- Paul ElliotPresident, Provincial OSSTF
Disassociate OSSTF from Ken Coran running as MPP Liberal candidate
To show disapproval of Coran's action and to try to re-establish OSSTF as a union with some principles. Check out <rewt.ca>
- President, Provincial OSSTF
We, the undersigned members of OSSTF wish to express our concern at:
• The decision of Ken Coran, President of OSSTF until July 1 2013, to finish his tenure as President one day and then become a candidate for the Liberal Party in the riding of London West the next day;
• The failure of the new Provincial Executive to publicly disassociate themselves from Coran’s move;|
• The failure of the new Provincial Executive either to make a public statement on OSSTF’s position for the 5 by-elections to be held on August 1st or to offer guidance to OSSTF Districts as to what form OSSTF’s intervention in those elections should take
We call on the Provincial Executive, even at this late hour, to:
• make a public statement that disassociates itself from Coran
• Issue guidelines to Districts which would be similar to the ones already put out by D.25 Ottawa http://www.d25.osstf.ca/ and D9 Greater Essex http://www.osstf9.com/
Below is the text of an open letter from Malcom Buchanan, former President and OSSTF General Secretary of OSSTF:
Dear Brother Paul,
Congratulations on your election to the position of President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation [OSSTF].
As President you will be confronted with many challenges.
Unfortunately, Ken Coran has presented you with a major problem that may define your presidency. If you wish to maintain the support and integrity of the OSSTF membership and the trade union movement you and members of the provincial executive must publicly distance yourselves from Ken's misguided quest to become a Liberal MPP for the riding of London West.
Ken has every right to seek elected office as a Liberal MPP. However, his decision has created serious doubts in many current and retired OSSTF members minds as to his loyalty to Federation positions, policies and principles, especially the principles of free collective bargaining and democratic rights of members.
If the Federation does not publicly distance itself from Ken and the Liberal Government, the Federation will be viewed as being complicit in his self-serving endeavours. The optics for the Federation are terrible given the Federations and members opposition to Bill 115. Ken has stated that he was asked by Premier Wynne to accept the nomination in London West on behalf of the Ontario Liberal Party and that this is a 'new' Liberal Government. Remember, Kathleen Wynne is on record as strongly supporting Bill 115. She is also on record as saying that public sector compensation increases for the foreseeable future will be limited to no more than 1% if that.
What is also problematic is that Ken, while still President, endorsed the candidacy of the NDP candidate for London West by-election. This has further undermined Ken's credibility.
I have been informed that many OSSTF members in the London area are dismayed by Ken's decision to seek elected office as a Liberal MPP given the Federations opposition to Bill 115. Many have volunteered to work for the NDP candidate.
OSSTF has a proud history of being a progressive union. It has been supportive of the OFL and CLC campaigns to protect the democratic and collective bargaining rights for all workers. OSSTF has been the champion for building and maintaining a strong public school system.
This proud record is on the line.
It is essential that the Federation publicly states that it does not support Ken Coran's campaign and will encourage OSSTF members not to support him.
Good luck in your Presidency.
OSSTF Life Member
The policies set out under Bill 115 continue to be in place. We must not injure our wounded membership further. Inaction on your part will lead to further fragmentation. Please act now.
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