Opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent any other organization or affiliation I may have.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Presenting to the Provincial Bargaining Team

I was excited to present to the Provincial Bargaining Team on Teacher's Teaching on call issues on behalf of the TTOC Advisory Committee.

Although I am early in my teaching career (6 years) I am an experienced TTOC (6 years, minus 7 months of temporary contract time over those years).

With so many TTOCs remaning on-call for multiple years, it is important they are treated fairly and not as second class citizens. Too many TTOCs live in poverty due to lack of work.

When presenting to the Provincial Bargaining Team I tried to explain the reality of teaching as a teacher on call.

Some things TTOCs would like to see include:

1. Being paid on scale from day one.

Currently a TTOC must work  4 consecutive days in order to be paid on scale. In many districts there is over-hiring to prevent shortages, however, this means less work for individual TTOCs who rarely get 4 consecutive days of work. With sporadic work and breaks between days worked, teachers teaching on call are paid significantly less than their colleagues on contract, yet are givent eh same responsibilities in the classroom. TTOCs are an important part of the education system, replacing classroom teachers when theya re unable to be there, and as such, TTOCs deserve to be paid fairly for each day worked.

2. Access to affordable benefits and an ability to accumulate and use sick days.

TTOCs need access to affordable benefits. The available packages available for opt-in are far too expensive for most TTOCs who already stuggle financially. There needs to be coverage for teachers-on-call especially, because they are in multiple schools and if sick risk spreading illness to students. TTOCs do not accumulate sick days, nor do they have medical benefits. TTOCs hope to have an ability to accumulate sick days so they can stay home if they are sick and not risk getting children sick too. TTOCs needs access to affordable medical benefits so they can get healthy and return to work.

3. Fair Distribution of Work / Hiring Transparency

Every district has different hiring practices and currently BCPSEA wants to take even more control of this. Some districts don't even post temporary positions which makes it even more challenging to find positions. Other districts post all positions and allow TTOCs to apply to them. TTOCs are hired onto a district as employees and should have the ability to psot and fill into positions. Furthermore, the hiring practices need to be transparent so that teacher's feel there is a fair distribution of work.

TTOCs are often treated poorly within the teaching profession, yet they are the most vulnerable with unpredictable schedules, income and schedules. We are not paid for ProD in most cases, yet Professional Development would be beneficial to helping us grow professionally and stay life long learners.

When I presented to the Provincial Bargaining Team I felt that I was heard, but not wholly. I felty that BCPSEA listened to what I said that may fit into their agenda, instead of hear my whole message and that is that TTOCs, like all teacher's need improved working conditions because that means students improved learning conditions!

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