Day 42 :: BILAN :: State of Affairs

This @rticle was posted by Djeault on Friday, November 23rd, 2007 at 9:29 pm

By the time, Monday, 2007nov26, rolls about, two months will have elapsed since that first day I was officially available and ready to go, at 7 o’clock in the morning, just in case a school calls me for a replacement. Within those two months, the fact is that I (only) worked 13 days, on the 42, which were actual work days… In fact, since I worked 39 hours ¼, in 42 days, I could thus say I nearly worked an hour a day, @t ±$45 an hour = ± $1766, thus, $883 gross / month!

$833 x 12 months = ± $10,600 / year: quite a way from the supposed ± $40,000 a year, my education commands; moreover, take off 2 months of summer and Christmas Holidays, thus round it up at $10 thousands. And I’m not alone in that situation: for example, someone I know of, in another school board, was given a contract, with a supposed 50% task of pure substitute teaching; however, in fact, if she doesn’t get the periods within a pay cycle, those periods are not paid and are moved along: therefore, she barely makes $250 a week, or ± $10,000 a year, although her time was reserved through a supposed pay of ± $20,000 a year…

Moreover, I over heard a conversation, on the 801 bus, of a young man complaining that he barely gets any calls for substitute teaching, so far, this year, whereas last year, he replaced more and always for the same four teachers. As with my other example, at the previous §, he also seemed not to be at his first year of substitute teaching. That is to say that the millions that the school boards have stored in the bank(s) could be rightfully paid to the people who dedicated themselves to 4-year long University programs, sometimes accumulating wonderous debts, upto $50,000 with a Master’s Degree: mine is in Educational Technology.

Furthermore, we’re all isolated, I suppose, except for old frienships from University. Oh yes, we’re all syndicated: I got my card this week from the SERQ: Syndicat de l’Enseignement de la Région de Québec; the SERQ deserves teachers both from De La Capitale et Des Premières-Seigneuries School Boards. However, that doesn’t make me truly united to other substitute teachers, whom have been hired by the School board, this year or last.

An efficient way to unite us could be through a Wiki; however, do substitute teachers really want to unite? Or are we more of a bunch of individualistically mannered, wannabe teachers, surviving in a survival of the fittest mood, until we reach the precarious statute, ou le « statut précaire », in French. From thereon, we’ll have priority on the substitute wannabe teachers, to choose the various, available tasks, until one day, we reach a “permanent” statute.

Meanwhile, as a substitute teacher, I must act, so as to communicate my existence to the schools’ callers, who are the employees who phone up substitute teachers, as needed; some of them do only that, others fill other tasks. One of these phoned here yesterday at 9h30 to offer me a 3-week task in ESL, overlapping Christmas Holidays; I phoned her back, as soon I got here from St-Louis Adult Center, a bit past 15h30, and she returned my call early this morning to tell me someone else got the job: elle m’a indiqué avoir laissé quelques messages sur quelques répondeurs ; bref, si j’avais eu un cell portable, et que j’avais répondu tout de suite, j’aurais peut-être eu l’emploi ?

Par ailleurs, elle m’a aussi dit que la personne choisie rencontre l’enseignante la semaine prochaine : tant mieux pour elle ou lui. Finalement, à ma question, avez-vous parfois des suppléances à octroyer, la réponse fut ± « que le problème, c’est que j’ai une bonne douzaine de précaires, ici, et, conséquemment, les suppléances leur reviennent, afin de combler leurs tâches incomplètes. » That’s the exact same song sung by JFP High School, ± 2 months ago: the teachers with a precarious statute and incomplete tasks get the substitute teaching periods, whereas us, substitute teachers, get the crumbs. That’s the state of affairs in the education world of Quebec City, QC, this 2007nov23.

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