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2013-01-09 at 13:14

Teachers to strike

By Leith Dunick,
Substance UseAre you pregnant and struggling with addictions during pregnancy? Talk to your healthcare

A decision by elementary teachers to stage a one-day political protest on Friday has forced Lakehead Public Schools to close all of its elementary schools for a day.

Director of Education Cathi Semieniuk on Wednesday said the decision caught the board by surprise and left them with little choice but to keep students at home.

“We were not expecting we would receive that notification today,” Siemeniuk said.

The decision was made to protect students.

“That’s why we’ve closed our schools on Friday. The fallout politically, it’s a political protest. This is not against the Lakehead District School Board, so I think we’ll be watching the fallout as well.”

Siemieniuk said she hopes this isn’t the start of a trend for teachers, who aren’t in a legal strike position.

“I’m hopeful that it will not. I still believe that teachers have the best interest of their students at heart and I think that’s what we all want to get back to, is teaching students in the classroom and doing the best possible job we can do,” she said.

Premier Dalton McGuinty called it an "illegal strike" and plans to file a cease-and-desist motion with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to prevent it from happening. 

“I want to be as clear as I can. With contracts now in place, teachers are no longer in a legal strike position,” McGuinty told reporters Wednesday at a Queen's Park news conference.

“Strikes before the holidays were disappointing and they were a real inconvenience to parents but they were legal, A strike on Friday would be an illegal strike and I know teachers are law-abiding. I know they don’t want to break the law and I am urging them not to.”

The one-day protest is the teachers’ way of speaking out against Education Minister Laurel Broten’s decision to invoke Bill 115, which effectively removed the collective bargaining rights of Ontario elementary and secondary school educators.

“The minister made a deliberate and provocative choice to wipe out the democratic rights of tens of thousands of educators rather than work towards a respectful solution," said Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario in a release.

"She could have taken our olive branch and waited for a new leader to try and find solutions, but she chose not to.

"Our members are standing up to say that democratic values must trump party politics in this province. What happened to educators must not happen to any other Ontarian. The stain of Bill 115, enacted four months ago this Friday, serves as a permanent reminder of that."

Elementary teachers aren't alone.

Following union meetings in Toronto on Wednesday, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation announced their members intend to stage a similar one-day protest, walking off the job on Wednesday, Jan. 16. High school teachers have also determined to stick to their decision to withhold volunteer services for extra-curricular activities until the province agrees to repeal Bill 115 and restore collective bargaining rights taken away under the legislation.

Education Minister Laurel Broten has already promised to repeal the bill, but only after imposing a contact that reduces teacher sick days from 20 to 10, ends the ability to bank sick days and freezes salaries for two years.

In a release, OSSTF president Ken Coran said the union is willing to meet with Broten at any time to discuss their terms, or meet with McGuinty to talk about changes in approach to bargaining if Broten is unwilling to waver from her stance. Coran said McGuinty may have opened the door a crack in that direction.

"The premier's statements late this afternoon finally acknowledge that the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Ontario Labour Relations Act are the appropriate avenues for dealing with labour disputes and collective bargaining issues. We hope his government will follow this up with the appropriate meetings to resolve the current labour situation."

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conker2012 says:
Line up the pink slips. Any teacher illegally striking should be terminated!
1/9/2013 1:21:05 PM
dontlistentome says:
You know, I read this story almost as soon as it was published (at about 1:30 today). This comment was here but had NO "agrees" at that point. I returned just now and there were exactly 100 "agrees". I found that likely, but over the course of about 45 seconds - I refreshed my browser and watched this jump from 100 to 140 agrees. Now, I'm sure everyone here knows that people do this to bolster thier comment, and I'm not even saying conker2012 was doing this, but it seems that someone is. Regardless, this action does nothing to legitimize the comment whatsoever.
1/9/2013 2:15:03 PM
glass half full says:
WOW there are 400 people active on this site .... LMFAO
1/9/2013 4:50:30 PM
itmatters says:
That is the power of social media. A lot of people are interested in this story.
1/9/2013 5:01:19 PM
FyreFaerie says:
Giving parents one and a half days to arrange childcare is NOT the way to keep them on your side. You've lost my support, and I don't have any elementary school-aged children!
1/9/2013 1:46:10 PM
get*over*it says:
Seriouly.....?Termination is your answer? LoL Are you going to take the place of these teachers who are trained to do their jobs. I would not be sending my kids to school any longer if that were the solution !
1/9/2013 1:51:10 PM
itmatters says:
I would suggest bringing in educated people who are teaching because they like what they do no matter what the pay or perks,
1/9/2013 1:55:22 PM
Neebing14 says:
there are many graduate students with a teaching degree ready and willing to step in
1/9/2013 2:01:03 PM
Escroft says:
There are hundreds upon hundreds of new and young teachers would would LOVE to have their jobs. There is NO shortage of teachers. Teachers are in abundance. We can let a few go.
1/9/2013 2:02:32 PM
Tiredofit says:
It's an illegal strike, so fire them, plain and simple. Try it at you jobs see what happens. Such a bunch of whiny brats is all the are. There are 100s of unemployed teachers who would appreciate the jobs. They had months, almost a year before the bill was introduced, even OPSEU has seen the light and have tentative settlement at hand.

1/9/2013 2:30:11 PM
Sui Generis says:
There are hundreds of teachers in this city alone that have been waiting for a chance to get in beyond substitution. They would be more than happy to take the places of those teachers who feel secure in walking off their jobsites.
1/9/2013 2:50:44 PM
conker2012 says:
LU graduates around 500 teachers a year and few find work. SO I think we could replace them in no time.
1/9/2013 2:55:57 PM
itmatters says:
These teachers are not standing up for union rights. They are having a tantrum because of the loss of roll over sick days. For all the teachers that I know (quite a few in this small city)they are only concerned with their paychecks and time.
1/9/2013 1:53:08 PM
drummerboy says:
dear parents. why don't you walk a mile in a teacher's shoes before judging. they are NOT your child's babysitters. how would you like your democratic rights stripped away from you? seems to me, some people need a little more education...
1/9/2013 2:02:29 PM
conker2012 says:
collective barganing is not a right, please see the attached copy of the Canadian Charter or rights and Freedoms:

If they don't like the deal then get a new job. I bargan directly with my employer for my wages and benefits. If I don't like them then I look for a new job.
1/9/2013 3:09:30 PM
JakobWellis says:
Wrong you are conker - you need to read beyond just the words on the page. Collective bargaining has been recognized as a right included in the Charter Rights you posted.

This should be a surprise - The Charter itself owes an tremendous debt to the labour movement.
1/10/2013 10:18:45 AM
Meta says:
Then quit and let a real professional teach dummerboy. Your post exemplifies the arrogance of most teachers.
1/10/2013 7:17:45 AM
dave78 says:
The union is understandably worried that Bill 115 will be the first step in redering them irrelevant. Unfortunately they are giving their membership advice that is, in my opinion, only going to turn public opinion even further against them than it already is.

I'll say it again. Take your fight up with the government. Don't punish the students.

Termination wouldn't be appropriate in this case however I do hope individuals who participate in an illegal work stoppage are disciplined appropriately. What's the point of enacting Bill 115 if the Government allows teachers to walk off the job when they feel like sending a message???
1/9/2013 2:15:16 PM
meta says:
Fire the whole whining law breaking bunch!

There are many, many unemployed young educated people with teaching degrees that would love the chance to work for half of what these overpaid whiners get.

Gee. what king of example does this shoe the kids, teachers claim to be protecting? IF you don't get your way break the LAW and illegally strike.

Replace the whole whing bunch.
1/9/2013 2:18:50 PM
trent says:
If the results of this teacher dispute are more long weekends, please continue! I doubt the kids mind having a Friday off.
1/9/2013 2:24:33 PM
ibrando says:
I feel for the parents that are handed an unexpected uneccessary cost of having to provide for a sitter because of the teacher tantrums. Teachers will continue with their "one day protests because after all it only costs them a "sick day" or "vacation day" They give up nothing!
1/9/2013 2:30:46 PM
eddylives says:
Go ahead and fire them lmao
What then? You are whining about no notice for one day of childcare...try for months lol
They have nothing to lose when their bargaining rights have been taken away.
I support the teachers decision to walk out
1/9/2013 2:42:24 PM
Justaguy85 says:
My fiancé has her teaching papers but can not find a teaching job where we are. So there a qualified people out there to replace them.
1/9/2013 2:46:22 PM
Slyder says:

I hope every teacher that dosen't show up to work is discipled and the unions fined heavily for this.

Guess what teachers! Here's the situation for every other worker in this provence.

Worker: Hey Boss, Can I get a Raise?
Boss: Nope.. sorry, no raise... and we have to freeze your wages for two year... cut back due to poor profits
Worker: Do I get a say?
Boss: Nope.
Worker: While I'm not showing up to work Friday to protest.
Boss: Well, take your thinks with you Thursday becasue we have someone else to fill your position.

What a bunch of entitled babies.
1/9/2013 2:56:21 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
thats because you have no union to back you. If you did you would have more options.
1/9/2013 4:17:26 PM
trent says:
And that's why the private sector wins. They have the ability to actually get rid of the deadweight instead of having a union protect the lazy. Once you're in a union position, you lose the incentive to actually work hard and do your best, because you know the union always "has your back" in case something arises.
1/9/2013 6:04:25 PM
jlmb says:
Hey Slyder, let's see if I can help you out here.

discipled = disciplined
! = ?
provence = province
year = years
while = well
thinks = things
becasue = because

An entitled baby.
1/9/2013 7:15:51 PM
Slyder says:

Enjoy your illegal strike! I'll post up plenty more for you to check over and ensure my spelling is ok... maybe grammar too.

What would really be great would be a dose of reality though. I wish teachers who didn't show up would lose their jobs, then go and try to find something equivalent to what they have anywhere. Maybe you'd be able to step back and realize your sense of entitlement then. Collective Bargaining is a great perk. It is not a right. The democratically elected provincial governemtn voted, passed and enacted Bill 115. Now you're throwing a tantrum.

Oh.. and I might be able to spell better if I had a better decent education system I guess :)
1/10/2013 9:03:30 AM
Tiredofit says:
A product of the system the teachers are so proud of perhaps? Slyder, not something I'd be bragging about! Seems your or someone else failed this person big time, or perhaps you can blame on a lack of a spell checker.
1/10/2013 6:34:22 PM
RicknB says:
Stand up for your rights!

Too many people here in Canada sit on their hands and do nothing. This is exactly the reason unions are needed to protect you, the worker.
I believe you can take some cuts but to stop your right to bargain is wrong, really wrong.

Every union employee should walk off the job in support on friday, Because once a presidence is set, its all over, for all of you.
1/9/2013 3:06:28 PM
Slyder says:
Fear mongering and scare tactics. A majority of workers in Canad do just fine without unions, and here you have a public service union, funding liberal elections, then throwing a tantrum after the 8 year gravy train of unpresdented wage and benefit increase comes to an end under global financial crisis.
1/9/2013 3:11:55 PM
itmatters says:
I belong to 2 well established unions and if I walked out on Friday I would be fired, or if lucky suspended without pay. I like what I do, so no thanx. I have no respect for what these teachers are doing. They are not helping my family or others families that I work with.
1/9/2013 3:20:27 PM
gusto says:
No it isn't over for all of us. Only about 30% of workers are unionized in Canada. The other 70% have to deal with reality.
1/9/2013 5:12:09 PM
gusto says:
No it isn't over for all of us. Only about 30% of workers are unionized in Canada. The other 70% have to deal with reality.
1/9/2013 5:15:01 PM
thbaylegend says:
I'm just not sure what teachers want anymore. They are already the highest paid hourlymaxing out at $95,000/year(when you factor in massive holiday time they make more than doctors). If I were them I would try to fly under the radar because Ontario is struggling as a province and if anything their salaries, beneifts etc. are going to get slashed. I have a friend who leaves for work at 8 and is home everyday at 3pm. These professionals do not understand the real world and as much as I think education is important these professionals are grossly overpaid.
1/9/2013 3:10:26 PM
Papercut says:
I understand they need/want to fight for bargaining rights.

BUT, you DO NOT have to use the students as your victims. Instead, act like grown-ups and go through negotiation/arbitration.
1/9/2013 3:18:28 PM
yossib says:
I'm confused. They're walking off the job for a day...are they protesting somewhere or just taking a long weekend?
1/9/2013 3:26:45 PM
pc says:
of course they want the long weekend. didn't have long enough over Christmas and New Years.
If they want a really long holiday get jobs in China. They celebrate the spring festival in Feb and take almost the entire month off.
Here we expect people to work for their money not demand more and take more days off.
I hope the worst winter storm hits on Friday morning so the teachers don't get beautiful weather for the weekend.
Yes, I am a nasty person.
1/9/2013 4:01:41 PM
thinkagain says:
People love to pick on teachers. Point of matter to be at 95K/yr you need at least HBA and MAster degrees. Then again if you chose to educate yourself before speaking you might of known this. All you anti union people, think about this. For many jobs in Thunder Bay that pays good money, I can find a replacement for you that will work for less. Without the union I could lay off all the old timers that work slower, have more holidays. are higher on the pay scale and usaully have more health issues, keep the younger cheaper workers. I have worked in Management and seen this done, it only takes 1 week of severence per year service to get rid of somebody with no union protection. The government agenda seems to be to break the first union, and if they can do it with the first they will continue with rest, then industry will follow suit. So all you people protected by unions lashing out at teachers, don't cry and whine your union is toppled and you have lost your wages and benifits.
1/9/2013 4:02:20 PM
theangryone says:
As a Catholic teacher here in TB all I can say is....WE ARE OPEN FRIDAY. So do not put all teachers into the negative category. Thanks and have a nice day!
1/9/2013 4:09:49 PM
mailman says:
1/9/2013 7:48:02 PM
itmatters says:
Who cares! They look good! The kids are not harmed! Look good too Public Board!
1/9/2013 10:43:48 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
FIRST OF ALL I cant believe the amount of non union attitudes in this town. Shame on you all.

The only reason any of you have a safe work place and decent wages is because of unions. But as soon as it infringes on your day to day life, then unions are the devil.

The teachers are well within their right to do what they are doing. They are not having an illegel strike they are having a one day protest to the fact that the government has done an end run around their right for collective barganing. The fact that people feel the government choosing wich laws they have to follow and wich ones they dont is ok with them is appaulling. Without these laws in place that unions faught to get the rest of the country we would all be working for minimum wage with unsafe work places, and Im sorry but is it really that terrible to have a day at home your children or for the people who work to find a last minute sitter for people who are responsible for shaping your childrens future.
1/9/2013 4:11:00 PM
gusto says:
Ummm, no. This is a strike and it is illegal and they are not within their rights to do so. Just because you are calling it a "protest" does not change the fact that they are walking off the job and should be punished accordingly.
1/9/2013 5:17:41 PM
Gotzone says:
Here is the solution! ANY person(s) that make a living from tax payers dollars to serve tax payers shouldn't be allowed to strike! This has gone on for YEARS. Every year students from Post-Secondary, Secondary, Elementary suffer. Nurses and Police officers cannot strike nor should teachers with the richest Union in Ontario, great pensions and Summers off.
1/9/2013 4:11:55 PM
Sinjo says:
A few more of these days and the province will be right back on budget.
1/9/2013 4:22:31 PM
Tbayborn says:
I find it quite funny and ironic that most of the negative comments on here about the strike and against teachers have so many spelling mistakes!
How many of your teachers were on strike when you were in school?
1/9/2013 4:23:49 PM
gusto says:
I guess the teachers aren't doing as good of a job as they think they are.
1/9/2013 5:19:17 PM
tbay80 says:
You may find grammatical errors "funny" but the unfortunate thing is that teachers can teach all they want, but it's the student's choice to take that information and use it.

When it comes to "editing/revising", a person has to make the choice to do it. A teacher can teach and encourage students/people to do so, he/she can explain the importance of revising your messages, and he/she can emphasize how these skills are important. A teacher cannot make a person do so.
1/10/2013 12:10:29 PM
Tbayborn says:
Thank you for informing me on how to "edit/revise", however I was already aware of that as I was taught the same skills in school which I use today.
So maybe my finding it amusing to see the spelling errors (which are different from grammatical errors) from people who are negative about the teachers, is a reflection of those commenting?
Maybe you should be informing those on here who have "chosen" not to use their skills, how to edit/revise....but thanks for the tutorial.
1/10/2013 4:32:09 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
I work for a union. United association of plumbers and steamfitters and it allows me to work and my wife to stay home and raise our children. Without being in that union this would not be possible. We have 2 kids in the public sector and I support the teachers keep it going. It seems to be working for the First Nations to have protests over Bill C-45 that are being forced upon them without proper comunication.
1/9/2013 4:25:20 PM
Padron says:
Why didn't we see strike days over the last couple of weeks? Oh wait, I forgot. Another two weeks off! Why don't the whiny teachers get their head's out of the clouds and wake up to the current economic realities that everyone else is dealing with. They've got it pretty good, and if they don't think so then they should trade jobs with someone else for a while to see how others have it. To the teachers out there I say this: you are not out digging ditches freezing yourself in the winter and you're not out breaking rocks with a hammer in the scorching summer sun. Suck it up!
1/9/2013 4:32:43 PM
beakir says:
I keep reading that people think there are a lot of newly educucated young teachers that are willing to take the place of the teachers. Has anyone thought that maybe people want to be teaches because of what the unions have been able secure for teachers over the last few decades?....Just a thought!!!
1/9/2013 4:38:57 PM
Justamom says:
Ok so they aren't happy with the gov't... I get that. Why take it out on the kids and their educations? They kids are the ones who are losing out in this whole thing. The gov't isn't going to care if they walk out.. they will just save a whole day of wages.. more savings for them.
1/9/2013 4:47:07 PM
deluxecustom says:
"ohnoyoudidnt"- It would not be possible to make a living without the union you are in? Get a grip on reality.Unions are on their way out.Most of the population on this planet make great livings without unions.If you support unions you support gang mentality and you protect people who, without their association, would be unemployable. I know, my brother-in-law is in your association and he is useless.
1/9/2013 5:00:53 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
First of all there are people who dont do their job in a non union environments also. Second with out unions you would not have paid stat holidays paid vacion time, or safe work places the ocupational health and safety code was writen with peoples blood and was only enacted because unions took a stand and said enough is enough. So your welcome for the things that people like my grandfather and father fought for and people who lost their lives for. The people of this city are so ungtratful for the things that unions have given then and with out the companies and government would take away.

1/9/2013 5:20:39 PM
Padron says:
Someone should have really checked the spelling before sending these shirts out for printing...lets just hope it wasn't the teacher's union.
1/9/2013 5:42:38 PM
Padron says:
Why is anyone surprised at the level of "non union attitude" in this town? The amount of business that Wal Mart does here is incredible and should speak volumes in that regard. The only reason they are here is because people spend their money there; and yes, that includes some of my friends who are proud union members. Happy to be part of a union when advantageous , conveniently forgotten when a buck can be saved.
1/9/2013 5:20:25 PM
Suebe says:
You know, I read this story almost as soon as it was published (at about 1:30 today). This comment was here but had NO "agrees" at that point. I returned just now and there were exactly 100 "agrees". I found that likely, but over the course of about 45 seconds - I refreshed my browser and watched this jump from 100 to 140 agrees. Now, I'm sure everyone here knows that people do this to bolster thier comment, and I'm not even saying conker2012 was doing this, but it seems that someone is. Regardless, this action does nothing to legitimize the comment whatsoever.

Comment system is flawed as easy as clicking agree refreshing page and agree again can do it all day if you want, just a cheap way at looking good that is pretty sad
1/9/2013 5:23:27 PM
thbaylegend says:
Think again, I understand you do not start at 95k but in 8 years you can get there. Of course people like to pick on teachers. The reason so many people go to school to become one is because it is the gravy train of jobs. And if you want to tell me that other professionals make more well guess what I have friends who are teachers that run lucrative businesses on top of their teaching career. The day they start having to be at work for 8:00am and staying until 5:00pm and don't have half the year off (approx. 90 days each semester = 180 year in a 365 day calendar)is the day I will respect the occupation. Teachers have a good thing going and just like Idle No More both groups of people should just fly under the radar. Do not bring attention to yourself and do not deprive children of their extra curricular activities. What hypocrites.
1/9/2013 5:34:25 PM
MIZ says:
I suggest to all the loudmouths out there who are constantly condemning teachers should do some research before sounding like idiots on this site. Its not about $ for the last time, its about having things take away that they already bargained for. Learn the facts before you comment!!
1/9/2013 5:39:11 PM
vimeo says:
You're absolutely's not about the money.
It's about the right to back the government and parents into a corner into coughing up for future money.
1/10/2013 11:58:43 AM
Kam River says:
Please raise your hand if you got ....
(1) A 23% raise in the last couple of years
(2) If you make over $70,000 per year
(3) If you get way more sick days than a health care worker ie Nurse
(4) Only work 5 hours a day and get summer off a couple of weeks and Christmas, Easter etc
(4) If because of lack of work you have to work out of the city and only come home every four or five weeks to be with your family

Contact your MPP and ask that the greedy teachers be fired.

There are thousands of people in our community that have as much of more education than teachers. They just have not gone to teacher college to learn how to be greedy or use our children against parents as bargin chips.


1/9/2013 5:42:20 PM
theangryone says:
Seriously Dude. Are you bashing the Catholics teachers as well in this rant of yours? If so.....GET INFORMED!
1/9/2013 10:08:32 PM
Dontlistentome says:
The teachers can call their upcoming extended weekend whatever they want, but as a point of typical dougall journalistic integrity, they do refer to it as a 'politicsl protest' and yet the Dougall Slanted Reality reads 'teachers to strike'.
1/9/2013 6:37:15 PM
Leith Dunick says:
No, it's a one-day wildcat strike. The Toronto Star called it a strike too. Teachers are calling it a "political protest" because they can't legally strike with a contract in place, imposed or not.
1/9/2013 10:26:14 PM
Dontlistentome says:
I would expect a justification like this, especially from you leith.
I am not surprised that you state you simply followed another news outlet to garner your facts. I am well aware of what the implication and timing of this 'political protest' is in reality, but where you as a supposed journalist loose me, is when you choose to subjectively call it a 'strike' when the teachers have not. You using that term inappropriatly slants public opinion a specific way. I don't understand why you Dougall Media. Superstars cannot seem to differentiate between objective and subjective. You want to call this a strike? Write an opinion based editorial, otherwise, why not show a little more integrity than your so revered Toronto Star Idols. Everyone knows this is a strike, but I'm in a position to have that opinion, you as a journalist are not.
1/10/2013 6:54:54 AM
Leith Dunick says:
Where exactly did I say I got it from the Toronto Star? I said they also called it a strike, something I saw long after my story went live.

The teachers have not called it a strike because if they do call it a strike, and they're not in a legal strike position, they could face serious sanctions. The OLRB is expected to rule on that today.

They have a contract, they're not coming into work. They're going to be picketing. It's a one-day strike. That's not opinion, that's fact.
1/10/2013 12:43:39 PM
dontlistentome says:
I wrote a pretty strong rebuttal to your comment here Leith, it does not surprise at all that it was not put up. I suppose giving yourself the last word somehow creats the impression that your're correct in your actions, even if only in your own Dougall Bubble.
1/11/2013 10:52:40 AM
Dontlistentome says:
...also, you might want to check how real journalists at both CTV and CBC refer to this 'protest'.... Only the Ontario government had referred to this as a strike. Way to pick a side 'objective' journalist.

'the Toronto Star called it a strike too.' indeed.
1/10/2013 7:02:31 AM
FactCheck says:
The following newspapers called the action by teachers a strike, or referred to it as both a political protest and a strike:

Toronto Star;
Globe and Mail;
National Post;
Toronto Sun;
Ottawa Citizen;
Ottawa Sun;
Guelph Mercury;
Sudbury Star;
Sault Star;
Timmins Daily Press;
And many, many more.

A strike is just a refusal (usually on mass) to work or perform. Just because a group of employees don’t go through the traditional process, doesn’t mean their labour action can’t be classified as a strike. Walkouts, work to rules, and other job actions are all considered forms of strike action. In fact, work to rule is often called a “white strike.”

I have a funny feeling that you would be stating this yourself if the tables were turned and Mr. Dunick had written this piece and refused to use the term “strike,” and opted instead for “political protest.” I assume you would have been upset about him taking the teacher's words without "critically think" like a reporter should.
1/11/2013 9:08:56 AM
dontlistentome says:
I do so enjoy when others jump in to come to the aid of Dougall.

1/ I don't particularly care how many newspapers you found that misrepresented the facts of this story. In fact, it only adds to the conclusion that the media, in general, can be subjective. When a story states both "political protest" and "strike", it is at least demonstrating neutrality and objectivity. Plus, when the Toronto Sun become an actual newspaper?

2/ I am aware of what a strike is and how it is both legally defined and executed. At the time this story was written, the teacher's union's perception was that what they were planning was "political protest". It was not decided that they were wrong until 4am today! Any media, Leith included, calling this a "strike" before that, was stating a subjective opinion, and irresponsibly swaying public opinion based on that perception and not fact.

So "FactCheck", you should check your facts, and possibly also your ability to comprehend what you read first.
1/11/2013 10:47:31 AM
Dontlistentome says:
As a point of reference, you also might want to research the actual legal definition of a 'wildcat' strike. Friday's action, regardless of term 'protest' or 'strike' is definitely not a 'wildcat'. Osstf is staging, supporting and bolstering support for ths action. But hey, what does Dougall care about finicky things like 'facts', 'integrity', 'research', 'journalism', 'professionalism', 'objectivity', etc.?
1/10/2013 7:12:35 AM
Slyder says:
A democratically elected provincial governemtn table, voted and passed bill 115, then enacted it since 2 teachers unions and provence couldn't come to an agreement. By enacting it, contract were imposed on the unions works. Those contracts indicate workers cannot strike. Stopping work to protest is not "a protest" it's a strike. Organizing a gathering ouside of work hours is a "protest".

Since teachers are withdrawing from work, and it's illegal because there is a contract in place... strike is actually the most appropriate term.
1/10/2013 9:15:33 AM
atticfour says:
It's great to see our teachers modelling the best example for our students...fighting for their right to collective bargaining
1/9/2013 6:45:52 PM
chezhank says:
1/9/2013 7:03:04 PM
animiki says:
Well, I'll say it again...the reason there are so many negative comments is the same reason public support for the teachers is "lukewarm" at best. The teachers and their union still have not explained why they SHOULD be supported by the taxpaying public. I mean, I consider myself reasonably open-minded, and I'm prepared to hear an argument...but there's been nothing. Essentially, the teachers are saying that the public should support them because Bill 115 is bad and it somehow undermines civil institutions in Ontario. In what way is Bill 115 bad for the taxpayers of Ontario? Most people in Ontario are not unionized, so this vague demand for support "because" just doesn't resonate.

Unions have done remarkable service in improving the employment conditions for workers--that's very true. But that bell has been rung. The laws are in place protecting wages, worker safety, hours of work, etc. So give us a reason(s) why this particular union-related issue is so important.
1/9/2013 7:10:08 PM
CM Punk says:
I would also venture an educated guess that some teachers under the ETFO umbrella do not think that their reps have their best interests at heart.
A friend of mine who works in a public in southern Ontario told me earlier that they will face a $2000 fine for striking illegally.
1/9/2013 7:20:18 PM
itmatters says:
Would it not be great if a whole big group of teachers held a protest against their union to say they give a crap about kids and knew what they were getting into before they were hired (extracurricular activites or why would they hire Acitivity Directors).
1/9/2013 11:09:16 PM
DazeofThunder says:
"Most of the population on this planet make great livings without unions" You actually believe that? In Canada alone 57% of the population makes under 20K per year. I won't give you the world statistics because it isn't necessary but i can guarantee you it is nowhere close to most. Income inequality is a great divider among us and brings out the hate in many people as is being shown by Thunder Bays finest critics...
1/9/2013 7:24:34 PM
hoboBOB says:
Once again, we are nothing but a bunch of bigots. Read what you all type on here. I'm ashamed. I hate saying that I live and work with all of you. How can we treat one another with this level of disrespect? Where is it that we went so horribly wrong?

1/9/2013 7:27:51 PM
jasper says:
The teachers are told what to do by their union. They have to find childcare too just like everyone else. They were told by the pricipals late in the afternoon about Friday. If the unemployed were not so greedy and would stop taking so much from the government these situations would not happen. To those of you on the Catholic board you know you get whatever the public teachers get as per your agreement. You were allupset when you received a letter telling you what the union agreed on. So stop acting as if you can control any of this. @,


1/9/2013 8:06:20 PM
stuck? says:
which one of you keyboard warriors have gone to a picket line and expressed all of your hate for the teachers instead of sit behind a computer and spew hate?

1/9/2013 8:31:33 PM
itmatters says:
I do not see hate in these comments. I see disrespect. The same disrespect the children are receiving because of the fight between adults. I will gladly join for the 2 or 3 hour shift on friday and share how I feel. Then I will switch off and watch the next shifts kids.
1/9/2013 11:02:28 PM
Seribro says:
Please, don't compare the united association of plumbers and steam fitters union to an ontario tax payer funded (through cheques) union, it's very ignorant, they are two completely different unions. First of all the public board teachers are basically subsidized by the ontario tax payer where as the construction trades are not. The teachers are not setting a "precedent" it was already set when the post office workers went on strike and were legislated back to work (nice try), the separate school board had a me to clause in there contract ( whatever the public board gets the sep. board get to) however they settled just before New Years because they knew what events might transpire. Illegal strike it is, you break the law you should get severely fined, reprimanded, or fired. The teachers are easily replaceable.
1/9/2013 8:37:17 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
I have been a member of the UA for 15 years and I can compare the two all iI like a union is a union and I back my union brothers and sisters in their fight against what amounts to the government breaking the law whenever they want and choosing wich laws to follow and wich they will not. My union has been legislated against by the government no walk outs no lockouts and no strikes. when the government takes away your right to collective barganing(and its is a right ruled on by the supreme court of canada by the way) it is a slippery slope how long before you lose your rights and you will have no backing from a union. what will you do then.
1/10/2013 10:07:11 AM
gerster says:
Ha it's ok, I work for a UNION company, they will cover me when I am sick on FRIDAY....cough cough! lol
1/9/2013 8:40:43 PM
MAZDA323 says:
Half of the posts on this story alone are so riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes, is it any wonder that the teachers have no support??? Do your job and I MIGHT support you. As it is, get back to class, you haven't been doing what you're being paid for.
1/9/2013 9:13:21 PM
stuck? says:
Teachers ARE doing their jobs. Would you like them to go all "Clockwork Orange" on them and brainwash them just to make them learn?

If the kid doesn't want to pay attention in class, or do their work, they need to take blame themselves. Just because you are a teacher does not mean that you can MAKE the kids learn. They need to be willing to learn as well.

When parents start instilling good values in their children, maybe the teachers will have an easier time ATTEMPTING to educate the children that don't seem to value the education they are receiving.
1/10/2013 11:21:42 AM
tbayokay says:
You are all honestly unbelievable. Those people that are saying that the private sector are doing just fine without union support clearly haven't been paying attention to the labour market over the last 8 years. Have you been living in Toronto?

These are human beings, these are jobs and these are members of our community. Who are you to call anyone entitled? I am not a teacher but know many young teachers. Teachers in Thunder Bay have to fight just to secure full time employment. Years of disappointment, volunteering for your children's extra curricular activities, supporting your children in ways that many of us don't have the capacity to do. Those supply teachers that are ready to step into those jobs without a thought should be ashamed of themselves and so should the people that are speaking up for them to do so. Nothing in this economy comes easy to anyone and that is the right they are fighting for. Those who think otherwise clearly don't have a clue. This is everyone's fight.
1/9/2013 10:55:35 PM
Harvey P. says:
Reading these comments is better than anything on TV! Tons of LOL's here to be had.

No one supports the teachers except other teachers. Whatever. Keep 'em coming. I need more laughs.

Hey, wanna hear something funny? Ask a teacher what they did on their vacation. Most of them went on cruises or to Disney World. They are well paid babysitters who give a lesson now and then.

Ok, I gave you some material to flame.

Have at 'er.

1/9/2013 11:00:13 PM
stuck? says:
Hi Harvey, I'm Chris. Nice to meet you. I'm not a teacher, but I do support them.

Thanks for spreading more false information.

Yours truly,

Mr. Stuck?
1/10/2013 11:23:33 AM
dynamiter says:
We need a rational sensible conversation about First Nations funding and protocols, Civil Servant Salaries and benefits ( including teachers ), health care costs, and CPP - from what it going on around us might be hard to have a calm sensible conversation about the first two.
1/9/2013 11:23:51 PM
dad3192 says:
unions...gotta love em.....power to the few, misery to the masses
1/9/2013 11:57:50 PM
glass half full says:
OK , I did not want to weigh in on this but, enough is enough.
1 - it is clear a lot of you do not have the support of a union and never have and can not appreciate what a union can do for you as a worker.
- Safer working conditions
- Pension plans
- Pay equality
- Job security
- Job protection. Your "boss cant just fire you for any reason he or she sees fit.
2- Do any of you think that the companies you work for would simply hand over more money or benfits because they want to and cause they are nice people.
- Companys are in business to make money, you are your own "company", you have to ensure to are recieving all you can.
3- Good people died while fighting for our union rights in the 40's and 50's.
4- I feel every union worker should band together and walk off the job to support the teachers and the cause. The Liberals are union crushing.
5- If first nations can block roads and get away with it, so can the union's in this province.
1/10/2013 8:28:28 AM
downtownie says:
If anyone actually knows a teacher. The teachers want to continue working Friday and also the high school teachers want to coach. It is the Union that is the problem headed by the local Union idiot. The teachers have no choice otherwise they will be fined by the union. Stop blaming the teachers, place blame where it should be! The local Union Leader! He is out of line and really does not represent the majority of teachers in Thunder Bay! Thankyou!
1/10/2013 12:12:19 AM
Tbay99 says:
Why does this site allow such abundant teacher-bashing but are so selective with idlenomore bashing? Hrmmm....
1/10/2013 12:38:00 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
You have my support all the way. Maybe you should ask some of the other union's to join in for more support. City workers, police, garbage removal experts, skilled trades, everyone who is unionized show them something to really think about. The kids won't suffer they probably would enjoy the time off. It's the parent's who will suffer, struggling for babysitters and such, having to book time off work causing havoc in there work place. Disrupt the system all the way.
1/10/2013 1:29:10 AM
Tiredofit says:
Teachers ; why are all other public sector employees and Unions settling?

Why? Because they realize the province is broke and can't afford to give anymore or let alone afford what you have. Perhaps you can afford a tax hike, however most can't. Accept it and move on, the PC Party will gut your collective when they get in power
1/10/2013 7:01:11 AM
thinkagain says:
Cry, cry,cry, typical Thunder Bay ites. Somebody got something better than them and thier jealous. Teachers have a lifestyle they worked hard to get and want to keep, as everybody here would do for their job and benefits. All you whiners about teachers, you had the same oppurtunity to get educated and try for a teaching job. But cry cry cry, you didn't do it but now you are so jealous your going to complain about those who did. Typical Thunder Bay mentality that has stopped industrial investment in Thunder Bay, oh of course unless it's a box store or hotel. Wonderful paying jobs.
1/10/2013 9:07:35 AM
grs says:
The reality is that starting today through sunday is the annual Robin's hockey tournament. That means that even if the kids were in school friday all they would be doing is watching movies since half the class will be absent due to hockey games.

So send your kids to the movies on friday, they'll get the same education as if they were in class.
1/10/2013 9:12:37 AM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
For all you anti union people who apparently dont know your heads from another part of your body. The only reason you make a livable wage is because the non union sector has to compete with the union sector. Do think that after you all get what you want and the unions are gone that these companies will pay you what they do out of the goodness of their hearts. They will drop your wages to minimum wage before you can blink an eye. As far as I can tell the majority of you commenting on here come off as either jellous becase union people make more money than you or jellous that teachers have more payed time off than you. and as far as collective barganing not being protected by our charter of rights and freedoms you should really learn to read before shooting your mouth off. here is a link for you to educate you.
1/10/2013 9:53:13 AM
Slyder says:

To clairify:

You have the right to the process, not to the outcome. Getting what you want is not protected by the charter of rights and freedoms.

The process of collective bargaining started for teachers in January 2012. Their process was not interfered with. The provence has the right to legislate teachers back to work and legislate contracts since no agreements (i.e. teachers didn't get what they wanted) were reached. This is the power we gave them in electing them.

Try again.
1/10/2013 2:54:03 PM
loring says:
people are mad at the teachers because you now dont have a babysitter what a joke why did you have kids so others can look after them and than you can say look how good a job i did raising my kids but if things go south you blame everyone but yourselves.sad sad sad raise your own kids let teachers teach and blame the liberals for getting us in this much debt we are not in this much debt because of the teachers its because of the people you elected to look after your hard earned money.if you read or know anything- all the daycares will be open.
1/10/2013 10:24:44 AM
dave78 says:
Regarding the comments that Teachers are also parents who will have to arrange for child care for this Friday:

What I have been told is that during past work stoppages the teacher's union has assigned a small number of their members with the task of watching the children of the other members who are on the picket line. Every so often they rotate and take turns providing child care for each other.

I imagine they'll be doing something similar this time around.

So no, teachers are not faced with the same issues that other parents are going to deal with this coming Friday. No surprise that the teachers wouldn't allow themselves to be inconvenienced by their own work stoppage.
1/10/2013 10:34:27 AM
countryboy123 says:
Guess waiting till Family Day in February for a long weekend was too much work for them.
1/10/2013 10:46:14 AM
tudor says:
This is a message specifically directed at

You point is beyond belief. You believe this is not a strike but a political protest. How about this.

Instead of walking out when you are contractually obligated to be there, hold your "political protests" after work. Or before work, or on the weekend. Or picket the offices of the MPP's on your time, not taxpayer time.

That is why this is a strike.

Because they are collectively booking sick.

Your attempt to call it a protest reeks with self interest.

As for smoke stack just above, can I offer a slight modification to your suggestion, fire 100, and fine the remaining 20 grand.

And dontlistentome.

This holier than thou position these teachers are taking stinks. Other teachers negotiated contracts signed off on deals, stayed in the classroom and supported after school activities, unlike the selfish acts by these "protestors". They get it.

I cannot wait to read your response.
1/10/2013 11:23:04 AM
Dontlistentome says:
Tudor, in all honesty I totally agree with you and I have always actually been anti union in every comment and regard in my professional life. I know where the confusion comes from in my points, but they are strictly regarding Dougall referring to this as a 'strike'. I know it is an illegal strike, you know it is, the teachers know it is, but a journalist is expected to report fact, not subjective perception. Every reputable news outlet has referred to this illegal action as a 'political protest' simply because that is the fact according to teachers and their union. It's only a point of valid journalistic integrity that I question always in the Dougall Media Superstars. I think if you read every comment I made to leith above, you'll likely understand my point.
1/10/2013 8:39:15 PM
Drinkinthekoolaid says:
I find it rather shocking that some people are so lazy or pathetic that they don’t want to leave Thunder Bay to find a teaching job. Grow up and stop sucking at your parents’ nipple and find a job because there are none in Thunder Bay but lots in other places. Becoming a teacher is not just walking into a job, I am no longer in the Bay and am working as a teacher, struggling to pay rent, buy groceries and repay my student loans but that’s right we all make $70,000+ a year right?
1/10/2013 11:27:42 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Seems to me this government is acting like a child trying to make up new rules in a game and throwing a fit when they can't get their way. Fair is fair you don't take something away when it was already part of a previous contract. It's probably these perks that made these teachers want to teach in the first place. If you want maybe grandfather in the old contracts and start new contracts with future teachers. See how that affects the amount of people who want to teach. These are the people who teach our kids and should have respect.
1/10/2013 12:00:41 PM
eddylives says:
Sounds like someone is resentfull of a group of people that guessed it...
Organised lmao.
Lets see these non union workinng union haters get their act together to be this organised lol.
Unions paved the way for our current lifestyle and those too blind to see it are their own worst enemy
1/10/2013 12:44:13 PM
dave78 says:

"Sounds like someone is resentfull of a group of people that guessed it...
Organised lmao."

I'm not resentful at all. I think you've read far too much into a very brief comment that I made. I simply added a factual comment in response to a post that mistakenly said that teachers will also have to arrange for child care for their children this Friday.

"Lets see these non union workinng union haters get their act together to be this organised lol."

And you accuse me of being resentful. Classic.
1/10/2013 1:09:53 PM
tudor says:
Eddy, youi are correct, unions have done a great deal of good. But over the past few years and possibly a couple of decades, the policies of unions have hurt the economy. We used to have a vibrant grain and rail industry. Many strikes did not help both. Unions are not totally to blame, but they have to be part of it.

Unions have driven up costs of providing services throughout our economy. Unions have a purpose, but lets not pretend that they do not have their own self interest. More money, more power, more members to ensure more money and more power.

Union leaders have a self interest in getting more out of the taxpayer.

It would be nice to see a union say, "wait, we are doing okay, we don't need anything this time".

Some unions did. The catholic teachers unions, and others across Ontario who spared us the rhetoric about how this is going to be a catalyst for the destruction of bargaining rights. They put the students and the taxpayers first. Rare these days
1/10/2013 3:42:15 PM
deluxecustom says:
To "Weiner" & "Dontlisten" Time to end the union psychobable. Unions were a by product of the times in the last century.We all know the story. The fight is long gone. We have rules and regulations to protect the worker now.Yes, we all know the story. "We did this so you can do that" I manage projects that are both staffed by union and non union individuals doing the same job. Get over your self importance and stop hiding behind your associations.Fight your own fight. To back the teachers union only because it is in fact a union with no regards in respect to their demands, is half witted at best.If the plumbers wanted 20 sick days a year payable at the end of their career, this article would be about you. And its not.This is not about union haters.Its about what is right and what is unreasonable. End of story.
1/10/2013 12:58:30 PM
Dontlistentome says:
Im not going to be as respectful to our ridiculously calling me out like this as I was to Tudor above. If you choose not or are not functionally able to garner my points to leith then you are a buffoon. I pointed out, rightfully, that the media has NO business slanting the perspective of the story in a subjective manner. If basic reading and comprehension eluded you, I actually suggest you better hope teachers get what they want, because you are in desperate need of their services.

FYI, Psychobabble (a portmanteau of "psychology" or "psychoanalysis" and "babble") is a form of prose using psychological jargon, buzzwords and highly esoteric language to give an impression of plausibility through mystification, misdirection, and obfuscation. The term implies that the speaker of psychobabble lacks the experience and understanding necessary for proper use of a given psychological term. (thanks wiki).

You should consult a dictionary reference before trying another $3 word here.
1/10/2013 8:51:50 PM
hardrawkin says:
I think that they already have a good deal compared to the rest of working people, unionised or not.

I here they are going to call themselves "The Idle Once More Movement"
1/10/2013 1:25:10 PM
vinnypig says:
Honestly, teaching is so important to the future. As far as I'm concerned we dont make enough money. We deal with long hard days, and have to exude more patience than people realize. We are not paid fairly or adaquately and now they want to slash more.
1/10/2013 3:03:29 PM
brooky says:
Provincial union members are going to be the biggest contributing factor to the end of unions, period. Sure, they say that they only want their bargaining power back. To hold them hostage next time around. But apparently the government has drawn a line in the sand with these people and aren't backing down. Good for them I say. Can the private sector demand wages and benefits from their employers when the money isn't there? I think not. Didn't unionized Bowater employees take a cut in pay to save their jobs? It's time to live in the real world teachers. Everyone else has to.
1/10/2013 5:32:43 PM
CM Punk says:
Yes, Bowater employees lost big money in the last contract.
And then you got teachers asking for more and more.
Province is broke.
Never mind this "I know Silvio" attitude.
I am the best in the world. Over 400 days as WWE champion.
Tune in to RKTV.
1/10/2013 10:15:23 PM
deluxecustom says:
Dontlisten- Great use of the dictionary. Your comment has no relevance to the story what so ever.I wondered when your lack of civility would lead to name calling.I will not bow to the same level but there must be a faucet leaking somewhere? The fact that you had to consult Wiki confirms intelligence..Or lack of.
1/11/2013 10:51:34 AM
dontlistentome says:
You continue to demonstrate your lack of basic comprehension. You again state my comments have no relevence to the story, yet my overarching comment has everything to do with this story, and more importantly its headline. You attempted to make it seem like I am some union sympathizer, which I am clearly not. You lumped me in with obvious supporters of teachers and union, but nothing in my comments demonstrate or state any of that, and for that, you are a buffoon. Also, you attempt to use a term that has nothing to do with my points either, and if you had consulted anywhere first, you might have realized that.

Dougall reports nearly everything subjectively.
Dougall rarely checks or reports actual FACT.
Dougall rarely presses any story for detail.
Dougall regurgitates whatever anyone spews at fact.
That is irresponsible journalism.

Your "next?" with the question mark implies that you believe you have somehow proven your point so well that I would not dare reply. That's funny!
1/11/2013 12:50:23 PM
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