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NO TIME TO PLAN

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NO TIME TO PLAN

I know. I’m ranting again. The more I think about it, the madder I get so I try not to think too much about the screw job some school districts give their loyal employees. I’m talking about the almost $17,000.00 Walton county scarfed up of H’s leave time. 

In my eyes all employees should be treated fairly, especially when they are so loyal they rarely take leave time – sick or personal. H felt he needed to be there to get the job done because if he wasn’t there, the sub was a mere babysitter keeping the class quiet and then letting them go when the bell rings. It was valuable rehearsal time gone down the drain. 

He got a small stipend for band directing and by small I mean very minimal. He stretched that stipen so thin it was frayed at both ends and in the middle. If you divide it all out with the extra hours he put in after school, weekends with marching festivals, trips, and being held up in his office after rehearsals with some problem or another, the stipend paid him about $5.00 an hour. I know. I did the math and totaled up about  757 – give or take many – hours extra he put in every school year.

He didn’t take a chunk of time off when summer rolled around or every weekend after a long work week. He gave up his time after work days rewriting music or re-configuring a set for the show. A couple of weeks in the summer was enough for him and he was always thinking of his band during that time. He held a three week summer band camp on his time off and got paid for five days. I’m sure his mind was still whirring when he went to bed at night after a day of work. 

Heck, if you think about it, H saved the school district $$$’s by not taking his sick days and personal days. Every time he was off they had to hire a sub to take his place. It was money in their pocket when he went to work. 

Then someone in administration or the district office had the bright idea to save money by having the teachers use their duty period and sometimes planning period to cover absent teachers classes. No more scrambling to find a sub and no more pay-outs either. It was a win-win situation for the school district and the schools. 

Who lost here? The teachers with no free time left during the school day to plan and the subs who relied on that sub job to help feed their families. 

I feel that wasn’t entirely legal. Really, what could you do? Refuse to comply with administrators. Rock the boat? Upset the apple cart? 

It’s all hidden in one of those clauses in small print in the contract which H should have read in all that spare time he had when he wasn’t teaching, rehearsing, traveling, and subbing. In my opinion, if you have the time on the books, you should be paid 100% of your leave time. Not the 50% as the school district sees fit if you haven’t put in those thirteen years and one day in Walton county.

My opinion doesn’t count. 

I could also vent a little about the health care situation. H gets paid through June and July, but they cut his health care off May 31st. Medicare here he comes and I’m not eligible yet! BTW – Medicare is not free. But that’s another story! 

I’ll quit whining now. It’s over…

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

10 responses »

  1. If you asked “them” they would probably say they had no choice because of budget cuts, and if you keep moving up everyone will pass the buck until it’s back on you for not paying more taxes. I don’t have kids but I would gladly pay a bit more in taxes if it would go directly to the school district. Because, duh, I don’t want idiots growing up all around me. And teaching is a noble profession and should be better rewarded. Ugh.

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  2. I absolutely agree that people should get the pay they’ve worked for! Maybe that crusader thing Kate was talking about would be worth looking into. Something tells me you’d be good at it.

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  3. Change is so hard, and this is a big one, but I know all will be well. Something is on its way to make up for that 17,000. Just because H is retiring from his school, doesn’t mean he’s retiring from life and all he has to offer. Only God sees around corners pal. It’s the one idiom I subscribe to. 🙂

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  4. You have a lot of anger. I’m not saying it’s not deserved but you could either become a crusader using things like letters to the editor or social media to make this public or you will have to let it go for your health. It’s a sad thing. I said it before. If he was given the wrong information, the district should follow through with what was said. Yes, they can.

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