OSSTF former Prez weighs in on Coran controversy

Paul Elliot

Malcolm Buchanan

MalcolmBuchanan (above right) , former Provincial OSSTF President and General Secretary, has given  permission for the sharing of this e-mail that he sent to Paul Elliot, the new Prez of OSSTF.


Paul Elliot
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
60 Mobile Drive
Toronto, Ontario.
M4A 2P3

July 11, 2013

Dear Brother Paul,

Congratulations on your election to the position of President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation [OSSTF].

As President you will be confronted with many challenges.

Unfortunately, Ken Coran has presented you with a major problem that may define your presidency. If you wish to maintain the support and integrity of the OSSTF membership and the trade union movement you and members of the provincial executive must publicly distance yourselves from Ken’s misguided quest to become a Liberal MPP for the riding of London West.

Ken has every right to seek elected office as a Liberal MPP. However, his decision has created serious doubts in many current and retired OSSTF members minds as to his loyalty to Federation positions, policies and principles, especially the principles of free collective bargaining and democratic rights of members.

If the Federation does not publicly distance itself from Ken and the Liberal Government, the Federation will be viewed as being complicit in his self-serving endeavours. The optics for the Federation are terrible given the Federations and members opposition to Bill 115. Ken has stated that he was asked by Premier Wynne to accept the nomination in London West on behalf of the Ontario Liberal Party and that this is a ‘new’ Liberal Government. Remember, Kathleen Wynne is on record as strongly supporting Bill 115. She is also on record as saying that public sector compensation increases for the foreseeable future will be limited to no more than 1% if that.

What is also problematic is that Ken, while still President, endorsed the candidacy of the NDP candidate for London West by-election. This has further undermined Ken’s credibility.

I have been informed that many OSSTF members in the London area are dismayed by Ken’s decision to seek elected office as a Liberal MPP given the Federations opposition to Bill 115. Many have volunteered to work for the NDP candidate.

OSSTF has a proud history of being a progressive union. It has been supportive of the OFL and CLC campaigns to protect the democratic and collective bargaining rights for all workers. OSSTF has been the champion for building and maintaining a strong public school system.

This proud record is on the line.

It is essential that the Federation publicly states that it does not support Ken Coran’s campaign and will encourage OSSTF members not to support him.

Good luck in your Presidency.


Malcolm Buchanan

OSSTF Life Member