If this is your first time of visiting the REWT blog, you may be interested in finding out what we’re all about and in knowing our history.
Our history is explained in the page on this site “what we’ve done”
Our values haven’t been fully articulated yet but this page “what we value” will give you an idea,
“The right of petition is an old undoubted household
right of the blood of England, which runs in our veins.”
Caleb Cushing, 19th Century American diplomat
Some 5,500 secondary teachers and OSTTF members of District 12 received an e-mail today (Feb. 20) containing the REWT newsletter as an attachment plus an invitation to sign a petition with the following text:
We, the undersigned members of OSSTF District 12, wish to express our profound dissatisfaction with the decision of our STBU executive to donate $30,000 of members’ money to four of the Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidates. Three of those candidates were cabinet ministers of the provincial government that stripped our contracts by the imposition of Bill 115.
The executive’s action was in direct contravention of a September 19, 2012 e-mail from Ken Coran, Provincial President of OSSTF, and undermines the solidarity of our union’s fight to reopen our contract for free collective bargaining.
Further we wish to express our lack of confidence in those members of the D12 STBU executive who supported this decision and to ask that Provincial OSSTF investigate the matter to determine if those actions constitute a breach of OSSTF bylaws or policies and if so, to take appropriate remedial action.
The impetus for the newsletter came from “donationgate” and the need to inform members of OSSTF District 12 about what this is all about. Despite the fall out from the Toronto Star editorial (February 11th) on the subject, many members are completely unaware of what has happened. The D 12 leadership is being unusually tight lipped about it – at the time of writing, they still have issued no formal communication (no mass e-mail, no Executive Action) to the members, giving their side of the story. Maybe, they are thinking they can ride out the storm and live to fight another day. Maybe they can but it’s going to be a very bumpy ride. The first test will come this Thursday (Feb. 21st), at the regular monthly Council meeting of the Secondary Teachers’ Bargaining Unit of D12. For this meeting, an unprecedented number of branch motions from schools have been submitted. (The agenda for the meeting including motions can be found here.) All of them are either critical of the decision to donate money to the Liberals or of the secretive manner in which the business has been conducted.
This is a tough one. On the Facebook page for OSSTF D 12, teachers have been scratching their heads. They’re trying to figure out if they’re getting 11, 16, 21 or whatever # sick day. May I humbly suggest that we’re losing sight of the big picture, i.e. what we should be demanding and the rationale for that demand. My first preference is the for the status quo ante, our old 20 sick days per year with the ability to rollover unused ones. However, I do recognize that these are tough times and we may need to make some adjustments. So, in the interests of fiscal responsibility, I would be prepared to adopt the model used by members of the Canadian Senate.
From this article we see that our dedicated Senators have 21 “free leave days” without, it seems, the ability to carry over unused ones from year to year. I can live with that. I can also live with working for 132 days a year. So, let’s hear it for:
“What do we want?”
“Me too with the Senate”
“When do we want it?”
“At the earliest convenience, if that’s alright with you” (hey, we are polite and patient teachers, after all.)