Opening Statement

Monday 8 September 2014

Teacher September News + Views!

 My Teacher + Union Acronym Guide is Here! 


The Ontario government and teacher unions seem to be playing the current round of teacher contract negotiations pretty close to their chest. Ongoing news links, views + commentary has now been moved, for the fall, to Here!

BC teachers ratify their new contract by 86%. Reminds me of the MOU votes after our prolonged strikes and work actions here in Ontario in 2012-13. IMHO unless the vote is in the upper 90's range the teachers are hardly dancing on their desks. Anyhow the BC teacher union memo on the deal, and member arguments against it are posted @ Here News on the vote results is @ There

Neither the union nor the government seemed willing to gamble on the outcome of pending court charter challenge decisions over their bargaining rights @ Spineless?

Deal done + all's well? BC teachers barred from Liberal fundraiser due to "security concerns" @ ?!?!

ETFO + OSSTF are each donating $500,000 to the BCTF strike fund @ ETFO and @ OSSTF

Everyone at the union office and BC Ministry of Education are slapping each other on the back but a 7.2% salary increase over the course of a 6 year deal sounds like a pay cut to me. The Canadian inflation rate is now at 2% Anyway, more @ 6 Years

Tentative agreement reached in the British Columbia [BC] teacher strike! Read the BC Teachers Federation [BCTF] letter to it's members outlining the deal here @ The Deal

There are some pretty strong arguments for rejecting the offer Why not?

The Globe + Mail has a live blog with regular updates on the strike ratification vote @ Blog

More BC teacher strike ratification info available at this blogsite @ Yes or No?

How to get along with teacher unions? Its absolutely quite easy + constructive unless you are a neo con with a hidden agenda @ Neo nobs!

Ontario MOE Sandals negotiates contracts behind closed doors. BC counterpart battles with the unions in public. Why the difference? More @ MOE

Sandals does not anticipate any teacher strikes in Ontario this year. Why @ Sandals

Maybe she should be? Teacher discontent over the MOU's still runs deep. However, she has left herself a little wiggle room @ Everythings hunky dory?

Coming soon to an Ontario school near you: bigger class sizes? Maybe @ Bigger best?!

Teachers paying for school supplies out of their own pocket as classes resume @ $chool

Are students a priority for the BC government in the BC teachers strike? Seems not @ Priorities?

Look familiar?!

Nasty! Nasty! BC students brace for 2nd week of no classes. Meanwhile the government rejects offer to go to binding arbitration with the provinces teachers in ongoing strike @ No Arbitration!

Why have negotiations failed in the BC teachers strike? The BC government launches all out war against its teachers in violation of court decisions @ BC Liberals Suck!

In defence of the BC teachers strike @ Explained

The CBC's news page with links for more info about the BC teachers strike is @ CBC

Catholic schools continue to insist students must take religious studies despite recent court decision. MOE Sandals isn't enforcing ruling. Teacher takes rap for discussing situation with class. More @ Catholic Studies?

NUT: turning heat on the UK Conservatives!

NUT [National Union of Teachers] has released its lobbying manifesto for the upcoming UK elections. They want a requirement that teachers be qualified to teach. Seriously. Talk about neo conservatism run amok! We can only wish  them well @ NUT UK

UK teachers go pro active in helping shape the Labour Parties education platform. Bravo! More @ Who knows better than teachers themselves?!?

Toronto student Hamid Aminzada killed trying to defuse school fight.

ESL student killed in knifing at Toronto school. Story @ Toronto?!

The student was trying to act as a peacekeeper to defuse an ongoing fight. When admin and staff are not in charge at school, who is? More @ Stabbing Death

Why do so many teachers quit their jobs? This is a US article but you will recognize the similarities @ Going going gone!

Differentiation run amok: The above comes from our teacher colleagues in the UK. I'm sure we can empathize too!
  Incentive pay issue rears it's ugly head again! Higher test scores = more moola? I tire of this BS. Most of my teaching career I taught at an inner city school where the average Gr 9 student arrived with a Grade 5 to 6 language level due to a multitude of challenges from outside of school. Why would anyone want to teach there if pay is based on the student scores?!? Or would/ are the scores fudged anyway so the school gets a good rating? Think "scribes". Anyway, more @ No Incentive!

Teachers and parents speak out against the neo con Fraser Institutes position on "merit pay incentives" @ Here

Ontario about to half number of teacher college grads @ No jobs!

CUPE video explains why Ontario needs to provide more extended care services for our province's long term care residents, most of whom are seniors. Time for some compassion? Remember, someday we will all grow old too @ Time to Care!

Ontario neo conservatism run amok? Unite Here Canada scores a labour win in an OLRB decision to reject Richtree's attempt to throw out union over address change when relocated across food court floor in the Toronto Eaton Centre. Workers must be reinstated @ Unite Here!

MacDonalds + Burger King fast food workers across Canada + the US strike for a living wage and the right to organize without the fear of dismissals and retaliation @ Fast Food BS!

Education, Poverty + Power: a rap poem by Kevaughn Ellis @ Video

Toronto Star editorial wants to eliminate homework so students can learn more doing anything and everything but preparing for tomorrows class, or completing and reviewing today's work. I get so sick of this BS. More @ Lame brain thinking!

Ontario all day Kindergarten students are increasingly getting placed in split grade classes @ More trouble ahead?

Day Care Centres across Ontario are facing a crisis with the implementation of full day Junior Kindergarten @ Full day JK


The Queens Park legislature resumes after Thanksgiving. Meanwhile ......

Ontario PC's rethink policy after getting their butt kicked but bad in a spring election that was there's to lose @ 100,000 mistakes! 

Ontario PC's to choose new leader May 9th. The candidates are lining up their ducks @ May 9

Timbo: But ... but ... all I wanted to do was eliminate 100,000 jobs!

NDP party leader Andrea Horwath hunkers down as a leadership review looms after she loses balance of power in nasty spring election beating. Refuses to meet with Ontario Federation of Labour as a group to discuss union concerns @ Bye bye Andrea too?

Andrea Horwath gets a "fixer" to try save her political butt @ Michael Balagus

Seems Andrea Horwath is making a desperate plea to win back her leftie supporters before the NDP party leadership review. MPP Cheri DiNova is not afraid to speak out either. Andreas butt might well be on the line. Can she still turn her fortunes around after the spring election debacle? More @ Going down?

Not for sale? Sign a NDP petition against the Ontario Liberal Party selling off public assets as they consider the possibilities for the OPG + LCBO @ Petition

Dalton McGuinty our ex premier who fancied himself as the "Education Premier" is now back at Queens Park as a lobbyist for an education software company. Liberals at QP say he's playing by the rules. Others not so sure how appropriate this is @ He's back!

Dalton: Well actually, I only know everybody this much. Yup, you bet!

Not everybody is quite so sure how appropriate this is @ National Post

You decide! Here's the "Bill 115 lobbyists registration Amendment Act 2013" @ Bill 115 again?!


20 federal Conservative MPP's have announced they won't be running in the election next year. Is the writing on the wall for Prime Minister Stephen Harper? More @ Sinking feeling?

Singalong with Jerry Dias: If your unhappy + you know it raise your hands ...

Unifor has announced it will be encouraging its union members to vote strategically to defeat the Federal Conservatives. Four more years of the Harper Conservatives could be a major disaster for Canada's union movement @ Not taking any chances?

The Federal NDP has forced a debate in the House of Commons on missing and murdered aboriginal women @ PC's don't care?

So much for international leadership: Prime Minister Harper will be skipping the UN climate summit @ Tch! Tch!

The Rob + Doug Ford Show!

Rob Ford drops out of the Toronto Mayoral race. Brother Doug takes his place. Now it seems Rob has cancer. Story + my Ford news links going back a few years are Ford Nation

So. Just how do the politics of the Ford switcherooni play out at this late stage in the mayoral race? Very interesting! Don't be surprised if it provides Doug with a lot of advantages. Also don't forget that he's a well known bully and manipulator as is brother Rob @ Hmmm.

Fords, Fords everywhere Fords! There's some pretty fancy Ford footwork going on behind the scenes in this years municipal + trustee elections @ Ford Nation

Finally, full disclosure on why Mayor Rob Ford was fired as a Don Bosco secondary school football coach. Anti social conduct and abuse of custodial authority @ For Shame!

Are Olivia Chow's chances of a mayoral victory fading due to the vanishing NDP vote in Toronto? The political landscape seems to be changing if the last Federal and provincial elections are any indicator. More @ Olivia

Olivia: getting unfairly painted into a pinko corner? 

Ex OPC Peter Shurman calls Olivia Chow a "major league biatch" [sic] for being assertive during the recent heated mayoral debates. Is there a double standard here? Olivia's only saving grace, as she continues to lag in the polls might be her lead among women voters @ Sexism Issue?

Why black Torontonians might want to spoil their ballot on election day @ Not Good!

Why Toronto public school supporters need to take care in voting for a TDSB trustee in next months elections @ Quite the mess!

Register your students for the Student Vote program to teach them about the upcoming fall municipal elections @ Teachable Moment

Here's a good link to the Scotland independence referendum @ Yes or no?

A room with a view? Look out the window on the International Space Station below:

All three Canadian political parties seem united in sending our armed forces to fight the Islamic extremists in Iraq even though we will be joining forces with Iran and Syria. Have they thought this through? Or are we all getting suckered into a big mistake again, just like after 9/11, except in Canada's case, even worse? More @ Clouds of War

Alaska reporter drops the F word on TV + quits her news job to fight for the legalization of marijuana @ Up in smoke!

Environment? What environment?!? Meanwhile in New York .....


How much internet slang do you know? Here's some maybe you should @ Lol

First the humble Canadian penny was unceremoniously dumped as a form of currency. Now it's the venerable Canadian "Tire". Yes, the "Tire". You've heard of the dollar, the Euro, the Pound, and Yen. Then there is or rather was, the Canadian Tire. Well its being phased out now starting next month. Truly the death of a Canadian icon @ The "Tire"

Mr. Canadian Tire can smile all he wants but his days are numbered!

Schools back! Guess whats trending in this years teenage fashions in Jamaica? And what does it apparently all mean? @ Tongue Rings!?

Here's 9 untrue stereotypes of Canada to make you cringe! See @ Oh Oh Canada!

Say it isn't so .....!? Taxidermy run amok @ Ugh!

At least somebody has their musical priorities right! CD's are still alive and well in Japan. MP3's don't quite cut it CD's vs MP3's?

Japan's AKD48 include free concert tickets with their CDs

Canuck rocker icon Randy Bachman [The Guess Who, BTO ...] not happy Prime Minister Harper used a recording of his "Taking Care of Business" tune while giving a recent speech. Yay Randy @ TKB!

..... More coming soon!


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Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
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Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

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Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

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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!