Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » OVERWORKED TEACHERS?

    Filed at 3:26 am under by dcobranchi

    Deb sends word of contract negotiations in NJ. The school board wants to increase the length of the teachers’ workday to *shudder* eight hours. Then there’s this:

    The administration would reduce the number of eight-hour days from 180 to 108, Riker said.

    That’s a typo, right?

    6 Responses to “OVERWORKED TEACHERS?”

    Comment by
    Miller Smith
    September 30th, 2004
    at 11:34 am

    Hi there! I’m a teacher for Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland and I can enlighten ya’all (from Tennessee ) as to why an 8 hour day will be a problem for the school system. Federal Labor Law. The moment you put people on an eight hour day certain parts of the Federal Labor Law that the systems were exempt from go into effect. Overtime for example. The system would have to tell the teachers to leave the building at the end of the day and they could not allow teacher to use the facilities to even grade papers in there own rooms after the school day had ended.

    There are so many things that teachers do on a daily basis that the school systems would be at legal risk of having to pay out $$$ and time restrictions that any system trying to extend the day from 7.5 hours to 8 has obviously not talked with a labor lawyer.

    Our system floated the 8 hour day idea several years ago and our union not only did not try and knock it down, but rather touted the benefits teachers would gain under the new 8 hour day. We even thanked the school board for wanting to give us more rights that would cost them more money…they quietly dropped the issue and we have never heard of it again.

    For every action…

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    September 30th, 2004
    at 11:40 am

    Well, there’s an easy work-around. Call the teachers “professionals” who are exempt from OT rules. Y’all do claim that status, no? It seems that teachers want it both ways. They want to be treated as hourly employees when that suits them financially but feel they should be respected as professionals. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

    Comment by
    September 30th, 2004
    at 3:28 pm

    I may not be understanding the article correctly: The article states eight hours, including a lunch and prep period.

    If I’m reading this right, lunch and the prep period are included in the eight hours?

    Are they already receiving lunch in their 7 hr. and 20 min?

    Workers in the real world have to clock out for lunch.

    Of the state’s 501 public school districts, Brill said, he doesn’t know of any that have an eight-hour day.

    Wow! I’ve read and heard about how underpaid teachers are, and to find out they don’t even put in an eight-hour day. I won’t buy that story anymore. 😉

    Where I live, in-service is a crock. They start school two hours late. The district can’t be overworking those professionals.

    It doesn’t matter how that affects the parents who have to work in the real world.

    Miller Smith, the teachers could always work 7 hours and 59 minutes to keep it under the labor law.

    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    September 30th, 2004
    at 4:05 pm

    Deb, welcome to the alternate reality of union labor.

    Miller, I don’t think you’ll get overtime pay for a 40-hour week which includes your lunch period and “prep” period. See, in the real world we call that a 37.5-hour week, assuming a 30-min. lunch. You would be classified as full time employees (>30 hours/week) and receive the benefits required by labor law for full time employees – which you already do.
    If teachers had a legitimate beef on the “extra overtime” hours, believe me the union would have cashed in on it long ago.

    The in-service in my opinion replaces the continuing education required of other professionals that are registered with the state. They largely are salaried, and are certainly not reimbursed for their lost time/wages/expenses involved in maintaining the required hours and reporting to the state. At least you get paid.

    Comment by
    September 30th, 2004
    at 7:03 pm

    The Twilight Zone versus the Real World. 😉

    Comment by
    Miller Smith
    October 1st, 2004
    at 5:32 pm

    Hi again folks! Well well. Call me a professional? No way! I’m in a vocation, not a profession. Pay me by the hour, man. Please. I want to clock in.

    Professinals have wide latitude in how they structure their hours, and professionals have billable hours…and clients whom they may fire or decide to never take on as clients…and on and on. Think about this folks. If you really want an eight hour day, you will be more upset than you are now.

    As for me, I can’t wait for the g schools to fail. I’m already making money hand over fist tutoring kids for the higher graduation requirements from high school. I’m charging $50 and hour (science and math) and I’m still turning clients away due to no more time to sell. Can you imagine what will happen when my school system has not a single high school that meets the NCLB standards next year?

    I’m 42 years old and in mid-career. Soon the law will require that students be allowed to transfer to passing schools. Absent a passing school, the law requires a non-public school alternative paid for by the school system. Hey man! I’m going to cash in! Many teacher friends and I are in the planning stage to start our own schools.

    Most parents will neve make the home schooling choice and will want to hand offthat respinsibility to..uh…professionals (ha!)…rather than have their child attend a known failing school, and I will be there to pick up the pieces.

    So you folks who think pushing an eight hour day for teachers is a good idea, please keep pushing. The very laws in this area will speed your desired end of the g-schools and gain me a very bright future indeed.

    Thanks much,