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Monday, January 25, 2010

Taking Advantage…

Subs are not paid an hourly rate. Instead, we are paid a flat “full day” or “half day” rate. Anything less than four hours is paid at ½ the full daily rate.

A normal working school day is something like 6½ to 7 hours. My full day starts ½ hour before the kids hit the door and “officially” ends at the final bell.

Unofficially my day continues “until all necessary work is completed”. This could mean extending for bus or parking lot duty after school until all the kids are gone.

Every Thursday, in the district I work for, is “minimum day”. The school day is about 1hr shorter than the normal school day. The school day ends pretty much at the end of the lunch period. Subbing on minimum days is a bonus in that we are paid the full day rate for about 5hrs work. For obvious reasons, teachers are reluctant use a discretionary “sub day” on Thursdays.

So when sub line called on Monday for one of those rare “minimum day Thursdays”, I was ready to book it.

That was until I heard that the indicated start time was 1 hour after the normal start of school. The teacher’s appended recorded message told the story:

“I will be in the classroom for the first hour. Since this is a minimum day, this will be only a half day assignment. If you could come in a few minutes early, I need you to run some copies that you will need for the class. You also have recess and after school bus duty. Thanks for covering!”

Her translation:
“I can get most of the day off by working only 1hr in the morning and save myself a ½ a discretionary sub day for later”

My translation:
“I get screwed out of full day’s pay by an hour AND she wants me to come in early!”

I passed on the assignment just on principal.

There might be some newly minted sub that is just waiting for that first call and would gladly snap it up. I hope not.

I was bit bemused to get the automated call for this same assignment the next day. It seems the no one in the substitute pool took the bait on the first pass and it was cycling around again for a second try.

As I turned it down for the 2nd time, I wondered how it would all turn out. Would she give in and re-list it as a proper “full sub day” or would she give up, go to work and save it for another time?

No one likes to be taken advantage of.

8 comments:

pamzella said...

I hear you on that. Thanks for leaving it to perhaps a new person... as a laid-off teacher who is trying not to give up on a real job, I'm trying to break back into subbing (prolly in the same district), but you gotta get that first job to get the system to call you again, and so far, that's been tough.

GT Goddess said...

I don't know how big your district is, or how big your union is (especially the "sub" division of the union) but it sounds like that needs to be reported and the teacher in question needs a "talkin' to."

KauaiMark said...

Subs in this district are not members of a union

Theresa Milstein said...

Subs and assistants don't get any help from the union in my district, but how are job works is part of the contract. Nor do we get any benefits.

I'm lucky because we don't have half days. We have full days, and then eight-hour days for our two eight-hour schools (I don't work at those). I've read of other subs who only get half days. It's not fair.

Margaret Kravat said...

Wow, that's unbelievable. Why exactly does the teacher care whether it's a minimum day or not? A day off is a day off, right?

Jene' said...

Sounds like no one wants to work for free. I guess she's thinking there's someone who's not smart enough to pick up on it.

Chris Osborne said...

I don't get why it matters to the teacher either.

But I definitely hear you on not taking a half day. I don't take half days unless it's the day of the assignment anyway.

KauaiMark said...

"...why it matters to the teacher"

Two "half days" count as one one full day in the teachers yearly allotment of 10 discretionary leave days