Opening Statement

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2015 Contract Guide!

My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! More teacher strike news links at my Teacher Free Speech April News + Views blog @ News!

UPDATES: [Affiliate Overview Below]

June 18

OPSBA President Michael Barrett's teacher smear campaign continues unabated. He publicly denounces ETFO for requesting a $3.2 billion raise, including 3% a year plus cost of living. ETFO President Sam Hammond replies that Barrett is just trying to divert public attention from the board report card fiasco, which seems to have backfired in their face @ Star

In typical fashion the Toronto Sun happily jumps on the OPBSA bandwagon for some more teacher bashing @ Blizzard

ETFO's media release points out that it has not tabled their salary position yet. The focus of the stalled CB talks has been on learning conditions @ Hammond

ETFO's Sam Hammond: Good batting average with OPSBA smears!

COMMENTARY: Of course the teacher unions would've each prepared an initial proposal, containing a salary clause. You can see OECTA's, which mirrors Barrett's claims about ETFO @ OECTA It reads: 

"Salary Grids •  All teachers move through and across the salary grid as per the collective agreement •  Increase all grids, allowances, rates by COLA +3% each year of the agreement"

Sam Hammond is wisely pointing out that the focus of the stalled talks has been over working conditions and that Barrett is hence being disingenuous, as salary has not been brought up yet. Think about it: One seriously doubts that ETFO, nor the other teacher unions, haven't taken an initial position on the salary issue, they would've needed to -in their initial proposal! In downplaying it, they have left themselves open to subterfuge and let's face it, do you know what your union's own position is? On salary? The one most of you voted to strike for?!?

Hopefully Barrett will not be able to succeed with teacher bashing where negotiations have failed. So far ETFO in particular has been very adept at deflecting the attacks, witness the boards' about face on issuing report cards. One wishes ETFO continued success with the trustees latest "salary" attack , not because the unions' secretiveness here isn't a sore point, for any responsible open eyed union member, but because of Barrett's ultimate salacious intent! Still, the semantics grow wearisome. Quite obviously by now, CB talk has completely failed! Preps for a fall province wide strike by the affiliates definitely seems in order, with no time wasted, come September!

Further news links and coverage of OPSBA's June teacher attack strategy is available on my Teacher June News + Views blog @ Here!

May 29

A very shameful moment in Ontario labour history: OLP + PC's vote back to work legislation into law on a 64 to 18 vote. Note that a lot of MPP's didn't vote! @ CBC

Here's the OSSTF media release @ OSSTF 

Sandals plans on a "cooling off period" because the OSSTF "union executive" is "probably upset." Negotiations will now probably drag on through the summer with major labour disruptions expected in the fall Star

The Toronto Star's Regg Cohn engages in the media teacher bashing focusing on the OSSTF strike pay. He ignores the inconvenient truth that teachers have been a year without a contract and blames OSSTF for being obtrusive and obstinate in reacting clearly too soon against contract stripping @ QP

CPCML Ontario Political Forum provides a very detailed series of articles on developments in our teacher protest movement over the past month @ CPCML

May 28

OLRB ruling imposes a 2 week moratorium  on OSSTF to "cleanse" the local strikes of central bargaining issues @ AM980

Here is the text of the OLRB ruling @ 0378-15-U

OSSTF plans to resume the strikes June 10th after the necessary changes made @ Media Release

ETFO to step up WTR strategy June 1st @ ETFO

Irony of ironies! New OECTASE 2014-16 contract gives the secretariat up to 50% of their salary as a retirement gratuity, along with a substantial raise. Nice work if you can get it @ Download

Meanwhile MOE Sandals says the government will go proceed with back to work legislation so students can finish the school year @ June 10?

OSSTF negotiations are stalled again, despite mediation, with the "employer" still focused upon attacking teachers and demanding contract strips CB

Bill 103: the "Protecting the School Year" Act will legislate teachers back to work should they return June 10th. MOE Sandals claims the situation is unacceptable @ Bill

Here's a handy timeline for the teacher strikes going back to Bill 122 in April 2014 @ Star

Here's how the teacher strike will effect your pension plan @ OTPP

May 15

OSSTF explains the subtle complexities of the province's complicated GSN [Grants for Special Needs] formula @ GSN


ETFO's 2014 Bargaining Goals are shown here, but they are still holding their initial contract offer close to their chest. Quite frankly, I don't see how teachers from any of the affiliates can be expected to go on strike without knowing what their union contract proposal is, though strike we must @ ETFO

FYI: ETFO's official website is @ ETFO, OSSTF's @ OSSTF and OECTA's @ OECTA


OSSTF ETFO + OECTA leaders are quoted about the "net zero" salary negotiations. None of them deny it's an issue. Fortunately the National Post fairly focuses upon their comments about underfunding of education, class size and the other issues at stake @ Post

A glut of unemplyed new teachers might undermine the prospects for a successful teacher strike. Unfortunately this Post writer indulges in some traditional union bashing tactics here, emphasizing the unions want financial gains and more benefits, without focusing on the many cuts and unacceptable management issues that the province is actually trying to force through! One wonders how he knows what OSSTF demands actually are when even the members don't know. See Reader Comments below. Article is @ Post

President James Ryan [left]: layest OECTA "Bad Boy" or simply  misunderstood?

Here's the Toronto Sun article wherein OECTA President James Ryan allegedly claimed OECTA would not be fighting for a pay raise. Quite frankly I don't see that anywhere here but please correct me if I am wrong!? View the Reader discussion below, and also the article @ Sun


DIY OECTA teacher "fully know your team" assignment: Here's a link to the OECTA Secretariat contract that they negotiated for themselves in 2012-14 @ Download Here's the 2012-14 MOU that they helped negotiate and impose on you @ Doc Contrast? Compare? Conclusion ....? Anybody ....?

OECTA continues "manufacturing consent" [Link] to legitimize the dubious redux elements on it's rehashed MOU 2012 CB team that brought us the Bill 115 "OECTA MOU Roadmap". Note the effort to create an atmosphere of trust in the current PDT talks, among the often largely benign membership, with the following glittering generality, invariably included with all it's regular, secret "code of silence" member CB updates:
OECTA has a long history of using its collective strength to promote and protect the interests of all workers. This will be especially important in this round of bargaining, as the proposal from the employer side of the provincial bargaining table, which consists of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) provincial bargaining team and representatives of the Government of Ontario, clearly targets our most vulnerable members.
 OECTA will continue issuing its series of Strike Vote Updates highlighting the impact of the employer’s initial proposal on you, the member, in preparation for our province-wide strike vote on April 23-24, 2015. 
The Strike Vote Updates, in and of themselves, are not without merit, as far as providing some details on the disconnect between the employer and the unions bargaining goals at the table. The need to now mobilize members for a strike vote, after sitting the last one out, is of great import. However, one might well be very wary of any further assumptions of the unions ongoing " ... long history of using it's collective strength to promote and protect the interest of all it's workers" after July 5th 2012. OECTA's secretive, arbitrary agreement to contract stripping and the subsequent jackboot dismissal of most any and all legitimate member dissent is already heavily documented here in my teacher free speech site archives, so I will not rehash it now.

OECTA: Walk the talk?

Suffice to say, actions always speak louder than words. We will watch with bated breath to see if OECTA will put its balls on the line this time around by joining the OSSTF and ETFO strikers in a timely and effective manner. With that in mind, one wonders if any OECTA units will be joining their colleagues from the other affiliates on the picket lines anytime soon? This fall? Or at all?

In other OECTA news, here is how a provincial Supplemental Employment Benefit [SEB] plan is projected to negatively effect the different units across the province:
  • Units that have Supplemental Employment Benefit (SEB) plans that are superior to the eight weeks found in the OCSTA/Crown initial proposal will have them stripped away.
  • Units with additional leave provisions that are superior to those found in the OCSTA/Crown initial proposal will be stripped away. 
  • Units that have teachers who control their planning and preparation time will have those conditions stripped away.
  • Units that have Long Term Disability (LTD) paid for by the employer will have it stripped away, and teachers will be required to pay the premium. 
  • Teachers, who gained the right to exercise professional judgement during diagnostic assessments, will have that stripped away. Boards will now dictate ALL aspects of student diagnostic assessment.
 Alas, it's to bad these final OECTA words on the missive hadn't been uttered in 2012. One hopes this isn't now a case of too little too late; 
Everything that has been fought for over the years is about to be lost. We can’t let this happen.
April 15th 

OSSTF President Paul Elliott

OSSTF joined OECTA in walking away from their respective provincial bargaining table talks expressing great frustration with MOE/ OPSBA. OSSTF cites the "employers" narrow "management rights agenda" as having created an impasse. OSSTF Durham is poised to strike April 20th, OSSTF Peel on the 25th! More below, and @ OSSTF

On April 8th, OECTA walked away from the provincial bargaining table, notifying the "employer" [MOE/ OCSTA] that they will not return until after the member April 23-24 strike votes are completed! The province had tabled a series of documents that would significantly strip teachers’ "rights to recall" from redundancy, full-time to part-time employment, and return to full-time employment. The changes would undermine almost all of the local OECTA collective agreements. OECTA has declared that it's clear the "employer" has no intention of bargaining with the affiliate in a serious and reasonable fashion.
OECTA James Ryan states “There is a clear indication today that the Ontario government, despite assurances from the Premier and the Minister of Education’s office, is not serious about bargaining in good faith. Today we saw that their public statements do not match their actions at the bargaining table.

Another OECTA hot button is the MOE/ OCSTA ["employer"]'s plan to eliminate Reg. 274 and the 2012 MOU provisions on "Fair Hire". The impact at the Catholic boards could be:

No interviews will be granted on the basis of seniority.

No minimum qualifying period before eligibility for 
LTO or permanent positions.

School boards can ignore the most experienced
 and qualified members.

Eliminate the requirement to interview current 
members before hiring external to the bargaining unit.

No reasons need be provided to members who 
were not considered or not selected for available 
LTO and permanent positions.

No debriefing of applicants who may have 
 been interviewed for LTO/permanent positions.

Current members will lose exclusive entitlement
to apply for, or receive, LTO/permanent positions.

The elimination of the Occasional Teacher seniority
lists and Occasional teachers seniority.

No LTO list – LTO work is distributed randomly
as the board/administrator sees fit.

No fair and equitable distribution of Occasional 
Teacher bargaining unit work.

No requirement for board to fill LTO/
permanent positions with qualified candidates.

No accrual of experience for any purpose while 
working as a certified Occasional Teacher.

Eliminate the currently bargained Occasional 
Teacher evaluation process, which will be replaced 
by a unilaterally developed board process.

No limits to the number and nature of Occasional 
Teacher evaluations.

No barrier or limit to the exercise of denominational
rights by school boards at any time during the hiring 
process for all LTO and permanent positions.

Why is the province so hellbent on sticking it to the teachers?!?

Hello Readers!

Please note that it isn't the intent of my all affiliate teacher free speech site to continue posting all the many, various bulletins, notices and media releases from the ongoing Ontario teacher contract talks, including those from AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OPSBA, OCSTA, OECTA, OSSTF. Ditto the MOE. The topic is of great interest. However, it is no longer the only one for many if not most of my readers. 

If I can be of help with advice for setting up a blog site of your own, please let me know! * You are most welcome to take the contract issue on at greater depth instead if you so please. 

You see, I firmly believestronger teacher free speech movement should contain a wide variety of such social media sites and services in order to flourish. It can provide more greater, widespread, enriched and intellectually challenging points of view. Even when everybody else is wrong except for me! :-) For more info, and to better get my gist, please see my "Spring Blogsite Guide" @ []. Also my blog on "Teacher Free Speech and Grass Root Renewal" @ Here

Social media searches, news links, summaries and your reader comments provide the bulk of the public information made available below for our ongoing, open forum discussions here on my blog site. As you know, this is an independent teacher based grass root service. Please go to your affiliate website member areas, news distribution networks and union meetings for the official and complete news from your affiliates perspective. 

Various resources, past and supplementary links will follow below. A social media search since your last Teacher Free Speech Winter 2015 Contract Guide [Here] provides the following general information about the recent state of the Ontario teacher unions provincial negotiations from within the public domain:


ETFO President Sam Hammond explains to members that they have applied for conciliation, on a video also shared on Youtube @ Hammond

ETFO's central bargaining team prepared and presented detailed rationales for the membership on a variety of issues. That included how ETFO's issues would benefit their students and schools. The issues included: 

  • the system-wide benefits of supporting teacher/occasional teacher professionalism and judgement;
  • the advantages of smaller class sizes in FDK, Junior, and Intermediate classes;
  • how tackling ETFO members’ workload challenges supports quality instruction;
  • the need to address special education concerns in elementary schools;
  • the introduction of additional Ministry initiatives that result in an ever increasing workload for teachers and OTs;
  • a “best practices” approach to implementing Regulation 274 with a goal of achieving consistent hiring practices province-wide;
  • why it’s vital to student and staff safety that daily OTs have access to classroom keys.
ETFO Response to the OPSBA initial contract offer was "Concessions are a "No Go!" What's not up for discussion at the teacher and OT central table?  ETFO’s won't agree to:

a “management rights” agenda from OPSBA that involved removing provisions negotiated over decades. 

a compensation package that did not address the members’ significant financial sacrifices during the last round of bargaining -- as well as the continuation of the 97 day delay on salary grid movement during this school year -- was unacceptable. 
ETFO will be providing more member information over the coming weeks in ETFO bargaining bulletins and on it's Our Union Our Values Our Profession collective bargaining website at:


OECTA advised it's members about the "Quashing of Superior Provisions". During the recent provincial negotiations, the MOE and OCSTA "employer" side, stated that all provisions negotiated at the central table would form the basis of the next collective agreement. There would be no "superior provisions" throughout the province.

The "employer" side wants any benefit or right negotiated in good faith and signed by the parties during Provincial Discussion Table (PDT) discussions or local bargaining in the past, to now be stripped from ALL collective agreements across the province. However they
 must know that other recent collective agreements including the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) have maintained superior provisions in their collective agreements. Their position is in direct opposition to OECTA's initial proposal which states: “As determined by the Association, should any of the 2012-14 collective agreements contain superior provisions to any central term(s) or conditions, those superior provisions shall endure and prevail.”

A complete summary of what would be impacted in the various local collective agreements will be provided by the local units. Here's a brief overview of what they'd lose:
  • Units that have Supplemental Employment Benefit (SEB) plans that are superior to the eight weeks found in the OCSTA/Crown initial proposal will have them stripped away.
  • Units with additional leave provisions that are superior to those found in the OCSTA/Crown initial proposal will be stripped away. 
  • Units that have teachers who control their planning and preparation time will have those conditions stripped away.
  • Units that have Long Term Disability (LTD) paid for by the employer will have it stripped away, and teachers will be required to pay the premium. 
  • Teachers, who gained the right to exercise professional judgement during diagnostic assessments, will have that stripped away. Boards will now dictate ALL aspects of student diagnostic assessment.

OECTA basically warned members that everything they've fought for over the years could now be lost. They can’t let this happen. OECTA will further explain the impact of the employer’s initial proposal using a series of member bulletins, in preparation for it's province-wide strike vote on April 23-24, 2015. 

Upcoming OECTA Strike Vote Rallies

Here's something ridiculous: the following April 7th update, now publicly surfacing on the internet, comes with an OECTA warning NOT to share! I'm leaving a lot out because OECTA obviously seems to think many of it's big secrets are more secret and important than they are. Also as a good will gesture because we know a lot of them still mean well [James?!?]. However, it's not exactly reassuring coming from the union that brought you the surprise MOU after much denial to the contrary, even tho it's apparently changed a leaf. Bizarre!!!!

Wednesday, April 8 – 5:00 p.m.

Waterloo Inn


Thursday, April 9 – 7:00 p.m.

Powerade Centre

Huron Superior

Thursday, April 9 – 6:30 p.m.

Grand Gardens North

Superior North

Saturday, April 11 – 2:00 p.m.
Nipigon Curling Club


Monday, April 13 – 4:00 p.m.

Oakville Conference Centre


Monday, April 13 – 5:15
Mitchell Community Centre

St. Clair

Monday, April 13 – 5:00 p.m.
UAW Local 251


Wednesday April 15 - 5:00
p.m.                                       Massey Hall


* = See the "Create a Blog" link for the "Blogger" program I use at the top right of your screen. It is a very easy, user friendly system to set up and run. Numerous templates and gadgets are available to customize your page and services for free. If you prefer you can DIY. If you aren't so technically apt you should be able to get some computer whiz kid [Hi Nick!] to start it up for you like I did, at a very reasonable cost. A blogsite is much, much easier and quicker to use at a fraction of the cost, time and energy than a regular website and the possibilities are virtually endless. Be that as it may, if you'd like to talk, seek, more advice, or swap ideas, please do not hesitate to contact me via my gmail address []


My blog on Free Speech and Grass Root Renewal is Here

The initial contract offers are @ OECTA @ OCSTA @ ETFO OPSBA @ OSSTF OPSBA

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 the contract guide from last winter @ Here! Last fall is @ Here! Last summer @ There!

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

CB? MOE?? ETFO?!? OECTA?!?! OLRB?!?!? OSSTF?!?!?! My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! 



Anonymous said...

This lying, back-stabbing government is absolutely nasty and disgusting. They want to take away more than harris did back in the 90s. I hope we give this bag of crap and their ring leader McWynnty the largest teachers strike in north american history.

Anonymous said...

OSSTF Durham is ready to strike by April 20!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the government is trying to lower us to third world standards to make "free" trade easier between all business parties. Employers don't pay their labour in Mexico either! It seems as if Ontario especially the government is lowering its employment standards to the lowest common denominator as possible. They are making sick leave and benefits and a decent salary as rare as they were in the nineteenth century Western world. Maybe they would be better off taxing the profits of the rich rather than destroying the workers who use their salaries to pay for food and shelter and buy goods in this country and thus keep the economy going!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

It's getting so you can't tell the Neo Libs from the Neo Cons!

Anonymous said...

Report card for collective bargaining in Ontario in the last several years: Scores Police +20, Nurses+8 and Teachers -20.

Anonymous said...

One would hope that teacher "bargainers" are being chosen on the basis of actual bargaining ability and not other criteria ie friendships or how good they look in a suit.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

You are threatening to topple a sacred cow in questioning the CB team selection criteria! CB is a high stakes game. I'd agree its time that be questioned, especially after the MOU's and the reappearance of some of the same old faces .....

Anonymous said...

Oecta just got a resounding 94.2% in its strike vote. Hurray!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

I'm glad it was a high number, I just think it would be more insightful and credible if ALL the teacher unions also reported how many of their members voted. We seem to go thru his same little charade every time. Its good PR and boosts morale but I'm not sure how good an indicator it is of how things will go when push comes to shove. Just a thought ....

Ms.Chievious said...

Dear Anonymous of April 24,
I am willing to go out on a limb and bet that the teacher "bargainers" are being chosen based on how far they can crawl up Jarvis's ass vs looking good in a suit.

94% voted to strike? 94% of what? How many actually voted? The 3 members in my house didn't vote nor did any of the 4 colleagues I asked. What is the actual percentage of voter participation?

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