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Wednesday, January 02, 2013


School starts up next week and it's been a little more than a month since I last posted something relevant to the main topic of this blog so I thought it was time to get back on track.

The school district I work for does not have any mandated or even voluntary requirement that I belong to CTA Union (California Teachers Association). I know this because searching the CTA website for the word "substitute" generates only one hit and it does not relate to anything about "substitute teachers". CTA has had, in the past, only minor impact on me as a substitute teacher.

So what's happened that I'm commenting on the CTA at present? It's actually a very minor positive side effect of something called "working to the contract" (WTC). It started a couple weeks before the Christmas break when I arrived for my classroom assignment.

It seems that the CTA and the school district have been at odds about pay raises and benefit issues. The district is countering that times are tough so suck it up or quit (not the actual language, but close enough). The facts are not important (to me, anyway) since whatever the outcome, it won't change what the district pays me as a daily substitute teacher.

Apparently, the teachers don't want to strike for some reason. They chose a tactic called "work to the contract". This is where the teachers are to work strictly inside the confines of the union negotiated contract and nothing further.

That means, they are to arrive at school no sooner than the contracted starting time, and leave the classroom at the contracted quitting time. They aren't allowed to correct papers, make copies, meet or call parents or any other school related tasks outside of school hours if it isn't stated in the contract.

 Since my job assignment starts 30min before the first bell, I get a prime parking spot close to the building while the teachers are driving around the school or parking in the street waiting for their WTC starting time!

 It's not much, but I'll take it.

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