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A waste of CUPE's money

Murray Teitel, A waste of CUPE's money, Toronto Sun, 15 January 2009

Source: The Toronto Sun

Sid Ryan's proposed ban on Israeli professors teaching in Ontario universities is bigotry.

The ban put forward by the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario, would allow exceptions for those professors who condemned Israel's war against Hamas in general and its bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza's chemistry building (where the curriculum is the manufacture and storing of rockets to be fired at Israel) in particular. He initially compared the latter to Nazi atrocities.

The civilian deaths caused by the Gaza conflict are 1/2,000th those caused by Russia in Chechnya. Has Ryan ever objected to Russian profs?

The civilian death toll from the war in Afghanistan that Canada fights is now 1,500 per year. Why not ban all Canadian academics from Ontario? Our universities could then be staffed by Ryan-approved "scholars" supplied by Hamas and the Taliban.

But to truly understand Ryan and CUPE's leadership you have to also understand their history of being out of touch with reality.

The best illustration of this is the case of City of Toronto versus CUPE Local 79 which CUPE fought all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, losing every step of the way.

In 1996, Ryan had been Ontario president for four years when a CUPE member, a City of Toronto recreation supervisor, was convicted of sexually assaulting a child under his care over a period of two years. Sentenced to 15 months, his conviction and sentence were upheld by the Ontario's Court of Appeal.

The City fired him. (I wonder why.) CUPE grieved his firing, claiming the assaults never took place.

The City said: Hey, wait a minute. The guy already had a lengthy trial. He was presumed innocent. His lawyer called witnesses. He was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He appealed. He lost. That's not proof enough? How many times does he get to relitigate the same issue?

The labour arbitrator, unfortunately, sided with CUPE and ordered the convicted pedophile reinstated.

The City applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for judicial review of the decision. That court quashed the arbitrator's decision. CUPE's appeal to the Court of Appeal for Ontario was unanimously dismissed by three judges.

Secure in the delusion that its members' dues constitute an inexhaustible fund for the pursuit of dumb arguments, CUPE, undeterred, appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Its nine judges dismissed the appeal. So, of the 15 judges who heard the appeals not one accepted CUPE's position.

I conservatively estimate that, including the city's legal costs it was ordered to pay, CUPE spent $1 million over the seven years it took to come to this foregone conclusion. How many thousands of hours did ordinary CUPE members work to pay for this outcome any of them with common sense could have predicted?

CUPE Ontario's leadership was simply unable to put itself in the mindset of right thinking Torontonians who would not tolerate a convicted sex offender returning to work with children. Similarly, Torontonians would be outraged if the law permitted someone endless retrials of the identical issue one court had already decided and which had been upheld on appeal.

This isn't exactly rocket science.

Similarly, by calling for this selective boycott, Ryan and CUPE Ontario's leadership are again demonstrating how divorced they are from the sentiments of ordinary, fair-minded people.

How much of their members' money do they plan to spend on promoting this bigotry? Ryan was elected to promote not his personal political ideology but the interests of CUPE Ontario members.

If he wants to make a fool of himself in public he should have the decency to do so as an ordinary citizen so as not to implicate CUPE rank and file in his disgrace.

Press Releases

The CUPE proposals and clarification, (Jan 5, Jan 13, Jan 14)
CUPE 3902 (local branch), Executive Statement, (rejecting boycott proposal)
Canadian Graduate Students, Petition Against the Proposed CUPE Ontario Boycott of Israeli Academics and Institutions
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), petition
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), press release
B'nai Brith Canada, CUPE-National must address blatant discrimination by its Ontario affiliate, Press Release, January 6, 2009
B'nai Brith Canada, Why is CUPE National still silent on Hamas terrorism, Press Release, January 13 2009

News Reports

Union at Ontario Universities Proposes Boycott of Israeli Professors, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2009
Sid Ryan's bigotry, National Post, 6 January 2009
Bob Dale, Ottawa needs to proscribe CUPE's anti-Israel agenda, The National Post, January 06, 2009
Sid Ryan keeps digging, National Post, 7 January 2009
Tamas Virag, Local Jews slam union ban idea, The Edmonton Sun, January 7, 2008
Kate Dubinski, Western rejects CUPE call for boycott, The London Free Press, January 8, 2009
CUPE should stay out of politics, Calgary Herald, January 08, 2009
Vanessa Kortekaas, CUPE Ontario leader apologizes for 'Nazi' reference, The Ottawa Citizen, January 8, 2009
Jessica Ireland, Ryan's Israel stance creates rift in CUPE, The Windsor Star, January 09, 2009
Susan Martinuk, Racism is behind push to ban Israeli scholars, The Calgary Herald, January 09, 2009
James Cowan, Right to fight?, National Post, January 10, 2009
Michael Coren, Lecture for a union, Toronto Sun, 10th January 2009
Oren Gross, CUPE Ontario's proposed boycott of Israeli academics is just plain anti-Semitic, The Globe and Mail, January 13, 2009
Kenyon Wallace, Ryan rebuked by national CUPE head, Toronto Star, 14 January 2009
Howard Levitt, Political lobbying doesn't help CUPE member interests, Financial Post, January 14, 2009
Joe Howell, CUPE Ontario proposes to ban Israeli academics from campuses, The Strand, 15 January 2009
Ryan’s rage, Editorial, Canadian Jewish News, January 15, 2009
Murray Teitel, A waste of CUPE's money, Toronto Sun, 15 January 2009
Sid Ryan must go, National Post, 16 January 2009

Responces, Blogs, Newsletters

CUPE Shows Their Colours, Pelalusa Blog, January 05, 2009
CUPE Wants HM Government to Condemn Israel, Dr Roy's Thoughts, January 05, 2009
Israel Academic Boycott Urged by Canada Labor Leader, ZWord Blog, January 06, 2009
CUPE’s Latest Gimmick: Just Plain Wrong, BlogUT (A blog by University of Toronto Students), January 6, 2009
Scratch A Leftist Labour Union, Small Dead Animals, January 06, 2009
CUPE asks that Israeli professors be blacklisted, Keyes, January 06, 2009
CUPE: Ban Israeli academics, The Shotgun Blog, January 07, 2009

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