Opening Statement



Monday, 30 September 2013

On the 250,000th Reader Visit!


This weekend marked a milestone for my blogsite: the 250,000th reader visit! I am honoured by your interest and the opportunity to provide our Ontario teachers with an independent all affiliate teacher + union news + views site.


From March 2009 to present.

My blog identification is explained in the top paragraph under the title of my blog. From time to time I have discussed the purpose and direction of the blog, as it develops over time to meet your needs. I will continue to do so.

As professional teachers we are amongst the most highly trained in the world. Many studies indicate that we have one of the top education systems too. We are also publicly funded. As a result the public and the politicians have a vested say in our profession. Unfortunately we often are not shown the professional respect one would expect with all the success we have had.

For many years we have fought hard with mixed success to have more say in educational matters as the front line providers of schooling in our province. Unfortunately those with a lot less practical, day to day experience in the educational process are often the ones who are put in charge of telling us what to do. Often they do so to meet a political agenda, more so than to meet the everyday reality + needs in the classes we teach.

In addition many of us are frustrated with our representation as proud teacher union members past + present who can think, discuss and debate the important issues effecting our teacher movement, profession + contract needs at the grassroot level. Increasingly decisions are made on our behalf without much transparency and accountability. As teachers you are the union and so it is quite understandable that you find this disconnect unacceptable for our individual and collective wellbeing.

Here on my blogsite you will find an open forum in the Comments column below each blog. You can speak responsibly expressing yourself without fear of bullying or censure. You will find information, news + views which are publicly available elsewhere via the internet all in one place. You are busy as teachers. As a recent retiree I am glad to be able to provide a clearing house of sorts where you have easy access.

The saying goes that if you find a need fill it. I am pleased to say that would seem to be happening here. So far 406 blogs have been posted and are available either here on my main page or in the archives below. You have posted 1669 comments. Approximately 4/5ths of my readers are from Ontario, Canada. There is a sizable group of readers from the USA and UK. There are also sometimes hundreds or even thousands of readers from around the world, most recently from Russia, China and Indonesia. All in all the future looks bright. In September alone this year there were 20,975 reader visits.

There are and will be critics of our interaction here for various reasons other than those of our own. I appreciate your ongoing support for what is after all a much needed opportunity for us to enjoy our freedom of speech and thought, much moreso than we usually unfortunately do as teacher professionals for the reasons outlined. I can assure you that if this blog is ever somehow shut down or censored it will go with a big bang, not a whimper.

However, I don't think that should be necessary. We are teacher professionals, and that should be respected. Also constructive criticism, dialogue and guest blogs are most welcome here. It would also be futile. With the new social media there will only be more + more such blog, websites, Facebook pages, Tweets + the like in the near future, secrets, censorship, plotting + manipulation notwithstanding.

Like it or not, there has been a major paradigm shift in our communications. Knowledge might be power, but no longer can it ultimately be controlled in the hands of the few. We can now be a lot more transparent + democratic then that! Let's hope everyone gets with the program. The future will demand it.


Teachers unite + have your say!

If you find this blog interesting and worthwhile as a teacher and unionist please share my link in solidarity. All teachers, unions and different points of view are encouraged here so we can expand the horizons of our education system, teachers union movement and our profession. I look forward to continuing with what I believe is a very important opportunity for us to do so. Please share the good word.

In solidarity/
Cheers!

David C
[Grand Pooh Bah + Blogmeister ;-]

Friday, 27 September 2013

Brock Dismissal: The COP Letter!



The following letter from OECTA President James Ryan was sent to the Council of President [local presidents] on September 18, 2013.  It's in regards to the Discipline Panel Decision to dismiss former Halton Elementary President Richard Brock. Many questions are addressed which have also been asked, debated and discussed here on my teachers blog. Take a look below + read it for yourself:


T
here has been much interest in the recent decision of the OECTA Discipline Panel, its implications, legalities and the role of the provincial executive in the process. The provincial executive has discussed all of these issues with the advice of legal counsel. The following is a summary of the salient points in this discussion.

Role of the Provincial Executive in the OECTA Discipline Process

The following bylaws relate to the provincial executive’s role in the Association’s discipline process:

2.51  The duties of the provincial executive shall be to administer the affairs of the Association between annual general meetings in accordance with the constitution, bylaws, policies, procedures and directives of the annual general meeting. The duties include: 
2.51.15  to appoint the chairpersons and members of all the Association standing committees, networks, work groups, project teams, task forces and the discipline board, save and except the audit, personnel and program and structures committees;

2.51.16  to receive reports and recommendations from the chairpersons of standing committees, networks, work groups, project teams and task forces and to direct action as deemed necessary and receive recommendations from the discipline board;
2.193  There shall be a discipline board comprised of six members who shall be appointed by the provincial executive for a term of no less than three years.

2.194  To be eligible for appointment to the discipline board, a member shall: 2.194.1  no longer hold elective office in the Association; or
2.194.2  be a retired member.

2.195  The term of office of the chairperson of the discipline board shall be as determined by the provincial executive.
The following bylaws and procedures relate to the general secretary’s role in the Association’s discipline process:

2.57.10  to receive written complaints of a breach of Association constitution, by-laws, policies or procedures;
2.57.12  to direct the publication of the official publication of the Association;

September 18, 2013
Unit Presidents, OTBU Presidents

The following procedures relate to the general secretary’s role in the Association’s discipline process:
4.138  The decision of the general secretary with respect to the question of jurisdiction shall be final.

4.140.2  shall provide to both the accused executive and the general secretary a statement of complaint which shall detail the exact nature of the complaint and shall be supported by copies of any documentation or evidence to be relied upon.
4.141  Upon receipt of such written complaint the general secretary or designate shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation into the complaint such that the general secretary can determine:

4.141.1  if the complaint is vexatious, frivolous or insubstantial; and
4.141.2  whether a settlement of the complaint can be effected.

4.142  Failing a settlement, the general secretary shall forward the complaint to the chairperson of the discipline board.
4.144  Upon receipt of this advice the general secretary shall serve the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) with a notice of hearing containing:

4.144.1  the date, time and place of the hearing;
4.144.2  a statement that the parties are entitled to appear in person and/or be represented by a member of the secretariat or an agent (who is not legal counsel);

4.144.3  a statement that if the parties do not appear at the time scheduled for the hearing, the discipline panel will consider the matter in their absence without any further notice; and
4.144.4  a statement that the Association will pay reasonable travel and accommodation costs incurred by the parties and their agent at the hearing.

4.149  The panel shall provide a copy of its decision, a statement of the reasons for it and the penalty to be imposed, if any, on the respondent to the respondent(s), the complainant(s) and the general secretary.
4.150  The panel shall decide at its discretion whether its decision shall be published and, where it so decides, shall provide to the general secretary direction to publish some or all of its decisions.

4.151  The general secretary shall:
4.151.1  be responsible for the imposition and enforcement of the penalty and shall use whatever means or agencies necessary to achieve this end;

4.151.2  publish in the official publication of the Association all or part, as directed by the panel, of the decision.
Publications

2.198  The official publication of the Association shall be made available to all members.
As you can see from the handbook the provincial executive has essentially two functions with respect to the Association’s disciplinary process. First it is responsible for the appointment of the discipline board and second it is responsible for the appointment of the chairperson of the discipline board. The provincial executive does not have the authority to hear an appeal of any decision of a discipline panel nor does it have the authority to alter, amend, suspend or stay any decision of any discipline panel. At one time there was an internal appeal of disciplinary decisions to the Council of Presidents; the AGM removed this authority from the Council of Presidents in 1994. This stands in contrast to the Safe Workplace and Member conduct Policy whose appeal mechanisms are outlined by policies 3.186 to 3.192.3. With this removal, the only body which may now hear appeals of OECTA discipline panel decisions is a court.

If members are unhappy with the Association’s Discipline process, the place to change that process is the Annual General Meeting which as we know is the Association’s highest authority.
Questions with regard to the Appointment of the Discipline Board and its Chairperson

A number of members have raised the concern that the OECTA Discipline Board was never appointed by the provincial executive, nor was its chairperson and that the discipline board was therefore unable to select a chairperson to hear the discipline matter of August 22, 2013.
In the minutes of the February 12,13, 2013 provincial executive meeting the following two motions were carried:

Grafton/Cox   THAT THE PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE ACCEPT THE LATE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOUND ON F 1:3. 
Ryan/Karuhanga THAT THE PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE APPROVE THE APPOINTMENT OF JOE RYAN AS THE CHAIR OF THE DISCIPLINE BOARD. (PE-12/13-1368)

A motion was therefore passed by the provincial executive appointing the chairperson of the Discipline Board. This then leads of course back to the question: did the provincial executive ever appoint the Discipline Board itself?
In the first of these two motions the provincial executive accepted a late report. That late report

(see appendix 1) was the “MINUTES OF THE DISCIPLINE BOARD MEETING ON WEDNESDAY,
FEBRUARY 6, 2013, AT THE PROVINCIAL OFFICE, 65 ST. CLAIR AVENUE EAST, TORONTO,

ONTARIO”. These minutes recorded that the following individuals were present at the meeting: Bill Brazeau, Kathleen Gardiner, Donna Marie Kennedy, Kathy McVean, Joe Ryan, Gary Tomcko, Joe Pece, Marshall Jarvis, Jerry Raso.
While there is no provincial executive motion appointing any of these individuals to the Discipline Board, it is the belief of legal counsel that in view of the contents of the discussion regarding the late report, by accepting this late report and then by acting upon the Discipline Board’s recommendation to appoint its chairperson, the provincial executive consented to appointment of the OECTA Discipline Board.

While the Discipline Board is not a committee, it is also instructive to look at how the provincial executive appoints committees. As highlighted earlier one of the duties of the provincial executive is:
2.51.15  to appoint the chairpersons and members of all the Association standing committees, networks, work groups, project teams, task forces and the discipline board, save and except the audit, personnel and program and structures committees;

A review of provincial executive minutes over the past number of years clearly indicates that occasionally there are motions appointing OECTA standing committees, work groups, project teams and task forces and chairpersons for those committees. There is however no consistent practice for all of our committees with regard to the passing of motions appointing committees. It should be pointed out however that all standing committee and network members and their chairpersons are in fact selected by the provincial executive elect (normally at a June meeting, chaired by the President or President-Elect).
 The Role of the General Secretary in the OECTA Disciplinary Process

There has been some discussion of the role and actions of the General Secretary in matters related to the Disciplinary Decision of August 22, 2013.
On August 22, 2013, the Discipline Panel consisting of Joe Ryan, Kathy McVean, and Gary Tomcko gave the following directives to the General Secretary:

3.  That the General Secretary facilitate a full time replacement for Richard Brock with the Halton Catholic District School Board as soon as possible for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.
4.  That the Association,through the General Secretary, issue a letter of reprimand to the 2012-2013 Executive of the Halton Elementary Unit.

5.  That the decisions of the Discipline Panel shall be published in the next official OECTA publication.
6.  That the General Secretary is instructed to immediately communicate the decisions of the Discipline Panel to the members of Halton Elementary Unit.

7.  That the General Secretary is directed by the panel to provide a copy of the panel’s decision, a statement of the reasons for it and the penalty to be imposed to the respondents and the complainants.
In each case the General Secretary was directed to carry out actions by the Discipline Panel. Some members have expressed concern over the fact that a special @OECTA containing the decision was created and sent to every member of the Association. It became apparent very quickly that decision of the panel was available to the general public through at least one media source. Some members expressed a concern that they were reading about the decision from a non-OECTA source. Because the panel did not authorize a selective emailing to bargaining unit presidents but only that the decision be “published in the next official OECTA publication”,  the only means possible for the general secretary to release this decision to bargaining unit presidents was through a special edition of @OECTA.

There have been other comments made that express concerns over the methods by which the actions of the Discipline Committee were executed. Again all of the steps taken were directed by the Discipline Panel. The handbook is very proscriptive toward the General Secretary when it states the General Secretary shall: 
4.151.2  publish in the official publication of the Association all or part, as directed by the panel, of the decision.

And that the General Secretary shall:
4.151.1  be responsible for the imposition and enforcement of the penalty and shall use whatever means or agencies necessary to achieve this end;

I hope this provides some clarity with regard to the role of both the Provincial Executive and the General Secretary in this matter. 
JR/jmb

An Appendum was attached containing a photocopy of a document entitled Late Addendum of Action. It was dated February 11+12 2013 and contains what appears to be the minutes from a Feb 6 2013 Discipline Board meeting, as referenced in the letter above.



COMMENTS?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Kulture Kult Ink Flies Solo!

Your regular Teacher News + Views blog follows below this one. I'm trying something new here.


The Grand Dame of Beat: Oh the stories she could tell ....

Carolyn Cassady, Beat Generation writer + wife dies at 90. She was "Camille", 2nd wife of "Neil Cassady" aka "Dean Moriarty" in Jack Kerouac's On the Road best selling 1957 beat road map. She was the beatnik chick who made Jack, Neil + beat poet Allan Ginsberg "Go! Go! Go! in their mad orgy of sex, drugs, bop jazz, literature + road trips. However in her best selling memoirs she also recalled being the one who had to take care of the guys and clean up the mess in the wake of their self destructive trip through the empty, numbing Cold War American dream. Womens Liberation was still a long way off! Anyway, she outlived them all, spending her final years gardening, painting, and enjoying the odd cigarette + glass of wine as the much revered "Great Dame of Beat" at her home outside London England. Her 2nd son with Neal, John Allan Cassady was at the bedside holding her hand when she died last Friday. A graceful, fitting exit from the longest road trip of them all. RIP. New York Times obit @ True Kool Kat!


Carolyn on the road with Dean + Jack.

Trending:

What did beatniks wear? Read @ Like Kool!

Here's a plain English explanation of beatnik slang @ Dig?

Like square Daddy- o! You'd never find a beatnik here @ Suburban dream

Visit the Jack Kerouac Novelist + Poet website for all things Kerouac @ Jack


Carolyn Cassady: kool mama! No Women's Lib yet though!

For when it doesn't quite translate right: 50 faux pas to avoid when travelling abroad @ Danger! Danger!

15 things writer Kurt Vonnegut said best @ Nice, nice, very nice!

And you thought I don't proofread!? Actually I'm leading edge! Yup. That's right ... er .... Here's 8 punctuation marks that aren't used exist anymore. So there! ;-) @ Punctuation

Play that funky music white boy! OMG. Maybe not? Here's 30 white celebrities who have decided to try jump on the musical bandwagon to ill effect @ Youtube video collection

Tres cool NASA photos gallery of the Soyez rocket being prepared for launch @ Expedition 37

Trending: A Study in Fashion Contrasts ...

Wonder what's hot for teens on the other side of the world? Top 3 Indonesian Fashions of the Day @ Muslim dresses


Here they are for Korea, China + Japan @ Asian

Now here are the Canadian + US best + worst dressed at the 2013 teen awards @ Oh Canada

Conclusion: Mores? Morality? Kultural? Affluence? Consumerism? Think about it .....

Trending

Brace yourself for this: Black market teeth braces are a big fashion item among Southeast Asian teens. Since dental work is very expensive, it suggests the fashionista must be very desirable because they are from a wealthy family. Unfortunately many of the teens are making the braces themselves and choking on the parts or even dieing from lead poisoning. I kid you not @ Kids! Don't try this!


In South East Asia she's got klass!

Learn more about the latest teen fashion braces news @ Broken News Daily Video


Snaggle Mouth fad sweeps teen Japan!

Meanwhile in affluent Japan much the opposite is the case. Teen girls are embracing the "snaggle mouthed" bad teeth look. The "impish" bad toothed "girl next door" look is popular because it makes the young affluent fashionista look more attainable to shy guys without as many yen during the economic crisis. Here's a video that tells all. The soundtrack is particularly outstanding too. Lotsa fun like only they know how in Japan @ Snaggle Mouth


Canadian teen seeks Asian date! China? Thai? Japan? Heck, no matter!

Conclusion: See for Fashion above ...

Trending:

Zombie Woof or Living Among the Dead: Zombies have long fascinated me. As I see it they provide a metaphor for our life + times. We are surrounded by people who are dead from the neck up. You can out wit them. Even run circles around them. The problem is there is so many they will just keep coming until you they wear you down. Once they bite, you will become one too.


The Art of Manliness [women can read it too] has another spin. Zombie stories are actually fiction sociological textbook cases about how we are doomed because we no longer have even the most basic self reliance skills. Without all the modern supports + amenities of our modern world we are doomed when an unexpected crisis happens. In the case of a societal breakdown we would lack many basic physical, survival + knowledge skills that were common knowledge even as recently as 25 years ago. In short, a Zombie doesn't care one iota about your power point skills. They just want to eat your brains.


Think about it:  Our modern [nay Post Modern!] world stresses the importance of think work instead of physical skills. Most of us wouldn't know how to make or use tools, grow our own food, find or build safe shelter, fix things ourselves, purify water, or even protect ourselves or hunt food without fancy weapons or guns. Unfortunately gunfire noise attracts more Zombies + you can run out of ammo. So, can you use an axe effectively? A sword? Bow + arrow? Slingshot?


That my friends is another reason why Zombies are so scary [Shudder! Shudder!] + might someday take over the world! This is an interesting, worthwhile article with lots of links. @ How are your Zombie survival skills? 

BTW, why the blockbuster flick "World War Z" sucks: The movie was loosely based upon one of author Max Brooks [son of Mel Brooks] weaker novels. The movie didn't even follow the ultimate Zombie bible which Brooks wrote; The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the living Dead. There is quite a clear, consistent set of rules by which Zombies operate. They cannot think [brain dead], run or move quickly [rotting muscle], or digest food [dead digestive track]. The survival guide lists a wide range of more realistic ways to kill a zombie and survive without any readily available or useful fancy weapons or tools. On + On it goes. Its a very worthwhile read. See @ Amazon.ca
 

Early Edition: Rarer than eye brows on eggs!

Be back soon! Much more to come .......

COMMENTS?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Teachers September News + Views 3

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


Blog acronym dictionary is Here!

TEACHER + UNION

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Don't forget to enjoy the Ontario Autumn!

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

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

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

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

OSSTF recognizes Franco Ontarian Day September 25th @ Press Release

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PARTY POLITICS


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


 PC convention: Buttons, buttons, everywhere buttons!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN OTHER NEWS
 

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

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

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


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

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

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

COMMENTS?

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Youtube Bar: Afrika Bambaataa!

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Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

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

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

Help! I Have No Arms!

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

I can't find my underwear!.

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

Weee! I can fly!

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

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

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

I have an ugly baby!

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

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

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

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

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

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

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

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

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