Enforcing the Contract

The union president and the Boss Lady approached me (since I’m on the union Exec. Board) this week about meeting to help ensure that teachers fulfill their supervision duties and work their contracted hours. I will admit that I usually feel somewhat negative when I hear the Boss Lady state her desire to make sure teachers work their hours because I know the vast majority of the teachers work many more hours than is contractually required. However, I feel she has a legitimate point in this case.

Five teachers left the building without permission after the last class of the day and before the pep assembly, which they are required to supervise (by contract). Each was seen by the administrator supervising the parking lot for students trying to leave early.

Also, four teachers who were sitting in front of the students rather than among the students refused an administrator’s request to sit in a position better suited for supervision.

Apparently, this issue follows the misuse of prep time by some teachers as well. We are supposed to use prep time to prepare for classes, not to make doctor appointments or to take a long lunch and so on.

What bothers me is this:
a) These teachers make our requests for more collaboration and prep time seem unjustified since we are all painted with the same broad brush.
b) These types of duty avoidances make my job (and the jobs of others) more difficult.
c) Insubordination is never acceptable. We can disagree or discuss the issue later, but to refuse–especially in front of students–can’t be tolerated.

I hope the Boss Lady and I can determine a positive means of approaching the staff to review our professional responsibilities and behaviors. I’d like the review to be a positive one while still ensuring these types of actions don’t reoccur. We, as teachers, would do the same in our classes, so I hope this is well-received.

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2 thoughts on “Enforcing the Contract

  1. Hugh O'Donnell

    Doc, Do not let the Boss Lady involve you in what is her job. Being a union rep doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be a quasi-administrator.

    It’s totally up to admin to call BS on teacher dereliction of duty or insubordination.

    If you agree to be involved, I guarantee, because you have an administrator who wants to pass the buck, that it will be passed to you. (And, in that case, her supervisor should be laughing his/her ass off when he/she fires Boss Lady.)

    Stay out of it, bro’.

    Hugh aka Repairman

    Reply
  2. DrPezz

    Thanks, Repairman. The more I mull it over, the more I want to remain silent.

    I’ve been thinking about it, and I decided I would simply listen to what she has to say. This way she can’t say I advised her, but I can hear her thoughts without having to voice my own.

    I want her to be the voice of everything.

    Our union president advised at least listening to her thoughts just so I know what to expect.

    I want to defend our contract, but I do not want to be an enforcer of it.

    Reply

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