Opening Statement



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!

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