Welcome to my December teacher digest! Many of you know the routine. I will keep updating the news links for each section below, + provide commentary as so inclined. Keep checking back for more news + views!
My Teacher + Union Acronym Guide is Here! The latest news link additions will appear below in LARGE print. Regular news updates + related archive links are available by following me on Twitter at #davidchiarelli
Here's a 1990 CBC interview with Mandela from when he was first released after 27 years in prison + came to visit Canada, a distinct honour for us in the international struggle against apartheid. Video @ CBC
US President Obama shakes Cuban President Raul Castro's hand at the memorial ceremony. Reuters is describing it as a "Mandela like reconciliation". Yeah. C'mon guys, get with it! The Cold War is long over! If the US wants to go after bad commies what about China + Vietnam? Story @ Historic Handshake
Canadian delegates include Harper, former Prime Ministers Chretien, Campbell + Clark, NDP Party Leader Mulcair + 11 representatives in all. They all almost didn't get in! Story @ Past Prime Ministers
Obama + Raul Castro
African Deaf Association accuses man providing sign language on stage with world leaders at the Nelson Mandela Memorial of being a fake. The signs meant nothing @ CTV
Ontario NDP party leader Andrea Horwath urges new Scarborough subway stop be named in honour of Nelson Mandela @ Mandela Station on Sheppard Line?
OSSTF media release reminds everyone Dec. 20 is an unpaid day for permanent contract teachers, not a PA day. MOE has failed to mention it's an unpaid day on their school calender. You shouldn't go to work or any school related activities, of course, and you are not skipping off. Read @ Unpaid + not a PA Day
There go more jobs! Canada Post announces it will phase out door to door mail delivery over the next 5 years! Community mailboxes will be set up instead, like in the suburbs or out in the country.
I would suppose apartment and condo owners won't be effected because we more or less have these anyway. Everybody else can go get mugged at the new street corner set ups! What will seniors + the handicapped do?!? It seems like a big pain for all concerned, especially considering that most mail today is just bills + junk flyers bills anyway. Why not get with it and come up with a cost + time effective parcel delivery service for online shopping? It's a big, rapidly expanding business in other parts of the world unlike here where our service is ridiculously expensive, + slow. I can get a parcel faster from Japan than Ottawa! Plus there's no taxes + one rarely get charged custom duties. Not good for Canadian businesses, especially small ones, who can't possibly compete price wise, especially what with how expensive everything is here to start with!
More @ Mailman blues!
Toronto Metro News blazing headline: A new neo con "Working Canadian" anti union lobby group is formed to target the unions in support of PC Hudak's "Right to Work For Less" spring election campaign. It is of course, "non partisan", unlike say .... oh I dunno ............ "Working Families"?! Can't beat 'em join 'em eh Tim? More @ Metro News
Working Canadians [not Ontarians? Hmmmm!] will begin running t.v. ads. NDP House leader Gilles Bisson + others comment @ Toronto Star
Politics + it's Discontents blogger criticizes "Hudak's Vacuous Vision" @ Fie on his house!
OPSEU replies to Hudak's labour attack by explaining how his "plan" will only hurt the economy @ OPSEU
TDSB audit released today. I watched an interview where a snarly reporter was asking what about the teachers who want more money? Well of course everybody would like a raise but I'm not aware of that being a big issue right now. Anyway, as it turns out the top administrators had been giving themselves fat raises. Just be aware though, the attacks will be coming as a part of the neo con divide + conquer strategy for the next provincial election. Nasty business! More @ Toronto Sun
MOE hands out 1500 blank diplomas to the province's private schools! Nice, nice, very nice eh? See @ Free Grad Diplomas!
CURC urges you to sign the petition to expand the CPP for retiring workers across Canada. Please share link @ Canadian Pension Plan!
Our US counterparts held a Dec 9 National Day of Action to "reclaim education" from privatization + union attacks. It's quite horrific. We went through this during the Harris years in the 1990's + PC Hudak is relaunching the campaign again. Maybe a lot of our younger teachers don't remember or truly appreciate just how bad this would be? Anyway here's a US report with a whole whack of good links for understanding the situation across the USA. Be forewarned! This could be happening here again soon too if Hudak's neo cons get their way! As a retired teacher I've been there, done that. Am sure many of us will help as need be, but make no mistake; this will be your battle now. Snooze you lose! Story @ Reclaiming Education!
US teacher protests on Dec 9 Day of Action to "Reclaim Education"!
UK teachers go ape over standardized testing. Failing scores mean closing schools. The 11 year olds test score results have now been published. Seriously @ Wacko testing!
OSSTF calls for the province to merge the Catholic + public school systems @ CTV
The announcement came as a part of OSSTF's newly released "Public Education: Investing in Education" platform. Instead there would be 2 secular systems, one English, one French. Read the platform statement @ OSSTF site
Much of my news coverage this fall has focused on the situation at OECTA. There are separate blogs on each story. You can find them here:
The problems with the Catholic boards large scale refusal to implement the OECTA MOU or Me Too clause are @ OECTA MOU/ Me Too Woes!
Meanwhile there's the controversy over the removal of local OECTA Halton Elementary President + MOU opponent Richard Brock by an independent Disciplinary Panel. Join the discussion + debate, while also availing yourself of the Q+A service provided in my Teacher Free Speech Open Forum @ Ask Angelo!
Also causing reader concern: The controversial decision of an independent OECTA Personnel Committee to second Pro MOU advocate + Former President Kevin O'Dwyer to the Collective Bargaining and Contract Services office for the 2012-13 contract negotiation year is @ Collective Bargaining
Ontario Auditor General notes Ontario's Autism services are inefficient + inconsistent. Seriously? I was setting up a secondary school program for the last 4 years before I retired. It was a real sorry ass situation. School admin had little or no idea what they were doing and placing everybody in danger with their crackpot ideas. Even took away our classroom and smart board. I filed a list of grievance, health + safety, + dangerous workplace complaints thick enough to choke a horse! As long as it looks good on paper, so much for that! Just window dressing! Too bad! Auditors report @ Toronto Star
Wynne responds to the Auditor Generals criticisms @ Win or lose?
Learn about the new CLC "Decent wages Are Fair" Campaign @ CLC
The percentage of unionized women is increasing, while that of men declining, but this still does not seem to be reflected by their numbers at the leadership level. Rabble.ca reports @ Unionized
December 6th is the 24th year anniversary + National Day of Remembrance + Day of Action on Violence Against Women. 14 students were massacred by a lone gunman at the L'Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal because he didn't like females @ Gender based violence!
OPSEU member interviewed by Toronto Sun on how she is bullied by the union who uses her dues to attack Tim Hudak. He's got to love this! Shows how bad ass backwards the PC's + neo con media have got this though; more union members, like us, are mad about being bullied + tricked by our union leaders into accepting concession bargaining give aways! But that wouldn't make a good news story would it? The unions are actually being way too soft for our liking? Sun story @ Union Thugs!
Here's a link to the new Bill 143 Childcare modernization Act 2013, that has just passed first reading at Queens Park. There have been 3 deaths of preschoolers at unlicensed daycares in Toronto this fall. Wonder if all daycare will someday fall under the aegis of the MOU to further develop as an extension of the Full Day Kindergarten initiative? That would be one way to put a safe + effective daycare program in place for our provinces working parents, while perhaps also creating Teacher and ECE jobs .... Hmmm. Well just brainstorming. Here's the document @ Download
Reality Fix Time! The Ipad: Oh Brave New World? 30% of the Gr. 6-10 students in a new Quebec survey use their Ipads in class for non school related activities. Facebook + Twitter are quit popular. 99% of the students find the Ipads distracting. 85% never use them for written work. Those that use them regularly at home spend about 76% of their free time socializing and amusing themselves on it. 95% of students in the older grades used their Ipads to text each other during class. 70% of teachers had rarely or never used an Ipad before they were introduced into their classroom for instructional purposes. But that's just in Quebec right?!? Right?!? Hmmmm @ Educational value?
Toronto Public Services order 64 year old dancing school crossing guard to cut it out! [PS: More school dance warnings below!]. Video + neighbourhood reaction @ No Dancing Allowed!
Nice one! ETFO's Queens Park watch is @ Careful Evil Doers: ETFO is watching!
New provincial law will protect "precarious" workers, including with new provisions under the Occupational Health + Safety Act. Co-op students will be covered too. Hey, that's great but I wish they would enforce it upon the MOE + school boards for teachers. Regretfully it seems one government ministry isn't going to go after another. Don't believe it? Phone a public health nurse to come into your school to inspect a health and safety risk that's being neglected. It is your right. The Public Health inspector's too. See what happens though! I did so a year or 2 ago at my school. Lots of admin fireworks, very exciting, but little if anything came of it after all was said and done. News story @ Health + Safety For All!
Toronto Sun bright light wants a winter election, the sooner the better. Can you imagine how popular that would be right now? Story @ Idiots!
Tim Hudak at QP today eyeing public service pension plans ...
PC leader Tim Hudak expects to be Premier in 6 months. Hudak promises he will eliminate "gold plated public service pensions". Hold your union leaders feet to the fire! Remember how our last contract talks ended? NO CONCESSION bargaining this year!!!!! On "ifs", no "ands, no "buts" or "maybe's" ...... DON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!!!!!!!!
TVO Agenda's Steve Paikin warms left of Hudaks new strategy. He claims he doesn't care if he's popular or not. He will do what needs to be done. Apparently that's kick our butts + everything will be fine in Ontario again. Like during the Harris years? Will the gamble work? See @ Offending Offensive
This fall OECTA moved O'Dwyer + Brock about like chess pieces. It gives pause that some are getting their tongues out to slobber all over the OLP's boots again! One recalls how proudly the union once stood during the good fight back in the Harris Years. Meanwhile OSSTF + ETFO Provincial have been very friggin' quiet, too much so!
Last December OECTA provincial had all ready given up without a fight, or for that matter a member ratification vote. OSSTF + ETFO were preparing for the good fight, or so it seemed. And now? Hmmmm. We all bear the weight + cost of the MOU's. Don't think it won't happen again! See the way we were @ One year ago!
Here's Hudak's plan to pit unionized private sector workers against unionized public service workers to strip salaries and pensions @ Toronto Star
Timbo announces he specifically plans to target teacher, nurses + public sector workers' defined pension benefit plans. He claims the "union bosses" won't like it but the rest of us will agree it's necessary, fair, and will create more jobs, just like his Right to Work 4 Less plan. I kid you not! He said it! Methinks he doesn't like us! Nope. Not at all. Read + vote in the Toronto Sun Poll. It's very close! What planet are these neo cons on?!? @ C'mon! You like it! Not!
PC's go after OPSEU with a Right To Work 4 Less attack + petition @ Nasty business
PC Hudak bares his teeth for his labour divide + conquer platform at the Economic Club. Brace yourself! This is going to be real nasty! Let's see if Ontario voters buy it! It worked for Mike Harris but now? Here's his whole speech @ Mr. Nasty!
PC's the "Shurmanator" announces he is going to resign! MPP Peter Sherman was a serious Tory threat to us. I think so. Then Timbo went after him because he was a leadership threat. Now he's gone! Keep up the good work Timbo! Finally he's done something helpful for us! More The Shurmanator Resigns!
Thanks Timbo! The Shurmanator takes his toys + goes home! One less serious threat!
A late November Forum Poll has shown the following results for Ontario's 3 main political parties at Queens Park: PC=38%/ OLP+32%/ NDP=23%
The 308 website adds the latest results into its aggregate numbers to chart the overall party polling trends, while providing indepth analysis and insights @ 308
More + more trouble in OLP Land! The shocker: 2013 Auditor General's 2013 report @ Downloads
Toronto Sun explains why Kathleen Wynne is worse than Rob Ford. Typical neo con rant. Hey what about Horwath then you buffoons? Propaganda @ Sun News [so to speak]
Toronto Sun always chooses ugliest photo it can of Premier Wynne! Don't believe me? Just watch for yourself! It's true! Oddest part is, they always show a nice one of the NDP's Andrea Horwath! James Ryan pointed this out to me once. We are both Ontario political junkies, like to shoot the guff about it + so on, since during the Harris years. Here's a stock photo the Sun uses a lot of Andrea, one of the best I think. See below:
The Sun photos can tell us a lot about the newspaper! Can be mystifying!
OLP nomination candidate Harvey Rosen notes the NDP not the PC's pose the greatest challenge to the provincial Liberal minority government in Kingston riding during the next election quite possibly as early as this spring. Possibly elsewhere too? Unless PC party leader Tim Hudak can move beyond the 38% glass ceiling he keeps hitting his head on he might still be headed for self destruct. Remember the party infighting last fall? The NDP might be down in the most recent poll but these numbers have kept bouncing like lottery balls within the same cage of parameters for some time now. Will they continue to do so? Seems like Rosen might've let something out of the bag here! @ Now it can be told!
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne meets with Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly to discuss business. Disgraced Mayor Rob Ford, largely stripped of most of his powers by city council after the latest round of scandals sits on the sidelines whining. I cry crocodile tears for Rob. Norm Kelly is a part of the city hall right wing, but is known for being able to work constructively with city councillors of all stripes, under past mayors David Miller and Mel Lastman. Let's see what he can salvage from this mess. Story with video @ Norm Kelly
OLP MPP + Cabinet Minister Brad Duguid calls for Mayor Rob Ford to resign over the latest police court documents released about his activities. His are the strongest words anybody in the provincial government has used yet. Also interesting to note: Brad is a big supporter of John Tory, who might well decide to run again next year. Read @ Toronto Star
Panel recommends 10 cents a litre Ontario gas tax to pay for building transit infrastructure throughout the Greater GTA + Hamilton area. Hey, the Joe Clark government in Ottawa fell over less! Tell Rob Ford that Toronto taxpayers have to foot the bill themselves + see what he says! Oh yeah! He's gone just in time to blame any tax hikes resulting from his BS on City Council now. Just watch! There is method to his madness! More @ 10 cent gas hike?
OLP Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli [no relation!] blames an "energy deficiency" resulting from the Harris years for Ontario's soaring energy prices. Sure, there's some buck passing here but also a fair bit of truth! The Harris-Eves PCs made one helluva mess with the energy portfolio in the course of their on again off again plans to sell off Ontario Hydro to their buddies + privatize it. Even Tim's wife Deb got a plum paid position there as an "advisor". Hudak should tread lightly. Chiarelli's comments @ Harris Years
IN OTHER NEWS
Homeless Jesus: Do unto others ...
How the Grinch stole Christmas #2? A "Homeless Jesus" statute entitled "Do unto others ..." has been ripped off from out front a downtown Toronto church. Quite frankly I have an exact replica I bought years ago, right down to the incense holder in the hand. I always thought it was Gandolph myself, but no matter. It's the thought that counts! Story @ Bah humbug!
Bad news: 100's tune in to watch University of Guelph student's live online suicide attempt. Welcome to our cyber times @ Snuff
Crazy! A 90 car pile up during a snow storm in Wisconsin! Please drive carefully!!! See @ 90 Cars!
Incredible! Film footage of the Asiana Airline Boeing 777 plane crash in US last July. No! No! It's supposed to land upright + wheel in to the terminal in one piece not ...... Oh Oh! @ Crash!
Good news: Chef rescued alive from air bubble after 3 days stuck in a ship wreck under the sea! Wow! What are the chances of that?!? Story + video @ Davy Jones Locker!
Latest updates on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford + a link to the additional batch of released police court documents are being added to my Cracked: The Rob Ford Story blogs that go back for over a year @ Cracked Updates!
Sign the Federal NDP petition for a National Plan to stop violence against women @ Petition
Conservative Party Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkak posts a controversial photo of a hunted + quite dead polar bear. It's also an endangered species. In her tweet she encourages her cousin to "enjoy" eating his first kill. Under criticism she explains that she supports Canada's Innuit + northern communities who depend upon the polar bear hunt for cultural, spiritual and economic reasons. Hmmm. Yay or nay? @ Polar Bear Hunt!
Canada reasserts our territorial claim to the North Pole. Get back everybody! Santa Claus' house is ours! Elves get ready to protect the true north strong + cold! @ The North Pole Canada
KULTURE KULT INK
Watch the "12 Days of Rob Ford" Christmas video from the Jimmy Kimmel Show. This is a Klassic @ Cracked
Be aware of sex addition! Even media celebrities are catching it! More @ Danger Will Robinson! Danger!
Body Wave dancing at your staff Christmas party?!? Don't try this at school!!!!
Dance moves best avoided at this year's staff Christmas party @ Bad idea!
A team of 40 expert designer working for the Spanish retailer Mango are working on a new line of "plus sized" women's clothes to be introduced in January. A Euro size 40 to 52 is a US 8 to 20. Go figure. I always find US sizes larger than Canadian ones but this is women's clothes so I dunno. The new outfits will be "youthful + high fashion for any time of day" and are being referred to as a "brand expansion". More @ Mangos
Christmas! It used to be so easy but not on many more. In fact, its getting darn right complicated. So here are ......
My Christmas tips for Guys!
Never buy your female loved one clothes for Christmas!!! Least of all lingerie! Seriously, it will be too big or too small + you will be in serious trouble, no talking your way out of that one!!! Heed my word!
If you find a great gift don't buy one for each of the special women in your life!!! If you do, and they find out, you will be in deep, deep shit!!! Heed my word!
More to come! Maybe .....
Sex sells! Coffins now too?! More @ 2014 Calendar
The Top 10 Youtube Videos of the year announced. Ylvis the Fox beats out Chris Hadfield's Space Oddity. Watch the videos @ Top 10 Videos!
Huffington Posts Top 13 Canadian albums of 2013 with a video from each. They missed Cowboy Junkies "Kennedy Suite"!!! Oh well, it's a new generation @ Canada Rocks!
BTW if you scroll to near the bottom of my blog page you will find my regularly updated Heavy Rotation "best of list" with Quickie Album/ TV Movie reviews!
December 8th is the 23rd anniversary of former Beatle + solo recording artist John Lennon's murder out front his home at the Dakota building in NYC. Lennon was a baby boomer iconoclast. He is sadly missed. I have posted an "I Remember John Lennon" blog + Part 1 : 1968-75 of my Lennon solo album guide.
Stay tuned ....