Opening Statement



Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Teacher December News + Views!

Merry Christmas! Happy Solstice! Hanukkah! Etc! 'Tis the season! Fa la la ...... Here we go with our teacher news links. You know the routine. See the categories below. Updates will later be included in larger type. My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! 


TEACHER + UNION

141 killed in Pakistani school attack! 132 students and 9 staff @ School attack and @ Details


OECTA OLRB hearing dates are set for January 9 + 19th 2015. The hearings are due to lack of agreement upon which items are to be bargained at the provincial level. Board attendance management programs are included. Also health and safety items among others. For more info go to my Teacher Free Speech Contract Guide blog @ Here!


The ETFO member strike vote result? 95%! Wow! Media release @ ETFO 

Further links @ Newswire.ca @ Canoe.ca @ Sun @ Barrie Examiner

Note that in December 2012, 92% of ETFO members voted for a one day strike if Bill 115 was evoked to force the MOE MOU on the teacher union come January 1st @ 3% Less!

This makes my blood boil! Edmonton teacher cleared of "unprofessional behaviour' for handing out zeroes in violation of the school boards "no zero's" policy. His job was terminated. He had to use his pension. He's not happy about the Alberta Teacher Associations involvement in the case. He also wants his job back @ Stands Up to No Zeros BS!



Teacher Alert: school holiday relief on the way!

Waterloo Catholic trustees refuse to agree to parent demands that late school start times [on a daily basis] be rolled back to 9 am. Parents consider it a downloading of school board costs + a major inconvenience for working families who have to get to work on time @ Late Not Great

MOE Liz Sandals intervenes at the dysfunctional TDSB. Is it time to eliminate school boards and school board trustees in Ontario? A poll is also included @ Toronto Star

Should our Catholic School boards be eliminated too? The Star's Martin Regg Cohn argues that it's just a question of time @ More

Trustees: a question of leadership? Why they aren't working out @ POV

New TCDSB Chair Mike Del Grande targets HPC vaccines and MOE Sex Ed curriculum as "moral issues". Progressive trustee Maria Rizzo takes him to task. More @ Maria Rizzo



Seems like some school boards still just can't wrap their heads around pay equity issues!

The $4.7 million London Catholic Board deficit is blamed "mainly" on the pay equity issue. Kinda sad. It's actually not even half the deficit total and one suspects they must not have been too much into the equal work for equal pay thingy until too late Budget Deficit

Catholic Campaign Life Coalition calls for Hamilton teacher and Federal Liberal MP Filomena Tassi to be fired by the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic School Board because she won't oppose the parties pro choice position. The school board says it has no plans to fire her @ Abortion Issue

Who represents who? TCDSB moves to remove the reference to "advisory" from it's parent council titles [Catholic School Advisory Councilsand merge their banking accounts giving principals more control over their funds @ CSAC

MOE moves to reduce preschool speech and language wait times @ Waiting

A recent Angus Reid poll finds 30% of workers are sexually harassed or assaulted on the job. 60% of employers look the other way. It is amazing how deep bullying runs in our society. Stopping student bullies is only one part of the struggle. How credible is the school board's effort if the teachers and staff are being bullied too? Or even, let's face it, doing some of the bullying as well? Eh? Doesn't happen? BS @ 30/60



On the homestretch ...

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. CUPE reports @ Media Release

Yik Yak is an new app that allows students to unanimously bully others. A victim is circulating a petition asking Apple + Google to stop carrying the app @ Yik Yak?

Ottawa Student Transport Authority site Twitter board blocked and students reported following snow day incident. I'm not sure what to make of this rather odd article. Be sure to read to end @ Snow Day

Ontario school bus operators at many school boards are barely earning minimum wage while contractual obligations ignored. $2M lawsuit pending @ Operators 

NSFL [Nova Scotia Federation of Labour] reports on the dire effect of domestic violence on workers and businesses. Even got the story reported in the business section of the Herald. Nice move @ Herald Business

A constitutional challenge against rules denying the admissibility of job related stress as a qualifying reason for Workman Compensation has reached the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. Think about it! A win could have some very interesting implications if applied to the issue of your teacher sick day benefits too when it comes to stress related absences! No? You can bet that conservative business interests across the country are going to be watching this one carefully! More @ Global News

Introducing Anti-Unional: a Long Lasting Anti Union Suppository @ Video

A teacher explains: The Day I Knew For Sure I Was Burnt Out @ Washington Post



Christmas the Cuba: Here's my ongoing series for the month of December about a Christmas Eve police crack down at the cathedral in Santiago de Cuba during the 1996 Cuba School Project trip! Please share! Series: Part 1 @  Here! Part 2 @ Here!  Part 3 @ Here! Part 4 @ Here! Part 5 @ Here! Part 6 @ Here!

Ok! Ok! I admit it! Raoul was reading Christmas in Cuba and he was just so friggin' embarrassed that he ...... eh? Que?!? What? Obama? The Pope? Oh yeah, see under "In The News" below for more .......

Should sexual consent be taught as a part of the elementary school sex ed curriculum? More @ Sex Ed

There's a fierce debate raging over the issue of Gay Straight Alliances in the Alberta schools @ GSA

Declining number of male teachers in our elementary schools robs students of important role models but nobody seems to care @ Windsor Star



So what's for dinner tonight? Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! Regretfully, many Canadian can't decide to retire and keep their dignity intact anymore!

The CLC calls for "retirement security for everyone". The bottom line is that many if not most Canadians can't possibly save enough money to retire anymore. RRSP's and the Canadian Pension Plan alone won't do. The CLC says we should be all be able to live out our lives in dignity rather than face poverty when we retire. Amen to that @ CLC

Next time somebody whines about our OTTP [Ontario Teacher Pension Plan] tell them where to go! You are paying premium rates for a damn fine pension plan. It's reaping profits hands over fist for you. The real issue is why other workers aren't allowed similar plans. The truth is that neo con interests plant jealousy + division in others' minds to undermine our success. They want to grab hold of all that $$$ for themselves, not you, I, or anybody else. Indeed, the confident, world class. power house OTPP is looking to invest hundreds of millions abroad to bolster members' pension benefits. It's can also help fund much needed government infrastructure programs here and abroad while making money for your retirement @ OTTP

PROVINCIAL POLITICS



Christmas at Queen's Park outside the Premier's Office

Premier Wynne expresses "grave concern" and calls for the Ontario Attorney General to advise on the constitutionality of Bill 136: the Federal Conservative government's Protection of Community and Exploited Persons Act 2014. It came into effect Dec 6th in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision to overturn Canada's prostitution laws. 

Now Magazine has called for the premier to instruct the provincial police not to enforce the act pending a possible appeal. The concerns are that it does not protect the provinces' sex workers health, safety and other constitutional rights and needs to be challenged. Premier Wynne's statement on Bill 136 is included, as well as a lively Now analyses and links on the situation, from a Toronto progressive perspective @ Now!

Harper feds says if Wynne's concerned about Bill 136 she should've talked to them earlier @ Earlier?!?

Here's how you know this is BS: Wynne asks Prime Minister Harper to meet to discuss the concerns of Canada's largest province. He's been avoiding her for a year @ Fed Con

IN THE NEWS



Obama + Raoul: High hopes!

US + Cuba announce plans to normalize relations! What timing for my Christmas In Cuba story eh? Raoul Casto wants US Embargo lifted. Pope thanked! News links @ Pope and @ On Going

This has happened before since I started the Cuba School Project [CSP] in 1992. Once a rogue clandestine aircraft got shot down over Cuba. Rapprochement in 1998 between the Vatican and the Cuban government failed to trigger a US response as President Clinton went into damage control during the Monika Lewinsky affair. Alas. 



Not happy about Cuba! Note: Also learnt spelling from reading my site!

During my 2013 CSP visit to Santiago de Cuba there were all ready bus loads of Americans being herded around on group trips. Odd. Canucks are usually just wandering all over the island .... Something has been brewing for awhile and locally some important reforms are expected as well. I wrote a bit about this in my April 2014 blog @ Still going!

Canadian federal government continues to dicker around with "medical marijuana" prescriptions to dodge the supreme court ruling. It's the same social Conservative BS as with Bill 136 [See above]. Federal Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau is running on a platform to finally legalize marijuana in next year's federal election so Prime Minister Harper is playing @ Reefer Madness



Abracadbra! Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's gone! Probably turned into a pumpkin! But what next?!?

Incoming Toronto Mayor John Tory has selected an inner cabinet of Liberal and Conservative political veterans @ John Tory

Tory's appointments leave city council progressives feeling left out in the cold @ Not Much Luck

Hope you're not planning on going to Kenya for Christmas this year! Story @ Heads will roll!

KULTURE KULT INK



Christmas: It isn't what it use to be!

Sigh! Alas! A couple of Kulture Kult Ink Obits:

Canuck's lament loss of Hab's hockey legend Jean Beliveau @ RIP!



Jean Beliveau: a true Canadien eh!

Rock + Roll saxophonist Bobby Keys dies at age 70. Bobby played on the Rolling Stone's seminal albums Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. It is his blasting sax that rocked their classic "Brown Sugar" and "Rip This Joint" trax among many others. During his career Bobby also recorded with other R+R greats such as Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Eric Clapton and so many others. Now he's off to join that great rock + roll band in the sky @ Gone to Rock + Roll Heaven! 

Hear Bobby's Top 10 Rolling Stone songs @ Classic Rock

See and hear Bobby's rollicking sax on the Stone's Miss You live in concert @ Trez Kool!


Bobby: Ooops! I lost my clothes recording Exile On Main Street!!!

Supplementary: Rolling Stones 1972! Exiled on Youtube. Love the music, and iconoclastic memes @ More!

Heavy Rotation + Quickie Reviews: My latest [Dec 13 2014] album reviews are posted below this blog column, towards the bottom of my site, where they usually are, in case you didn't know. Check it out! U2! Sean Lennon! Frank Zappa! CCR! Grateful Dead! Jacob Miller! Bob Marley! Scientist! More!

A politically progressive review of the[Alas!] shortcomings of the "Boardwalk Empire Series Finale" is Nucky vs Enoch!

Random Thoughts [Very Random]: Thinking of getting your very own remote controlled model aircraft, or helicopter? Even better yet a Drone?? Wouldn't that be kool!?! Fly it over to the grocery or record store for pick ups and so on!!! Better think of this first though @ Safety?



I need records! I need groceries!

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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!.

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Have you seen them!

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

I have a headache!

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And a broken nose.

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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!
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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!