Opening Statement



Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Teacher Free Speech News Archive 2011-15!

My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here! 


Thucydides 500 BC: "Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it"

Recently, Ontario's teacher unions including AEFO, ETFO, OECTA, OSSTF and CUPE representing our education workers, met to plan for the widely anticipated province wide strike actions this fall. This is to be lauded, despite the strange bedfellows it might sometimes make, and of course one hopes that they proceed with caution.

Regretfully, our teacher unions accepted contract stripping in 2012-13. Our badly comprimised credibility and bargaining position shows that we are paying the price. Some will argue that once that line was crossed by one union, the others had no choice but to follow suit. However, responsible civil disobedience when need be, no longer seems to be a part of our protest lexicon. And truth be told, most of the affiliates have backed down on strike actions or seen their leadership defect to work for the government or school boards, since the province wide protest strike during the late 1990's against the Harris government. It would be foolish for us as members not to exercise critical thinking and be aware of what has happened before, as we embark on our latest all important protest endeavour.

In keeping with Thucydide's wise warning, one of the main features of this site is the "Teacher Free Speech News Link Archive" from 2011-15. It is located at the top left of my site for your convenience. There are over 600 blogs available for your perusal, listed in chronological order and accessible by the click of a button.

The purpose here is not to unnecessarily spread doubt or stoke any lingering animosity. Rather, by recognizing what has happened before, we can better avoid making the same mistakes again. Solidarity should not be something we naively blubber about as we hug each other and promise to "fight the good fight" together, only to end up feeling betrayed again. It needs to be informed so we can learn from our past mistakes and NOT repeat them again. It requires you, as a union member, to also be informed from a wide variety of points of view, and to be able to think for yourself. You are an educated teacher professional. Indeed, one doubts you would expect anything less from our own students let alone yourselves and each other.

Not everyone will agree. In times like these we will invariably be told to believe and do as we are told by our union leaders, elected or otherwise, for the cause. Sometimes to blindly follow the herd, to ill effect, as we have see on numerous occasions in the past. One is reminded of another timely quote from Voltaire, "to learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."


It is important ot be able to question authority. We know that only too well from our own experiences with the MOE, and from over the years with each of the Ontario political parties; the OLP, PC's and NDP. Also remember, you are the union. It should be working for you, not the other way around. When you are not welcome to monitor, question or freely discuss how the union "powers that be" are doing so, then something is very, very wrong.

Please avail yourself of and share my teacher Free Speech Achives as need be, and as you see fit. 

In solidarity!

David C

PS: Please also see "Teacher Free Speech + Grassroot Renewal" @ Here!

COMMENTS: 

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

David, once OECTA rolled over on everyone in 2012 it started the beginning of the end of the teachers unions. That along with the atrocious PR we have just makes us look worse with every news story. Lets face it, the union leaders have sold us out before and it is only a matter of time before it happens again. After the Ken Coran debacle it only increased the number of disenfranchised members. Teachers are questioning the value they receive from their dues. "Right to work" here we come! Hope I can make it through my final 3 years.

Anonymous said...

The complete failure of the OECTA Button Campaign clearly shows the separation of those "leading" OECTA today and the rank and file members of OECTA.

FREE Speech is not allowed in OECTA. Look at what happened to any anti-MOU members in Halton.

Look at what happened to anti-MOU members of the Provincial Executive.

Worse yet, withholding information like the AGM 2015 Resolution Booklet and openly campaigning by some local unit presidents for pro-MOU candidates, doesn't promote free speech.

Maybe that's why no one is wearing OECTA buttons in their classrooms.

Anonymous said...

Naomi Parness from CTV tweeted this morning: Edu Minister says province has bargaining dates set for this month with all unions except #ETFO says close to reaching deal with some unions. So is "perplexed" Liz confused again or is one of the Unions about to cave (again). Apparently it can't be ETFO, so that leaves the usual suspects.

David Chiarelli said...

OECTA members would be well advised to think and act locally. Unfortunately most don't know how to organize themselves to take back their union. Nor do they seem to question authority. The odds are quite formidable!

Anonymous said...

Especially when Provincial takes over the running of a unit like Halton. No speaker from unit membership and elections run by retired outsiders from Provincial. Who is paying these outsiders to run Halton? When are these outsiders set to leave and go back to their retirements?

Anonymous said...

I have lots of unworn OECTA buttons if you want them David. What is your mailing address?

Hina Khan said...

This is to be lauded, despite the strange bedfellows it might sometimes make, and of course one hopes that they proceed with caution.

Matric Result 2015 BISE Kohat Board

Anonymous said...

The rank and file teacher is in a difficult spot. Most don't want to be in this fight, and are thrust to the front line. The lack of report cards is being blamed on the teachers, and the unions' PR attempts just seem to make things worse. I wish someone would declare teaching an essential service and we could avoid all of this nonsense.

David Chiarelli said...

Apathy is not your allie, protector or friend!

Anonymous said...

David if essential service was offered, 90% of teachers would take it. We are all sick and tired of being abused by the media and the public. Who in their right mind wouldn't agree to what the police and fire have???? It certainly would mean far less bodies required at OSSTF, OECTA and ETFO Provincial!

David Chiarelli said...

I'm not sure where your numbers are coming from? Its interesting to consider all points of view. My sticking point here is it isnt wise to ever voluntarily surrender a right you fought for. Also, i dont think ETFO or OSSTF's strike actions were wasted! Far from it! The MOE has no interest in negotiating so they cut to the quick, showed resolve, as a prelude to hopefully much bigger things to come. The OLP have been put on notice in no uncertain terms. If it does all ultimately become futile, well better to go down fighting. Take an honour guard too!

Anonymous said...

The OECTA MOU Gang: O'Dwyer, etc. have never answered to the OECTA membership at large for the MOU cutbacks Then they "elect" pro-MOU Ann Hawkins???? Fix that mess and then maybe OECTA gets fixed.

Anonymous said...

Tired of being abused by the public? What about the abuse we suffer at the hands of our government. Wishing for it all to go away without a fight is weak. I have been teaching 30 years. My skin is thick. I fight for everything we earned and I try to pass that on daily to my own children and the students I teach. I could care less about what the public thinks because no one ever comes to me with complaints or abuse. The media reports negative stuff and many people hide behind their keyboard. Say it to my face and I'll debate you. Say it in the press or social media and I consider it weak. Too many teachers want the safe, easy route. The guys I started teaching with would be appalled at the lay-down mentality we now have in our unions.

Anonymous said...

That lay down mentality added to a union like OECTA that doesn't allow its members to vote on the MOU and it is a wonder anyone has faith in OECTA or unions in general today. The new Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Actually Kevin O'Dwyer was the only OECTA politician to pay the price for the MOU. Outside OECTA, Broten, McGuinty, Duncan, and Coran paid a price (all but Coran landed on there feet however).

Anonymous said...

No question the collective membership of the teacher unions have forgotten the lessons of lessons of the 1990's and lost the spirit that was needed to overcome Harris. This generation of teachers needs to demand and support the same level of action. If they want and safe and easy route that is just an open invitation for the Wynne Liberals and school boards associations to keep on stripping our rights.

Anonymous said...

How did Kevin O'Dwyer pay a price for his MOU? OECTA promotes him to the OECTA Secretariat where he gets his banked sick days, doubled his salary to $178,000.00 and has a golden benefit package way better than any teachers represented by OECTA. Nice message to rank and file members of OECTA and such responsible spending of their union dues.

David Chiarelli said...

With the staff of one or two well organized, committed and reasonably sized staff one could seize the initiative at most unit AGMs or local exec elections, but you rarily see that, at least not for the common, more broader good.

David Chiarelli said...

The stories coming out about the irregularities in OECTA AGM electronic voting are absolutely sickening but in typical fashion impossible to confirm. I know that locally it was used very responsibly thru a neutral, professional third party provider in the past. I am so dissapointed to hear about this.

David Chiarelli said...

Just supposing: Number of votes cast must equal number of delegates present y accounted for no? And if discrepancy is larger than winning spread? Whew! Once, this wouldve been cause for open revolt!

Anonymous said...

An OECTA True or False Moment.

Members of the Halton Elementary Unit Executive received honorarium payments this year that totaled under $5.00 for a years worth of work at Executive meetings.

That's 50 cents per meeting.

Isn't OECTA supposed to be against non-union/slave shop wages?

Pretty generous when the Halton Unit President is making $150,000.00 this year. TRUE.

Why is OECTA Provincial allowing this substandard pay to happen? Do they know?

Hey OECTA members get involved and make your less than 50 cents too.

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