Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yes, this is a RANT...

For los amigos who are reading this--please accept my apologies in advance.

I really don't want to treat this blog--and you--as a dumping ground for my frustration.

So...instead, view the following rant as a way for you to be aware and 'enlightened' about idiotic bureaucracy and the dangers thereof. I sent a copy of more or less the same content as a 'letter to the editor' to one of the Tucson will likely not be published, so I am 'self-publishing' here...

(An acronymous explanation: TUSD stands for Tucson Unified School District, one of the state's largest employers, by the way.)


TUSD's Human Resources Dept. evidently does not consider verifying potential (and current) employees' past work experience as being part of its job.
As a result, experienced teachers end up not being paid what they were told they would be when hired. Let me explain.

I am a teacher with a graduate degree and have been teaching since 1998.
I just moved to Tucson from out of state.
I was offered my current job back in the spring.
When I got my first local paycheck recently, it seemed (surprise) even smaller than I thought it would be.
Yes, I knew moving here would involve a paycut.
But I didn't think that TUSD would, as a 'welcome gesture', pay me on the 'STEP 1' of its salary schedule.
That means that right now, I am being paid as if I have zero teaching experience.
This is thousands of dollars less than I was offered.

When I asked about this, a Human Resources employee said:
"Well, someone should have told you when you were hired that until we receive verification from your prior employers you will be paid accotrding to Step 1 on the salary schedule."
In all due respect, I replied:
"Isn't that the job of the Human Resources dept.? I mean, I was hired back in the spring--in between then and now, no one has verified my work experience?"

The reply from HR was "do you realize how many employees we have?"
In other words, 'we don't have time to do that; we couldn't be bothered.'
So--TUSD does not consider that verifying prior work experience from its potential employees as being part of its job.
Instead, they hand new teachers paperwork that we have to send to our prior workplaces, who surely have nothing else to do than fill out paperwork for people who no longer work for them?!
Until that paperwork is returned to TUSD, TUSD does not pay its teachers what those teachers had been told would be their salary.

The previous district where I worked had a HR department that did consider it part of its job to verify its employees' past work histories. Imagine that.

How many 'professional' organizations out there have HR departments that don't bother to verify their potential employees' past work experience?
This is a needless disservice to TUSD's current teachers, and a potential danger to TUSD's students, wouldn't you think?
In the meanwhile, teachers who are new to the district are treated as if their past experience doesn't exist, and this hits home in a very real financial way.
What a 'professional' policy...'Welcome to TUSD,' indeed.


  1. Wow! Seriously? That is ridiculous from so many different angles. I hope they publish your letter.

    Don't let the man bring you down! :)

  2. Hang in there !!! bureaucratic ridiculousness is meant only to discourage you... and that's not part of the plan. :-D Hugs to both of you.