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What's bugging you? (2017)

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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 05, 2018, 7:03 PM Post
Posts: 7520
Interesting to hear how things are different with you other teachers. I'm assuming you teach in Wisconsin. My friends there have such superior pay and benefits as compared to my district that it made me pretty tone-deaf when they complained a few years back, but it sounds as though the districts aren't all as friendly. As for benefits in retirement, my district used to cover someone from normal retirement until Medicare IF the retiree subbed 20 days for free. A few years ago they placed a cap on the amount of the health coverage they would provide.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 05, 2018, 7:07 PM Post
Posts: 7520
zurch1818 said:
Now to my situation...

My wife claims to be extremely gluten intolerant. She says whenever she eats gluten...even in trace amounts, she wakes up tired and fatigued. It usually is a few days after she eats it.

Lately, I've been putting some regular whole grain pancake mix in with her GF stuff and she has not complained at all about it. A few days ago I surprisingly got her to try a sip of my beer...and the next morning she complained about eating gluten because she woke up tired. It also coincided with a night I slept like crap.

I have no idea how to handle this situation. I feel I can't tell her what I've been doing. Luckily she doesn't understand why I like sports so much...so I like my chances of her not finding this post.


Zurch, that's a tough one. If you wanted to see if she is gluten intolerant or if it's mental, you could try a gluten-free beer. I had a roommate in college with Celiacs and he would scratch himself all night and have extreme stomach issues if the meal had even a little trace of gluten. Most people not eating gluten today are doing it as a fad trendy diet. Perhaps your wife has gluten sensitivity rather than gluten intolerance.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 3:52 PM Post
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I have Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, Comp Time, Gap Hours and Special Bonus Leave.

We don't get paid overtime, so any time we work over is Comp Time to be used within 12 months (or else they have to pay you for it, which'll get you yelled at). In 3+ years I've still never used a vacation day because there's always enough Comp Time--I've taken about four weeks off this year and I still have 50 hours to burn up.

The 80 hours of Vacation Leave rolls into the 80 hours of Sick Time if unused and accumulates. Most people retire with about two years' time built up.

The Gap Hours nobody knows what it is. I looked for it once and there's not even a code available to use it.

The Special Bonus Leave is a new invention. Instead of a pay increase, we got this. If you have over X hours saved up (which most everyone has), you get charged double for using it. So use 16 hours of Special Leave and they subtract 16 from Special Leave but also another 16 from Vacation. But it also doesn't accumulate for your retirement, so its also worthless if you save it. I believe there's little complaining about it only because the details are so complex and confusing that nobody actually knows what it is. I emailed a higher-up about it recently and she had to research it herself to explain it to me.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 3:56 PM Post
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GAME05 said:
I have Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, Comp Time, Gap Hours and Special Bonus Leave.

We don't get paid overtime, so any time we work over is Comp Time to be used within 12 months (or else they have to pay you for it, which'll get you yelled at). In 3+ years I've still never used a vacation day because there's always enough Comp Time--I've taken about four weeks off this year and I still have 50 hours to burn up.

The 80 hours of Vacation Leave rolls into the 80 hours of Sick Time if unused and accumulates. Most people retire with about two years' time built up.

The Gap Hours nobody knows what it is. I looked for it once and there's not even a code available to use it.

The Special Bonus Leave is a new invention. Instead of a pay increase, we got this. If you have over X hours saved up (which most everyone has), you get charged double for using it. So use 16 hours of Special Leave and they subtract 16 from Special Leave but also another 16 from Vacation. But it also doesn't accumulate for your retirement, so its also worthless if you save it. I believe there's little complaining about it only because the details are so complex and confusing that nobody actually knows what it is. I emailed a higher-up about it recently and she had to research it herself to explain it to me.


Wait. Instead of a pay increase you got your vacation time cut in half?

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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 4:11 PM Post
Posts: 3524
Location: Madison, WI
Baldkin said:
nodakfan17 said:
Do many employers allow you to bank sick days? I guess I have what most people would consider to be a pretty good job and mine expire every year (along with unused PTO). Becoming ‘sick’ in late December after 50 straight weeks of good health would probably be grounds for dismissal.


Sick days are a scam and need to be gotten rid of. You get PTO. That's it. One bank of hours. Why should the be separate?


Exactly. The sick time thing for teachers is just dumb. For example, say you have a pre planned event like a Friday wedding or needing to travel on Friday to get to a Wedding or whatever on the weekend. you're forced to call in sick in order to be off and then they have to scramble for a sub. Rather than pre planning things like adults or all other businesses so there is a sub ready for that day along with a lesson plan or whatever else is needed for that day.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 4:56 PM Post
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Brewerfan Staff
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DHonks said:
I have a co-worker who has missed over 30 school days and still was allowed to take a cruise, missing 5 more this week. This person is a 2nd year teacher who has no available sick or personal days through 1.5 years. Has missed at least 75 days (very low-end estimate) over 1.5 years. And still is employed???? In the meantime I'm in year 12, have 150 sick/personal days saved up, and feel guilty if I every miss days. I already miss too many for coaching, but it's at least an excuse.

I'm semi-perversely looking forward to commenting on this when I have more time, which is not right now. Watch this space for what's bugging hawing!

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 6:31 PM Post
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Exactly. The sick time thing for teachers is just dumb.


But we get summers off, two weeks at Christmas, and one week for spring break. We don't need any personal time off.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 9:27 PM Post
Posts: 9761
When you pick your profession you get the perks and you get the cons. That is life. Teachers get plenty of personal time away from their duties. Is most of that scheduled for them? Sure, but once again you decided on that. Teachers can’t constantly be taking time off.

If you get zero personal days a year I get the gripe...if not, I don’t get it.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 06, 2018, 11:21 PM Post
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Brewerfan Staff
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Okay, now for what bugs me about work and leave.
Some of you already know I'm a librarian at a state agency. There are 7 of us in public services, providing coverage at the reference and circulation desks. These have to be staffed whenever the library is open (54-70 hours per week). We have student employees too (I handle most of that), but for safety's sake we strive to always have a "grownup" employee on duty.

One of the colleagues misses a lot of time. It is never for frivolous reasons. Her family has a heartbreaking history of mostly medical misfortune, going back literally decades, and those problems are usually the reason behind the absences.

She is very good at her work, and reliable as a colleague when she is present. But when she is absent (which since it's due to one health issue or another, tends to be unpredictable), it really wreaks havoc with the rest of us. It's gotten so when she offers to cover a particular shift or take on a time sensitive project, I find myself thinking "welp, I wonder if she'll actually be able to carry it out." I feel guilty when I have those thoughts.

A few years ago, when she got a merit raise (now that Wisconsin agencies are in a mode where raises are few and far between), I was surprised by how hard I took it. I suspect the person who supervised her at the time did it in part out of acknowledgment of her family's medical burdens - and again, when she's available to do it, her work is excellent - but I can't think of a time in my career when I felt more resentful. My operation is staffed more hours per week than any other in my agency, and I put in a lot of effort to make sure my desk is consistently and competently staffed (which with a constantly changing cast of 18 to 20-something college students is no small feat).

I know what I should do is count my blessings all the time that I haven't had home life experiences like she's had, but sometimes I wonder why I'm putting in the effort and whether anyone actually values it.


Another work attendance "bug":
I employ 5-10 college students at a time (depending on the time of year) to staff the circulation desk. One student this fall has missed a lot of time - also for legit medical reasons, and never without any notice - but every absence means I have to scramble to find coverage, generally abruptly. At mid-semester, he mentioned to me that he is a client of the campus disability services center and has a credential (not the right word but I don't know what is) that he can show to faculty saying that he needs accommodation for frequent absences from class. He gave no indication that the same allowance applies to a campus job.

Had he informed me of this at hiring time, I would have suggested he work in a department with a less time-sensitive schedule than mine requires. (The students do employment forms, where this would be disclosed, with HR staff in our building, so I wouldn't have been present if he had disclosed, and I'm assuming HR would have told me if he had.)

I'd like to think I have some standing to suggest that we assign him fewer front desk hours in the spring, and more behind the scenes hours that don't require a strict schedule. To my mind, that would seem like the best way to accommodate his variable availability. But he also seems like the type to get super defensive about anything that could be interpreted as critical, and I'd like to not get swept into or even threatened with ADA-type litigation. It'll be about a month before I have to set the schedule for next semester, so I don't have to decide immediately, but I'm not sure how to approach it. I'm usually pretty confident in my ability to interact with my employees, but I'm stumped with this person.

Anyway, it's gotten so as his shifts approach, I find myself wondering (fairly or otherwise) whether he's actually going to be able to show up. It is bugging me.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 7:53 AM Post
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MrTPlush said:
Teachers get plenty of personal time away from their duties.


Really?

Please explain...


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 8:47 AM Post
Posts: 3524
Location: Madison, WI
MrTPlush said:
When you pick your profession you get the perks and you get the cons. That is life. Teachers get plenty of personal time away from their duties. Is most of that scheduled for them? Sure, but once again you decided on that. Teachers can’t constantly be taking time off.

If you get zero personal days a year I get the gripe...if not, I don’t get it.


you're not wrong on the fact everyone knew what they were getting into. But just because something has been done way in the past doesn't mean it should remain that way if it's dumb.

But we're commenting on the Personal days/sick time policy. If you get zero days you get the gripe, well, they get 1 or 2 in most cases, that's it. Yet, they get a bunch of 'sick days', lets say 10ish. So they are allowed to be off but they have to lie about it and not have a sub in place beforehand. That, or if you're the honest teacher that doesn't want to lie you have to sit there and watch while everyone else does it. So all we're saying is to convert a chunk of those sick days into actual PTO days that can be pre planned is only logical. In 9 months of work people are going to need more than 1 or 2 days off for random stuff. Teachers have lives too and they also have kids of their own they have to deal with.


Last edited by tmwiese55 on December 07, 2018, 9:45 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 9:14 AM Post
Posts: 9761
Right, most I know get 5ish. Which I think is fair considering the long breaks they gets at various times of the year.

Converting the sick time to PTO isn't realistic. Sick leave is more an insurance policy for yourself so being sick doesn't make you go broke and not be able to pay the bills. Your employer doesn't want you to miss that time at all, but in the terrible case sickness/injury puts you out then they will give it. I think everyone should have the ability to let it carry over though which I think most teachers don't get. Then over the years you can slowly build an insurance policy incase you get put out for months.

If only school districts actually cared about their employees wages/benefits, instead they spend money on stupid things. And the benefits that leave something to be desired go way past just the teachers in districts.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 9:28 AM Post
Posts: 3524
Location: Madison, WI
IDK, I get the vibe teachers and state employees of WI get to pile up all that sick time and have it paid out later on when they retire. But again, why can't they do the same thing you're talking about with the sick days for all PTO? The only argument I think would be that by making it 'sick time' and enforcing it this way it makes it more difficult for them to use thus forcing them to save it. There is logic there, but I always side on the side of personal freedom and choice to manage your life how you like. If you're too dumb to save up your days for emergency, that's your fault.

But really it comes down to they know everyone is calling in to use sick days when they're not sick because they need to for life stuff and everyone looks the other way, so why not adjust it a touch so that you can actually get a sub in place for them. Even if you don't want to convert it completely due to the reasons you state, move over a few more days to the personal side and leave the rest as sick.

Similar example in my office sales setting, say it's Christmas Eve this year and it's not technically a company holiday so some people do show up. yet no one is going to work, everyone is gonna sit around and BS then go home and it's accepted because everyone knows you can't really do anything on that day and management accepts it. So why not just give the day as company holiday and move on.

your last line is spot on and really the crux of the problem.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 10:19 AM Post
Posts: 2830
My district does not pay out anything upon retiring for the sick days banked up. They also just changed it so we went from full benefits until medicare to like 1,500 a year for 20 years of service.

Part of the problem with my district is they are having sub-shortages. I suggested that they change it to PTO so people wouldnt be calling in sick last minute. That way subs can be gotten ahead of time as well. My other suggestion was to earn PTO by not using any sick days for a month/period of time. Hopefully this would get some teachers who are feeling a little crummy to still make it in to work.

I think part of my frustration comes from the district continuing to take away from the teachers as opposed to making us feel wanted and as experts in the field.

I went into teaching in part of the perks. Sure, who wouldn't. Those perks have changed a massive amount over the 10 years I have been teaching.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 10:45 AM Post
Posts: 1168
stoutdude04 said:
My district does not pay out anything upon retiring for the sick days banked up. They also just changed it so we went from full benefits until medicare to like 1,500 a year for 20 years of service.

Part of the problem with my district is they are having sub-shortages. I suggested that they change it to PTO so people wouldnt be calling in sick last minute. That way subs can be gotten ahead of time as well. My other suggestion was to earn PTO by not using any sick days for a month/period of time. Hopefully this would get some teachers who are feeling a little crummy to still make it in to work.

I think part of my frustration comes from the district continuing to take away from the teachers as opposed to making us feel wanted and as experts in the field.

I went into teaching in part of the perks. Sure, who wouldn't. Those perks have changed a massive amount over the 10 years I have been teaching.


Yep, that's part of the reason I left. Luckily your district hasn't taken away quite as much as mine did.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 10:48 AM Post
Posts: 3524
Location: Madison, WI
Thanks. yes I can't say for sure among my friends and if for teachers it's district by district. I can't recall that specifically discussed among my teacher friends, my county cop friend though it has been mentioned like I noted earlier. Thought maybe they accumulate for everyone, I feel like it's vaguely been mentioned here or there by my teacher friends how it piles up. But yea, maybe they don't get it paid out on retirement if they don't use, not sure. So, basically the teachers who lie and take advantage of it benefit and the good honest ones get screwed. So why not come up with a better system.

Your second paragraph is a key to the problem as well. Good for for trying to come up with a realistic solution to the problem (both in the person days issue and subsequent no subs problem) rather than most people who just dig in one side and do nothing. Like I said, it's happening and everyone accepts it happens and doesn't care. so why not sit down like responsible adults and come up with a real system that works. this logic could apply to so many political issues as well.


Last edited by tmwiese55 on December 07, 2018, 10:58 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 10:53 AM Post
Posts: 2295
Location: Team Tosa
Zurch, my wife thought she might have a gluten allergy, she was having symptoms of feeling bloated and having no energy if we ate sandwiches or pizza or pasta. I adjusted to her eating habits and she ended up losing a lot of weight, having more energy, and overall being a lot happier. If she accidentally eats something with wheat in it, she knows right away because her throat gets scratchy/itchy and she gets stomach aches pretty quickly.

Some GF items can be expensive like bread, but over all those things are a lot easier and cheaper to find now than they were 5-7 years ago. Most places we go out to eat now offer GF options where for a few years we couldn't go out for pizza or burgers. If I wanted either I'd have to hold out when I'm out with buddies since she couldn't eat anything at most places. Cooking with rice or corn flour is an easy adjustment, and if she wants a beer she has a New Grist.

At first making this work for her was difficult for both of us, but it was obviously better for her. Once we figured out where and what she could and couldn't eat without having to look at the ingredients, it's not even something we think about anymore. Aldi is a great place to grocery shop for GF things too. If she enjoys beer, there's a lot out there that qualify as GF, because they are made with rice and not wheat (bud light, corona, etc) but there is barley in there. I have some friends that say they can't eat wheat but can drink certain beers, though my wife won't risk it.

Just try things out, but it's probably of your best interest to not mess with your wife's diet to prove a point.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 3:29 PM Post
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In regard to food allergies/sensitivities, just don't be this person:

Link

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 7:11 PM Post
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Posts: 7894
Since we're complaining about work...

I've been contemplating going back to work after staying home with my son for a couple years so I've haphazardly looked for job openings. This morning I saw a tweet from a local place saying they have job openings. So I went to their site and saw they have two and one of them I was actually interested in. Reading the description the position was part of a grant and they hoped to start in mid-October. I wasn't sure if that meant this past October or 2019. I could see it being next year since I'm sure there's lots of hoops and red tape needed since it's funded by a grant and I could also see it being this past October since I guessed there weren't many people in our area with the skills required for it and it's probably taken awhile to fill it. I emailed the contact asking when the start was and they responded with it was this past October and it's been filled. So they advertised job "openings", of which they had two posted, and one had been already filled. It's more crap like this that I'm not looking forward to.


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Offline  Re: What's bugging you? (2017)
Posted: December 07, 2018, 9:09 PM Post
Posts: 7520
Just to update. We get 4 personal days and 10 sick days annually. We can convert 2 sick to personal. After that, we start using sick days. The co-worker has missed the last 6 days for the cruise, and 7 total in the last two weeks. And supposedly she missed 15-20 days in Aug-Oct.


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