Opening Statement



Thursday, 27 August 2015

OSSTF + OECTA Deals: Enough is Enough!

Guest Blog by Wendy Goodes *



Begin Rant: As a "seasoned" or "experienced" teacher, I was very heartened to see our new bargaining slogan of: Bargaining for the future. Respecting our past." It has given me great hope for ETFO. I have done a lot of reflecting on everything that is going on in the bargaining front. The deals reached with both OSSTF and OECTA scare me, to be quite honest. I don't know what is in the OECTA deal, but I would imagine it is probably similar to the OSSTF one.

I have lived through all 3 political parties and their attacks on education worker’s rights. In my opinion, this Liberal government and the one that preceded it are the worst, and this is coming from someone who was a Liberal supporter for 37 years. A big difference I find now is that for a variety of reasons, and I am not saying that they are invalid reasons, the teachers of today are often lacking in the fortitude of the teachers of the past. 

We got angry with Mike Harris, and stood up and fought for our beliefs. I had a young family, and yes it was financially very difficult. The truth is that you don't ever recover financially from being on strike, but as a person you still have your self-respect, dignity, and integrity. You know that you are standing up for what is right. We got angry, we walked, we made gains. We have the very things that we are trying to protect now because we got angry!!!



The media: As a group this year, we have made some gains with our questioning of inaccurate reporting. We have opened the lines of communication with some reporters. We are beginning to get the message out to many in the public. Are we still the targets of many teacher haters? Yes, and we will continue to be until the end of time. Our parents, the ones we work with know the real truth. Since they are in our present lives, maybe that has to be good enough. Don't get me wrong, I will continue to try to educate the public and the media.

The offers: This government is doing nothing but playing us! To have OPSBA put all of those concessions on the table at the beginning of negotiations and leave them there for an entire year before being willing to bend says it all in my opinion. As John Snobelen did, they created a crisis, one that saves them big bucks since nothing will be retroactive to the start of the 2014-2015 school year. All of a sudden, they are willing to, through very tough negotiations, take off the concessions and leave things as status quo! 

Give me a break. This was a well-thought out plan on Kathleen Wynne's part right from the start. Take the strips off the table, and the teachers will think that they have made gains! Sorry folks, but status quo is not a GAIN! Then to offer paltry wage increases that work out to almost nothing, that too is an insult. With all the money this government awards to everyone else, we deserve more; both money and respect. Why should we be happy with that?



As I interact with members of all affiliates on Twitter, I find the same messages coming through. The "seasoned" teachers, and some newer teachers (those that have taken the time to become educated about our history), are angry again about the disrespect shown to us. Unfortunately, I find that the majority of members of all affiliates, are listening to the saying "This is the best we could get." and voting in acceptance of these insulting proposals. 

I am not being critical of any of the negotiating teams, trust me. I know that all of the teams give 150% effort to these negotiations. However, when the memberships don't then stand up and say, "This isn't good enough. Tell the government to forget it. We will go on strike if that is what it takes." The hands of our teams are tied.

The people in this group are educated, do care, and as a whole have the power to educate the rest of our colleagues. It is time to stand up, get angry, and say, enough is enough! Thanks for listening, lol!

End of rant. I do feel somewhat better now!



* Wendy writes: 

Hi David,

I have attached my rally cry rant that came about while I was in the shower after hearing that both OSSTF and OECTA had reached tentative agreements and were withdrawing their work to rule actions.  I don’t get why they would do that until agreements are ratified.  I also don’t get why people will be encouraged to view STATUS QUO as a gain.  I’ve been doing this too long to fall for this, lol!

Do with it whatever you wish.  I hope that it has some effect on some people when they are making a decision.

Wendy Goodes

[Thanks Wendy!!! You have certainly provided us with some food for thought! Dear Readers: Got something interesting and worthwhile to say? Info on Teacher Free Speech Guest Blog Submissions @ Link ]



COMMENTS:

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big Question for all teachers-are the yearly increases for union members equal to the yearly increases for their unit presidents and all other provincial union staffers?

If the answer is no-then union members need to start asking why they aren't being treated as equals by their union bosses.

Anonymous said...

City workers all over getting 2 percent per year raises and teachers getting these garbage pay increases and no extra sick days and no sick day bank payback. Teachers need to replace their union bosses with people who care about their union members first.

Anonymous said...

We all need Sam hammond

David Chiarelli said...

I have heard it thru the grapevine that an AEFO tentative deal is immenent and an ETFO one by Labour Day but lets wait see ....

Anonymous said...

Hi All. What a depressing time we are currently experiencing. As many Teachers and Staff prepare for a return to school our OECTA Leadership have collectively decided to cave-in to the demands of the Provincial Gov't. After asking for and receiving (seemingly) tremendous support in negotiations last spring the tentative Agreement recently announced is anything BUT a fair deal. Like the 2012 MOU once again we have been overly cautious, out-negotiated & not represented adequately. With that previously mentioned solid rank and file support our leaders caved-in and too easily accepted a sub-standard agreement when WE actually had some leverage with the approaching New School Year approaching, the Federal Election looming on the horizon and the MOU Angst. According to Ann Hawkins, the deal protects teachers by basically keeping the STATUS QUO (for Ann that's a Gain in her opinion) in many areas plus a 'modest monetary' gain. Yikes! What Leadership!
Comments...1. Status Quo IS Status Quo NOT A GAIN. This should have been the Unions starting point last Spring. Gains should had begun with getting back losses endured during the MOU Debacle. 2. 1% lump sum does nothing to the salary grid or pay-scale and means that we all have endured a 4-yr wage freeze unlike many other sectors, also means next yr when no lump sum is given we enjoy a wage-loss, as a result. In year-five, since 2012, we finally get a 1% and later .5% grid/pay raise, which results AFTER 5 yrs in a 1.5% increase which is a 0.3% yearly increase ALL given in the END of the contract. With inflation at app. 2% yearly this equates to a drop/wage reduction in the area of 8.5% even worse compounded.... The worst part IS this so-called wage increase is paid for by..... US! How? Seems our leaders have agreed to the imposition of incentives to lessen teachers from taking their entitled allotted Sick Days. Basically carried over, for every 2 sick days NOT used Tr. will get 1 day banked to be used later.... another negative for us. 3. The worst element will be found in the appendix of the tentative deal involving, guess this.... surprise, surprise once again robbing the Grandfathered Gratuity.... Guess the Gov't decided to go back to the well and those most responsible for this mess in 2012 let it happen again.... For those eligible to cash out with whatever monies they are entitled to will see a NEW RETENTION CLAUSE... Depending on your circumstances, YOUR MONEY once cashed out will be stuck, depending on a depressing mathematical formula, will deduct between 2% and nearly 8% of the total value.... Guess this is what IS MEANT by the term 'net-zero' or in Ann Hawkins words, recognizes the financial difficulties of the Provincial Coffers. Basically it means those eligible to retire any time soon will have paid for this meagre wage settlement.... Not the Provincial Gov't, who I expect for Labour Peace that ensues, will be with arms wide open welcoming the assistance of Teachers in their new-activism role at the Federal Level. I for one hope all affected will read the proposed settlement (when given copies) with great interest and vote accordingly.... Please don't let the Leadership sway anyone when they come with the slant 'are these points enough to Strike Over'
.' Thanks


Anonymous said...

This agreement is not Catholic. Vote NO!

David Chiarelli said...

Imagine if OECTA's strike fund is modest for the task, OSSTF's is tied up in real estate, and ETFO is sitting on $1.5 million .... Eh? No way?! Ok then ....

Anonymous said...

David please explain what is happening to the 7500 cash out? Can we get that 7500 now?

David Chiarelli said...

Need to ratify first but otherwise? Don't know! Anybody else?

Anonymous said...

Careful with the cash-outs. Taxation rate will be around 40% if you decide to take the money early. Even when you win, you lose.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be same 40 percent if we get it on retirement. Will it be pro rated or r we gonna get the full 7500

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