Demeaning Designation

From 2003 until late 2016 I worked in a University. Initially my work was enjoyable and I, along with the majority of my colleagues, felt valued by the organisation. Any employment related issues I may have had, were dealt with professionally and courteously by the Personnel Department (PD) and whilst not perfect,  employees working in the PD treated staff with dignity and understanding.

Unfortunately, that all changed when the Personnel Department changed its name to the ‘Human Resources’ Department and in so doing, got rid of the incumbent personnel director. Overnight, staff went from being valuable members of the university to nothing more than walking, talking disposable objects that could be used and abused at whim. Permanent contracts were no more, being replaced for a considerable number of staff with ‘Zero-Hour’ or, as the University preferred, ‘flexible working’ contracts. Flexible working contracts, just another name for the same, demeaning  form of employment where staff have very few rights and considerable responsibilities.

Since that time, I have undertaken a further course of study to become a secondary school teacher. However, rather than submit to all the superfluous nonsense that prevails in many walks of life, I have chosen to do ‘supply work’. This means I go into a school, teach and then leave. Yes, you could say there’s no commitment, but you would be wrong. I think most teachers teach to make a difference to the lives of the young people temporarily in their charge. I do.

The initial price one pays doing supply, is one where the pupils think they can run rings around you. This is easily overcome and  having done so, the real teaching can begin. I find it extremely rewarding (and I don’t mean financially!).