Extra-Curriculars Not Coming Back Yet: OSSTF

The head of the union representing the province's public high school teachers says extra curricular action is staying as-is

While the head of the union representing the province's public high school teachers says they will be abiding by the ruling of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), extra curricular action is staying as-is.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) president Ken Coran says they now have very limited ways to show their displeasure with Bill 115 but underlines union brass isn't handcuffing its teachers.

Coran underlines after meeting with 140 local union heads this week, it became clear teachers themselves wanted to continue to pull back from volunteering to help with after-school and lunch time programs like coaching sports teams and heading drama clubs.

As for if the OSSTF plans on trying to stage any more protests, Coran stresses the OLRB was clear that they cannot legally organize anything.

Coran says he hopes to move forward with more discussions with the ministry of education. He says if that's not possible, it may have to wait until the new Liberal leader and premier is chosen.

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  1. Stephen posted on 01/11/2013 02:16 PM
    They have one legitimate way to express their displeasure with bill 115, and they are exercising that method through the courts. Now let the courts make their determination and do your jobs as contracted, re-institute all services or face termination!!
    1. Stephen posted on 01/11/2013 02:48 PM
      @Stephen There is not a single teacher in the province ETFO or OSSTF that is not 'doing their job.' Every teacher is doing what they are CONTRACTED to do.
    2. steve posted on 01/11/2013 03:02 PM
      @Stephen @Stephen. If there is a teacher not helping students, they are not doing their job properly! Almost any person can go to work, put their time in, like a general laborer.
    3. proton posted on 01/11/2013 06:47 PM
      @Stephen like disrupting school today with an attempt at an illegal strike. Please show Ontario citizens where THAT is part of their contract.
    4. Sandy posted on 01/12/2013 07:50 AM
      @Stephen Sure, you may be doing your job. You're just not doing it well. In the real world fool, people who do the minimum required amount of work get fired. Personally, I want you and your selfish condescending union crushed. Then the province can rehire teachers with appropriate contracts and reasonable pay.
  2. Stephen posted on 01/11/2013 02:47 PM
    The last thing I want to do is remove extra curricular's, but there are no choices left. I think we all need to remember that these are VOLUNTARY activities. I am doing my job and it breaks my heart not to run the programs I love so much.
    1. Peter posted on 01/11/2013 04:39 PM
      @Stephen Stephen, can you please explain why you think "there are no choice left"??? What about protesting outside of school hours?? How about canvassing the neighbourhood and informing the public of your position?? What about going and finding your buddies at the NDP (who are currently hiding, and for good reason) and getting them to help you get the word out?? Why not embark on a provincial media campaign outlining teacher's position?? Or how about spending every last hour you can with our kids in a show of good faith to the public, while you wait for the courts to rule?? Or, what about.... do I need to go on??

      Actually, you know what? You're absolutely right, if the strategy is to arm-twist and bully your way to getting Bill 115 repealed, then yeah you're right Stephen, screwing over the kids is the only thing you've got left. So sure, aim at the least of us. Good idea. That ought to gain you a world of support... Oh an while you're at it, maybe kick a dog or two.

      And honestly nobody buys this notion anymore that extra-curriculars are "voluntary" as a valid response to screwing over kids. It's a political tactic, no more no less. Extra-curricular activities are, and have been for decades, a core component of the education experience in Ontario. Everyone, including teachers, have always accepted these as being crucial to the success of education, a key part of the fabric of education and teaching. NEVER would a teacher consider cutting extras based solely on the idea that they are voluntary, the withdrawal of these activities citing their "voluntary" nature is merely an exploitation of a loophole by the union, in an effort to twist someone's arm until they get their way. It's an embarrassment to the teaching profession. In fact I would suggest that teachers unions have denigrated the teaching profession to that of a 1950s style shop floor where "mob rule" is the way.

      So in response to you comment "I think we all need to remember...", I think you all need to remember that no professional pulls out a written contract and uses it to scrutinize every last job-related activity that is deemed reasonable and acceptable to be doing in their job. Everyone who values their job as a professional, goes beyond standard contractual obligations to contribute to the work environment. Those that don't, don't last, nor should they. The only "professionals" that do this are those who are protected by a union... because they can.
    2. maria posted on 01/11/2013 04:55 PM
      @Peter A agree with every single word, Peter.
      They do no deserve the privilege to teach our kids
    3. Daphne posted on 01/11/2013 06:28 PM
      @Peter Peter,

      You are wrong about this. Teachers are doing their jobs. The fact is extra-curriculars are voluntary and not just a notion of being so.

      As far as other professionals......when was the last time your doctor or lawyer stayed 2 hours past their work day to counsel you for free? Doesn't happen. Teachers do this because they choose to. They do not owe students anything.

      Teachers are people with families of their own. The people who complain about extra-curriculars are 'obviously' parents who do not want to take on the role of parenting. The community needs to stop expecting teachers to take on the role of the parent. Parents need to be the ones to do extra-curricular activities with their children. They need to sign them up and yes, pay, for the experience. Teachers' teach'
      children not 'raise' children.

      The other more serious issue is that when teachers spend all their time coaching teams, they don't have time to prepare lessons that are meaningful for their students. Students therefore suffer in the classroom when they have a teacher who is more focussed on coaching. Teachers need time to spend making learning fun, exciting and enjoyable. What happens though, is that the learning is boring and dry so that time can be spent organzing volleyball tournaments
    4. Colombiagurl posted on 01/11/2013 06:40 PM
      @Daphne Thank you Daphne!!! I am paid to teach. That is my profession and I have spent countless hours honing that skill as well as rewriting lesson plans to keep them current and interesting.

      In the past I have run cultural awareness clubs, debate clubs and taken students for two weeks during the summer to Central America for service projects where we mixed cement by hand in 100 degree heat, took cold showers and slept under mosquito nets so as not to get malaria. I have done all of this on my own time, for free. How many private sector employees spend part of their vacation volunteering to do their job for free??

      Now I'm on a leave of absence teaching in Colombia for less than 1/3 of what I make in Ontario. Why? To add another layer to my teaching experience...and people have the nerve to call me greedy?

      And FYI I am not doing extra-curriculars here because they hire people to do these and the parents pay for them.

      When I return to Ontario will I continue taking time away from my family to spend with children whose parents call me lazy, greedy and unprofessional....not likely!
    5. proton posted on 01/11/2013 06:52 PM
      @Daphne actually, the extra-curricular you refer to used to be part of the contract however it was modified to accomodate other conditions and the intent was extra-curricular was to continue as part of work day.

      I believe dalton mcchicken made this change. next contract i hope we'll have an intelligent enough minister to put that work back in as part of the overall work as it was intended

      meanwhile, congratulations on screwing the kids. You're a great role model
    6. Colombiagurl posted on 01/11/2013 08:32 PM
      @proton Proton...I have been teaching for 15 years (prior to Dalton)....extra-curriculars have not been part of the teachers' contracts ever and as for intent...whose...parents who want it for free?
    7. Kerry posted on 01/11/2013 08:44 PM
      @Colombiagurl It's self serving comments like these by teachers colombiagurl, daphne, Stephen, that reinforce the fine way people feel about teachers, Colombiagurl you went to Colombia because you wanted to, not for anything a noble as you would like us to believe. Daphne you certainly like slamming parents, I see a pattern with teachers doing this and slamming the students as well. Just admit that it is a great paying job with fabulous perks and vacation time and a gold plated pension and you're not happy because you can't extort more. The good old days are over. If you don't like it.....Quit!
    8. Anne Clements posted on 01/14/2013 11:05 AM
      @Stephen Stephen, as extra curricular is not part of your mandated requirements of teaching it is my understanding OSSTF/EFTO cannot mandate you take away a VOLUNTARY activity, they only suggest you don't do. It is therefore your personal choice to not do them. So don't tell parents or students you have no choice you do have a choice and you chose NOT to do them
    9. janie posted on 01/14/2013 12:19 PM
      @Colombiagurl That's good, that is one last ungrateful, parent bashing, student bashing teacher we will have on the taxpayers dime. Go work in another province, work in the private sector. We certainly won't be shedding any tears, I hope a few more of your cohorts join you.
    10. tertle posted on 01/14/2013 09:03 PM
      @Stephen I'm really confused now. Please help me understand. In the article above these comments, Ken Coran, president of the OSSTF says after meeting with 140 local union heads the teachers themselves want to continue to pullback from volunteering to help with after school and lunch time programs like sports and drama clubs. If it is breaking your heart not to run the programs, who is stopping you? Do it if you want to. You have a wonderful opportunity to be the example of the teacher our kids are looking for and I had the pleasure of having when I went to school. I'm sure they were volunteering their time as well. These are the teachers I remember. I feel sorry for the kids today.
  3. Bruce posted on 01/11/2013 07:04 PM
    Peter, while you are making suggestions could I add a couple for your consideration? Perhaps parents could spend a little more time with their kids and a little less time chasing the almighty dollar. As a community volunteer coach at both the houseleague and rep level I have frequently been sadly disappointed in the shortage of volunteers to help organize uniforms, scedules and practices for their own children. Just as at school the people who volunteer for these activities are in the minority and do NOT get paid for them. We all have demands on our time, but if parents truly do value these activities provided by volunteers, perhaps they could find some way of supporting them as opposed to expecting others to provide free babysitting for our children after school and on the weekends. Failing that of course you could lobby your politicians to pay for these free services you have come to expect rather than ranting and attempting to bully teachers into providing them while you are so busy doing all the extras you do as part of your job.
    1. Michael posted on 01/15/2013 10:54 AM
      @Bruce Isn't it the high of arrogance to assume that parents are not volunteering just because they are unimpressed that volunteer extracurricular opportunities that were fine for the last 40+ years in schools are vanishing on mass due to labour disputes?

      Stop putting the kids in the middle of it and settle it in the courts, protest outside your working hours -- like the rest of us have to do if we want to be politically active and keep our jobs.

      How the heck would you know if little Timmy's mom isn't a scout leader?
      And how would that replace a school prom, or drama club, or a sports team? Throwing lack of parent engagement at this is an empty and non-related argument.
  4. Jane posted on 01/11/2013 08:44 PM
    It has ALWAYS been assumed that a good teacher will participate in extra curricular activities because that's what good teachers do (Stephen, you were probably quizzed about this during your interview when you got your current job, right?). These are the teachers whom we love and respect and will remember long, long after we've left their care. These are the teachers who deserve the best of the best and I do not resent one cent of my tax dollar going their way. However, the ones who are now legging it out of the school each day as soon as the bell strikes are the ones who parents knew would take advantage of the current situation ... and, trust me, we're watching. These are the teachers who are conveniently hiding behind their union and, maybe and sadly, instead of being fired one day for abismal performance, will be shunted to another school to inflict damage on further students because union rights will protect them. Bottom line is that teachers KNOW that there is an expectaction to participate in extra curricular activities because this is such an important part of school for so many students, particularly those who struggle in the classroom. Unions are detached but you see these kids day after day. You see their struggles and you know what it means to take all this away. So turn round to your union now and tell them to start negotiating as adults and give back to students this important part of their life. And as for the comment from the person regarding 'parent volunteers', I can only speak from my own experience but I would say that parent volunteers are very much alive, active and extremely upset by the current conflict and would love to see the spirit brought back into their school, a spirit that is valued and is very much missed of late.
  5. Linda Glover posted on 01/14/2013 12:16 PM
    Teachers are doing their jobs as contracted. GET IT?

    By coming to work early, working during your lunch or staying late after school to conduct extra curricular, you are doing it on your own unpaid time. One only does these things if they feel like it, when shown respect and being happy in their work environment.

    You have come to expect these freebies as normal. WRONG!

    Everyone out there would do exactly the same.
    1. Janie posted on 01/14/2013 12:21 PM
      @Linda Glover Go join Columbia girl. We don't want teachers like you anymore. GET IT ?The public has had it with you GET IT? Your rheotric and your sense of entitlemrnt is pathetic GET IT?
    2. sean posted on 01/14/2013 02:39 PM
      @Janie You teachers wonder why public support is almost nil for teachers? Just read some of these postings from teachers and then maybe you will understand. The disdain you feel for your work, your students, the parents is so apparent. The need you feel for more and more from the taxpayers is also apparent. We can't afford anymore and you can't afford to strike anymore because in the end it will ruin you if it already hasn't. Your unions are just about done and then you are on your own.
    3. Michael posted on 01/15/2013 11:07 AM
      @Linda Glover "Minimum Requirements" doesn't work in any other field. GET IT?
      The logistics can very in any field, but anyone who's worked a real job with any success knows that.

      You volunteer not for your employer but for the kids. That is why it is volunteer work. It is not part of political BS. The needs of the kids haven't changed. The appreciation of the kids haven't changed.

      And more importantly - if you ever enjoyed any of those activities as a youth, provided by others who volunteered, you should be ashamed of yourself in choosing not to. Life is finite and childhood moreso. Is it really political activism, or just a good excuse out of good citizenship?

      Most of the rest of us have been quiet on this as there is an atmosphere of bullies around the teacher issues - and that if we disagree with you, it be because we are stupid, uninformed, or don't "GET IT". Arrogance.
      Don't feel overly confident about what will happen next election when we all feel we get to speak free of teacher-led bullying.
  6. Greg Heaslip posted on 01/14/2013 01:45 PM
    I wonder if Linda Glover told the person interviewing her for her teaching gig that she would do extra-cirriculars only if she feels like it and they make her happy?
    My Dad was a salesman who came home aroung 7:00 at night, ate dinner, then did paperwork for most of the night.
    I work in manufacturing in a production support role and stay late when they need me to.
    So it's not just teachers but, you know what? We just do it because it needs to be done.
    It almost feels like this generation of teachers got into it for the wrong reasons.
    1. janie posted on 01/14/2013 02:04 PM
      @Greg Heaslip Absolutley! Judging by some of the nasty, angry comments I have seen from teachers on this forum, that's exactly the case. Lots of vacation, great retirement, short hour, lots of PD days, Lots of sick days that they thought they should bank and cash out at the end of their tenure (what a joke). The unions have overplayed their hands and the public is FED-UP, the teachers cannot accept that they have come to the end of the rainbow. What they already have is gabulous, why can't they just admit it, accept what they have and move on. I am sick and tired of them going on about how they are doing this for democracy, the cildren.....blah, blah, blah. I don't think that they believe all the crap they're trying to feed us. They don't walk on water, they are teachers and they need to focus on teaching and if they think that teaching is soooo difficult and they aren't making enought than QUIT. Even if teachers quit en mass that wouldn't present a problem because there are many eager, fresh young teachers who would glad fill their shoes.
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