Register now for the free Chicago Teacher Union Toronto Workshop! It's on Saturday Jan 16 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St, Toronto! More event info is at @ Facebook . You can register on line @ Labornotes
The emphasis of the Chicago Teacher Union [CTU] Toronto workshop is on "sharing strategies and building skills". They will explain how to successfully activate members, build strong community alliances and win a precedent setting strike. The CTU must be onto something, having already done so in 2012, while our Ontario teacher union movement floundered badly. Plus they are currently preparing for another successful strike action this year! It promises to be a very interesting workshop indeed!
Our Ontario teacher affiliates similarily strive for a strong, social justice "outreach". They once practiced principled labour traditions too. However, the CTU, under it's Council of Rank and File Educators [CORE] leadership has the added benefit of a strong grass root focus, which has been so sadly lacking during our own last two, recent, job actions against the Ontario government.
In 2010, the CORE leadership won the CTU executive elections by 60% of the member vote against the union's incumbent United Progressive Caucus [UPC]. Good-bye to the UPC, which had a storied history of capitulating to corporate interests, silencing dissent and collaborating with the "boss" in teacher negotiations. Sound familiar?
This won't: afterwards CORE reconfirmed it's grass root support by slashing executive officer pay to fund "community outreach". That remains a CORE focus too! It's an inspiring story for our own disenfranchised teacher activists! You will find a brief overview of the CTU's proud, effective labour and social justice practices below, but of course, the best way to learn more is to attend this Saturday's CTU Toronto workshop!
We recall how during 2012 and 2015, our Ontario Teacher Movement watched helplessly as two of our union affiliates, OECTA and OSSTF vied for the heavy handed and quite dubious honour of being first past the MOU post in shameful collaboration with our Neo Liberal government. The once staunch, proud union principles of local, no concession and gains plus bargaining were twisted and bent as our own "leadership" bowed in deference to the master's corporate, austerity agenda. Solidarity among our teacher and education support worker affiliates was often sadly lacking, as the province once again engaged in a deadly, successful divide and conquer attack to get their way!
By 2015, AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA, and OSSTF couldn't even mount a large, all affiliate protest rally to pretend to effectively take our fight home to Queens Park. Media lies and disinformation misrepresented our now hopeless cause to a confused public on the nightly news. Member information was often heavy handed, tightly controlled and censored by our self serving, executive elites. The demoralized, resigned and exhausted member ratification votes; largely a done deal. We are now often left with a impotent, self serving, union leadership. Tragically cut off from the grass root members, they haven't developed a committed, actively engaged, and sustained membership, let alone the public's fleeting support. The examples are legion, as a quick review of the news and views blogs from my Teacher Free Speech Archives will amply show @ Link!
Without doubt, our Ontario Teacher Union Movement, like the CTU, once had a strong, proud tradition of fighting the good fight for labour and social justice! However, since 2012 it has become mislead and neutered! The Chicago Teacher Union Toronto Workshop can provide us with an excellent opportunity. It's time to start reclaiming and renewing our once proud, strong and effective teacher union movement from the grass roots up!
Hope to see you there!
Website @ CTU
Facebook @ Facebook
Blogsite @ CTUnet
Twitter @ CTULocal1
News Link List @ Huffpost
Find a brief overview of the CTU's labour and social justice history, as well as more on the ouster of the UPC @ Wiki
CTU calls for the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual and Cook County State Attorney Anita Alverez over the police shooting of a 16 year old black youth. They are accused of impeding the criminal justice system, and the erosion of public confidence and trust. Story @ USA Today. Read the resolution @ CTU blog
All Too Familiar: The City of Chicago is trying to force through a Neo Lib austerity agenda we can recognize only too well! The crime rate is soaring. Social supports are being cut. Meanwhile the cities financial elite are lining their pocket's with taxpayer dollars @ Austerity Binge!
Education is a federal portfolio in the US. Many might consider President Obama too "liberal" [nay -a flaming Communist!] in the US. But by Canadian standards, many of his "Democratic" party positions would seem somewhere to the "far right" of Mike Harris up here in Ontario, Canada! The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools [AROS] Policy Brief on Obama's Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA] outlines many of the CTU's protest concerns. These include funding, testing, accountability, restorative discipline, charter schools etc. etc. etc. An article on, and a download of the AROS brief is @ AROS
RELATED BLOGS/ FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
My Blogsite Manifesto: Teacher Free Speech + Grass Root Renewal @ Here!
On the Wynne Ultimatum + Teacher Bashing @ Here!
Teacher Union Leadership + The Strike Pay Question @ Here!
Ontario Teachers + Students Pay for Corporate Tax Cuts @ Here!
Why You Need A Teacher Union @ Here!