Opening Statement



Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Teacher Free Speech Sept News + Views!

Welcome back! It's the 2015-16 school year! Later additions will be added in large typeset as the month unfolds. My blogsite acronym guide is @ Here! 


TEACHER + UNION

A black eye for OECTA and OSSTF provincial: OECTA members ratify their tentative agreement by a decidedly reserved 79.7 percent vote, OSSTF with [78.2%?]. Notice how OECTA leaves the numbers out of the announcement of the results on their member site, both the total AND the percentage of members who actually voted. The OECTA Code of Silence remains tightly in effect @ OECTA 

Likewise OSSTF: look no numbers too! Alas, OSSTF provincial can only boast, in their official media release, about being tricked by the OLP/ OPSBA's teacher bashing and strips/no strips strategy into throwing in the towel for bargaining table crumbs. Alas, hear them toot their horn @ OSSTF

MOE Sandals invites ETFO back to the negotiation table mere days before the deadline for rotating strikes. ETFO accepts BUT ... President Hammond notes that it's complaint to the OLRB that the ministry is bargaining in bad faith is still moving forward. Yeah Sam @ CB/OLRB

ETFO's OLRB media release is @ ETFO

Ontario's Principals' Council engage in more teacher bashing as they attack ETFO's WTR sanctions in this hotly contested "news" article @ The Star

CUPE education support workers announce stage 2 of their WTR! Details @ CTV

AEFO reaches a tentative contract which members can ratify on Oct 15-16th. Hope you can read French @ Radio Canada. The abbreviated English article is @ CBC and @ Star

Seattle teachers strike wins important gains!!! Sometimes you gotta do it @ Seattle

ETFO remains undaunted, announcing the commencement of "Wynne Wednesdays" each week at school, as well as rotating strikes, which could commence in October. A Queens Park rally was scheduled for Sept 26th @ CP24

The Saturday, Sept, 26 Queen's Park Rally is now a grass root organized event. More info @ Notice

An outline of the latest Phase 3 ETFO WTR sanctions are Sun Also @ CTV

Listen carefully Liz ....... High school ....... and ....... grade school ....... are NOT the same. Nope! Duh. President Sam Hammond explains why ETFO is rejecting the OLP "cookie-cutter" approach to reaching a deal! Chew on this @ ETFO

OECTA's Ann Hawkins and OSSTF's Paul Elliot deny their were any contract concessions. Premier Wynne insists the government won't budge from it's latest offer to ETFO @ Globe

Back to the 1950's: After all is said and done, it seems Full Day Kindergarten class sizes are soaring through the roof. A class of 40 students is cited. The average "across the board" is supposed to be 26  @ Globe

ETFO emphasizes why parents and teachers must work together @ ETFO 1 They urge parents to directly contact their children's teacher at school if they want to discuss their progress during WTR @ ETFO 2

The State of the Our Unions: An OSSTF ratification vote will be held on Sept. 16, OECTA's on Sept. 17th. Meanwhile AEFO, CUPE and ETFO are commencing WTR strike actions. More ....

ETFO delays Phase 3 of their WTR as President Hammond urges the MOE/ OPSBA to return to the bargaining table @ ETFO

ETFO efforts at talks grind to a halt! Government and trustees walk from ETFO CB negotiations @ ETFO No further talks are scheduled @ Video  ETFO media release @ Here!

ETFO and the MOE/OPSBA accounts differ on what happened when talks ended on Friday @ Globe

Premier Wynne pits ETFO against OECTA and OSSTF over latest contract offer.  @ Guardian



OECTA/OSSTF: Vote Yes/Vote No? Let's pray we don't leave ETFO [+ AEFO + CUPE ...] hanging!

ETFO President Sam Hammond accuses the government of misrepresenting facts about the talks to the media @ Hammond

ETFO members rally online to show support for their negotiating team, as talks break down with government and trustees walking out on talks @ ETFO

AEFO work to rule commences September 18th but much info on this seems rarer than eyebrows on eggs. The teacher code of silence strikes again!? I did find this though, in Francais only so farCBC

CUPE Education support workers begin WTR!!! They need our teacher support!!!! For the sanctions, see my Sept 10 blog above! Also @ 1010

A CUPE grass root ECE speaks out in an "open letter" about the union's WTR @ CUPE

55,000 school board employees will be involved @ CBC They include EA's, ECE's, custodians, school administrators, instructors, and speech pathologists. More @ 980

CUPE plans include a WTR, increasing to rotating strikes and eventually a full blown province wide strike if they cannot negotiate a fair deal @ Global


CUPE's got mojo!

A state of the unions, of sorts, as the new school year begins: OECTA and OSSTF have tentative agreements. AEFO, CUPE, and ETFO no @ National Post and @ More!

ETFO: Still no deal! @ Star

OSSTF Contract: Vote No! An Open Letter to the OSSTF Membership and online petition is Change.org

NDP Education Critic Lisa Gretzy calls for an end to OLP education cuts @ NDP


My teacher free speech site has now received 750,000 hits! Please continue to retweet my link in solidarity! Freedom of speech is a basic human right, whether some of our unions, boards, the government and other powers to be like to think so or not! Our grassroots are strong! We will not be silenced! In solidarity! Many thanks! David C.

Teachers continue to be scapegoated by the Wynne OLP to achieve it's Neo Lib austerity agenda @ Mackay

Next?!? Quebec teachers hold strike votes as their CB talks stall. Full blown walk out strikes are all ready scheduled across the province @ CBC



Meanwhile in La Belle Province .....

Who speaks for education? OECTA President Ann Hawkins very effectively defends teachers as the best guardians. Well done, Ann! Fair is fair. A top o' the hat from some unlikely corners: Your online critics seem agreed that you hit a home run! Watch @ TVO Agenda


OECTA TECT President Patricia Minnan-Wong explains how classroom special education support requires resource materials as well as educational support workers in order to function inclusively, contrary to what the MOE game playing with class caps and blatant disregard for our CUPE workers might suggest @ TVO

Autism?!? Perhaps I'm wrong but I've always suspected that someday we will discover that it has something to do with the food, water, air that we breath, but I could be wrong. Anyway, why did the original crucial autism research take so long to reach mainstream psychiatry? Lets go back to WW2 @ Atlantic

Down but not out! CUPE educational support workers have finally received some negotiation dates. However, they continue undaunted with their fall plans for a work to rule campaign commencing September 10th. Remember: teachers should NOT be performing any tasks assigned to a striking CUPE member @ CUPE

CUPE's Fred Hahn addresses Premier Wynnes 180% Neo Lib turn from the OLP's former labour allies vis a vis her austerity agenda during this year's Toronto Labour Day Parade. Photos included @ Facebook

For the latest updates on CUPE's strike actions follow their tweets @ Education Workers Matter!

We're having a heat wave! OECTA TSU Councillor/ Health + Safety Inspector Michael Nicolaidis shows us how to use tweets to notify the members promptly at work of what is safe, and what's not, an endless job at boards like the TCDSB, and how to file a complaint, using Twitter. See below:


Ontario's Ombudsman has received 500 complaints against our OPSBA OCSTA run school boards so far in the first week of school @ Ombudsman.ca

You too can file a legitimate complaint about our school boards using the online form @ Link

Required Reading: Ontario Alliance of Black School Education [ONBSA's] Voice of Ontario's Black Educators reports on the experiences, perspectives and challenges of our province's teachers of colour @ PDF

Sex Ed: What/ What not to say?!?

Sex Ed protests continue! Half of the parents keep students home from school on the first day of classes at Thorncliffe Park. 100 students are being taught by protest volunteers across the street from the school in a park @ Star

News and views on the latest round of sex ed protests? See my Teacher Free Speech Guide to the new Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum is @ #1 and @ #2

COMING: The MOE is sitting a report on how to create a more effective governance structure at the TDSB @ Star

PARTY POLITICS



The Graphic History Collective's: "Days of Action: The Character of Class Struggle in 1990's Ontario" is a must read for today's political activist about what happened to our labour movement during the Ray Days + the Harris Years! It is a cautionary tale of the need to re-organize and create new radical solutions from the bottom up, due to gutless politicians and union betrayal, with many, very relevant lessons especially applicable to now, in Sept. 2015. History repeats! And this is ...ahem ....very graphic @ Rank + File

Newly elected PC leader Pat Brown announces his new shadow cabinet. He will be the education critic @ PC Brown -Ed Critic!

Premier Wynne has been active in the federal election. Will that be a help or a or a liability for Justin Trudeau, and what comes next? @ TVO Agenda

Yup. Lots more to come .......



IN THE NEWS

Ontario's teacher unions are actively involved in the "Heave Steve" federal election campaign to defeat the Harper government @ National Post

UNIFOR video separates the rhetoric from the reality of Harper's economic record, and guess what?!? There's not much left! This is useful for dispelling the much hyped Conservative "steady hand at the til" myth in the many grassroot discussions that are inevitably going to take place between now and Oct 19th @ Youtube

Justin Trudeau seems to be confounding his critics, both PC and NDP, with 3 weeks in the election to go ... or will he still trip and stumble ... and what does Thomas Mulcair do next? @ Globe

Canada's once proud UN Peacekeeping tradition: what was that all about? Why does it still matter? More @ Star

Canadian foreign policy: Hello Steven! Good bye diplomacy! More @ Star

Can't vote for any of the 3 main parties? MLPC's federal election launch provides a worker's candidate slate for your consideration. Video @ LINK

Young voters: ignored more so than apathetic? More @ CLC

Canada's educational system is continuing to fail our aboriginal students @ Globe

A thorough indigenous federal election guide to the 49 candidates, who they are, what party they run for, and what they want to do is CBC


Pope Francis: adding much needed colour, texture + depth to Catholicism's appeal today?

A question of balance? Here's an interesting critique of Pope Francis' political strategy on the eve of this month's US visit. His widen embrace of everyone, especially among the poor and disenfranchised, is actually balanced with a sophisticated political strategy. For many Catholic activists, he continues to move forward on an wide variety of social justice fronts, with a surprising, progressive appeal @ NY Mag

Castro brothers open the doors to the Catholic church: Pope Francis' Sept 19th visit will make him the third pope to have visited Cuba since Fidel y John Paul's rapprochement in 1998. Prior to the revolution the church was solidly in the Cuban bourgeois corner. Since JP2's visit the Catholic church has been less confrontational and played a key role in reopening doors with the US, a seemingly impossible task. More updates @ Reuters

Pope Francis in Cuba: He and Fidel meet, talk, and even swap some recommended books! Castro gave the pope a copy of "Fidel y La Religion" Would love to know what the "literary works' are that Francis gave him to read!?! Remember, Francis has got a lot of breadth and depth, and Fidel also has a very well versed intellect. Hmmmmm. News on their book exchange @ Granma! Extensive coverage of the visit @ Mas Granma!



Pope Francis: "Hey! Have you read this one yet?!" Fidel: "Nope. Can't say I have!"

Syrian refugee crisis: Where to look for leadership these daze?! Latin American countries including Mexico, Venezuela, Chile and Brazil are racing to accept more refugees while all Steven Harper can say is thank God for our CF-18's! Kaboom @ America[s]

Uncovered? Is Harper's election campaign unraveling as the Syrian refugee crisis unfolds? More @ Globe

Know Thy Enemy: What's the difference between a Neo Liberal and a Neo Con? You should know the subtleties and be able to recognize them both, if you have any interest in social justice. Just my humble opinion, but please read @ Neos!

KULTURE KULT INK



Yup! Here we go again! It's September, which means "back to school". As first as students, then later on as teachers, it's very much been a yearly "milestone" for most of our lives. You love it! You hate it! You love to hate it! ... Someday, as an OTPP retiree you will enjoy the distinct novelty of just being able to roll over and go back to sleep for a bit come "that day", [ie: School?!? Yawn. Zzzzz .... Note: He can actually fall back asleep.] but for most of you that is not now ...... Soooooooo, let's just spin that tune, be it for real, or that ol' nostalgic effect, coz you know we LOVE it! The record and/or the first day of school that is ..... Take your pick!:-)

"See You In September" made teens cream their jeans twice as a chart topper, first by the Tempos in 1959 [LINK]. Then by the Happenings in 1966 [LINK]. It's been covered countless times since. Here's a few interesting covers for your Kulture Kult Ink pleasure @ Frankie Valli More!

Oh ya! Den der's de Earth Wind + Fire's "September" funk too!!! @ Youtube

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