I Don’t Understand: With Ms. MacKenzie

So, I guess I’m getting locked out as of Monday. That’s a new one for me, so…adventures? But these are confusing adventures. Because somewhere between the three page letter informing us of the lockout (which you can read here), and the sevens pages of Q&A meant to clarify it (found here and here) my whole brain did that tilty thing that my dog’s head does when she’s confused.

I mean, I have damn good reading comprehension skills, but…I just don’t understand.

1. Extra-curriculars are an essential service?

Because the letter says that I’m not allowed to be at my jobsite more than forty-five minutes before or after the bell. And I’m not allowed to help kids at lunch. See?

45 minutes copy

But the Q&A says that I can still volunteer for extra-curriculars, and that the lockout is in no way preventing teachers from doing so.

How can do that if I’m not allowed to be at school? Unless extra-curriculars are an essential service?

2. Provincial exams are going to get marked?

The letter says that we’re getting locked out on June 25th, 26th, and 27th. But two Provincial exams are being written on the 24th – both of which have two essays each that need to be marked. And one of the exams goes until 4PM, which is actually beyond the forty-five minute time thing for most schools.

But we’re not allowed to go to work on the 25th to mark them.

Yet Peter Cameron has been quoted as saying that there’s no reason those exams can’t be marked.

I don’t get how that’s going to work.

3. So, I can’t mark exams even when I’m working?

Normally, the Provincial exam essays are marked by the teachers who taught the examinable courses that semester. For instance, if you taught English 10, you’re marking the English 10 exam.

In the past, I’ve volunteered to mark Provincials for courses that I’m qualified to teach, even when I haven’t taught them. It’s good professional development. It keeps me up to snuff on the content and lets me see what the exams are looking like, and where the students are struggling.

But I not allowed to do Pro-D when it’s not a designated Pro-D day. See the third point from the letter?

Pro-D copy

So I can’t help mark the exams, because it’s not a Pro-D day?

4. Less than 10% of my work is worth 10% of my salary?

Okay, so I can’t be at work for longer than 45 minutes on either side of the bell. And I’m being docked pay for this. Even though the contract says that I only need to be there 15 minutes on either side.

I’m missing a staff meeting. So, that’s an hour or two.

I can’t improve my own teaching practice while at work.

I’m not allowed to work through my lunch break, which is kind of guaranteed by employment standards, anyway.

The full lock out days are unpaid already.

So, really, I’m being docked 10% pay on my days worked for 1.5 hours over the month and volunteer time?

I don’t understand.

It doesn’t make sense.

Even with seven pages of clarification for a three-page letter.

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Understand: With Ms. MacKenzie

  1. Donna

    In answer to your questions, this is what happens when the public education system is not fully and properly funded. Even simple math equations don’t add up.

  2. Ron Schell

    The whole window dressing of a government who are “willing to negotiate a deal with the teachers” is such a farce. The Empoyers negotiating team are nothing but confused and ignorant puppets guided, uncomfortably, by the hand of the Liberals who have no intention of adequately funding the education system. The teachers, who have been whipping boys for years and years, will unfortunately not gain anything in the end by an imposed contract that will fall short of the inflation rate once again and again and again. Underfunding the education system allows the Liberals to set their own personal pay increases. The parents of children of BC should be outraged that their children get so short-changed compared to other provinces in Canada. The Liberals will not be ashamed at the highest child poverty rates and the lower end of the $ per child funding rate. They don’t care because they’ve secured their own kids in private school. As a proud teacher, I have to face the reality of continued disrespect, overwhelming caseloads and to find another summer job to pay my bills.