Opening Statement

Monday 7 April 2014

Teachers April News + Views

Welcome to the April edition! My routine remains the same. I will keep adding stories under each header below. New stories are often first included in large type for your convenience, once we get going. My Teacher + Union Acronym Guide is Here!

Rain rain go away ....


The best defence is a strong offence: Ontario's public service sector unite to fight devastating piecemeal cuts being instituted by the OLP government on a union by union basis @ Unite!

Toronto Crown Plant workers vote 117 to 1 to reject an end of their 11 month strike @ Strike Continues!

Working Families Coalition is taking the Hudak PC's to court for false claims + defamation @ PC Con Game!

I wrote a first hand report on the strike last October @ Solidarity!

The link to Toronto Firefighter President Ed Kennedy offensive against Rob Ford's "cheap photo op" while fire stations + trucks are being cut has been moved @ Getting Burned!

There's more on the Ford re-election campaign launch and firetruck gimmick in my blog report @ Ford Nation

UK NUT teacher unions latest lobbying campaign is Stand Up for Education + Teachers!

Annie Kidder's People For Education issues a report finding 40% of principals have sent Sped students home at one time or another because they couldn't accommodate their special needs. There isn't enough funding for the support workers and educational assistants needed to properly include them within an integrated school setting. More @ $$$

Health + safety concerns with special needs integration + improper support below!

Indeed, I've been there, seen that! When I was teaching autism we rarely if ever had the correct ratio of staff to assist with our high need students according to the numbers specified in their OSR's. However, admin continued putting us and them in risky, unsafe work situations by not sending them home; thereby endangering the students, the staff and the other students at the school. Sounds like the 40% in Kidder's report where at least being honest + realistic. Watch them start covering up now too though due to the political pressure + denial that will follow the report. Also, ever wonder how many of these workers, especially the CYO's are actually being used elsewhere in the school to help out with office work like attendance and so on and so forth? Ha. There's a helluva lot of BS going on believe me you! Anyway you can see my reports on the faulty education logic that was often at play @ Here! Also the health safety concerns @ Here! and how I got badly injured @ Here!

Poll: Should OECTA have a delegation int he World Pride Parade? Last time I checked the "no's" were winning handily. Vote + share this link @ Vote here!

OECTA decision to officially participate in Gay Pride Parade 2014 draws anger + criticism from Catholic parents over Easter Break @ At Easter?!

Catholic Life Site denounces OECTA decision @ Opposed!

Campaign Life denounces OECTA decision @ Opposed!

Catholic Insight joins in denouncing OECTA's participation in this year's gay pride parade as an "assault on the Catholic church" + the "destruction of Catholic education" End is Nigh?

Parents as First Educators are circulating a petition demanding OECTA withdraw from the gay pride parade. It will be presented to the OCSTA Catholic school board trustees "telling" them to "step up" to "stop" the teacher union from proceeding with the plan as approved by a motion and vote at this years AGM. Making demands and going through the trustees to tell the teachers what to do?! Ummm. That's not how it works ... More @ Demands!

"Hey, put on some clothes!"

Life Site News claims it is against Canada's Criminal Code to be naked in public like many marchers and participants are at the parade @ Legalities?

XTRA Magazine claims a 2000 court decision makes nudity legal at the gay pride parade @ Legalities?

Please note: there has been absolutely nothing said by OECTA to even suggest the members will be marching nude in the parade ...

ETFO Building Better Schools Campaign stresses shortage of specialist teachers in the public schools. More building blocks @ ETFO

Taa-daa! Your QP parties at work for you! Here's the final version of Bill 122 as passed into law on April 9th @ Download

Seems everybody is tickled pink at the MOE, OPSBA, OSSTF, ETFO + OECTA now that Bill 122 [the new School Board Collective Bargaining Act 2014] has been passed into law @ Provincial verses local bargaining

He's the MOE media release @ Ministry of Education

The OSSTF media release quotes Provincial President Paul Elliot @ Public Secondary Teachers

ETFO President Sam Hammond toots the Bill 122 horn @ Public Elementary Teachers

OECTA President James Ryan is happy with Bill 122. It contains new checks + balances on the notoriously difficult Catholic trustees in the negotiation process @ Catholic Teachers Union

Here's the OPSBA media release @ Public boards

My Teachers Guide to Bill 122 with more news links, documents + downloads etc is @ Here!

Rural students in Fergus Ontario drive their farm tractors to school to celebrate the end of a long winter and the death of a friend @ Fergus

Uncomfortable questions have been raised about mandatory Catholic Religious Studies for students of all faiths in Ontario's publicly funded Catholic schools @ Windsor Star

What's the point of a Catholic School if you don't need to take Catholic studies? Hmmm. Read this commentary @ Toronto Star

Dufferin Peel Catholic won't appeal the court decision allowing non Catholics to be exempt from religious studies at a Catholic school, because apparently it doesn't matter. Hmmm. Agree or disagree with the court does this not sound like a total lack of conviction? Read @ Doing Nada

Cardinal Collins + Premier Wynne: Getting kinda cozy?

Toronto's Cardinal Collins describes Catholic schools as a "gift to the province" @ Gift

Catholic lobby fight back with QP mass. Wynne seems to defend the publicly funded schools. IMHO not quite unequivocally but I wouldn't doubt folks are lining up their ducks on both sides of the debate @ QP Mass

CTV investigates the issue of public funding for Ontario's Catholic school system @ Video Part 1 and @ Part 2

TDSB plans to sell off 7.5 acres of prime downtown Toronto real estate with 2 schools on it to help balance the budget @ Kent Senior Public + Bloor Collegiate

There are over 600 half empty schools across the province. The ARC's [Accommodation Review Committees] for community input on which schools will be on the chopping block is creating a lot of grief in the London area @ grim lessons

The story about the Rob Ford High School football scandal cover up is now @ What's he hiding now?!

Jean Turmel is the new board chair for our Ontario Teacher Pension Plan @ OTF Media Release

Federal public service union launches web campaign to fight government myths about sick leave @ Sick of the Tory BS!

Provincial sector wage increases are lower than in private sector for 4th year running @ Less than 2%

Understanding Austerity, a fair tax, shared prosperity + attacks on unions from a work perspective! A progressive reading list @ OECTA

CCPA notes just because our Canadian middle class are doing better than our US counterparts doesn't mean they are doing well @ BS. 

Gallup polls finds most teachers feel their own professional opinions don't count at work. How is it different in Canada?! We know they don't. More @ Gallup

The unemployment rate for new teachers is 50% in Toronto and 30% to the north. One in three graduates find a job outside the publicly funded school system. The new 2 certificate will create a year without a lot of new graduates, perhaps helping reduce the unemployment glut @ OTC Numbers

Teacher stress is the profession @ CTF

Teachers in northern communities have heavier workloads according to this study @ Remote

Summer jobs won't pay enough for a student's Ontario university tuition. Umm ok, not to make light of the accessibility issue but when could they ever do so? @ Tuition Woes!

Political correctness is increasingly dictating that potentially controversial university texts come with a warning across North America. Will public elementary and secondary schools be next? Read more @ Too stressful? 

Career suicide ........ ?

Don't try this at school: Florida teacher fakes orgasm in sex ed class and keeps job. Now the story is being used to union bash and push for charter schools @ Not good!

Brampton high school stabbing possibly sparked by dispute over a dirty look and money @ Arrests

Are high school grades inflated? No, according to the MOE. Pfffft! If you want everyone to pass, and how many students actually fail these days, this is what you get! Anyway the latest @ Passing everyone by hook or by crook!? 

There's a downside to students using smart phones and Ipad technology in the classroom. Do you know what they are doing with them? More Hi Tech Whiz Kidz?

Cheating is on the rise big time in universities and colleges. Students don't think it matters and admin isn't about to do much, so says this article. Talk about an all around sorry ass apathetic sell out of academic standards + integrity or what?! Guess the times have passed me by Alas!

Why do unions matter? This is a little too sentimental for my tastes but it makes some very good points, plus you might like it Volume 1: March 2014 [Download]


The Gas Plan Stink: Premier Wynne and PC Opposition leader Hudak get slap happy with potential libel suits, though they are safe with this inside the Queens Park legislature @ J'Accuse!

Premier Wynne sues PC Opposition Tim Hudak $2 million in libel suit unless he retracts his accusation statements + apologizes @ Timbo sued!

Latest Wynne ads take direct aim at Hudak's claims. Seems she's going for the jugular! Watch @ OLP

Look who's smiling as he thinks about being able to kick your union ass!

Latest: PC's=37% / OLP= 32%  /NDP=27 %

IPSOS REID's April 15-17 poll shows the PC's continue to increase their lead into majority government territory. One can imagine the school boards sitting down with a Hudak PC government at the MOE later on this year to present our new provincial contract offer under the terms of Bill 122. Shudder. Although the various polls keep bouncing up and down like a rubber ball, the growing Tory numbers are without doubt pause for concern. See the breakdown @ CBC

A Nano's Poll completed April 11, released April 24 shows the OLP + PC's tied at 36%, the NDP at 22%. Wynne leads in poll for Premier. More numbers @ Dead Heat

The dip in the NDP Nano numbers doesn't look good for the parties prospects if there is a spring election @ The Globe + Mail

The most recent Forum poll shows a Tory surge in voter support moving them towards majority government territory by winning over the soft usually non hard nosed right wing Neo Conservative crowd: PC=38%/ OLP=31%/ NDP=23% Read more @ Forum

However the April 9 Eckos Poll shows an Ontario provincial election would still be a close three way race. See the detailed graphs @ Eckos

OLP running short of cash and new ideas? Are they planning on "selling off the family silver" for a cheap fix. Read more @ Cohn

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! NDP leader Andrea Horwath: Will she or won't she?

Spring election fever? Here's why might it be to NDP Party leader Andrea Horwath's advantage to pull the plug on the OLP government now @ Ontario Election Watch

Andrea Horwath: Is she caught between a rock + a hard place? @ TVO Agenda

Ontario's worst kept secret? Budget to be tabled at QP May 1st @ Crucial

Are Ontario's 3 party leaders fighting a perfectly dysfunctional "phony war" with all their political posturing prior to a possible spring election? More @ Cohn

Wynne claims the OLP is ready for an election if the NDP won't pass the budget. Interestingly, Andrea hasn't even agreed to meet with her prior to it's launch on May 1st, so what happens next is anybodies guess. However I'd be worried about the possibility of a PC majority win, if you look at the polls above. Well, what do your expect her to say? Hope both of them don't let Timbo win by default in the days ahead or teachers are dead in the water with this years contract vis a vis Bill 122. Imagine this: The Hudak PC's flush from a majority win sit down with the trustees to come up with a mutually agreeable contract offer ...... No? Can't/ won't happen? Video @ Big trouble ahead?

The OLP + PC's are both probably planning to use demographic data software to target ethnic voters come a spring election. StoryGlobe + Mail

Hudak claims the OLP used fake deficit numbers to make themselves look good in tackling the budget. Zzzzzzz. He should know! Remember when the Ernie Eve's PC's were caught hiding a deficit after they were defeated in 2003? Anyhow the PC's + Liberals play the blame game @ 2 deadbeats governments?

Seems like the OCSTA Catholic trustees are trying to develop a little political savvy with their new Queens Park Director for Legislative and Political Affairs @ Takacs

The Hamilton French Catholic board feels like they are getting "goosed" with MOE funding or the lack thereofBad Egg?

The Bad Old Days: Mike Harris kills Toronto subway expansion in the 90's! 

When PC Mike Harris was elected premier in 1995 he halted Toronto subway construction and filled the tunnels and stations with cement to put a stop to all that. Now PC [Me too! Me too! I can be premier!] Tim "Timbo" Hudak is going to build an expanded top notch Toronto subway system without raising taxes by ... by ... pulling a rabbit out of his hat @ Sure he will. Sure. Sure.

The Wynne government promises to invest $29 billion into transit and transportation over the next ten years. Ten years?!? Will they even still be around come summer? Maybe they should legalize pot?! See below ... Story @ Election spending promises?


Rob Ford kicks off his Fall 2014 Municipal Election Campaign at the Toronto Congress Centre this Thursday April 17th at 6:30 PM. I tentatively plan to go, and if so, will provide a report. This I've got to see!

Progressive Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan to run for the Federal Liberals in the by election to fill NDP's Olivia Chow's empty seat in downtown Trinity Spadina riding @ Vaughan

Southern Ontario Winter 2013-14: When will it ever end?

April 14th: Cold front sweeping Southern Ontario threatens spring thaw with low single digit to zero temperatures + more snow. Please tell me winter's over!!!

The coal era is officially over in Ontario! The Thunder Bay Generating Station has the dubious distinction of burning off the last lump of coal @ Cleaner air

Point: Accolades are pouring in across the country for deceased Federal Conservative MPP + former Finance Minster Jim Flaherty @ Cheerful Tory?

Counterpoint: Teachers will also recall it was Jim Flaherty who as Ontario Finance Minister during the Harris years tried gutting funding for our school system to pay for tax cuts predominantly for the rich to try to stimulate the economy. Other critics are not convinced he was actually our federal finance saviour either @  A not so cheery Tory?

Covering all the bases: Jim Flaherty: the good, the bad and the ugly @ RIP

Russian President Putin promises not to annex Alaska. Well that's good. I guess. But about the Crimea there .... story @ Alaska is too cold!

US legal pot sales will reach $8 billion in 2018! OK tell me again why Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper won't approve of a similar tax cash grab here?!? Story @ Up in smoke?

Jim Flaherty + the CBC cuts @ Slashed


Record Collecting: CD's or Vinyl? Mono or Stereo? Which is best? See my review on the Yardbirds @ Explained

Canada's international CBC [Canadian Broadcast Corporation] showcase is suffering death by a thousand cuts, budget cuts that is Going? Going? Gone ...?

Welcome to the 21st Century? How do you break off a relationship with that once special somebody via Twitter? Has it come to this? Top Tweets @ Singlesville

The " Rebellious Poodle"

The 25 all time worst haircuts are Funnado

The "Michael Jackson"

R+B classic "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" gets a contemporary makeover by The 45's @ Youtube

Oooo? Yes! It's the bloody Who! Forget the Tommy + Quarophenia opus albums, the Who were one helluva great garage and singles band that helped define contemporary rock, although nowadays they are often not given their full due. Here's the Classic Rock sites Top 10 Who songs for you to listen to The Who

The kool story of the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" stereo mixes, with an audio file included for your listening pleasure is Beatlemania 2014!

Ringo sez Roll Over Beethoven ...

The Yardbirds were one of the greatest most overlooked sixties British Invasion blues rock, psychedelic + garage bands of all time. My guide to the band is posted below this blog. You can hear 10 of the Yardbirds greatest hits @ Listen hear!

The Yardbirds back in the day.

Canuck artists like Carole Pope [Rough Trade] and Jane Sibbery are still alive and well outside the big bad music industry straight jacket doing their own musical thing and distributing/ promoting it on line via the social media. Is this the wave of the future? I understand promotions are the hard part. Also you need to think outside the old business paradigm with licensing and making your work readily accessible for the masses. 

Carole Pope continues to fill the clubs despite not having had an above ground hit for years! You can download singles on her website for free and then order the album +/or go see her play if you like.

Former Byrd Roger McGuinn once said that he rarely made a cent off of his many hit records themselves but recouped it in concert demand + merchandizing at his shows. One hit was good for 2 years of steady stadium or club dates depending upon how big the hit was, and how many he had

Donovan lives!

Supposedly washed up 60's legend Donovan ["Mellow Yellow", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "Season of the Witch" etc] continues to record, and sell his own new music + back catalogue online and likewise play gigs and tour too. Donovan's site is Donovan

I should think this would also be an interesting angle for writers and photographers to consider, in the general sense. If one expects folks to just discover and pay for their books or snap shots like in the old days/ ways they may very well continue to languish in poverty and obscurity forever, copyright laws notwithstanding. There has been a whole paradigm shift, and I am pretty sure most of us are still just figuring it out. However, McGuinn, Donovan, Pope + Sibbery are doing just fine now thank you @ New wave?

Dem potholes is big this year! You bet!

Canuck comedian Bryan Aylward addresses the not so funny issue of winter potholes in our streets @ Youtube

Department of So bad They Are Good? See the Top 50 All Time Worst Music Videos @ Link

Here's what 51 years will do to you my lovelies! Same couple, same place. Antidote? None. We might as well all just learn how to smile + be happy! @ Twitter Pix

Here's a slide show of the best theme bars in Vancouver. Would you believe a Twin Peak theme bar called the Black Lodge?! Hmmmm. Who DID kill Laura Palmer anyway??? More Peaks

Twin Peaks: Local school girl makes bad!

TIP: If you scroll down the blog page towards the bottom you will find my music, television + movie reviews under Heavy Rotation + Quickie Reviews


Kulture Kult Ink said...

Teacher free speech: Tory polls soar? Hudak majority? Story @

Anonymous said...

With this new two-round bargaining under the passed Bill 122, will we have the same salary grids within our locals. For example, will the teachers in Toronto (public or separate) have the exact same pay grid as those in Ottawa and Thunder Bay? Note: we currently do not make the same salaries based on one common province-union agreed grid. There are slight variations across the province. Will every teacher at A4 and with at least ten years of experience make $97,000 by a certain school year or will a teacher in Toronto make $97,450, a teacher in Ottawa make $96, 850, and a teacher in Thunder Bay make $97,625?

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Out of the pot and into the fire ....?

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Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

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

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

Help! I Have No Arms!

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

I can't find my underwear!.

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

Weee! I can fly!

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

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

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

I have an ugly baby!

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

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

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

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

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

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

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

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

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