During the past week we have been treated to a virtual "April shower" of glitches in the old news "Matrix" of the mainstream media. It's also sometimes readily apparent in our teacher and education worker union missives. Little irregularities occur daily, like silences that are almost deafening. Like rips in the news fabric of media lies, revealing fleeting glimpses of the usually inconvenient and forbidden truths that are left out, that we are not told. Suggesting so much more than what we otherwise know about our once robust union movement, and those who govern us in the province of Ontario.
The Supreme Court of Ontario has ruled in favour of CUPE, ETFO and OSSTF; our provinces teacher and education worker unions, in their Bill 115 Charter Challenge! [PDF] The Ontario Liberal government did in fact violate our Charter Rights to fairly negotiate a Collective Agreement by imposing the "Putting Students First Act" aka "The OECTA Road Map" on negotiations during August 2012. [LINK]
The first, most obvious glitch in the Matrix is glaringly obvious! It's hidden in the media's shamelessly muted response in reporting the verdict. Compare that to all of their ferocious, teacher bashing back in 2012-13! Alas! Now that our teacher and education workers' "outrageous" claims of injustice have been confirmed, the news story follow up is mostly conspicuous by it's absence. It's hardly the top mainstream news story of the day! Far from it!
A possibly even bigger news story still lies ahead! Hopefully, it will be one they cannot ignore! CUPE, ETFO and OSSTF have been directed by the judge to reach a "remedy" to the incurred injustices or one will be decided by the court. It will be very interesting to see how much real fight our union leadership still has in them!
Rumours are that at the very least our front line teachers and education workers will want their "sick day plans" restored. Some are even insisting that should just be the starting point. However, others doubt that the "leadership" can even muster enough fight and resolve for that! And so we watch with bated breath for another glitch in the Matrix to tip the hat to their true intent as our often secretive leaders prepare their demands under the blaring glaze of public scrutiny!
The biggest glitch in the Matrix has without doubt been at OECTA Provincial. We still await an official response as I post this blog. The OECTA members have been advised that OECTA's legal team is looking into the matter. The silence speaks louder than words!
OECTA's name is definitely mud for our Ontario union movement! How deep the shit goes still remains hidden under the infamous OECTA Code of Silence! Who knows? Do they have any legal liability for any of their questionable actions during 2012-13 due to the court decision? Will they benefit from the "remedy" too! One highly doubts they will ever be able to wipe the dirty sheets clean again!
Not only did the Ontario Liberals use OECTA's July 2012 MOU as the Road Map for the contract agreements they insisted upon in Bill 115! [LINK] The Catholic teacher affiliate was also not party to the CUPE, ETFO and OSSTF Charter Challenge! [LINK] Bill 115 was even invoked during a December 2012 hearing against OECTA dissident members [LINK], including Halton [LINK] and Sudbury Elementary [LINK] units and the Metro 7 [LINK] in their failed OLRB MOU challenge at the time! [LINK][LINK]
Indeed, disturbing questions continue to swirl around the fate of now, long gone OECTA dissidents such as Halton's controversial President Richard "Bad Boy" Brock [LINK] [LINK]. Later removed from office in his "fight for fair representation" by a controversial, appointed OECTA Disciplinary Committee [LINK], Richard has no doubt been to hell and back a few times. [LINK] Are he and his passionate arguments for union justice to remain clouded over and publicly unaddressed too? Will the complete story of what's happened to OECTA's Richard "Bad Boy" Brock remain hidden in a virtual Catholic union limbo? Under an OECTA veil of lurid intrigue? [LINK]
In the movie version of the "Matrix", the hero Neo is confronted with two choices in approaching the true reality of the world in which he lives. Neo can either take the blue pill or a red one. With the first he will fall asleep and awake none the wiser that the Matrix even exists. He can continue to live in a fantasy world about what is going on all around us until it totally consumes him. With the other, he will go down a rabbit hole into the Matrix to discover the truth.
Unfortunately, the truth is not easy to digest and live with, nor is it certain that he will ever be free from being used and abused, much like we are, either under the Liberal government, or even quite possibly, in some cases, even under our own union leadership!
Readers who are interested in bravely going down the rabbit hole to better discover the complete truth, whatever it might turn out to be are directed to my Teacher Free Speech News Archives 2011-16. [LINK] Here are the actual news links to what happened at the time for your reference and erudition. To truly understand where we are at, and where we are headed, it's down the rabbit hole we must go!
Your attention is directed to OECTA MOU Agreement in July 2012 [LINK], the AEFO MOU [LINK] and the passing of Bill 115 in August [LINK], the Bill 115 Charter Challenge in October [LINK], the OECTA OLRB MOU challenge beginning in December [LINK] and the OLP Leadership Convention in January 2013 [LINK]. Teacher work actions continued throughout the winter into Spring 2013 when CUPE, ETFO and OSSTF ratified their agreements [CUPE][OSSTF] [ETFO]. There are also ALOT more archive links for you to study and consider carefully around these "marker" dates, as we watch for the Bill 115 debacle unravel further in the days and weeks ahead!
Should you choose otherwise, thinking ignorance is bliss, don't complain in the daze ahead as you become but more fuel for the voracious unquenchable appetite of the Neo Lib Union Agenda in the province of Ontario! [LINK]
The latest Bill 115 news links are included in my Teacher Free Speech April News and Views blog @ HERE!
My Blogsite Manifesto: On Teacher Free Speech + Grass Root Renewal @ HERE!
OECTA: Manufacturing Consent: My POV on what's gone wrong is @ HERE!
Why You Need a Union; a good one that serves you is explained @ HERE!
Guest Blogs are also most welcome! More details are @ THERE!
Your Comments are welcome below!
Hope to see you at the deep, dark bottom of the Matrix rabbit hole of Bill 115! Let the truth and justice prevail!
PS: The final tip of the hat goes to Richard who called it back on Oct 24, 2012 @ IFP.CA
“We feel that the whole MOU and MOU process is unconstitutional within OECTA in terms of our own handbook and bylaws. And in terms of Bill-115, it too is unconstitutional in terms of its grab on local agreements,” said Richard Brock, president of OECTA’s Halton Elementary Unit.
He said there were three rounds of negotiations provincially, the first two being at the provincial discussion tables (PDT), each of which was ratified by the local membership. However, he the local membership and presidents were not consulted and never voted on the MOU before the agreement was signed.
“They totally snatched away items out of our local agreements that we’ve bargained long and hard for,” he said. Brock has been the local president for 25 years.
“A number of items that were clearly removed from our local agreement were items that I personally and my members in general have fought very hard to get into our agreement and have nothing to do even with the government’s initial PDT proposal back in February.”