

Anonymous said...

What Oecta needs are new bylaws/discipline procedures for Provincial Executive members and Provincial Staff members who do not follow the letter of rule/law of the Oecta Handbook. There should also be punitive disciplinary procedures for Provincial Executive members who standby and do nothing when rules/bylaws are gleefully broken.

Anonymous said...

And the OECTA members should be the only ones paying for the mistake as they let it happen simply because they weren't vocal enough at the beginning when OECTA decided to stay negotiating with the government. Let's face it Kevin and Marshall were well out of their league and we didn't say anything or at least not enough.

Anonymous said...

What kind of insane comment is that? Hard to control your union leadership when they don't allow members to vote on it. The fault rests 100% with Kevin and Marshall and every PE member who voted YES to the MOU.

Anonymous said...

if members were given a vote they would have had a say. Kevin chose not to give us that vote. I agree thaqt it is right that OECTA suffers for the wrongful actions of our leadership. Note, please note: This is not over. The members will have the last say and our PE and staff will hear us loud and clear.

The courage Angelo talks about is great. I just need to see it from the PE.

Anonymous said...

COP is a place where set ups and false promises are well received. COP is a place where allegiance to a powerful few is more important than serving the members. COP is a place where expectations are very low and those expectations are met. COP is a place where avoiding tough choices is the order of the day. COP is a place where free, honest debate trying to reach the truth is frowned upon and even where microphones are shut off if someone dares speak an uncomfortable truth. COP is more concerned with praising staff than it is in protecting the rules and the interests of the members. COP is an enabler of injustice and undemocratic practices. COP is a place that is kept divided so that they can't do anything that may be right but is against personal agendas of a few. COP is a place where the vast majority have no clue how powerful they are and strategies are always in place to keep them clueless.

At least, from the outside that is how it seems.

COP you meet in early November. Seek justice and truth and demand that it happen. If it works out to be not in favour of Richard Brock, so be it. But, make sure that justice and truth is arrived at independently, fairly, and honestly. If it shows that we erred then bring Richard back and hold those responsible for injustice to be held accountable.

Like many others have stated, that will take courage. It isn't there is it? Like it was said in a famous movie, "You can't handle the truth." You are afraid of it and I understand why you would be. That understanding is growing quickly among your members.

David Chiarelli said...

There are some very interesting guest blogs from knowledgable readers who would like to discuss the concerns in greater depth, and propose some action + provide more info resources. Stay tuned!

Jim Emptage said...

There is an energy of renewal and pro-worker energy rising from the new union UNIFOR (created by the joining together of CAW and CEP). It might be time for all education workers to consider a real change and explore joining UNIFOR. We will need to be as united, strong and focused as we can be to confront the growing wave of anti-public service and anti-worker actions by our governments. Time for one big union?

David Chiarelli said...

Sounds like a real interesting idea Jim, but I myself would want to brainstorm the pro's and con's some more. Still, in unity there is strength. Enough of this rinky dink stuff?

Anonymous said...

If COP Council of Presidents don't solve any problems in November, then Oecta needs to go one member one vote . Why is OECTA the dinosaur among unions? ALLOW ALL MEMBERS TO HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL VOTE! Then there would be leaders who were accountable! That would be a nice partial apology to members for no vote on the devastating MOU.

Anonymous said...

I have been told that a legal defense trust fund has been set up to assist Mr. Brock with any court case. This is a great idea since members do not have the resources to challenge the deep pockets of OECTA. We need to keep in mind that an independent court will determine justice and that determination can go either way. Once that occurs we accept and move on.

How can we find out more about this fund so we can make a contribution? Justice needs to be supported and no one within OECTA can ever say that supporting the determination of justice is not in the interest of the Association. If they did, OECTA would officially be against Justice and prove that all our concerns are true.

David Chiarelli said...

I will ask Richards unit office for more info, unless you are reading this now and can answer? I can then repost more prominently so anybody who wants to help with a contribution knows what to do!

Anonymous said...

David..can you or some reader from ETFO and OSSTF explain how their Provincial President is elected? How their discipline panel/boards operate? When and how members of their unions get an individual vote on items/policies/procedures? How do individual members file complaints against their Provincial Executive? How their unions deal with differing opinions? OECTA has lost its direction and we need outside advice.

Anonymous said...

Only the PE can appoint the Discipline Board. They met without any appointment motion and without the knowledge of the PE. This DB produced a report when it did not exist. That report was out of order. No motion from the PE where each individual on the DB was appointed by name has ever happened. This DB board was called to meet by someone other than the PE. Time passed and this unconstitutional DB fired Richard Brock. The PE then disregarded their duty to make sure the by-laws and constitution were followed. There is much more but these things on their own make this a travesty of justice and a cover up of the truth. This is where we find ourselves. We have leaders who are afraid to stand up and call injustice and incompetence by their names. Why they are afraid is a question of agenda and misplaced loyalty.

Fault can be assigned in varying ways and in different directions, but this does NOT need to be done if there is courage. Clearly an injustice was served. So clean up and reverse that injustice without laying blame. Does the PE have the courage to do that?

I encourage everyone to sign the petition and state that justice. following the rules set by the AGM and truth are always good things.

PETITION

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/oecta-executive-reinstate-richard-brock?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_created

David Chiarelli said...

Please see my comments today under John Cafferky and Pamela Spearns blogs! Kindly note Ask Angelo: A New Q+A Blog Feature will commence this week. Meanwhile I understand he's doing a lot of great work on the new independent ad hoc OECTA Justice Committee many of our readers, including the Metro 7, have been busy with. In the meantime please share + sign the petition. My understanding is that the comments you make are being sent by Change.org to OECTA Provincial! Can you imagine them getting hundreds of these a day?

Cheers!/
Solidarity!

David C

David Chiarelli said...

Hello Readers! In run up to March OECTA AGM 2013 I am going to ask that comments focus on issues and procedures + not get personal with those involved in Discipline Panel debacle. Emotions + suspicions are quite understandably hot

David Chiarelli said...

Sorry, 2014 AGM I mean.

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