We start today with Supertramp’s “It’s Raining Again”, fine tune indeed. Interesting story line: everything works out in the end in four minutes.
One more shot to take, for the moment anyway, and this one at M. E. Elbaz who disturbed my class to correct a mistake he had made and when I refused to acknowledge his presence at our classroom door near the end of our class, when we were summarizing and wrapping up, had the gall to pull rank. This guy never learnt and, consequently, found himself constantly at odds with our Departement de francais. Trust the school to take him back, post-retirement. I really hope he reads this. The guy really doesn’t have a clue. He is paid to be a gentleman; that’s all I can figure.
So the question naturally arises why did I work in that school? Well, let me see. I needed a job and Bialik offered me one, so I took it. Thank-you Shirley Packer and by the way Mrs. Packer if I had it to do over again as far as the action I helped take against you with Janco, I wouldn’t. If I had realized how easy it would have been to land another job, I may have left that school well before I did.
But I didn’t, know – that is – and so I stayed, through thick and thin, for 24 years!
And overall, I’m happy that I did. I made some lasting friendships at Bialik, both among staff and students and, I ended up discovering that the public sector is not so much the panacea that attracts especially those private school teachers, not lucky enough to benefit from unionization. Yes, salaries are higher in the public sector but there are definite drawbacks such as the right of administration to add a class to the load of teachers, without a corresponding pay increase, just prior to the start of school.
I was somewhat taken aback when the Laurier Senior High School Principal just sauntered into the staff room, and told a teacher that even though he was perfectly within his contractual rights to add a class to that teacher’s schedule that he couldn’t and wouldn’t do that to her. Eh, what? It was Cuggy’s first year as principal of Laurier Senior in Laval (previously Laval Catholic) and he probably felt that he would be doing himself a favour by acting this way.
There is one definite advantage that the public sector offers teachers which most members of the private educational sector do not enjoy and that is “tenure”. I don’t know if and how much things have changed since I officially retired from teaching in 2010 but it used to be – and hopefully still is – that once a teacher is tenured, which will happen after two or three years of work, this teacher has a job for life or will be surplussed with partial salary, if necessary.
Contrast this to what happened at Bialik around three years ago when, because of declining numbers, 28 staff – both teaching and not – lost their jobs. How fucking a awful and that occurred in a private school which IS unionized, believe it or not.
The next photo shows me hard at work at what appears to be the old union office on Van Horne. I served for a number of years as treasurer and second Vice-President (not simultaneously) of the FTJS, the beloved Federation of Teachers of Jewish Schools. Thanks to Marcy Fewkes and Jeff Itcush, two excellent Presidents. Sylvia Amar, not so much, and again this is only my opinion. Amar represents the Peter Principle in action.
In other Montreal private schools, where unionization is not the norm, teachers can be let go for any reason, or none, while in their first two years of work. At the end of this time period, non-unionized teachers and all other similarly “unorganized” workers are protected by the ARLS, the Act Respecting Labour Standards, w/out the benefit of collective bargaining or a CBA.
The following pic shows me on Mount Royal. Cool shot. Notice the cigarette in my right hand. I used to smoke at least a pack a day (Belevedere) but have not had a cigarette in over two years. I actually cut down to three or four smokes only per day to mix with my pot in a pipe (between my motorcycle accident in 2003 and 2012 and then I got pneumonia which meant smoking could kill me so I stopped).
I have no idea when this particular mountain shot was was taken or who took it. It would make for a great album cover.
Check out my friend, Brenda Keesal’s blog, Burns the Fire. Brenda is one excellent writer and is worth a look. Brenda is also a former Bialik student, graduated c. 1980.
That’s all I got.
Go for it!