Early this morning, July 1st, I sent this e-mail to Paul Elliot, new OSSTF President, and the other members of the Provincial Executive. Paul’s reply was prompt as was mine to him.
Dear PE members
The news of Ken Coran’s potential career move to become a Liberal MPP has either shocked many ordinary OSSTF members or has confirmed them in their already growing cynicism. Maybe a bit of both.
A group of OSSTF activists in the GTA would like to meet with you to discuss the impact of this decision. Among the things we’d like to talk about are:
- the possibility of the PE issuing a statement disassociating themselves from Ken’s move; the purpose of such a statement would not be to make a personal condemnation of a former leader but to counter the cynicism and disaffection that is growing in the ranks;
- Making a clear statement for the upcoming by-elections that any political intervention from OSSTF, whether through offering financial or human resources, shall not be directed to Liberal candidates.
60 Mobile Drive would be a convenient place to meet. Please suggest a time, preferably in the morning. Thanks for your time.
Good morning Tim,
I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to you, but the PE does not have a protocol established to meet delegations from districts or bargaining units. I’m sure that you would understand that with over 60,000 members the bylaws of OSSTF have well established protocols for the calling of Provincial Council meetings where the concerns of locals may be addressed. I suggest that your issues are raised through the regular channels of working with your local bargaining unit.
With all due respect, this is a bullshit response. If you don’t want to meet with a group of disaffected members, fine. But don’t tell me to go through the “regular channels”. We are in summer mode. We are talking D 12. There are no regular channels!
At least give me the courtesy of taking up the political points in my e-mail, particularly the issue of how OSSTF is going to intervene (or not) in the forthcoming by-elections.
Lois Wiener, lecturer in Education at New Jersey University and proponent of the vital role of teacher unions, speaks to REWT supporters via Skype.
And here’s a point of view many of us in REWT would share. It’s from an Ottawa teacher blogger: Writings from the chalkboard
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.)
On Friday March 1st, RET will be hosting its first fundraiser featuring:
Mike Ford and Faith Nolan