Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) knows this might be an unpopular opinion and, if you don’t work in his school district, that you might want to scroll on by as he is talking about his employer and his contract.

Some ask why teachers need to work while schools are closed. Quick answer: we want to be paid.

We have a contract. We have a union, who is the authorized agent to bargain with the school district on behalf of all employees. We want our union and our bargained contract. We often demand (rightfully so) that our employer respect our contract. But we must do so as well.

In September, we closed schools for three days due to Hurricane Dorian. While we are immensely grateful that the storm passed safely to the east, out in the ocean, that we actually did not suffer harm in our city, we must realize we were paid for those three days for which we did not work.

We made up two days; the third, the school district forgave as we would meet the state’s minimum hours of instruction. They willingly granted us a day of pay without work.

Now, the state has extended Spring Break for another week. The school district is continuing to pay us. Add another five days to that excused day.

In order to comply with the crisis and state orders regarding facility closure, we have to attend training tomorrow. From information supplied, it will not be all day, but let’s call it a required day of work.

Doing the math, that’s still five days of work our school district will excuse us from. Five extra days of make-up in June, but as of now, not needed. (GOT’s school district has said they believe they can end the school year as scheduled by moving to online delivery of instruction.)

Readjusting plans for Friday’s training, when previously teachers thought it was a free day, is inconvenient.

But let’s be honest. Things are fluid and changing by the hour. However, as things stand, teachers will get paid for 190 days although they will only work 185 days.

Time to be grateful.

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