Opening Statement

Monday 1 June 2015

Teacher Free Speech June News + Views!

Summer is almost here! Welcome to the 600th blog on my site! News + Views Updates are later included in large type. My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! 


OECTA files for conciliation, paving the way for a fall strike action too @ Star

OPSBA President Michael Barrett claims ETFO has asked for a $3.2 billion raise, including 3% a year plus the cost of living [COLA]. He also claims that the trustees aren't demanding class caps be removed at the elementary level, rather all they want is "common class size language across the province". ETFO President Sam Hammond replies that they are just trying to divert public attention from the "no report cards" debacle, which seems to have blown up in their face @ Star

Barrett's 3% + COLA figure also appears in OECTA's initial proposal @ Guide

Toronto Sun happily jumps on side with the OPBSA to try to boil strike arguments down to the lowest common denominator its teacher bashing neo con readers can understand; bean counting @ Blizzard

Special need students are taking a big hit across the province with the MOE's special ed funding cuts. $22.5 million has been cut from 38 school boards. Gee, a little raise in the corporate tax rate could easily take care of that but no no! Lay off more teachers, EA's and CYW's instead [not!] @ GSN

Parents are reminded to consider alternative daycare arrangements for this fall in case CUPE staff end up walking out in support of teachers @ CUPE 2544

Former Harris Education Minister [and we use the title lightly, too bad he never finished high school himself] John "The Snow Man" Snobelen hears ETFO has "cancelled" report cards. Without a fact check he recommends the teachers be locked out, without pay, for the summer, to teach them a lesson @ Creating Crisis!

ETFO counters 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: very busy deflecting the BS!

Saving Face: The other boards back down on not issuing report card marks after TDSB reverses it's decision @ Failed!

Grand Erie board to cut 35 jobs. Declining enrolment and MOE funding cuts cited. Any gains, in student numbers, have "stabilized" now that FDK has been implemented @ $$$?

What do the TDSB and the Hamilton Wentworth boards have in common? A "culture of fear and mistrust" @ HWDSB

Hooray? Private schools don't employ big bad union teachers! Booo! They don't have any oversight in Ontario, where the MOU has no regulatory power over them Anything Goes?

Guess what?! OLP real culprits in teacher contract disputes. Here's why @ Northumberland

Management's teacher full scale smear campaign is not helpful in understanding the real issues at stake @ Ottawa

Public school teachers rally outside the OPSBA AGM in Collingwood on Saturday June 12th @ Rally!

OSSTF issues a solidarity message on the 21st month anniversary of the Toronto USW 9176 Crown Plant Can strike. OECTA teachers rallied outside the plant gates Saturday while their public school colleagues were protesting the OPSBA in Collingwood. OECTA Provincial Executive's OTF Table Officer Julie Pauletig and OECTA Governor Mike Wozniak were in attendance along with York OECTA 1st VP Filomena Ferraro's crew, and yours truly, in an independent teacher free speech role. All present had a wonderful time. Some even held up trucks extra long, toying with if not yet crossing into civil disobedience, as a dry run for ..... well who knows what?!? With QP on summer vacation, and scab workers keeping the beer cans rolling, the 120 workers look to a long hot summer ahead. They urge you to support their boycott by buying your beer and soft drinks in BOTTLES NOT CANS! More @ Boycott!

Who says ETFO isn't providing marks?!? For both for students and the trustees??? Yup! Sleep tight! Besides submitting final student marks, the ETFO members have also given the OPSBA an "F" for Bargaining @ "F" = F...

Helpless? The elementary panel for 3 of Ontario's 72 public school boards notify parents that they won't be able to issue final report cards this month blaming it on the ETFO WTR campaign. The boards are the TDSB @ Here! York @ Here! Peel @ Here!

The Handy Man: This Toronto Star column readily championed the boards' "teacher blame game" with an dreadfully, unbalanced story leading to a handy round of teacher basing for the OLP @ Cohn

Teacher deconstructs Cohn's argument point by point, showing that it is actually the boards, not the teachers, who are holding back the marks @ Ben Babcock More also @ Cayla Hochberg

How long does it take a principal to input the marks anyway? Much less than they claim @ CTV Kitchener

TCDSB dumps on the principals who dump back on the trustees for now telling parents that they can call the principals at school to get the students' final marks they have but don't have but ...... but .... but ... Well, go figure!? More @ Very "perplexing"!

Toronto principals feel overwhelmed with the notion of report card calls from concerned parents requesting their kids final marks. Which marks? The ones the teachers gave them. Ooops! @ More Perplexing!

Notice all the neo lib trolls on line these days trying to pick very senseless and inane fights just for the titillating sense of instant gratification that a little teacher bashing seems to bring their depraved minds? What to do?!? I'd say consider the source, then ignore them. However, a perusal of the "Crumudgucation: Directory of Anti-Teacher Trolls" is certainly in order! Know thy trolls: There's the Confused Baloney Troll! The Business Troll! The Race to the Bottom Troll! The Accountability Troll! The Unlikely Anecdote Troll! The Damn Union Troll! The Sad Bitter Memory Troll and ... and ... and ... well the list goes on and on @ Beware of Trolls!

Nothing new really: remember this story from earlier in the month? ETFO teachers will, of course, submit marks, but the OPSBA chair had been rattling the teacher bashing chains with claims final report cards still can't go home. Now the Toronto Star has come to the trustees rescue in getting this very misleading and inflammatory BS out @ Barrett

Define irony? Wynne OLP's celebrate the first anniversary of their landslide victory while teachers protest outside their annual AGM in Collingwood; the same teacher's who helped them win in the first place! Widespread teacher strikes are expected this fall. So far the OLP response has been to legislate not negotiate. One wonders if civil disobedience, a time honoured democratic tradition when all else fails, is not now in order? @ 1 Year

Premier Wynne reverts to the tired old "Big Bad Tory" script for the party faithful as teachers protest outside OLP AGM and anger continues to rise over the decision to sell off 60% of Ontario Hydro to the corporate big boy$ @ Wynne

AEFO votes 93% in favour of strike action according to #VoterOuiAEFO!

OSSTF asks for a conciliator as a prelude to a full blown fall province wide strike effecting up to 2 million students. More on the AEFO vote too @ OSSTF + AEFO

OECTA President James Ryan warns that there isn't a lot of time to negotiate during the summer. He expects OECTA would begin a fall strike with WTR. The teacher union heads have all met to coordinate their activities for this fall @ Ryan

Who wants to remove caps on class size: the trustees or the OLP? Is MOE Sandals playing the "Blame Game" now? More @ QP

Do our Ontario schools really include special need and aboriginal children? They are all ready being badly underserviced according to this latest report. Imagine, once class caps are removed @ CTV

With summer holidays, teachers will miss the students, but not all the paperwork. Too bad when it invariably gets in the way of actually teaching, but it seems nobody cares about that anymore, in the never ending pursuit for more and more academic excellence [ie: testing etc.]. A retiree looks back Paperwork!

Premier Wynne continues to pander to her corporate bosses by underfunding education to balance the budget @ MacKay

After a brutal, arbitrary slash and burn, the TCDSB has balanced it's budget and has a surplus now, in the mystery shell game of "money, money where is the missing money"TCD$B

OECTA TSU Prez Dave Sollosy: Staff is not a disposable commodity!

Corporate Biz: OECTA President Dave Sollosy describes the TCDSB's new, improved, budget cutting "modus operandi": Staff is treated as a dispensable commodity that can be simply erased from it's ledger. Then there's the highly questionable numbers and math. The board logic? It seems to be that "maintenance" is more important that "mission"; now it's a Catholic school board that just exists to protect it's own sorry ass [er ... my words! Simply put ... ]. It's a thought provoking read, on pg 6 of the unit's "TS*You" newsletter OECTA TSU

TCDSB superintendent Loretta Notten becomes the first female Director of Education for the Waterloo County Catholic board @ KW Record

ETFO school administrators will be scrambling to complete report cards, while MOE Sandals laments the union's latest WTR measures @ ETFO

ETFO ups the teacher strike ante with additional administrative WTR measures @ CTV  See the list @ Memo

ETFO, like OSSTF, OECTA and the CUPE educational workers have been 9 months without a contract @ CBC See doc @ Memo

Liz explains all: Sure we wanted to negotiate! This much!!!

OLP MOE passes "Bill 103: Protecting the School Year Act" ordering the province's OSSTF teachers back to work until September. Read the text @ Bill

Here is the text of the earlier OLRB ruling, imposing a 2 week moratorium on the OSSTF teacher strikes @ 0378-15-U

Read All About It: ETFO Queens Park coverage of the educational issues raised last week as Bill 103 was passed is very comprehensive @ ETFO

An all affiliate teacher protest rally outside the OLP AGM in Collingwood is apparently being planned for June 6th. However, if true it is getting late and the details not widely available or well known ......

Educational Nuclear Strike: This article argues that the OLP MOE's controversial new 2 tiered CB process is apparently nothing new, it's all ready used by the Ontario auto industry and the province's public service sector. As for teachers, it's been evolving over the course of our last 2 contract negotiations. The real money issue is depicted as a budgetary one for the OLP. As a part of their austerity agenda, they want to better manage costs by removing the caps on class size. For teachers, the caps create jobs. Removing the caps also badly undermines work conditions. There's a lot of food for thought here. Unfortunately, the teacher unions are not interviewed. Instead we get OPSBA's Mike Barrett's uncontested claim that the teachers would drop a lot of the other pressing issues for a 2% pay raise! The long and short? If negotiations fail under the OLP's CB process during the summer we are looking at an "all or nothing" style "nuclear option"; a huge province wide strike this fall @ TVO Agenda

The "Nuclear Option"

Austerity Binge: This article considers how the OLP's apparent concern with "saving the student's school year" actually aims to criminalize the teacher strike actions so that they can strip our right to strike in order to facilitate their big business driven austerity agenda. The teacher unions are accused of collaborating with the Ontario Liberals to facilitate the process from Harris through Wynne in a "phony union war" staged for the members and public consumption. Even the NDP are complicit in the sell out process @ WSWS.ORG

Toronto Star fluff piece tries to argue that strikes lack glamour and are now obsolete. Just like constitutional rights eh? Sad times @ Salutin

Teacher blogger suggests that maybe it's time we start including more labour history in our social study courses at school @

Why are teacher unions good, despite all the bad MOE press? They demonstrably improve standards within our Canadian schools @ Star

Why should parents care about teacher cuts? We do a heckuva lot more than teach the 3 "R"s to your children @ Huffington

BTW: Don't miss "Ontario Teacher's" hilarious comic take of going on's at QP! They use the popular "shred" technique of overdubbing commentary on existing cartoon footage to quite funny and insightful effect. See the bottom of this blog for some other unrelated examples that are more "Kulture Kult Inclined". "Ontario Teacher" is Youtube Shreds

OECTA President James Ryan is hopeful that the Catholic teachers can avoid a strike next fall but WTR seems unavoidable. Meanwhile, MOE Sandals claims that the teachers just have to "cool down". How ironic! This is coming from a MOE whom with the trustees has done little but stoke the strike fires all spring, preferring to legislate rather than negotiate with the province's teachers @ Blackburn

OECTA Sudbury Elementary President Kent MacNeill compares the province's CB game to a "Monopoly" board in which the MOE team keep changing the rules @ Monopoly

Read the OECTA memo advising the members to prepare for possible strike action this fall @ blog

OSSTF's Paul Elliott verses OPBSA's Mike Barrett: The class size issue as a matter of "guidelines" verses "caps" @ Caps

People for Ed's Annie Kidder, former Ed Minister Dave Cook and the Drummond Report are all quoted to argue that class size is not as significant as teachers know it is from our own direct, first hand experience @ Windsor Star

Not afraid of a little bad weather: CUPE's Fred Hahn + OSSTF Peel's Mike Bettoil!

OSSTF Peel Prez Mike Bettoil lists the local issues at stake in the unit's 3 week 2 day local strike; Health and Safety vis a vis violence against teachers [in the school workplace], teacher performance appraisals, and job security. Provincial President Paul Elliott notes that with back to work legislation, these teachers' issues remain unresolved. The frustration is quite palpable. The removal of the teachers right to strike is described as a Charter of Rights issue, though I don't believe a charter challenge has been announced yet. Also interesting; summer school teachers won't be able to strike either @

Meanwhile in Alberta: newly elected NDP Premier Rachel Notley NDP restores the former Conservative government's 2012-16 school year cuts. Also, the teachers' previously negotiated a 2% raise and 1% lump sum which will now be finally honoured @ Rachel

Meanwhile in La Belle Province: Sex Ed curriculum is being reintroduced back into Quebec schools for the first time since 2005 starting this fall, with full roll out expected by 2017-18! The teacher federation is worried that the government is out of touch with 2015. And the Order of Quebec Sexologists notes they have not been consulted @ Oh La la!

Meanwhile in BC, the Neo Libs continue to steamroll over public education as a tip o' the hat to their corporate big brothers @

And let's not forget P.E.I, where the education minister has cut 28 jobs in the midst of tense teacher contract negotiations, leading the federation to walk away from the table @ CBC

Who's dat! Why, it's the HCDSB + friends!

Alas! Police are called into a HCDSB board meeting after parents start to fight and spit. What were they so upset about? The director's unreported salary overpayment?!? $1 million in mystery tax receipts [see below]?!? Nope. They don't want their kids taught that homosexuals exist @ Sparks Fly!

HCDSB issues over $1 million in mystery tax receipts as a registered charity! Read "HCDSB New's" indie expose of the Catholic board's refusal to reveal, despite the Freedom of Info Act, how many tax receipts have been issued, to whom and for what reasons. It's also doing so on the public dime. It cost $5 to request the info, $10,000 to fight if the request is denied @ HCDSB

OECTA Sunshine Lists? Indie OECTA Watchdog blogger posts the OECTA/SE Secretariats 2012-14 and 2014-16 contracts, which have otherwise needed to be directly requested in person by members through the OLRB up until now @ Oecta Watchdog

Cheri = collar = ordained ..... get it now?!?

Dept. of Scary: United Minister/Provincial NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was swarmed by angry sex ed protesters who thought she was wearing a religious collar to "mock them" at a June 7 QP rally. Chanting "Kathleen loser, loser, loser, Kathleen, loser, lesbian loser", they also gave speeches, and marched from QP to take their ahem, "parental concerns" ... to the streets @ Now/ Video Also @ Twitter


Queens Park adjourns for the summer holidays leaving a lot up in the air including the Hydro sell off and an impending province wide fall teacher strike. The PC's have a new party leader and some say Andrea Horwath has bounced back @ CBC

Newly elected PC Leader Patrick Brown will run in one of the 2 new ridings in his hometown of Barrie in 2018. He will seek another riding in the interim but apparently has no fixed plans or timeline as of yet. In the meantime, without a seat, he will not be allowed to join his caucus on the floor at QP nor speak in question period @ Brown

Strange bed fellow? In a surprise, seeming reversal of Ontario PC policy, new party leader Pat Brown announces he is opposed to the OLP's plans to privatize Ontario Hydro. He even claims he will work with the NDP on this @ Fire Sale?

Ye so called "Common Sense Revolution": It was 20 years ago, June 26th. Mike Harris reminisces. Toronto Sun writer drools @ Harr-ass


52 year old David Furnish, Elton John's spouse, and Grand Marshall of this year's Gay Pride Toronto, reflects upon growing up gay in Toronto @ Furnish

Manufacturing Consent: a teacher explains how the popular TV shows "Daredevil" and "Agents of Shield" is molding the minds of youngsters with cartoonish references to good charter schools and big bad teacher unions @ Marvelous

Beware the Bilderbergs!?!

This year's annual top secret Neo Lib Bilderberg Group conference was held in Austria from June 11-14th. The agenda included articial intelligence [A.I], cyber security, chemical weapon threats, current economic issues, European strategy, globalization, Greece, Iran, Middle East, NATO, Russia, Terrorism, the UK, USA and US elections. Reps are invited from each country; usually both conservative and liberal to participate in the open forum discussions. Canada's 5 "Conservative" and "Liberal" "reps" this year were; Andrew Coyne [Editor National Post]. Heather Monroe-Blum [CPP Chair] David McKay [President/ CEO Royal Bank], Ed Clark [Former Prez/ CEO TD Bank], Heather Reisman [CEO Indigo]. No minutes or other info are ever made available fueling fears that this is one of the top elite neo lib decision making groups that effect policy around the world as a part of the corporate reform movement. News links @ Agenda @ Who's Who? and @ Canada's Top 5

The Federal Liberal Party slump in the polls is being blamed on party leader Justin Trudeau's support for Bill C-51; Canada's controversial anti terrorism act, which severely limits our constitutional rights under the pretext of a very flimsy terrorist threat. Justin has promised to explain how he will change the bill on the fall election trail, but leaves many of us thinking PET must be rolling in is his grave. Moreover, the Federal NDP are now topping the latest polls @ Trudeau

"Media Planet: Candid Moment With the Candidates" asks the 4 main federal party leaders about the role organized labour has in Canada's future. Only Mr. Harper refused to respond but one suspects his silence speaks louder than words @ Candid 

Justin Trudeau verses Thomas Mulcair? As his charisma fades, the heir apparent compares Lib and NDP policy in the most general of terms. All form, no substance? @ Son of Pet

Lining up the ducks: Federal NDP icon Olivia Chow is considering a political comeback with a run in the fall election in Spadina-Fort York as the party continues to gain momentum across Canada in the polls @ Olivia

Look's familiar: All is certainly not well state side either!

Back in the USA: 30,000 Washington State teachers from 65 local units in 8 districts have been staging one day strikes to protest class size, corporate "reforms" and teacher salary issues. Although many folk might think President Obama is a progressive kind of guy, on a lot of educational issues, he would be somewhere to the far right of Mike Harris if he were up here in Canada @ US Strike!

How Governor Jeb Bush dumbed down education in Florida! Now he wants to be president @ Dumb, Dumber ... 

Pssst! Enlargement at bottom of site!

Former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton is planning to run federally in the hotly contested riding of Kenora this fall @ Howie

Grotesque Injustice? Discrimination? Abuse? On a widespread, organized scale? In Canada?!? It can't happen here? Phooey on that! Oh the self righteous indignation! This apparently is not a "penance" but simply a case of the powers that be wanting a "second chance". Hmmm. Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has finally nailed the problem of our residential schools head on and spares few of the details about the aborigine students' horrible treatment in the supposedly caring hands of government and church. It calls for education about "cultural genocide". No word if Harper's going to send in the CF-18's to blow us all up to set us free for a "second chance", but read this and weep anyway @ Oh Canada?!?

The report urges Pope Francis to make an apology on behalf of the Roman Catholic church, like the other denominations did. There is a precedent; with the Irish victims of abuse in 2010. Pope Francis is much touted as a man of the people. Will he arise to the occasion and help with the healing? More on the recommendations @ Pope Francis?

Francis: Are you SURE you've got nothing to say? It's a sin to lie! Harper: No. No It's ok!

Sorry!?! Er ... kinda sorta! Harper's failure to directly raise the issue of a residential schools apology with the pope creates deep disappointment @ Harper

Pope Francis "Praised Be" papal encyclical continues to raise neo lib eyebrows with its references to "the cry of the earth" and the "cry of the earth", plus his powerful critique of the relationship between poverty, environmentalism and throwaway culture @ Francis

Francis criticizes a world economic system that places profit before the common good @ CBC


Pssssssst! Whazzup with The Rolling Bones?!? Yup, they've been pulled from here for another blog! The video was kinda krude for a ..... harrumph! ..... respectable News y Views feature like this! Y'bet! Meanwhile, enjoy the following til later ......

Summer is almost here, and summer is Beach Boy time, right? Hmmm. Having helped define the spirit of summer since the 1960's, it's hard not to love them, but let's face it, maybe they should've been renamed the "Beach Men" a long time ago? Or the "Beach Grandpas" or even the "Beach Seniors" by now? Ouch! Agism? Okay, but in their oooh sooo keen, peachy Beachy case, what the heck, with all that darned cheerfulness, they deserve a great "Shred" up! So. Here we go @ They Get Around [too much]!?

Eh? Summer?!? Yeah. It's coming from over that-a-way!

Bonus: For reading this far:

"Teens in the Wild!" -now it can be told @ Youtube!

Link Fixed!!! "Grammar Police" -to the rescue @ Mytube!



Anonymous said...

OSSTF goes out on strike with 75% pay, ETFO works to rule and what does OECTA do? OECTA tells members to wear buttons. BEWARE THE BUTTON KATHLEEN WYNNE!

Anonymous said...

How does everyone feel about OECTA's new wear the button in the classroom campaign?

Anonymous said...

No staff wearing buttons in my school. How Much did they cost to make? Who came up with the button idea?

Anonymous said...

I don't wear my button in the classroom because I wasn't sure if it was permitted. I do wear it to/from work, weeknights, and weekends, and I've caught many people reading it The button sends the message we are united. Remember when the Toronto police wore union baseball caps during their work action? It was an effective PR move that showed their united front. It's too bad some teachers don't wear them and, even worse, have this "BEWARE THE BUTTON..." attitude. I believe OECTA is actually doing everything right in this fight. Buttons to end the year, ad campaign coming out in August, work to rule September. Seems to me that OECTA is leading again and will be leading in the fall (where did OSSTFs action get them? Answer: nowhere).

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Thanks for your imput. The strike isn't over yet.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add to Anon@10:52 - I don't know how much those buttons cost, but I'm sure it was a lot less than the 25% paycut OSSTF members took for those weeks they stood on the picket line that got them nowhere. To add to that, how do you think bringing in 75% of your paycheque while on strike looks to the general public? The more I think about it, the more I shake my head at OSSTFs actions. I'll proudly wear my button. I encourage everyone else to. I'll also gladly walk the picket line in the fall taking home my $50/day knowing that prior to the strike, all measures to prevent one were taken.

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