Sound And Fury Signifying Very Little
2009-12-17, 8:03 a.m.
(a) I am a (forced) member of a union.
(b) As you've no doubt heard in the media by now, CA campuses have furlough days going on all year (December, March, and June).
(c) EXCEPT if you're in a union, because the unions in general, including mine, would not agree to this.
(d) In order for The Powers That Be to get its pound of money out of EVERYBODY, those in unions not agreeing to the furlough plan would get laid off for 2+ weeks at some point in 2010. Nobody liked this.
(e) Union got lots of complaint letters, and then told those who complained to shove it, they weren't going to comply with it.
(f) Last month my office came up with the working shorter hours plan to get the pound of money taken care of, while still getting around the union being dimwits and making sure nobody got laid off. I worried about getting addicted to working shorter hours.
(g) This month I started working shorter hours. Though I have been slightly annoyed that suddenly everyone started scheduling meetings at 6 p.m. on my short days, thus preventing me from attending the gym classes that I was leaving early to attend in the first place, it's definitely something to look forward to, especially on crazy days. Or next week when I may be working when most people are not, but at least I can leave early.
(h) Last week, at the END of the week: "Oh, hey, by the way, the union agreed to furloughs! Except it's still temporary layoffs, just for 2-3 days at a time, and we're slapping a cute name on it!" Much misinformation went out, including rumors that we'd get pay cuts for December, March, and June only rather than having the money taken out in a gradual percent all year long in the way that the non-unionites were. Lots of panic and drama ensued, and union members got sent paperwork that we were to complete ASAP if we wanted to start the layoff/furlough thing by next week.
Um, wait, what now?! One of my bosses is out this month, and the other boss was totally confused as to what was going on as well (I gather the folks at HR are having all kinds of confusion themselves), so there has been a lot of drama around here as to what to do, which program is less awful to do now, etc. Not to mention stuff like (a) do I have to go back to working normal hours again now, 'cause I don't wanna and I LIKE the shorter hours thing now, dammit, (b) if I have to convert from one status to the other, did I start getting early pay cuts for nothing, (c) CAN they convert my previously unworked time into the new system so I get credit for taking some lumps already, blah blah blah confusion and me waking up at 4 a.m. panicking. Awesome!
In the end, what it boils down to is, "do you want to put off your pay cut till March and then have it slightly smaller for a year after that, or do you want to keep on as you are now and get this pound of money crap over with by August?" And since I cannot apply for unemployment for the "temporary layoff," and I'm already on the pay cut thing as is...bugger this, I'm sticking with what I've got. And enjoying my shorter hours, thanks. It's not like I planned on using vacation days for going anywhere in 2010 anyway.
So... a lotta hype for "never mind, you don't have to deal with this new change mess."