I love my job. When was the last time I said that? I think it was about 25 years ago when I worked for London Regional Transport as they were then. But this job, wow. Why did I not go to special school before, it’s so much fun. Not like mainstream at all. There is, in fact, nothing in common with it at all. Maybe that’s why I love it. When I handed my resignation in my head teacher was stunned.
“Why do you want to leave?” she asked
“Are you kidding?” I wanted to say, “When you treat us all like shit??”
Of course I didn’t say this. I made some asinine comment about new challenges.
Two months in, I have learned a lot. These children are amazing and I love them all, even the ones that are quite difficult to love. The school is so well run and everything is fro the children. I know that sounds strange in a school but trust me a lot of them are run for the parents. This one, this is for the children. Christmas was wonderful there and I loved it. Nothing at all to upset me. Nothing that is, until I offered to help the union steward out. I had been a steward at my other school for two years and thought I could support her. I was somewhat surprised when she said she didn’t want the job and did I want to do it. Um yes! I canvassed the staff to see if anyone else wanted it but Quelle surprise, no-one did.
Out of politeness I informed the head teacher of this change of steward ship. She was less than impressed. I noticed a positive coolness descend between us.
“We don’t need a steward here” she remarked “work relations are fine”
“The union is not only for work relations” I began “surely you must realised working with children it’s a must to belong to a union”
She understood all right. It’s not if but when you are accused of something unsavoury. Sad but true. She smiled through gritted teeth but I knew everything I did would be an uphill struggle
And so it came to pass that I was required to attend the Women’s Unison conference in Brighton in February. I say required, I wanted to go very much. As luck would have it, it’s the week before halt term. A week later and it would have been no problem. I filled in the form for the time off. A big no was the reply. Two days, I wanted two days. No was the resounding reply.
I have got Branch involved, but basically she does not have to give me the time. I was even willing to do it unpaid but no. Crumbs! she must really hate the union. One tiny worry is that I am still on probation. I get the impression that she would like me to fail. I must watch my step