Friday, October 14, 2005


Rocking Your Liver

Right now, as we speak the teachers in Vancouver are on strike. The Labour Relations Board has ruled it to be an illegal strike and I'm of two minds about it. While I support the teachers' demands to have some sort of control over class sizes (it can't be pedagogically sound to have a class of 40 students with one teacher, it just can't), they also have, from what I understand, some fairly major wage increase demands.

Yes, these people do valuable work. The education of our children is everyone's responsibility and the society that does not support this is, in my opinion, morally bankrupt and doomed to failure.

That being said, I am also a civil servant. I may be "only" a switchboard operator, however we call the emergency codes for six different facilities; therefore if we fuck up, people die. That seems like relatively important work to me, and as far as I know there is no sort of wage increase looming in my immediate future.

I make way less than most teachers, and The Servant of the Devil who walks on two legs decided last year that it would be really nifty to give hospital workers a 15% wage rollback. Yes, that was smart. People who were making a living wage have had to take a huge cutback and many now have to work a second job to keep their families fed. That's a good way to increase efficiency and productivity. I know that after working a full day at my regular job, I'm all excited about working a second shift elsewhere so I can buy groceries. It makes me a far more effective and alert employee.

However that's sometimes the only way I can afford porridge, kitty kibble and toilet paper. So I do it.

So truly? I really think that all of the teachers, who make more than I do, just need to suck it up, take the fact that they're getting no increase this year, and get back to fucking work and stop using my daughter's education as leverage.

Sorry, dudes, but if I see you on the picket line I'm just going to be tempted to throw eggs at you, and I'm fucking GLAD that the courts have now prohibited the union from disbursing strike pay.

At the other place where I worked up until May of this year, we had not had a wage increase in 11 years. We got a small (2.5%) increase this year by rolling the staff training fund into the salary package. So yes, everyone gets another 2.5% and nobody gets access to education.

Another smooth move.

Anyhow, I've been helping take care of the three little daughters of my friend who just got a job. It was OK when I just had to feed them breakfast, take them to school and then come home for a couple of hours of coffee or maybe, oh, sleep, or something before picking them up for lunch.

Seeing the teachers have gotten all strikey and shit, I now have FOUR little girls in the house from 7:30am to 5pm every day. Although I am, of course, a paragon of patience and virtue, it's taken its toll.

To wit, I am a screaming twat by about 11am most days, and the knittens are getting pretty fucking tattered from being dragged all over the house for nine hours a day. I'm thinking they're going to start peeing in people's shoes fairly soon. I, for one, would not blame them. In fact, I may join them, as long as the shoes aren't mine.

This is why (you knew I'd get to the liver and the rocking at some point, didn't you?) I was delighted to read Lala's post. It's a ray of hope for me, in the midst of my angst, to know that livers are being rocked out there, and perhaps one day soon one of them will be mine.

Send help.

Or Cheetos and beer. That would be fine, too.

Amen Sistah!!
You need to start charging for your babysitting services.
So let me get this straight: you work two jobs and watch four kids from morning to evening? Um, do you sleep? Just wondering. Seriously, though, I am amazed you are still sane enough to type, much less find the humor in life. I wish there were something I could do for you from so far away...
Ah... "Rollback" the innocuous word that really means "Fuck in the ass". We got a "cost of living" raise of 3%, when they've raised our health insurance price to be more than that, so basically we got a 2% pay cut and they smile and say "Aren't you glad we appreciate you?" ARGH!!
Well the month long job my husband is on is paying 90% of his regular rate...woopee!! Wish I could pay 10% less for my groceries and my gasoline!!!
Also--I was in the public library today killing some time before meeting someone for lunch and decided to use the computer and guess whose site I couldn't get into??? yours my little chickee....(and Colorado Jon's!)
1. Peeing in shoes is great. There's a real sense of getting yours back that comes with peeing in shoes.

2. You should be glad you have porridge and don't yet have to reduce yourself to gruel.

3. Move here. Your kid will be a devout snakecharming christian when she's done with school but hell, it's like free babysitting.
I live here, and I support the teachers. Truthfully, I think this province's treatment of its public sector workers, especially its medical support workers, is beyond shameful. Yes, I remember the appalling things done to the medical folks. I don't think any public sector worker should have to suck it up and take no increase for years at a time.

The strike may badly affect one kid I know, but I will tutor her for virtually nothing to keep her on track if it seems the teachers can break the servant of evil. Someone has to, or your situation can only get worse. Until he goes, I won't take teaching certification here.

I wish I could help you.
I don't live there and I support the teachers and the medical workers and the college workers and all civil servants (do you think there's something inherent in that term?).

Living wage, respect, dignity of work. . .


But that doesn't help you.

And that "stop/slow" guy/gal--s/he was making $7 an hour more than me 4 years ago (the last time I checked). That job is looking mighty good!
Civil servants' wages suck all around. It doesn't seem to matter where you live, does it? Maybe if we stopped calling ourselves civil servants and renamed ourselves "Those Who Decide Whether Or Not Everyone Else is F***ed," or something like that 'cause I don't know that TWDWORNEEF would be easy enough to remember.
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