A Week in the Life
Early Tuesday Morning: Type up a list of the budget cuts in Excel, to get them straight in my own head. Send said list to business manager, ask him to proof read so I can be sure I have it right. This will become important in a moment.
Tuesday: Principal announces he's retiring, setting off a flurry of rumours about what could happen and when. Add that to the giant job shuffle that's shaping up, and everyone wants to know what will happen.
Tuesday, right after that: Superintendent shows up at door. Asks what my intent was with the spreadsheet I had made, because business manager had emailed it to her. Tell her honestly: it was for me. Chuckle to myself that I can get head shed in a tizzy so easily.
Tuesday evening: Rushed home after school to take care of daughter; rushed back after school to lesson plan for tomorrow, because I've been so busy with the association that my classroom isn't getting the attention it deserves. Finalize plan for union meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday: Hour long union meeting attended by 75% of the teachers in the building, which is the highest I've ever had. Lots of questions answered, lots of air cleared. Beginning to feel like we're on track.
Thursday AM: Principal pulls me aside and tells me how he intends to handle a transfer issue. It's a complete 180 from everything we had talked about before, would be an unprecedented assault on seniority, and goes entirely against the spirit of the clause he's invoking. Principal tries to explain to me that he knows how that section is supposed to be interpretted; he doesn't have a very good answer when I tell him that I'm the one who wrote that section during the last bargain, and I know better than he how it was meant.
Thursday Day: Email flurry as union exec board tries to figure out what the hell is going on. Unsure as to how the other administrators can possibly back up Principal on this; they sat at the table and know what the language is supposed to do.
Thursday Afternoon: Superintendent shows up after school to talk about the principal search. Timing of this talk raises eyebrows, as it's the day after we had an association meeting. Is there a mole? After that meeting lets out impromptu meeting commences where me, fellow union rep, principal, and superintendent debate the new transfer issue. Super says her notes say one thing; I say my notes say another. She says we really don't want to go to a grievance; Fellow Rep says let's go ahead and have a grievance and see what happens. Super is aghast, says she knows what an arbitrator would say. Wonders why I'm getting so angry?
Thursday Evening: I run out of that meeting to my next meeting, at the local council office. Biggest locals in the region are getting together to compare contracts; good conversation ensues. I show the language in question to two different council reps, both of whom agree that my interpretation is the correct one. Ryan the Rep staggers home bleary eyed at about 8:00.
Friday morning: I take a personal day to work on the reopeners that we're going to negotiate next week. Write up a proposal for deviance from contract to try and accelerate the hiring process in my building. Fellow Rep and I meet with Principal to try and get him to listen to reason; district has turned interpretation over to the lawyers, which is money down the drain. Emails fly back and forth from between all of us on exec board. They say that I can call the day association leave and not personal leave, which is appreciated. Figure out the right way to have 14 people change jobs--now if I can get this one niggling transfer issue figured out, we'll be good to go.
What a life.
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