Over the last several months, I've noticed a new phenomena taking place with more and more frequency. Many classified staff have contacted me about the issue of working out of class and out of class pay. This has become a weekly occurrence, so I want to explore and clarify some things about this issue.
Of course, my first instinct is to let the individual know that they have a right to out of class pay as outlined in our collective bargaining agreement. However, this has also caused me to reflect on why so many people have approached me about this issue and I thought of several reasons. The first, and most obvious, reason could be that more staff have become aware of this right outlined in our contract. But there is also another underlying reason for so many people approaching me, as well as the executive board.
It seems out of class work is often assigned when there is either a lack of staff in a particular area or there is a volume of work that cannot be completed without out of class assignments. Both of these make me question the district's choice of asking for a reduction of staff during last year's negotiations. As we all lived through the 18 months of these negotiations and we heard from a large number of staff (and some faculty and administrators), it became more and more clear that indeed there is no lack of work, as well as a lot of work that qualifies for out of class compensation.
Several staff have told me that when they requested reclassification or out of class stipends for the work they have already performed, the response has either been “no,” or the specific out of class duties were taken away from them. In one instance, the employee had been doing the work for the past 10 years (approximately) without compensation. I advised that employee to file for out of class compensation for the period he/she performed the duties since he/she had done that work for so long and should be compensated.
The above example is one reason why we all need to know our contract better. If you feel you have worked out of class, please look at our contract and put in a request. This is not only your right but it illustrates that classified staff have no lack of work and are indeed often working above and beyond their regular assigned duties.
“Fairness is not about statistical equality.”
John Bercow, Speaker of the British House of Commons
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