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Why is it just OK to expect teachers to work past contract without pay?

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Why is it just OK to expect teachers to work past contract without pay?
Old 05-03-2014, 04:50 AM
 
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There's a parent meeting at 4, contract is over at 3:30. Sure I'll stay because its not that much beyond contract. I know I'm volunteering my time to meet with this parent. I don't mind working in my classroom an extra hour or 2 each day.

But I do not like being asked to return to work after I've been home for several hours to attend school functions and meetings. Why is it just expected that teachers will give up our own lives and (for some) time with family without being paid to do it?! I really hate the mentality to just "do it for the team or for the kids." Then when you point out that this is all on your own time and not compensated you look like the bad teacher. Regardless of the fact that you already spend any where from 4-8 hours beyond contract time working in your own classroom and time on the weekends.

When are teachers going to stop allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of?!


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I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 05-03-2014, 08:40 AM
 
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I get really tired of this nonsense too. When I was new, I had to do a week of new teacher training...for which I received absolutely no compensation!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it. Contract for us is 7:45-3:15, but we are required to stay later than that several times per month. I am dedicated, and I work hard, but I have my own family, hobbies, and life, and I refuse to let work dominate my life. For whatever reason, they had us stay until 3:45 the Friday before Christmas/winter break. I asked around, and no one had an explanation for it. There was no explicable reason for it.

I also think you make a valid point. No one raises a fuss about these ridiculous requirements, so our district continues this nonsense year after year.
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Look in your contract
Old 05-03-2014, 09:12 AM
 
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There is probably language that tells which evening functions you are required to attend. I refuse to attend any new function that is the brainchild of someone implementing something new.

At work you have a plus column and a minus column. Depending on how much you have on the plus column, you can not do things that are not in your contract.

example: If you never do any adjunct duties at school, there are no pluses. If you are negative about things, minuses. Good test scores, pluses. Good classroom management, pluses. Good relationships with people, pluses. It all adds up.

Guess you pick and choose where you'll earn your plusses.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:31 AM
 
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I am not being taken advantage of when I choose to attend anything.
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Some people are, though
Old 05-03-2014, 10:45 AM
 
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Some people chose to attend extra school meetings beyond their contract time because they feel extraordinary pressure to do so. Administration expectations are hard to decline when they, and they alone, will decide if and when your contract will be renewed and whether or not you will have job (or possibly a career).

So while you, Rockguykev, may feel free to decline such meetings, not all people do.


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Old 05-03-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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Our school superintendent recently told us that we were expected to regularly work beyond our paid hours because "that is reality in America. Everyone works overtime."
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overtime
Old 05-03-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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Yes, many jobs do require overtime and they are paid for it. Other jobs that require overtime and are salaried usually get paid much better than the average teacher. (I know plenty of people who make double or triple what make without a college degree who put in overtime and still get compensated for their time.)

And, as I said before, I am OK with the time I CHOOSE to give up. But when it is EXPECTED that I return and give my OWN time because admin thinks of another requirement that is outside of the contracted extra times, I do not like being taken advantage of. I do not like that everyone just goes along when the majority of the staff resents being forced to be there. And if you say no, the Admin finds ways to get back at you.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:13 PM
 
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I agree! More teachers need to band together and stop volunteering for extra duties beyond the duty day without pay. We'd probably get somewhere if we did!

In my district they cannot require or expect us to work beyond our duty day. Thankfully we have a strong union. We must be paid to come back/work beyond our duty day. We are pretty good about sticking to that.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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We have 2 work days built into our contract account for this time. We must attend open house (elem) and graduation (ms/hs) beyond that it accumulates by the hour. We are required to log 15 additional hours, which covers those 2 extra days.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Our school superintendent recently told us that we were expected to regularly work beyond our paid hours because "that is reality in America. Everyone works overtime."
They also get paid OT. Perhaps S needs to extract foot from big mouth.


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Old 05-03-2014, 02:27 PM
 
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Corporate America pays salary and not hourly, and then you're expected to put in whatever hours it takes to get your work done. Not necessarily better or worse than what teachers make (depends on the job).
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:05 PM
 
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Our parent group complains that few teachers attend their meetings in the evenings. The truth is the meeting is mostly attended by teachers. Few parents ever show up except for those on the elected parent board. The group makes plans to benefit the children. These are not our children. We, the teachers, care but we should not be considered the workers to implement the plans. Parents need to pony up their time and talent.

Physically it is hard for me to work such long days. I give so much from 6:30 am until whenever I get home...just thinking about putting out more time and energy exhausts me.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:07 PM
 
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Our staff meetings start at the end of contracted time 3:10 and go til 4:30! No one ever complains. In my former district meetings end by contracted time, 3:15. I'm also expected to be at school before contracted time begins.
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what is so bad
Old 05-04-2014, 09:35 AM
 
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...is the extra hours most teachers have to work after they get home during the week and on weekends.

That along with the added extra hours and attendance at other school functions is just not reasonable.

Seems like teachers are ending up with less and less time to spend with their own children and families. Is this happening to the families of the children we teach? No
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Time
Old 05-04-2014, 06:55 PM
 
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I did this my first few years. I would go and do what I was suggested to do. After awhile I realized that I was volunteering my time. I wasn't going together paid. I am quite ok with saying no and sticking with it. I work past my contract time when I want to and don't if I don't want to. If I am required to be in the building or a meeting after my contract time, I document the time and use it at a later time. I have time stored up now to take a day off if I would like. That is how I stopped letting myself being taken advantage of. No one can take advantage of you without your permission.
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I stopped
Old 05-05-2014, 06:45 AM
 
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I work contract time only. After 22 years of extra work for no pay I don't blink an eye. I arrange my schedule for my daughter's IEP so can they. Harsh-yes but remember everyone loves you until you say NO.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:53 AM
 
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I, too, dislike this idea that we should put put in extra time on a regular basis, probably because I always did put a lot of extra time in on my own. I didn't mind so much doing extra work outside of hours, I mostly disliked the idea that I had to be at the school location in order to be doing those extra hours, and I was expected to show up to various nighttime events. If I wanted to, great (I often did, because my own kids were going), but if not, I wanted the option to not do it without becoming person non grata.

OTOH, for a while, my dh (also salaried) put in more time than me and made less than me, working 12 months to my 9.5, with only 2 weeks vacation time for him (during which he had to work anyway ). It's been my personal experience that OT pay works with hourly, not salaried positions, for the most part, although there are other ways to compensate people for longer hours.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:52 PM
 
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"Our school superintendent recently told us that we were expected to regularly work beyond our paid hours because "that is reality in America. Everyone works overtime.""

And I would respond, "Yes, and they get paid extra for it!" >
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:43 PM
 
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Every time this comes up, we hear how it's the same in every profession, but I don't believe that makes it right. I don't think it's really good for anyone to work as much as what's "normal" in America right now, not just teachers.
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Mandatory
Old 05-05-2014, 04:25 PM
 
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I apply three tests before determining whether to volunteer for something outside hours:

1. Am I convinced this activity will have a tangible benefit to students?
2. Do I support the activity's purpose and mission?
3. Does the activity conflict with any outside-school commitments (family, community, etc.)?

If I can answer yes to one and two and no to three, I'll generally participate gladly.

What I resent is when Ps extort the participation of teachers in their first year or two with the unspoken threat of non-renewal. I also resent it when teachers give up their time voluntarily, only to have the District turn around a few years later and claim teachers set a precedent by participating in the past and are therefore obliged to continue to do so.

In labor law (in my state, anyway -- thanks to my retired lawyer mom for the details), it's what you call "past practice." If a worker performs a task voluntarily on a regular or semi-regular basis, he can be considered to have entered into an implied contract with his employer; withdrawing said participation beyond that point can be grieved as a "job action" or "illegal strike" by the employer, if the employer can demonstrate that the employee withdrew the service due to job dissatisfaction or in connection with a contract issue/dispute. I'm not exactly sure how the employer would prove that, but apparently past cases tend to favor employers over employees, even when the activity in question is not explicit in the contract, and presumably started out on a voluntary basis.

Our union encourages us to be actively involved in the life of the school, but discourages us from establishing precedent-setting patterns (e.g. always providing free reading support from 3 to 4:30 on Thursdays and Fridays or always agreeing to decorate the gym before an athletic banquet) that might inadvertently bind other teachers and turn voluntary services into mandatory ones. We're told we can certainly do those things, but they should be spontaneous and totally voluntary. Decorating shouldn't always be Debbie Brown's job, for example, or Debbie might be taken to task if at some point she decides not to decorate. Everyone should take turns and volunteer as they see fit.
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Corp. Comp time alternative.
Old 05-05-2014, 09:33 PM
 
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In my previous district, any regular after school events were handled basically like a comp time in the corporate world. The regularly scheduled parent conference night were compensated by cancelling the staff meeting for the week (part of the early release school hours), allowing teachers to leave school 2 hours early 1 day that week while the other conference days were covered by early release hours. Our P usually tried to compensate hour for hour as much as possible with early release time for after school hours.

We schedule our own parent conferences typically, so if we do this for after school, it is our own doing. Usually, we can manage it during our planning time so no after-school time is needed.

I have always been one of those first-in, last-out teachers by choice, but I do understand other teachers have families to get home to, so we try not to schedule late appointments and I handle the late meetings for the team and pass on the info to everyone else when necessary.
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sorry
Old 05-06-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Sorry but being a teacher is being a professional. My husband is also a degreed professional (not a teacher) he puts in whatever hours it takes to get his job done. He makes a salary not n hourly wage and that is part of that. He often is called back. He has early morning staff meetings, he has after work managers meetings, and evenings he has to prepare and meet with the board (who work for FREE) every other week. He also has to travel to things which are WAY outside his job description such as going to graduation ceremonies (a 7 hr drive each way) for other professionals in our community (required by his boss). He is also expected to respond to his managers whenever they call which interrupts vacations, date nights. He has put boundaries on things and does what he can to delegate but this is not a unique thing to teachers. It is part of being salaried and a professional. I know it sucks but it is what it is.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:04 PM
 
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this is also true of my husband - he has conference calls in the morning that frequently begin at 5 am... and often has conference calls at 9:00 at night. He travels - often on Sundays which messes up our weekends - not infrequently.

He hasn't had a raise in 3 years....

But he also makes $200k a year and gets 6 weeks of vacation/personal choice holidays.

THAT's the difference.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:58 PM
 
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It's also common to rack up vacation time, then not be allowed to take vacation, and lose the vacation time that accrues over the limit.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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my husband doesn't get to roll vacation days over... it's a use it or lose it and they strongly encourage their employees to use it.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:37 PM
 
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While renegotiating our contract - we were instructed by our union rep to just work our contracted hours unless we were paid extra $. As soon as our negotiation was over - teachers were relieved that they could once again stay late and complete paperwork, copy, etc. We have a choice to come in early or stay late if we want to - of course we do not get paid. If there is an event that requires hours outside of our contract - we request payment and it is approved.

After teaching 15 years, I will not stay late for a meeting. I don't mean to be a hard @ss but my salary has not gone up and probably won't in the near future.

Corporate workers have so many perks- one cannot compare. I know, I was once in the corporate field and left because it was not rewarding in the way that teaching is (of course I do not mean monetarily)
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