Opening Statement



Saturday, 25 April 2015

Magnificent 7: OSSTF Teachers Strike!

Teachers Strike Against Liberals’ Austerity Agenda
By Tim Heffernan (retired Toronto secondary school teacher)



Monday was the start of an important strike by secondary school teachers in the Durham District School Board. Six other boards could soon be joining them on the picket lines, depending on the speed of the negotiations. Together they (Durham and the other 6), make up what the OSSTF (Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation) has called “the magnificent 7.” There is the potential for the development of rolling (not rotating) strikes by a good chunk of OSSTF members across the province over the next few weeks, which involves building sustained actions in selected school boards. Durham began strike action this week. Peel and Sudbury will likely join them next week to be followed by others at a later time If they are successful, a significant dent could be made in the shield of the Liberal austerity agenda.

Traditionally, but more in name only, collective bargaining on teacher issues took place between individual school boards and their local union counterparts. However, over the last 20 years, the Ontario government  – being the sole funding source of education – has taken a more assertive role by centralizing bargaining so that the big-ticket item in negotiations, salaries, is determined by “discussions” between the government and the leaderships of the provincial unions. The declared rationale for the government intervention, under the guise of tackling the Ontario deficit, is to reduce the wages of teachers and education workers. However, reducing the debt is just a cover for the Liberals. The real end game is to break the power of the unions in order to open up the education field to the privateers.

The formal centralization process began in 2004 with the voluntary co-operation by the unions and the establishment of “provincial discussion tables.” In 2012, this process was formalized forcibly via legislation with the imposition of Bill 115 which led to a number of strips in previously negotiated local contracts:

  • Zero % wage increase;
  • Reductions in sick leave entitlements;
  • Delaying the movement of new teachers up the salary grid;
  • Eliminations of retirement gratuities.
Formalization was consolidated further with the passing of Bill 122 a year ago. This is the law that has laid the framework for the current “negotiations” – a central table for the big ticket items: salary, benefits, workload (including class size and supervision) with a local bargaining table for the remaining scraps.

At the central table, the government and OPSBA (Ontario Public School Boards Association), in addition to issues of salary and class caps, have put forward the following:

  • Elimination of prep time for non classroom teachers (e.g. library, guidance, special ed. etc); Supply teachers would get no prep time, i.e. they would be fully assigned for the entire work day;
  • More on-calls and supervision duties to be assigned to teachers;
  • Teachers’ professional judgement to be further devalued by giving Boards the power to tell teachers what/when/how to assess/evaluate student work.
  • Allowing principals and VPs to be reinstated into the teachers’ bargaining unit (think school closures and downsizing), ahead of BU members, allowing them full seniority and without payment of union dues. Thus a principal, “surplus to requirements”, could be placed into a teaching position which might lead to a “regular teacher” being laid off.
  • Further cuts to sick leave and other benefits;
If the government gets away with the above, it’s not just the teachers and education section that is in trouble. They’ll be coming after all of us.

OSSTF seem to be setting the pace in terms of militant action and I can only speak for them. Their strategy is to start with rolling strikes (see above). An innovative strategy being employed by OSSTF is that members who are not striking will be levied extra union dues to finance enhanced strike pay for those who are on strike. It remains to be seen how effective the rolling strike strategy will be. Up in the air is what elementary (ETFO) and Catholic (OECTA) teachers do. And the big question will be how the government plays it – sit it out or introduce back to work legislation with binding arbitration? And if back to work legislation is introduced, does OSSTF and the other unions have a plan B?

Originally posted on April 22, 2015 @ Rank + File Ca 

RELATED READING

My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! 

Tim's July 2013 article on "Ken Coran: Was OSSTF Betrayed?" @ Here

OPSBA's [the trustees] initial contract offer isLink Fixed!

Strike news links are provided in the "Teacher + Union" sections of my monthly all affiliate Teacher Free Speech News and Views blogs @ Jan @ Feb @ March @ April

Here's a study guide for our new Collective Bargaining Act [2014] @  Bill 122

My DIY Teacher Free Speech Spring 2015 Contract Guide is Here!

COMMENTS:

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Glad to hear that you are the forerunners of what is to come. Hope all the affiliates follow your example and take a strong stance as this situation is beyond ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Love your "Magnificent Seven" and hope we will be joining you soon!

Anonymous said...

ETFO has received a "no board report" and is in a legal strike position. OECTA just got a 94.2% strike vote (rumours are the turnout was very high). Kathleen Wynne just presided over the most right wing budget since Mike Harris (Hydro sell out, lowest Corporate tax rate on continent - even lower than Louisiana, lowest program spending in Canada), and zero money for education.

A big fight is coming ala 1997.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the teachers' unions assert what they are striking for rather than what the government wants. We seemed to give a lot of free publicity (at the union members' expense)| to what the government wants .This was also done for MOU 1. I would like to see what we as teachers are aiming for in our bargaining- in tangibles like a fair raise like every other civil servant is getting!!!! I certainly am not going on strike for respect- but for something a little more tangible to pay my bills with. The cost of living alone averages two percent per year and I have been cut and frozen for three years!

Anonymous said...

Did ETFO and OSSTF release their first offers/proposals in reply to the government side? The OECTA first proposal was "released" to members....or was it?

David Chiarelli said...

My understanding is that OSSTF did not. Not sure about ETFO, tho I think so. OECTAs should've been, was floating about online, but am not sure it has been, until posted here, at least not directly at all units, except thru Strike Notes, showing how specific OCSTA terms relate to their unit.

Now to find the ETFO OSSTF initial offers. Seems mighty f*ing odd due paying members expected to go on strike have not seen?!? I'm still looking online ..... anybody?

David Chiarelli said...

PS: also of interest: how do affiliates plan to seel public on the strikes and job actions if they won't clearly tell the public what the teachers specifically want? This should be interesting .....

David Chiarelli said...

Watch the province try to blackwash the teachers over a pay increase! Its a hot button issue for the public. Otherwise one is preaching to the converted. The issues however remain, as so succinctly stated in the comment above re: police and nurses!!!

I'd suppose that is why the affiliates are treading lightly on the salary issue. However, what will the salient points be, for public consumption? So far we've heard the [bogus] Austerity claims, as Tim outlines for us in his article above. Also the OECTA "management control/ power play" argument. Both make a lot of sense, but the public has been largely brainwashed with the PC/OLP neo con big bad teacher/ unions propaganda over the years. Methinks the affiliates are ultimately going to need bigger guns than this to win the all important public opinion war! But what?

Anonymous said...

We as teachers have the same right as anyone else who is unionized to collective bargaining. Who out there is trying to take away my rights? Who cares about this anonymous public opinion? Who are they and let them stand and tell me to my face that I don't enjoy collective bargaining rights the same as anybody else in our Western society? Most people when they are bargaining worry about themselves not this illusive "public opinion". Someone is inconvenienced by every collective action- that does not mean that collective action by a union should not happen! If I worried what someone else thought; I would never do anything!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like our union bosses may be too timid to do their jobs. The Public indeed. Sounds like the bogeyman is coming!

David Chiarelli said...

Agreed, but the onus should be on setting the agenda for public opinion and not just reacting to it, or getting raked over the coals. I'd think our "leaders" should be more ballsy in asserting the pay issue BUT it needs to be heavily balanced with other issues that the averagae parent or member of the public can also relate too and sympathize with.

Class size provides a case in point. The public will be more concerned and sympathetic that we can't teach their children in overcrowded and underfunded classrooms than with whether we deserve a pay raise, even tho teachers of course do. Just the nature of the public relations beast.

If the unions loose control of the agenda and we are falsely painted as selfish and moneygrubbing, there is a large portion of the population that might well delight in seeing us get our ass kicked but good.

It would seem to me that the trustees and province are gunning for a showdown, so this could get very dirty indeed! The question then becomes how to create a balance in presenting our case that doesn't merely seem self serving especially since it isn't .....?

Anonymous said...

I think it is imperative that we at least try to get the public (parents of school aged children) on side, or educated about the bargaining issues. It is pressure from this group that will influence the OLP and boards, not pressure from teachers. Plus, an OSSTF member, I would really like to know what my central bargaining team put on the table first! People are asking me and I feel like a fool not being able to answer. I can only speak defensively about what I would strike over to keep from the last imposed contract.

Anonymous said...

TCDSB just sent out an interesting communique about this very subject (letting parents know that collective bargaining is normal). It was emailed to you David.

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks for sending me this! From my personal experience teaching 28 years with this board, I wouldn't trust them past the end of my nose!

Seems the TCDSB is reassuring parents everything is fine while taking the opportunity to fill them in on what OECTA is doing [Collective Bargaining]. Hardly their job, and besides what do they know about CB except how to try to use it to screw their teachers + staff over + over again over the years?

Remember when the TCDSB locked the OECTA TECT teachers out to help along the Harris Eves Tory War Against Teachers?!? For shame on the board!!!

David Chiarelli said...

PS: I wonder if this is related to the Toronto Suns misinformation about the catholic schools going on strike May 10th?!? See my Teacher Free Speech April News + Views!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the "teacher "unions' first offer and the government's offer are exactly the same. That appears to have happened in the MOU of 2012! That may be why we are getting the government's offer only.

Anonymous said...

Remember Kevin O'Dwyer's annoying "collective bargaining" reports to members that kept telling us what the government wanted (and got) in 2012. Plus le change plus le meme chose. Is this more of the same?

Anonymous said...

The ETFO commercials are dead on brilliant in defining the issue of class size...e.g. a class size of 30 has a direct impact on how much time can be spent with each individual student. Bravo ETFO! Keep doing the same for key strike related parent motivating strategies. Where are your commercials doing the same thing OECTA and OSSTF?

Anonymous said...

David, Don's idea of OBU (One Big Union) is the only thing that makes sense in this Ontario Teacher union debacle. We have to have one voice against the Ontario government. Unity is power! United we stand, divided we fall!

Anonymous said...

A couple of weeks ago, the DPIC team visited schools in our unit to provide collective bargaining information updates. They read from prepared by OECTA printed sheets and info. from their laptop. A lot of information was helpful. Their version of the MOU was interesting. They implied that the reason for the MOU being passed without a unit wide membership vote was because of past AGM delegates not having the vision to pass a motion requiring a unit wide membership vote before the MOU became binding. That's one interesting revisionist view of what actually happened. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

BS All unionized workers in Ontario have the right to vote on any MOU or settlement arranged by their union bosses according to the Ontario Labour Relations Act! Nowhere in the legislation does it state that teachers are an exception to the Law. Will find the clause for you when I have some time and post it.

Anonymous said...

David here is part of a statement that I made to the OLRB on this topic in 2013
"A collective bargaining agreement cannot become legally binding until all union members ratify it. If the members do not approve it, the agreement has no effect .Section 44(1) The question is whether or not we had the right as all other Ontario workers have to ratify our own collective agreement. I see no place in the Labour Relations Act of 1995 where teachers are excluded from this right. I also see no place in the Labour Relations Act that excludes OECTA as a union, from having the lawful obligation to conduct such a ratification vote in accordance with the law. OECTA is not above the law".

David Chiarelli said...

This OECTA presentation is so disturbing I don't know where to begin! You are dues paying members, and professionals at that. To be given such a heavily scripted info commercial presentation is not only insulting, it shows that the OECTA manufacturing consent BS is running full tilt.

I'm glad there was some good info, but it begs the question as to what was left out? As an aside, did they present their initial offer, or just show you why the OCSTA one is so bad for you?

The MOU revisionism is especially disturbing. Firstly, it speaks of a sad lack of leadership that the members were not given any direction on this gapping hole in the ratification process ahead of time, for which you are now being blamed.

Secondly, where does your union get off telling you that unless they were told them you wanted a vote first, they could go ahead and sign off on contract strips and years of CB trade offs and gains? Even if it was technically permissible, which OECTA has long argued it was, it begs the question; who's working for whom?

The whole argument seems totally reprehensible. They surely knew better. Not only OECTA, but all the provinces teachers suffered dearly for that lack of fortitude and spine.

The orginal argument was that the CB team wanted to nail the deal after the trustees walked out, or else they thought they'd lose it. Whatever happened to that one? No matter, considering the gravity of concessions, inexcusable all the same.

The OECTA membership would seem to me to be between a rock and a hard place. You cannot back down to the concessions OCSTA and the MOE want this time around, even though it is a case of too little too late. However, how do you do so with the same basic CB team that sold out you and the rest of the provinces teachers last time around? And without letting them come out looking good while also defacto getting you to now endorse, with a vote, the 2012 MOU, which is hardly being challenged or rolled back in any meaningful way.

Whatever happened to the twin pillars of local bargaining and no concessions?!? IMHO you are being badly manhandled and used my friends. I sincerely hope you can still somehow sort this all out and get your OECTA house in order, but quite frankly, I don't see how, short of re-establishing teacher free speech on the many issues at hand, while you also re-establish grassroots renewal, rebuilding the whole thing over again, from the bottom up. Good luck!

David Chiarelli said...

I'd hope the affiliates are co-ordinating their media strategy behind the scenes, to deliver quite a few one-two-three carefully timed TV radio + print "commercial" punches that will cover all the bases!

As an aside, I'm glad to hear it seems ETFO is still leading the media pack. IMHO their use of the social media especially, during 2012-13, with Lisa M's frequent, comprehensive and actually insightful twitters y tweets was stellar. Bench mark. Hope they can do it gain, and the other affiliates take note!

David Chiarelli said...

I'm still rolling the one union idea around in my mind. Do you mean like Unifor? One big union could be a lot more powerful, with a lot more members, resources and co-ordination. On the otherhand I like local autonomy and representation best, one size does not always fit all. Also there's the problem of what if it becomes corrupted from within? Becomes a huge monolithic self serving monstrosity like some of our exisiting affiliates today, only much, much bigger?!? I'd guess I'd want to consider what safeguards could be put in place first ......

Otherwise, well, it certainly could help get some much needed housecleaning done .......

In solidarity!

David C

David Chiarelli said...

PS: If anyboy would like to do a guest blog, like the proposal for an OECTA Bill of Member Rights one from 2012, one the one big teacher union idea, I'd be very happy to post!

Could provide some very useful food for thought. Never know what might ultimately happen. The OECTA Bill of Rights one is still heavily read today, so I'd suspect somewhere in the background out there, the wheels are still spinning on what to do, or rather perhaps, how to do it ......

Anonymous said...

The idea of One Big Teacher Union is good. OSSTF has a clear Anti-Harassment Policy. Do ETFO and OECTA have clear, and specific Anti-Harassment Policies for their organizations? Especially after the CBC investigation and Q?

David Chiarelli said...

Dear OLRB!

Yes!!! Thanks! Our Comments must've crossed paths because I did not see yours before I sat down to address the others!

The Reader is directed to the members OECTA OLRB "failure to represent" challenge in my Dec 2012 archives [top left screen], It concerns the lack of an OECTA MOU member ratification vote, which OECTA then actually USED BILL 115 AGAINST ITS OWN MEMBERS to QUASH!!!

Whew! Excuse me! Don't like to use so many capitals, but this one is still SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO disturbing thru to today, and I doubt few even know about this or remember.

Once again, many thanks for the reminder!!!!

Soldiarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

Thank you, David! As a ''proud'' OECTA member for many years, I have become sickened by the sellout, self-serving, sycophantic monolithic country club union where the only things that matter are the big salaries at St. Claire Ave., the recruitment and ''training'' of the obsequious (see Halton) who kneel at the feet of the ''leaders'', and the application of the Almighty ''Handbook'' as a tool to quiet those members with legitimate complaints and aspirations of deep democracy.

Please continue your commentary. It sure sooths the soul to know that there is someone out there who feels the same as I do and who is willing to say it! I'm sure if they could hit you with a 413 they would!

Anonymous said...

In the long term interests of the organization, maybe it is time for OECTA to hire an independent outside third party to conduct an investigation of the MOU and all its results just like the CBC did to move forward after the recent issues at Q???

One of the recommendations of the Halton Elementary Unit Grant Thornton Forensic Audit was WHISTLEBLOWER Protection policy implementation for the organization's members. Has this been implemented? Why or why not?

Anonymous said...

No it has not! Many excellent ideas came forward at Halton for discussion during the chaos of the Richard Brock/Nina March/Provincial takeover of the unit.

Included were: Term limits, salary reductions, whistle blower protection, transparent account statements, more power for Executive, greater member engagement, timely member input, and more.

To date, nothing has changed. In fact, there is a great entrenchment of the unit President and it seems that all direction and action directives come directly from Toronto. Those of the Executive that speak out against inflated salaries, seek greater transparency, and object to silly bylaws are shouted and voted down.

Those who want the job of president eventually...and there are several..don't want rock the boat. But members suffer.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that comment should read NUAA "No Union At All". A few teachers could meet with the government's trained negotiators, hand over what we have left and it could be done cheaply; rather with the expense of a top heavy union that does nothing but sell out its members.

Anonymous said...

My members are real mad that President Ryan apparently told the world that teachers are not interested in a raise although they have been cut and frozen for the last three years last weekend in an interview that was done by the Toronto Sun. They say they would not have said yes to a strike vote if the teacher union offer did not include a fair raise for them. Perhaps President James Ryan was misquoted by the media?The cost of living alone rises 2% per annum so I concur that this situation is untenable.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly James Ryan and the Provincial Executive and all Unit Presidents voted that they should receive the same strike pay as members if they go on strike, Someone please verify that.

Has the Oecta Secretariat and all Oecta provincial staffers offered to do the same thing since they received increases (many to increase their pay to $178,000.00 per year and 22 sick days bankable per year) while teachers had cuts during the 2012 to 2014 MOU?

Anonymous said...

Teachers didn't only have cuts to their sick days they had their existing banked sick days stolen by the government (given away by their "union" outright. It is funny that people who sit in an office of 4 or 5 people (the Secretariat) get 22 bankable days and teachers who are exposed to up to 1400 kids a day get 11 days. One flu and your days are almost exhausted. We do not wear masks and gloves like nurses are allowed to do either. There is something wrong with this picture!

Anonymous said...

So, how do rank and file union members solve this problem? Suggestions for answers?

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the universe unfolds.

Remember how Richard Brock argued that the starting point for negotiations after the MOU should be the 2008 to 2012 collective agreement?

So why is the MOU being used as the starting point of negotiations instead?

Anonymous said...

This just "might" indicate who is dominating the contract negotiation and it is not the teacher unions! We are paying taxes to be repeatedly pummeled by the government and our union dues are being used to persecute the few decent union leaders we had!

Anonymous said...

In reply to "what can the rank and file do?" Read and pay attention to the issues and what your union leadership is doing. Not only democracy in your union; but your very livelihood depend on your awareness and participation! Select good and proven leaders to be your union representatives, Ensure that they have your rights and interests as their first priority by looking at how they bargain for YOU at the bargaining table.Do not be deceived by pretty speeches and suits but look at their voting and negotiating records for prior performance before electing them!

Anonymous said...

It might be educational to look at your teacher contract prior to the MOU that was forced upon you in 2012 without your consent and get the MESSAGE! Why are the same people in POWER in OECTA that did that dirty deed to the membership?Wake up before you have nothing left at ALL!

Anonymous said...

Also leave the politics and charitable work to organizations like the riding associations and the Churches. Your single purpose and that of your union bosses should be in getting the best contract possible for the members and not in saving the world. If we have a good contract this will lead other unionized workers to do the same by example. Focus on what you are paying for in member dues- your rights and interests! Do not be distracted from this one AIM. It seems that we spend far too much time and energy on distractions when our FOCUS needs to be on saving ourselves first!

Anonymous said...

It certainly looks that the unions are working together with the government again to bring us another "new and improved" contract like the MOU of 2012. Wondered why the provisions sounded the same. Now I know why; they look the same because they are the same!

Anonymous said...

The Ministry (of Education in Ontario, Canada) has been working to support parent communities with information about the curriculum, and have now been able to translate the parent resources into a number of different languages. Parent resources are now available in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Farsi, Polish, Punjabi and Urdu: . The Ontario sex education curriculum is now available in these languages as part of the austerity program (essential spending of tax payer dollars) while NOT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD to pay its teachers. Stay tuned for more languages to come since we have about 1000 in Toronto at your expense.We would not want to discriminate against any language on earth by omitting it. Ontario wants to educate the world about SEX since it is a new phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

Fraser Institute on the cost of bilingualism (English, French) in Canada

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/publicationdisplay.aspx?id=2147484098 This seems expensive enough and these are the official languages- Why is Ontario choosing to increase this cost in this time of "austerity"?

David Chiarelli said...

Some readers have been suggesting we need to hire professional negotiators instead of getting the "best teachers" to do it. Maybe we are waaay out of our leagues in trying to do so ourselves?!?

David Chiarelli said...

The austerity argument is bogus and is being used to manufacture consent for paying off the corporate y bank created deficit on the backs of workers by cutting their pay, benefits y pensions. Its a question of priorities. Include in their union busting for the neo consters!

David Chiarelli said...

OSSTF's proposal is still being withheld from the members. I think maybe ETFO Members mightve seen theres. Even most OECTA members havent tho its up on my site. How can you be asked to go on strike but not shown this? Bizarre. We are fools.

Anonymous said...

http://www.intelligencer.ca/2015/04/30/mackay-educational-workers-fight-back

Anonymous said...

That is really hilarious - Ontario's Education Minister is teaching Chinese and Indian nationals about sex! She is centuries too late for that if the objective is population control! Only in Canada do we devote our tax dollars to such worthy causes! (ha!ha!)

David Chiarelli said...

Multiculturalism, like education requires a lot of attention and support in Ontario to help make us an inclusive, progressive and well educated and integrated society in tune with the modern world reality.

Anonymous said...

\David are you sure you are not from the Soviet Union? You sure do cite the government mantra on multi-culturalism well! My point is obviously necessary expenditures vs unnecessary ones! There is a difference. I am not concerned about the world - I am only concerned with my corner of it! If everyone does this the world will be a better place!

Anonymous said...

Wasting taxpayer money on needless translation when all Canadian immigrants are supposed "to pass a language test (English or French") before immigrating to Canada does not seem to me to be integrating anybody! As a matter of fact it seems to be setting up a separate system for selected foreign languages since they are not translating the information for all of the language groups in the Toronto area. If you provide foreign language translation/interpreters for one group you should be providing it for all groups and languages. Otherwise you are opening yourself up to favouritism and discrimination charges by the others under the Charter. I think the Minister is putting Ontario taxpayers on a slippery slope. If Ontario can not afford proper essential services like health and education; it should not be funding extras for new Canadians. Regular Canadians are also not afforded the opportunity to study foreign languages for free as new Canadians and their children, grandchildren etc in the Heritage Language Programs- (at taxpayer expense) . Since the charter demands equality for all Canadians these free programs should be either opened up to everyone or abolished altogether. I do not like what I see going on in Ontario and find the waste appalling. I can see why it is a "have not" province! I am entitled to my opinion David in your "free speech" site.

Anonymous said...

The common good should be the criteria used in spending money- health and education trump all other programs as they provide a decent standard of living to all citizens of this province and I would put infrastructure high on the list as well. Nova Scotia had it right when they named Health and Education as their first priority; because tHealth and Educatiojn benefit all citizens of Nova Scotia,

David Chiarelli said...

Whoa! Please note that the weary old Cold War Manufacturing Consent argument used in suggesting my views on multiculturalism are communist, carries no currency on this site. You make me question your true intentions in wanting to discuss the issue further. Indeed, I don't see where it has come up at all in the OSSTF Magnificent 7 strategy, or for that matter, in any other of the teacher CB issue talk.

I personally didn't mind discussing the issue on some of the other grounds you have mentioned, but if you are against it in general, as I sense you are, I'm afraid you are barking up the wrong tree. As you or might not have noticed I am a member of a "mixed race" family.

Quite frankly, everyone came to Canada from somewhere else, and in our case, my spouse's family were here long before mine, even though I am white. I get concerned when such "discussions" starts to border on racism, which I hope isn't true in your case, call me a "Soviet" [better luck with "Fidelista" but still not true] whatever.

You have outlined your perhaps teacher related issues to funding multiculturalism at great length, which will remain for the readers consideration, but quite frankly there are many other forums where you might be more comfortable and find a more suitable audience.

Any provincial money spent on better informing all of our multicultural school communities about what the new Sex Ed curriculum really says, considering some of the very manipulative political activities going on, is money well spent. It would hardly be enough to save our schools anyway. You might start looking at the fortune wasted on gas plants and political scandal instead. Indeed the OLP deserves no free ticket around here.

Otherwise, in the case of my reservations as noted, you might want to go start your own blog or find another forum that might be more suitable. But thanks for presenting the other aspects of your case for our consideration. You've summed them up and they are duly noted.

David C

Anonymous said...

I think that the sex education should start when children are two years old. As soon as they can tell that their apparatus is different from their sister or brother they should be taught everything.

David Chiarelli said...

"Senator Duffy": Your Comments have absolutely nothing to do with this blog.

Anonymous said...

People from countries with authoritarian regimes are usually afraid to question authority especially government authority. Is this what is happening here?

David Chiarelli said...

Maybe a classik example of the "dumbing down" of our society, so nobody says boo? Extra scary thing here, is that not only are we afraid to question the authority of our government, but also our unions, when they sell us short!

Internet social media opens up a lot of alt news + views possibilties though. Teachers: consider starting up your own blog! Cheap y easy! Death by a million pin pricks might be the way to go? We need change: Teacher free speech and union grass root renewal!!!

Anonymous said...

There is much waste going on in Ontario. I only highlighted what I personally have noticed. I am sure your readers could come up with plenty of other glaring example in the field of education and other fields. Such criticism might be healthy since budgets are not cast in stone and can be amended to deal with inadequacies in funding for important areas that are of value to all the citizens of the province of Ontario.

David Chiarelli said...

OK. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I was quite appalled by the Ministry's cuts to Special Education (which takes care of all citizens of Ontario who require Special Education services). It seems to me that meeting the requirements of the students' individual education plans will be most difficult and in some cases impossible with a reduced budget. A civilized society can be judged on how well it takes care of its weakest members' basic needs. Ontario scores an F on its report card.

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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!