01.10.2013 07:59 AM

Teachers’ union boss lawbreakers

It’s breaking the law.

It’s not a “democratic protest.” That’s bullshit.

Let there be no mistake: they are breaking the law.

Ontario Liberal leadership candidates who equivocate on this should know they are hereafter being defined by that. You can’t have it both ways: you can’t aspire to be the chief lawmaker and then side with law breaking. Everyone knows who I am talking about.

We either favour the rule of law or we don’t.

My candidate, my Premier, do.

58 Comments


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    TJ says:

    It’s official, The Liberal Party is the anti labour party. Good luck with that.

    Your Premier is a lying weasel who ruined his legacy and cost the taxpayers almost $1 billion with his scandals and mismanagement. Then prorogues to avoid facing his bad deeds.

    Party before country, Party before Province, Party before The People…Vote Liberal!


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      Paul says:

      These clowns have cost us a lot more than $1 billion. $1.2 billion was the price tag for a single boondoggle (eHealth). I can think of at least two more on that scale without even trying. Then tack on the HST which increased fuel and energy prices, feed-in tariffs for overpriced “green” power while at the same time paying other jurisdictions (WTF?!?!) to take the surplus energy that we didn’t even need, ORNGE, power plant cancellations, crooked “smart” meters, health “premium” (see? it’s not a tax!) and the list goes on…

      I don’t particularly like Hudak personally, but I sincerely hope he keeps his foot out of his mouth long enough to get elected this time, because another Liberal term will be a death blow to this once-great province.


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    Jim McShane says:

    BS law that your Premier took off the books after he used it. Both sides are wallowing in BULLSHIT here.


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      Jim McShane says:

      Sure, sure, techically correct, while totally missing the point.
      Keep splitting those hairs and telling yourself how smart you are.


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    Name Withheld says:

    Warren, you’re absolutely right.

    I came into school this morning absolutely incensed by this fool’s errand our “brain trust” are leading us into. I was so upset, I ended up ripping the heads off of two other teachers who were spewing the party line. Interestingly, they had no reply whatsoever to your central point that I had couched in my own terms: “You don’t have to like the law, but you have to follow it.”

    Sam Hammond constantly brings the press back to the point that “over 90% of our membership approved a one day protest in the event that contracts were imposed by the Minister.” What he neglects to point out is that the question that was crafted for that vote made no mention of the likelihood that said protest would violate the law. I know so many teachers who said to me this week, “I didn’t vote ‘yes’ last month to breaking the law this month.” That said, it’s infuriating to work in the midst of people who have no problem doing so. The majority of our elementary teachers have stupidly, blindly believed everything ETFO’s told them.

    I love teaching so much, but it’s hard coming into work these days because of the circus ETFO and OSSTF have created. Thankfully, the 30 faces in front of me are a constant reminder of why I got into this in the first place.

    I am proud to be a teacher today. I always will be, in fact. But, I am disgusted with myself for having to be part of ETFO.


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      Chris Hadley says:

      Unlike the Ontario Liberals, teachers don’t have the luxury of creating our own “laws” to suit our needs.


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      Cath says:

      To “Name Withheld” – I’ve heard more teachers echo your sentiments that EVER before. Thanks for them. You’d be surprised at how many support you and would like to support you even more than you feel your union does……can’t put a price or dollar amount on that.


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    Jim says:

    “I understand it’s not easy. But take heart in knowing you are doing the right thing.”
    –Dalton McGuinty, Teachers’ Rally at Queen’s Park, October 29, 1997


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      Sean says:

      Damn right Jim. Bill 115 is exactly the kind of bullshit grassroots Liberals and thousands of well meaning volunteers in 1999 and 2003 campaigned against. I hate to say it but if this is what we can expect from our next “Liberal” premier, he/she deserves to loose. I don’t even agree with the teachers on the issues, but I will defend their right to collectively organise till the day I die.


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    Nic coivert says:

    Sometimes the Law is wrong, this is one of those times.


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      Gary says:

      +1


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      james curran says:

      Catholic Teachers seem to be pretty happy.


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        Chris Hadley says:

        Of course they are – they were protected in their MOU by a “me too” clause that lets them have any gains by any other teachers unions in the province.

        And before you cry out “You said it wasn’t about the money” – it’s not. Teachers agreed to a pay freeze (and in fact, are getting a pay cut, which seems to be conveniently ignored by most). What we didn’t agree to were no-questions-asked strips to our negotiated contracts without any opportunity for meaningful bargaining.

        The Liberals miscalculated this one terribly and they know it – why else would McGuinty have resigned?

        I understand that Warren has to try to spin it for “his” candidate but I also imagine there is no small amount of concern over how this is going to play out this weekend and at the end of the month.


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          james curran says:

          Spare me the rhetoric. 25% over the last 7 years just wasn’t enough for the EFTO. That’s reality. Banking sick days is a real deal breaker too to the EFTO. You forgot to mention that.


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            Chris Hadley says:

            Sure I did: “What we didn’t agree to were no-questions-asked strips to our negotiated contracts without any opportunity for meaningful bargaining.”

            Bargaining and negotiation requires a meaningful back and forth between the two involved parties.

            Is it so wrong for unions to ask for something in return when asked to give up huge parts of previously negotiated deals?

            It is this attitude of “our way or the highway” that has got us into this mess.


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            james curran says:

            I’m pretty sure the EFTO spent less than 2 hours at the table. I don’t call that a willingness to bargain. But if you say so.


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    jbro says:

    i depend on the ontario liberals for stability, consistency, and fairness, yet they seem to have failed on all counts in this instance. strikebreaking used to be a wholly conservative phenomenon, to my knowledge. the way mcguinty handled this, along with the prorogation, shook my confidence in the ontario liberals.


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      The Doctor says:

      You’re wrong. When Liberals do stuff like this, it’s right, because they’re progressive.


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        Sean says:

        Nailed it.


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    Shawn McDonnel says:

    This entire mess is McGuinty’s fault. Teachers are just protecting the rights that this government stripped away from them. The assault on collective bargaining (and its accompanying rhetoric) from this government is just mean-spirited and nasty.

    This government needs to just end. It’s swayed so far from its original principles it is hardly recognizable anymore. It’s such a shame, it had such promise through so many years – from investments in education to education chaos, from adoption of green technology to energy mismanagement and scandals, from health care re-investment to the ORNGE boondoggle. It has done so much good and so much bad. It’s a real shame.


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      james curran says:

      You know what else is a shame? The hundreds of kids in public schools that lost their right to play their favourite school sport this year because of the “lack of extracurricular mentors”. The next commercial I hear the EFTO telling me they’re doing this to teach our children democracy I’m gonna puke.


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        Shawn McDonnel says:

        If you think those activities are so important you can feel free to go into schools and volunteer to do them the same way that the teachers do. There is nothing stopping you. Teachers volunteered to do it for years. Put your name forward.

        Also, if you think those activities are so important but you are unwilling to go into our schools are volunteer to do them yourself, you can feel free to call your MPP and demand that teachers be paid to do them. You can’t force someone to volunteer to do something. Teachers have been volunteering to do extra-curriculars for years because they wanted to help kids. They still do, but they need to show the government that they assault on their rights is unacceptable.


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          Peter says:

          A classic example of why unions, especially pubic service unions, have fallen so low in the esteem of the public.

          A) Declare a work benefit or any kind, no matter how indefensible, excessive or unsustainable to be a “right”.
          B) Scream how your “rights” are being “assaulted” and that therefore you are perectly entitled to break the law–just ask Ghandi;
          C) Tell the public, including children, to screw off.


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            Shawn McDonnel says:

            I’m not part of any union (I’m not a teacher and I do not work in the education sector), so your characterization of my argument as a “classic example of why unions…have fallen so low in the esteem of the public” is misleading.

            A) Collective bargaining is a right, not the work itself. You’re misinterpreting (or misunderstood) what was mentioned above.
            B) No one brought up Ghandi. The legality of what is happening on Friday is under dispute. I don’t think teachers view themselves with any romantic notions of fighting for freedom. What they are doing, however, is opposing what amounts to a stripping away of their collective bargaining rights.
            C) No one is telling the public, including children, to “screw off”. Extra-curricular activities are done by teachers on a volunteer basis. To demand teachers do them (or be aghast that they would no longer opt to do them) is akin to me demanding that you volunteer at a soup kitchen on the weekends (or be aghast by your refusal to not do so). Teachers like helping kids, they entered the profession to do so and I’m sure many would very much like to continue volunteering on teams or committees. I simply mentioned in the absence of them doing so, the public is more than welcome to volunteer where they once did.


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        dave says:

        One time we teachers were in some kind of beef with either our school board or the provincial government, maybe both. In my home room of Grade 12s a couple of my larger lads came to me and complained that their v ball coach had told them that the union (I was on the exec – pro d guy) was stopping him from coaching any more. I told them that until the beef was addressed that we would encourage teachers to withdraw volunteer services, but we had no power to stop any one from coaching. As I talked with these boys, I looked at the other 3 dozen students sitting behind them, I knew them all fairly well, and I realized that not one of them was in a school sport. I told the boys that no one was stopping them from playing sports, that a near by park had a volley ball pitch all set up for anyone to use. One of the boys looked at me darkly, gestured over his shoulder with his thumb at all his classmates, and said in a voice that only hte three of us could hear, “Let ‘them’ play volleyball in the park.”

        Nobody’s keeping kids from playing sports, james.


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          james curran says:

          So much for that “in it for the kids thing”.


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    dave says:

    Trying to follow this from BC…do I have this right?

    Gvt and teachers are in a bargaining dispute

    Gvt passes Bill 115 putting restrictions on what teachers can and cannot do in the bargaining.

    Teachers orgs take bill 115 to court.

    Gvt uses Bill 115 to legislate a contract, which includes restrictions on any job actions.

    Gvt says, now that it has used the bill to legislate a contract, it is withdrawing Bill 115.

    Teachers say they will have a one day “political” protest.

    Claim is that it is not a political protest, it is a strike, and therefore breaches a part of the legislated contract, and is an illegal strike.

    Is that the situation so far?


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      Chris Hadley says:

      Essentially, yes.

      The political protests are not a surprise – it was made clear by the unions that they would do this if Bill 115 was used to impose a contract.

      The government used some very cynical tactics – used 115 to impose a contract and then said they would repeal 115 while saying “See, you said you didn’t like 115 and we got rid of it. You should be happy!”


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        dave says:

        Thanks…it looks a lot like patterns used by the BC libs on teahcers here in BC.

        I’ll add a couple of points (I’m a hoary headed retired teacher – always worked with teens)

        1. I coached, organized, reffed sponsored sports and clubs (even rodeo) and all because I liked doing it. I enjoyed that kind of out of class room action with the kids. I still do a bit, well, a wee bit. But , if you open both eyes, you might find that a teacher withdrawal of volunteer services affects a pretty small % of your kids; it puts your school rep team athletes in the same position as about 92% of their peers. It is a public system, but coaches have iron clad class size clauses (I carry only 14 on my team – the rest of you do cut it), but by Grade 9 most kids have learned that they are just not good enough to have anyone give them the time or space for an after school sports programme…in thier own ‘public’ school system. YOu will also find, that as in NHL and major junior hockey, a large % of your athletes are born the first 3 or 4 months of the year.
        So…withdrawal of volunteer services affects a pretty small, and privileged group of kids.

        2. Some commentators here and on other message boards offer that teachers are telling the kids to ‘screw off.’ I ask those commentators to tell kids to ‘screw off,’ 30 of them in a group, or a student body of 1050, and get back to us on what happens.


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    Jim says:

    “. . . I’m . . . saying right here before you that I’ll be with the teachers. . . . This strike may very well be technically illegal. . .”
    –Dalton McGuinty, Focus Ontario, Global TV, October 18, 1997


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    ShorterNet says:

    So the population should support all laws regardless of whether they believe them to be fair or not?

    A great idea if your ideal is a province/nation of sheeple.


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      The Doctor says:

      The population should support laws passed by Liberal governments. The population should not support laws passed by Conservative governments. Because all Conservatives are Nazis.


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    billg says:

    Pandererd to for 7 years and not enough brains to know when to take a step back and be thankful for the great 7 years.


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      dave says:

      Likely the odd person around who would use exactly the same words (maybe change the number) in commenting on Idle No More.

      Let them eat cake, right Billg?


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    Andrew Clayton says:

    The progressive movement in Canada must not abandon the Unions. In the present state of affairs I am convinced that we cannot possibly dispense with the trades unions. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions in the economic life of the nation. Not only are they important in the sphere of social policy but also, and even more so, in the national political sphere. For when the great masses of a nation see their vital needs satisfied through a just trade unionist movement the stamina of the whole nation in its struggle for existence will be enormously reinforced thereby.


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      Warren says:

      The progressive movement in canada shouldn’t abandon the rule of law, either.


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        Sean says:

        But, lets go ahead and abandon the spirit of the Charter!? The unions are way off base politically, but they have the right to continue bargaining, no matter how wrong they are. For this reason, when I walk by my local picket line on the way to work tomorrow, I’ll buy them coffee and donuts.


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          Peter says:

          The spirit of the Charter? How about we content ourselves with the letter of the Charter and leave the spirit to the courts? I’m confident they would tell you there is nothing in the Charter that grants or even implies the right of citizens to ignore legislation before a court has ruled it invalid.


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            Sean says:

            Nice try, Peter. No one is saying they have a right to break the law. They have the option to break the law and face the consequences. Civil disobedience. It is a proud tradition and it is nothing new. They did it before and the Liberals said that was great. They do have a well established, undisputed Charter right to organize and bargain, which has been trampled upon. They are going to defend that and they should.


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            james curran says:

            http://www.globaltoronto.com/labour+relations+board+rules+planned+etfo+protest+unlawful/6442786388/story.html

            Have fun with that Sean. You’ll be the only one in line.


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    Thomas Gallezot says:

    Progressive became an empty word. There is no difference today between cons and libs. Maybe its time for a new summa divisio: social democracy vs ploutocracy.


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      Warren says:

      It’s spelled “plutocracy.”


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        Thomas Gallezot says:

        Thank you for the info. In french, it is spelled ploutocracy. It is not always easy to write in what is my third language.


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          Thomas Gallezot says:

          I mean ploutocratie, I’m getting all mixed up.


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    reformatory says:

    It appears the OLP is only on board when the rhetoric supposrts their agenda. What was good in 1997 is no longer good in 2013 when the shoe is on the other foot.

    If times are so tough- why did he give out bonuses to bureaucrats? If times are so tough then why did he not treat all unions and bargaining contracts the same way? He seems to pick on the teachers union.

    I’ve never seen a politician leave with such a cloud of incompetence. This guy can’t leave soon enough! What a waste for anybody that believed in him. The scandals and msisteps his gov’t took are nothing short of scandilous.


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      billg says:

      Picking on teachers? Thats almost the dumbest thing I’ve read on this board.


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      james curran says:

      If 1997 was so great maybe the teachers should go back to their 1997 wages then. Then we’ll see if life was better under Dalton and his Liberals.


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    Canada Joe says:

    The rule of law? The Ontario Liberals abandoned the rule of law at Caledonia. Of course that happened far away from downtown Toronto, lest the delicate nature of hipster liberals be upset.


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    GFMD says:

    Of course, everyone livid that the teachers might strike because it’s illegal registered their rifle, right? (I know you did, Mr. Kinsella, and are off the hook on that point).

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