In the discussion thread: I get so tired of people gritching that "teachers get all summer off" We get paid for 186 days [View all]
Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #51)
Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:31 PM
mike_c (31,572 posts)
60. I don't know why you find this so hard to understand....
Last edited Fri Mar 16, 2012, 02:17 PM USA/ET - Edit history (9)
Look, most full time jobs-- at least the good ones-- work something like this: you work fifty weeks or so of the year, during which you earn compensation. For those fifty weeks. That typically takes the form of salary, wages, and earned vacation time. My partner's job is exactly like that. She works year round, earns a paycheck every two weeks, and accrues vacation time so that she can take some paid time off occasionally.
Just to be clear, paid vacation leave really is pay for time not worked-- it's a benefit. It typically accrues at some rate while you work, just like paid sick leave.
My job works differently. I don't work fifty some weeks a year (well, I mostly do, but let's not confuse things by considering what I donate back to my employer). Like most teachers, my job is "part time." I "officially" work, and get paid for about 40 weeks of the year. While I'm working, I earn a salary, just like most workers. I do NOT accrue any paid vacation time, however. I do earn sick leave, should I need it, but no paid vacation at all. Zero. Zip. Nada. So I am paid for 40 weeks or so, period. That's what the state pays me for.
However, I have elected to have my 40 weeks of pay dispersed over 52 weeks, i.e. there is no three month gap in my salary because I defer some of each paycheck during those 40 weeks when I work until later, when I'm not working. It's just like putting it into a savings account for later, except that my employer keeps it for me and pays no interest. I do NOT get paid during summer for doing nothing (nor is it even remotely true that I do nothing during summer, but that's beside the point). I get paid during summer for work I did during the academic term BUT WAS NOT PAID FOR THEN.
So here's how you could make the academic calendar work for you, presuming your employer would go along, of course. First, take a 25% pay cut, because you're only going to be paid for 9 months or so instead of the full year you work now. But if you want to lessen the pain, you can still defer some of your (lower) pay during the months when you work and let your employer hold onto it for you, interest free, of course, until the weeks when you are effectively laid off so that you won't have any paycheck gaps. And you get to keep your benefits during those lay offs, too.
Franky, I love the academic calendar-- it's one of the primary reasons I've stayed in academia. Most of us don't get into this work for the money, which is sufficient for my needs but not for many folks'. But the academic calendar, which gives me two and a half months free in summer and a couple of weeks free in winter is truly a wonderful thing. Everyone should work this way, I think. But there are costs, and one of them is that we do not earn any pay during those months when school is not in session.
on edit-- Assuming you've read this far-- sorry for the long winded reply-- I wanted to address your question about whether I'm employed or unemployed during summer. The answer is that things are not quite so black and white. I am on what we call a "nine-month contract" in academic hiring, which means that I AM employed during summer, but the state is only obligated to provide me with work-- and pay-- for nine months each year. It's kind of like being BETWEEN employed and unemployed. The benefit is, well, the benefits. Since I'm still employed, I get to keep my insurance, etc during summer. But the university provides no work during summer and therefore I earn no pay.
The state recognizes this-- my contract states that I have the right to perform outside work amounting to the time commitment necessary to earn no more than 25% of my annual salary, i.e. I can do outside work for no more than roughly three months annually-- precisely the size of the hole in my regular earnings. For that purpose the state treats my summers "off" exactly like a temporary layoff, so that's the sense in which it's like being unemployed. That and not having to show up at the office, of course.
And until I earned tenure, I did indeed have to "reapply" for my job at the end of each academic year, although that was automatic and I didn't have to actually do anything unless I chose not to reapply. But until I earned tenure, I underwent annual performance reviews and was offered a continuation of my nine month contract each August, at my employer's discretion.
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Replies to this discussion thread
|liberal N proud||Mar 2012||#11|
|Starry Messenger||Mar 2012||#24|
|Starry Messenger||Mar 2012||#30|
|Starry Messenger||Mar 2012||#53|
I don't know why you find this so hard to understand....
|Reader Rabbit||Mar 2012||#38|
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