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what might be afoot here?

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  • what might be afoot here?

    To Whom It May Concern,

    A few colleages of mine, as well as myself, have been under the employ of a Florida county school system AND that same county's Parks and Recreation Department, for many years. Most of us are also members of a local union as well. Certain administrative actions taken by immediate supervisors over us have raised flags in our minds, and we require some outside clarification as to the true motives for such changes. Please allow me to elaborate.

    Last year it was agreed that, employees who work for the county school sytem in our roles as Paraprofessionals end their daily schedule of work at 3:00 (many of us work 32.5 hours /week for the SCHOOL system here, and 17.5 hours for Parks and Rec), with the same county's Parks and Rec/ After School program beginning at the same time. Seeing how most of us walk immediately within two minutes to our second work site, this seemed reasonable: As soon as we end one job, we begin another. This school year, however, began with some administrative 'clarification' made to us by the school regarding beginning/start time for work, and amount of break time recieved as agreed upon by our union contract. From this standpoint, things seemed reasonable, and similar to that which was agreed upon and followed in previous years, with one exceptional caveat: The school system adopted an 'early dismissal day', where ALMOST all students would be dismissed an hour early on one day on ALMOST every week (noting that ONE grade level would stay that hour, while all other grades, and Exceptional Education students as well, would be dismissed an hour early on that ONE day, once on ALMOST every week.). This administrative action BY ITSELF did not seem to raise any concerns or explainations, but rather, other moves that followed closely with these.

    Parks and Recreation employs most, if not all, on an 'intermittent' basis, according to the 'hire sheets' provided to us when we began, and every consecutive year thereafter. This school year began with a change where our site supervisor 'claimed' that, due to unregulated abuses of time sheets signed and completed by employees by themselves in the past (by another school site, no doubt), the 'new' protocol for time sheets involve employees signing their name and personally identifying data ONLY, and allowing the site supervisor to fill in the time, BY THEMSELVES, and collected by the county recreation supervisors thereafter. Originally it was promised, by the site supervisor, that copies would be provided upon request. I personally made that request recently, and they claimed that it was not possible to provide it , since, "I never know when they are going to pick them up." THIS raised up flags, in MY own mind.

    While digging into this further, the site supervisor made the following claims:

    1- "With the Wednesday Early Release Day, we are supposed to 'take the kids' early, but Parks and Recreation are NOT picking up [paying for] the additional hour."

    "Why NOT?"

    "MOST of you already work 17.5 hours on MOST weeks for Parks and Recreation. If you do any more [that one additional hour], then Parks and Rec, as well as yourselves, will have additional 'deductions' for 'insurance' required by law . You'll get paid from the school system, though [the lesser paying, BY THE HOUR, no doubt], and I'll make it all 'balance out" [As I personally understand, insurance is not required for any single job considered 'part-time' status (especially one that is listed as 'intermittent'), under 30 hours/week, correct? This 17.5 or even 18.5 are not even coming remotely CLOSE!]

    2- "If you stop work for the school an hour early on those early release days, then you must sacrifice two half-hour long breaks during your school work, PER WEEK, in order to 'balance things out'."

    Sufficed to say, if one COULD consider this as continuous work (for those of us who work but jobs consecutively almost every day), 10.5 hours per day total (one 'job' 6.5 hours, one 3.5 hours), with NO real definate time allocated to simply INJEST FOOD, let alone any time for other personal matters to attend to. Granted, I MIGHT buy the frequently touted argument that these jobs, being under differing AGENCIES, do not situate themselves to warrant OVERTIME (as I PERSONALLY would not DARE ask for, as a humble public servant), there seems to be a lot of sophistic socratic propaganda running about, full of half-truths, playing sides on lack of understanding, and lack of clarification in itself, in regard to the motives and intent behind these administrative actions (I thought that only the PRIVATE sector did that!). I question MOTIVE of these actions, more than any hair-splitting over who is paying who what on one measely hour! I'm asked to sign and trust. I'm given options that compete between two county agencies, pretending to vie while I might personally lose in the process (if it be recognized as, 'process'). Simply put, there seems to be alterior motives or axes to grind! I welcome any outside viewpoints on whether or not such actions should be looked into further, and by what outside authority that might shed some light and bring such issues to rest, for all involved. Being a union member, I have also requested clarification from the AFSCME. Any help is appreciated.

    A Public Servant Dedicated to Children
    Last edited by seeker1; 08-25-2004, 12:27 AM.

  • #2

    You may also want to talk with the National labor Relations Board and the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division in your area. You may find them in the local telephone directory under US government. I'm sur ethat they will be able to answer your questions for you.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator