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To call in the union or not...
Old 04-01-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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Called on the carpet for having a "bad attitude".

My crime?

Expressing my unhappiness for having a lunch meeting (yet another one)...a clear violation of our contract, btw. This one I knew nothing about until the last minute. Everyone else got the email. I was left out. That was probably an error on prin's part, but that is neither here nor there. I went into the meeting unprepared, and was also (somewhat) on the hotseat during the parent phone conference -- again not good, since I was unprepared. I didn't even have a print out of the student's progress report.

Note: I did not express my dissatisfaction during the actual conference...only to fellow workers. Later, I was told I was not professional, especially since there was a student teacher present. That I had a bad attitude. Hmmm...not professional? I beg to differ. I will stand up for my contracted rights, and setting that example for a student teacher is just fine by me.

At one time, having a lunch meeting with the consent of those meeting was ok. But now it is being abused, and some of us are feeling the heat much more than others, because of the number of meetings we are being asked (obviously demanded) to attend.

I'm just p*ssed about the whole thing. I'm a vet. teacher, a strong voice for our contractual/union rights, and I get cr*p because of it way too much of the time.


So...to send a letter via union to admin. reminding them that lunch meetings are a no no...don't they realize this could be an actual, formal grievance?

<sigh>


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Old 04-01-2012, 06:33 PM
 
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I would contact union. They are in violation of the contract and should be stopped. As you said, they are taking advantage and using it against you. That is why we vets need to let the new ones coming in that they need to stand up for their rights and not just do something because admin wants it. At my former school new teachers would pick up their kids 1/2 hr. early and make everyone else look bad. Did it do any good, NO because when P's foot was to the fire, she went after everyone including those that did what she asked, violating the contract.
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I know how you feel
Old 04-01-2012, 06:34 PM
 
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As the union rep in my building, I know how you feel. It is important to stand up for the rights of our colleagues, but it can lead to extra scrutiny for you. I would call in the union in hopes of stopping the meetings before you set a precedent by going to them without complaining. GOOD LUCK! You do an important job!
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:38 PM
 
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If it's a point in your contract to grieve I would send a request to the union to grieve the admin action. I would not send a letter to admin reminding them of their mistake.They don't need reminding. I would grieve the lunch time set up... and next time that occurs I would excuse myself from the meeting.

If something goes in your file regarding your expression of dissatisfaction write a rebuttal.
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Something very similar
Old 04-01-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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happened to a teaching peer. It was a bit different. We had been given some time without students to work on records, but part of that time was taken up with a meeting.

She was spoken to, she apologized for her possible attitude while still maintaining that she could have used the time to work, and that's all there was to it.

However, it wasn't becoming a trend as you say it is becoming at your school. Good luck on figuring out what to do.


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Old 04-01-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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You might be mindul that the principal could make it harder for you too, because that would make your P look bad. You might also be careful about "calling in the union" for this problem. It would help if you have others join you in this grievance, so you couldn't be singled out as a the problem-maker. Or, alternatively, could you privately ask your principal not to do this?

I should point out that in the private school where I worked, we had to have lunch with our students (not at their table, but facing them so we could moderate their behavior.) And it was not unusual to also have meetings during lunch or P/T conferences. But I hated it: we should have had a union there and didn't.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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Did you have a chance to explain your issue to your principal? Seems fair that you would be upset about a meeting during your lunch that you were not prepared for/informed about. Is it possible to set a time to meet with your principal and explain the issue of not being prepared, not being informed, and needing to have that time for your lunch? And then could you add something about having a duty-free lunch?

I would be more inclined to first speak to my principal. That said, my principal is very approachable, down to earth, and very much aware of our contractual rights. If that didn't help or there was another meeting scheduled during lunch, I might then contact the union knowing I had first tried to speak to the principal without involving the union.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:59 PM
 
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Seem to me that the principal is the one that is not professional here. My principal does not set up conferences or meetings without talking specifically to the teachers first to make sure the time will work. I must say that in my district the 30 minutes of duty free lunch is adhered too unless an emergency comes up, like the day the electricity went out or the day we had to dismiss early but had to finish lunches. I agree though with the person who suggested this be a group effort. Not just to keep you from getting the heat, but so that it is made aware that this is happening on a frequent basis to different groups of people. They say there is power in numbers!
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:29 AM
 
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Check your state law. Here in PA, the law states that full-time employees get 30 minutes of duty-free lunch. Your P may be doing more than breaking the contract, he/she may be breaking the law.
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give an inch lose a foot
Old 04-02-2012, 05:21 AM
 
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My father used to tell me the above when I was a little girl. I totally agree. You gave an inch and now you have lot a foot.

Run don't walk and contact the union. Make sure your union backs you up. Our union is weak, but some of us are doing what we can to put the U back in union and the I back in union. I need to be involved in the union and so do you.


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Old 04-02-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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This is my first day back from a 2 day strike fighting for my rights and my contract so I'm feeling a little feisty. I'm also feeling the pain of my WI neighbors and so many others who have been stripped of their contractual and union rights. So, with that said, I believe that you absolutely SHOULD continue to be a strong and respectful voice as you always have been. Remind your principal of the contract and contact the union about what's been happening with specific dates and times. I think student teachers need to SEE all of teaching and this is part of it.

Just my two cents from someone with a sore back, tired feet and a decent contract for the next 4 years!
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no way this would fly with me
Old 04-02-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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Call in the union...that's what they are there for and they should support you. Too many members are afraid to rock the boat but you should stand up for yourself. I would be beyond mad if someone scheduled meetings during my lunch...ugh!
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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Yes, contact your union, or at least your school's union rep. Your principal should thank you for that because you could go further and file a grievance. If this continues to be allowed it will just get worse. They have to abide by the contract.

Nancy
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Worries Me
Old 04-02-2012, 11:58 PM
 
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I think it is odd that you were left out of the email. I know in our district they have two lists for school based emails. Teacher lists and All School lists. Your name should be on a list so it goes out to all teachers. I would be careful and contact the Union right away. How is your relationship with the principal and other teachers?
I have a friend who was recently set up by her principal because they often bumped heads. The principal started keeping her out of meetings to make things go her way.
I also think it is a Federal Law that it is mandatory to have a 30 minute lunch for a full 8 hours. I know there are contracts that Unions negotiate - but I think they follow the Federal Law. Plus I know we are suppose to get breaks as well. Huh!
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:27 AM
 
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I agree, contact your union. It would annoy me as well.
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Aprildelight,
Old 04-03-2012, 05:32 AM
 
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I wouldn't take me a New York minute to contact my Union about this. It just gripes me to no end when teachers allow admin to break our contract. We fight long and hard for our contracts. The only way admin gets away with these things is if we let them.
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By All Means
Old 04-03-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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Contact your union reps. If lunch meeting are banned by your contract, and you are concerned, then the union should be notified. Unfortunately though, after all is said, done, filed, and grieved, not much will change. The next meeting "request" will start with the word "voluntary" in front of "lunch meeting". Yes, you can choose not to "volunteer" but unless all the other folks do too you will look bad in front of the parents who requested the meeting. By standing up for your rights, and the rights of others, you become the villain. Sucks...doesn't it...?

Last edited by xcaped; 04-03-2012 at 12:18 PM.. Reason: oops
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