Opening Statement

Sunday, 25 October 2015

On the Wynne Ultimatum + Teacher Bashing!

[Or "Feasting on the Corpse of Ontario Collective Bargaining!"] 

With the dumbfounding "Wynne Ultimatum" and a mad frenzy of media teacher bashing perhaps unseen since the Harris Years, it's been a "week from hell" for many of our province's teachers and education support workers! Despite the fall of Steven Harper! And quite unfairly so! 

As my October 25th blog below shows, the OCSTA and OPSBA school board bargaining agents ["trustees"] received $4,572,632 in Collective Bargaining payments for 2014-15 alone! Surprise! Guess what? It turns out that's about the same as the total controversial amount received by all the teacher unions combined, from the MOE since 2008! 

News of the teacher union payments has certainly gotten John "Cued" Public and Jane "Ontario" Doe royally p.o'ed! However, please note; the amount was clearly spelled out in a well known MOE July 15th memo [LINKon GSN grants for Special Education! How come it wasn't breaking news then? Or for that matter still isn't, except on our decidedly underground but still free social media?!? 

Instead, all we hear in the mainstream media is the media teacher bashing frenzy which reached a feverish pitch Friday over the teacher union CB payments! The school board trustees at most got passing mention that they had received some kind of undisclosed funds too. It was usually towards the end of a fiery denunciation of our teacher unions being given a lot of tax payer dollars. Further fuelling the flames, the totals are now considerably more than originally estimated since the provincial auditor released the numbers covering the 3 sets of negotiations from 2008, 
for AEFO, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF combined [LINK]

Seems there's an inconvenient truth here; one that's too inconvenient to mention in any detail! Namely that the Wynne government has awarded ALL the parties involved in the troubled negotiations with payments to cover the huge cost overruns associated with, what they now admit, is their new, flawed, collective bargaining model!

No matter that ETFO and CUPE have been without a contract for 14 months! Or that AEFO, OECTA and OSSTF quite frankly settled for bad ones! The OPSBA and OCSTA trustees' huge windfall, in the face of their frequent intransigence in refusing to negotiate, has not been deemed worthy of public notice. Obviously, the neo con media doesn't care about our right wing trustees' $4,572,632 payment. It's out for only one thing -teacher blood!

Premier Wynne has been pretty mum for a long time now on the floundering, nay stalled collective bargaining talks. Then came her rather puzzling announcement Friday. She has threatened to deduct pay from the remaining teacher and education support worker's who still don't have a contract, for -get this: NOT performing volunteer activities for free, if they don't reach a deal by November 1st! 

One assumes that like the other big wig "leaders" in the AEFO, OECTA and OSSTF teacher union provincial offices, she's been hunkering down for some very self serving damage control, especially since the shit hit the fan over the huge pay outs. The same money that some are now referring to as "hush funds" for the whole huge debacle, after the teacher numbers hit the news this week.

Quite arguably, this was payment to cover cost overruns related to the flawed Liberal government's CB process, as the premier has explained. Certainly, 1000's of hours were spent in wasted negotiations going nowhere. In the real world that does cost money. Unless of course our teacher officials pack a veeeeeery big picnic basket. Then raced from far and wide across our province, heading on foot to Toronto whenever beckoned by OPSBA, OCSTA and the MOE. Perhaps sleeping instead in their chairs for days, weeks and months on end. While Kathleen and Liz fiddled about endlessly with their "new CB model" and tempers burned! 

Be that as it may, our supposed union "leaders" still look as thick as thieves in my books. Having feasted on the rotting corpse of collective bargaining in this province, these patricians then took the "Wynne fall" money to just pipe down and go convince their members to accept whatever table scraps they were able to bring home for the plebs, their teacher members. 

For shame! Did they dig in their heels and fight long and hard to get back your sick day banks? No, far from it! They have reportedly negotiated to fund the CB cost overruns with them, as the classroom teachers receive pennies on the dollars under the new sick day bank "cash in" agreement. It's quite the stink! A big mess all around! 

So. What have we learned this week? Well, if you didn't know all ready, it must be a very disturbing truth to learn so late in the game: the media is not a very accurate reflection of reality! Nor do they seem to be prepared to do any owning up any time soon; and the damage is all ready done!

Alas! If you are an ETFO teacher, or a CUPE education support worker, then you know you are getting kicked in the teeth for everybody else's shortcomings, by both our illustrious premier, the Education Minister and our mainstream media! 

ETFO members can at least take some consolation in that your affiliate has unequivocally stated that they are not interested, in nor will they religiously accept, any 30 pieces of silver in payment for this shit storm. You certainly are owed a lot of our respect for still standing on principle! For leading by example!

The notorious OECTA Code of Silence has firmly descended over anything and everything OECTA once again, always a very ominous sign. As for our OSSTF education support workers? Well, maybe you can still get Elliott off his duff to pull something real and substantial for you out of this dung heap. Who knows? Good luck!

The fresh breath of air that otherwise welcomed new hope in Ottawa this week did not provide us with much relief in Ontario, as teachers. But of course education is a provincial portfolio. And even in Ottawa, Trudeau is still a newbie when it comes to actually standing up to our countries real Neo Liberal powers that be. 

The whiff of despair, must seem quite palpable in the teacher and educational support worker trenches. Still, see my field report on the resolute ETFO Wynne Wednesday rally last week. Or the flurry of CUPE member tweets as they once again proudly and steadfastly donned black every Friday. 

We were all once a part of a proud Ontario teacher union movement that stood tall! Let's hope that there are some real leaders out there at CUPE, ETFO and even OSSTF who still are willing to do so as push comes to shove! That they are not about to follow the sad example we've seen so far; of those who will collaborate and acquiesce, giving in to the all too self evident deep, dark cynicism, and manipulation of our Wynne government and a Vichy union mentality. The alternative does not serve us, our provinces working families, or the future generations whom we teach, very well! Let's hope it's not too late!


Inconvenient Truths: OCSTA OPSBA CB Payments!

My blogsite acronym guide is @ Here! 

I'm taking the unusual step of re posting the complete text of the following MOE's Memo pertaining to the trustees association funds paid  to OCSTA and OPSBA for engaging in the Wynne governments controversial and flawed, new, provincial CB process. These numbers are inexplicably missing from the mainstream media teacher bashing frenzy over the same payments received by AEFO CUPE ETFO OECTA and OSSTF since 2008. The totals are roughly on par, even though the trustees received the $4,572,632 outlined in one year alone; 2014-15. 

Please note that this memo has been available since July 15th, 2015. The media did not choose to "leak" these documents then, and has only focused on the teacher numbers since. This remains so, as I post them here now. With the honour and integrity of the teacher unions on the line in their fight for a fair collective bargaining contract, the public is still not being given the full story. This is without doubt extremely biased and prejudicial. Even if it is corrected now, the damage has been done!

Our mainstream Ontario media certainly does not provide an accurate reflection of reality, if one had any doubt. The teachers are being done a great injustice and the public a great disservice! So much for the pursuit of truth in the news, it's but a sad joke!

A download of the document is available @ LINK!


Down the rabbit hole we go ....


Friday, 23 October 2015

OLP Teacher Union Showdown!

My blogsite acronym guide is @ Here! 

OK Ok just hide then Liz ...

Wynne government issues a November 1st ultimatum for ETFO, OSSTF + CUPE to halt WTR actions in response to a OPSBA/ OCSTA school, board letter! Threatens to dock teacher pay if WTR on voluntary activities continues [?!], and no deals are reached within the next 8 days! No mention is made of the CB "payment" to the trustee associations, just the unions, showing what BS this is, as the OLP aids and abets school board and media efforts to publicly manufacture discontent against the teacher unions! Links to follow!

Video link to the announcement is @ CTV

Sad! Wynne "intervention" would've been unnecessary if OPSBA was willing to meet at the negotiation table in the first place. Now she's taking it out on ETFO @ ETFO

Wynne claims that students' health, safety and progress is at risk because of WTR @ Sun

Wynne threatens to dock teachers pay if WTR does not end by November 1st @ Post

Wynne and Sandals respond to media "payment" issue scandal @ 1010

MOE schedules 8 days of talks between now and Nov 1st @ 680

ETFO's Sam Hammond refuses to publicly respond to "threats" @ CBC

CUPE's Fred Hahn, OSSTF's Paul Elliott and the PC's Pat Brown reply tooStar

Premier Wynne and MOE Sandals announced they would meet with ETFO, OSSTF and CUPE leaders at QP this morning @ Global

OECTA was absent from the meeting, I would assume because they do not represent their education support workers, and have a contract for their teachers in place ....

ETFO has announced they will escalate WTR to include all volunteer extra curricular activities, effective Wednesday Oct. 28th, hoping to compel the MOE and trustees to return to the CB table. They've been MIA since Thanksgiving @ Phase 3

Previous ETFO WTR measures also remain in effect @ Phase 1 @ Update @ Phase 2 @ Phase 3 @ Update

CUPE's WTR measures to date are @ Overview @ Custodians @ EA's @ Library/ Techs

Support teacher free speech ...

Trustee bashing anyone? Some how not quite newsworthy? School board bargaining agents received $4,572,632 in CB payments for 2014-15 alone! About the same as the "scandalous" amount given all the teacher unions since 2008! Download and share @ Memo

The Big Media Scandal: Details of the new OSSTF contract, and it's attachments, appendices etc. are leaked by the Globe and Mail. The MOE will pick up the negotiations tab. Monies above "zero gain" are to be paid for by leftover funds from the secondary program enhancement program and anticipated savings from the voluntary payout deal. MOE Sandals defends the payment. Says CB is more intensive/ expensive under the new system @ Globe

Confirmed: MOE picked up the OECTA and AEFO negotiation bills too. For OECTA, it seems the gains were paid for though cuts to various hiring and PD programs. AEFO says no cuts were made effecting students. Note: The rumours are false; ETFO will NOT ACCEPT a similar payment as a part of any contract deal @ Globe

MOE Sandals defends the payments on the grounds that extra expenses were incurred due to procedural problems with the new CB system, which "didn't work". The media, firmly in a teacher bashing mode, continues to ignore that the trustee associations also received the offset @ CBC and @ Star

My "Teacher Free Speech Guide to Bill 122 [CB Act] 2014" is @ Bill 122 

Bill 122 CB Act Concerns:

OSSTF's committee presentation on Bill 122 is @ Download
ETFO's submission is available Download
OECTA submission is @ Download
Ontario Council of Principals' submission is @ Download
OPSBA [Ontario Public School Boards Association] submission is @ Download
OCSTA [Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association] submission is @ Download

Globe posts the OSSTF contract online @ OSSTF MOU!

ETFO has argued that MOE Sandals seems outside of the loop on whats been happening at the ETFO bargaining table, while "Wynne Wednesdays" and WTR continue @ ETFO

CUPE WTR news coverage gets the short end of the stick because of the Canadian federal election @ Intelligencer

ETFO has also filed a second OLRB bad faith bargaining complaint, this time against the OPSBA @ CTV

Sam Hammond denounced OPSBA for negotiating in public rather than responding directly to ETFO's latest proposals at the bargaining table @ ETFO

Here is the OPSBA media release, listing the issues they agree and differ on @ CNW

Before the Thanksgiving weekend, ETFO had provided the MOE and OPSBA with a revised proposal for their consideration as a part of the CB process @ ETFO

OPSBA had then publicly announced that they'd reached agreement with ETFO on most of their outstanding CB issues except sick days and the benefits plan. ETFO plans to launch an OLRB complaint claiming the media statement is hostile and OPSBA is engaging in bad faith bargaining again. OPSBA's Mike Barrett claims the trustees are just "putting things in perspective" @ Toronto Star

Now ETFO is reconsidering when to commence it's one day rotating strikes in light of the OPSBA's actions. They were scheduled to begin this month. Hammond claims there are no more guarantees @ Globe

Real Story: so it's 8 days now?!? How the OLP/MOE has screwed up teacher CB @ 102 LINK


Thursday, 22 October 2015

ETFO WTR Phase 3 Update!

Links to follow. My blogsite acronym guide is @ Here! 

ETFO issued the following notice today on plans to esalate it's Work to Rule sanctions, effective Wednesday Oct. 28th 2015. It reads:

The notice also includes a Q+A. It addresses the immediate implications for a wide range of EC [Extracurricular] activities. Also on the issue of student progress reports, for it's members. You can find it @ ETFO


Previous ETFO Work to Rule measures also remain in effect @ Phase 1 @ Update @ Phase 2 @ Phase 3

ETFO is the only Ontario teacher union without a contract deal as per Ontario's New CB [Collective Bargaining] Act. My "Teacher Free Speech Guide to Bill 122 [CB Act] 2014" is @ Bill 122 

ETFO has suffered the brunt of a lot of severe, hostile media attacks from the MOE and the OPSBA. CB talks are currently stalled. ETFO is launching 2 OLRB [Ontario Labour Relations Board] complaints against them. The relevant news links are documented in my monthly "Teacher Free Speech News and Views" blogs. In particular, see Sept and Oct

More info and links to problems with the CB process, since the teacher unions' last contracts expired on August 31, 2014 are @ Summer 2015Spring 2015 @ Winter 2014 Fall 2014 @ Summer 2014

More info and links to the OECTA and OSSTF contract deals are @ OSSTF 1 @ OSSTF 2 @ OECTA and @ Blog 1 @ Blog 2

ETFO President Sam Hammond's  "fight speech" highlighting the teacher unions refusal to accept a bad deal after the 2012-13 MOU's is @ Blog

My Blogsite Manifesto "On Teacher Free Speech and Grass Root Renewal" isLink!

Why you need a teacher union isHere!

The province's education support workers are also currently without a contract and involved in a work to rule. For more info see my "Teacher Free Speech News + Views Archive", top left screen. More info to follow!


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Teacher Solidarity: ETFO Peel Wynne Wednesday!

My report is coming! See the photos in the slideshow top left of your screen!

One worries that the ETFO teachers and CUPE Education Support Workers WTR have gotten lost and forgotten about in the recent Canadian Federal Election flurry of news stories. I am glad to report that they soldier on. For Wynne Wednesday this week, I decided to wear red and visit the ETFO Peel pickets at 2 nearby locations; outside the Peel School Board Offices and OLP Finance Minister Charles Sousa's constituency office. Although in driving around I missed the official functionaries, here are a few notes from the cross section of members I talked with. Take it as you may!

The ETFO Peel members were well organized and seemed to be running the events quite competently themselves at the local, grass root level. Spirits ran high, with a dogged determination that that they are still in for the long haul, and that the leadership, under President Sam Hammond, had their backs. No empty sloganeering detected here! 

They represented a wide range of teachers of different backgrounds, experience and age. I suspect that ETFO will be well served with an experienced, committed cadre who are willing to fight for the union cause in the years ahead. It's a huge advantage in actually mobilizing your troops for the good fight, rather than in just going through the motions, from time to time, then encouraging them to settle for CB table scraps!

As we walked the lines, news was coming in on the radio about the Globe and Mail's expose of the backroom deals made by OSSTF, OECTA and AEFO as a part of their contract settlements. The ETFO members seemed greatly relieved that Sam Hammond had categorically rejected any such negotiation payments. As at least one teacher noted, on the back of a buy out plan whereby their accumulated sick day bank is being cashed in for pennies on the dollar. A bad deal is a bad deal. A second one doesn't make the situation any better. Far from it! Enough said.

I looked around me at the ETFO Peel teachers marching in the rain. At the leaves falling down around us. While the radio news bashed away relentlessly at our province's teacher unions. ETFO is often ignored or even ridiculed by the MOE and the OPSBA. No matter that AEFO, OECTA and OSSTF accepted bad deals, as is increasingly becoming readily apparent. It seems ETFO, for one, won't be fooled again. 

I wish we were all ETFO in that sense. It was humbling. I felt honoured to march with them. You might want to consider doing likewise yourself, in the spirit of teacher solidarity, to let them know that they are still not alone, during the challenging days, weeks or even months ahead.

In Solidarity!

David C

EARLER: Been busy with the election, relaxing after the election and retired life in general but: ETFO Peel elementary and occasional are staging 3 Wynne Wednesday protests after school from 3:30 to 5:00 today. I have been tweeting this like crazy and plan to attend and report. More info ETFO

PS! Confirmed: Chris still hasn't shaved! No ETFO fair deal!


Monday, 19 October 2015

Trudeau Majority: My Canadian Federal Election Blog!

Welcome to my alt blog on today's Canadian Federal Election! My endorsement + info links on the issues follow below. More news is @ Link!

Welcome to Trudeaumania Part 2 -new millennium style!

Plenty morenews links are regularly available via my Twitter hastag #davidchiarelli

Trudeau forms a national majority government winning seats in every province across Canada. In his gracious acceptance speech he promises to be the Prime Minister for ALL Canadians. It would be a refreshing change. His moving victory speech offers hope after a decade of PC division and cynicism! The video of his speech is @ Globe  More news on the speech and win @ Star

Harper concedes defeat. He is unapologetic, not mentioning that he is stepping down as party leader. The PC party sends out a notice instead @ Kaput! and @ Huffpost

The NDP is crushed in the rush to send Harper packing once and for all! No NDP opposition to our new Liberal majority government!?! Thomas Mulcair even looked close to losing his own seat, and many questions as to where the NDP go from here remain. I'm glad Harper got his butt kicked good but ...... Orange Crash!

The OLP political machine was key to the behind the scenes Trudeau win in Ontario. Remember, we have been very disappointed, as teacher progressives by a Liberal majority "Wynne" before ... @ Cohn!

Voter turnout spikes across Canada at over 68%, up for first time in years @ CBC

A look at the Liberal wave as it crashes across Canada from the east coast to the west @ Globe

More on who's in and who's out in a night of surprises election spills, chills and thrills @ CBC

There's some odd Tory rumblings at the staid National Post as Andrew Coyne quits as editor and endorses the NDP @ Ipolitics!

Canuck Fever: Meanwhile, as the results rolled in, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royal's 11-8, in a 2 to 1 rebound in the ALCS at the Rogers Skydome in Toronto @ Much Ado!


10:45 pm: CBC, CTV and Macleans project a Liberal majority government! Not a single PC seat is left in Toronto, federally or provincially!!! Ironically, thunder crashes outside my window as I hear the news! Ford Nation was unable to deliver one seat in our city, despite the desperate the last minute hobnobbing and rally!!!

10:30 pm: Adam Vaughan defeats Jack Layton's widow and politico Olivia Chow! 

10:00 pm: PC's seem headed for official opposition status as NDP vote collapses across Ontario and Quebec!

9:40 pm: CBC, CTV and Global News were projecting a Liberal election win! It's still unclear if Trudeau's won a minority or majority government! Trudeaumania Part 2: Mommy Maggie T watches the results roll in with Justin and family. The polls are still open in BC and the Yukon, but according to the news network a Liberal win is a done deal!

9:30 pm: Liberals sweep Atlantic Canada @ CBC


Huffington Post has the election results and a seat map @ Here!

Globe + Mail's election coverage and links are @ Globe

Toronto Star coverage @ Star

Toronto Sun election coverage @ Sun

First Nations aboriginal news coverage @ APTN

Orange Crash: some important subtleties lost in NDP defeat. See my blog below!


Info on how and where to vote @ Elections Canada

680 News will send you email alerts on election news and results in your riding @ 680

Toronto Blue Jays urge their fans to vote ahead of tonight's Game 3 of the ALCS. Polls are open until 9:30 pm but the game starts at 8:07 pm. Quite arguably a lot of fans in the strategic swing ridings across Toronto and the GTA won't bother to vote among the baseball excitement @ Blue Jays

It'll be interesting to see how accurate the polls were this time around! They haven't had a very good record in the past few, federal, provincial and municipal elections, here in Toronto, Ontario Canada anyway. For more on numbers and seat projections across Canada see: Pool Watch @ Twitter 

Three Hundred Eight provides an ongoing cumulative projection of all the various election polls. There are tons of polling and news site links @ 308 

The Election Predictions Project usually keeps an interesting running tally for each riding with some more than average insightful, informed, reader comments @ Here!

The whole world's watching?!? Well, not really, but there is a fair bit of interest. Until recently Canada has often been viewed internationally as an example of good government and innovative social policy. Plus there is the controversy over Syria and Iraq @ Bloomberg

Which party best reflects your beliefs: Communist? Green? Conservative? Liberal? NDP? More of a novelty perhaps. Seems I should vote Liberal/ NDP/ Green/ Communist/ Conservative in that order. Hmmm. Still, did provide some interesting insights breaking down my preferences on various issues @ I Side With?


Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!