Sunday, February 6, 2011

Need a job???

Good luck! American's are still looking for work and it's reflected in the ongoing (and increasing in Colorado) unemployment numbers. Of course these numbers are lowballed, official statistics that reveal little of thetrue hardships Americans are truly facing. In Colorado the official unemployement rate hit a high of 8.8 percent, the silver lining , according to Greg Griffin of the Denver Post being that the State is likely to qualify for extended emergency benefits. I'm glad for people such as my friend Shelly whose husband has been out of work since Autumn of 2009 but that does not do a great deal for those who are newly unemployed and nothing at all for those who have been recently laid off... such as Maurice who, after 10 years of faithful service at Denver Public Schools, was told en masse along with many of his other colleagues that his position was being cut due to budget constraints.

But do not be dismayed they were told!!! There would be five (yes, 5, five!) positions that they could all apply for in March and for the remaining 45 or so that were not rehired there would positions (hopefully) in the schools they could scramble around for. Part of  the degradation of this, is that there is no guarantee that they would retain their current salary for any of them and as the job was simply cut out from under them they will not qualify (as I understand it) for unemployment insurance at all. It is a cunning ploy on the district's part and one which they use consistently. Just under two years ago, my position came under budget scrutiny and while I was not laid off, I was told I would have to take a $4 per hour pay cut along with one less hour per day of working time with the caveat that I would eventually get my pay reinstated when the budget improved. (I don't know that it has and they still have an underpaid worker in the building if they have a librarian at all) At any rate, I quit as soon as I got my job with DPL which also faces budgetary problems with the city. But this was not the first nor the last time a school would deal with employees in this manner. Teachers often face the school years uncertain about their positions in spite of contracts. If school enrollments are down in the fall even by 2 or 3 students come October, new hires are cut loose and kids are shuffled into crowded into fewer classrooms . And the unfortunate teacher is left to their own devices...  
Here's one idea, I guess!

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