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Summer Camp Cancelled! What now?

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Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:19 pm    Post subject: Summer Camp Cancelled! What now? Reply with quote

So I was just told by my CT that our school decided to scrap the whole summer camp program. That means there is no programs (every program including english), students do not come to school but stay home. No teachers come, except a couple of the admin office workers will be in. I was still asked to possibly come in and do some "other" work they will find for me (one suggestion was for me to phone call the students to practice english conversation).

The reason why summer camp was cancelled was apparently due to safety concerns as our school is undergoing replacements of all air conditioners in every classroom AND they will be remodelling the windows of the building.

Now I became quite upset upon hearing this. Here's why. I asked specifically for more details because my CT doesn't explain things quite well. He said apparently the construction project was something handed down directly from the Prov. of Edu., meaning, they had planned this maintenance months in advance and this MUST be done. The school doesn't decide if they want to change air conditioners or get new windows. But apparently my school was given the option by the Prov. of Edu on whether or not they should continue with summer camp or shut it all down. WHAT? So I don't think this maintenance is as dangerous or big a deal as it is being made out to be. If it were, wouldn't the order come down directly from the Prov. of Edu to shut down summer camp due to safety hazard? They obviously didn't think so which is why they gave our school the choice. So my school decides to shut down the summer program. Why do they ask me then to still come in? If it's too dangerous or a safety hazard for the students so much so that they had to shut down summer camp, then isn't it dangerous and a health hazard for me also? I don't know exactly what procedure they are going to do but I have pretty bad nasal/sinus allergies and if there's going to be a lot of dust, it will be very bad for me to be at school while they do construction.

Im my opinion, based on all the maintenances I've seen done at my school over the years, nothing has been that major. In fact, the biggest construction job was when all the walls were torn down and new walls were put up for each classroom along with new floors and doors and YET we didn't cancel summer camp that year. I remember massive piles of broken concrete blocks and slabs laying all around the hallways of our school, with metal wires sticking out, plastic laying around everywhere and dust everywhere and yet kids still came out to school and we still had summer camp no problem....there were no injuries or anything like that. And now this time it sounds like a simpler job of replacing air conditioners and replacing windows, yet they cancel the summer program out of safety concerns???? That doesn't make any sense. What are the other teachers that would have normally had to come out for summer camp doing now? They don't have to come in anymore so are they getting time off? Why am I being asked to still come? This is a special exception or case that doesn't happen often. I've never heard of a summer or winter camp being completely shutdown before except for that one year when we had a serious case of foot and mouth disease spreading around and they quarantined everyone for 2 weeks (so we all stayed home). I didn't have to use paid vacation for that.

In this case, I believe it's the same thing. If they cancel summer program due to this project, then shouldn't I be allowed also to stay at home and NOT have to use up my paid vacation holidays for this? It wasn't my request or my doing to just stay at home and get paid for that. It was the schools decision to shut it down (when really I don't think they needed to do that). I have already planned to use my paid vacation in the winter time to fly back home and visit. But it seems like I may have to use my paid vacation now in the summer (short notice, tough to get plane tickets or really expensive now), on account for something THEY did not me. I don't think that is right. I don't think that is also fair. I wanted to work in summer. Summer camps are my favorite time of the year. I was looking forward to it. So it's not like I wanted to avoid it somehow and I'm trying to find a way out while still getting paid. That's not it. They cancelled the program, so therefore that should be a special exception that includes me also to be able to just stay home and spend my summer camp that way since there is no classes and no students and nothing to do anyways. I shouldn't have to use my paid vacation on this occasion when there's no classes anyways.

Have any of you had an entire camp cancelled or shut down on you? What did you do then? Did they still make you come to school for 4 weeks and just sit at your desk? Did you have to use your vacation time? Or did they give you some other work to do?

The biggest issue for me is that there is apparently a safety concern/hazard, which is why they decided to cancel summer program. I don't want to be at school then if that is the case. If it's a danger for the students, it's also a danger for me. Therefore, I don't think I should have to go to school if they are sending everyone else home (including other teachers) but not me? I want the time off but not using any of my paid vacation. This is not a vacation for me. This is my summer camp that has been cancelled by the school's discretion, therefore I should spend my summer camp at home (free time).
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Joined: 21 May 2005
Location: Boo-sahn

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to epik, gepik, whateverik, pretty sure it comes down to what's allowed in the YEARLY contract. Talk to your principal. They AREN'T going to give you two more wks just because, these days. Put a japan rising sun headband on to protest in front of the school? You get X days for vacation. Make sure they honour that at least. If admin is asking why you're sitting at the stairs, tell them about your fears/allergies. In MY mind, you're ON school grounds, and doing your job. Is the camp extra money an issue, or was it never extra money?
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Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love summer camps, I want to work summer camp, I don't want a holiday. Every year I always tell my school not to give me a holiday during summer because I want to work the whole summer camp and use my vacation in the winter. So I'm definitely not trying to come up with an excuse to just get extra free paid days off.

What I'm contesting is the fact that my school cancelled the summer program on the basis of safety/health concerns due to the renovation/construction. As a result, I don't think I should be there then. If it's not safe for students that you had to cancel the whole summer program, then it's also not safe for me.

The ruling gets a little complicated. After contacting some people in the Office of Education, I was told something like this: If there is construction happening at the school that involves asbestos, then the Principal of the school has full power and discretion to give me as many special paid-leave/days off (unlimited) without me using any of my 20 paid vacation days. But since this renovation does not involve any asbestos, I was told the Principal at his/her discretion can offer me 4 paid days off separate from my 20 days paid vacation.

My problem with this is that it still doesn't make any sense. If it's a health hazard to be at school that the entire summer program was cancelled, what good is 4 days off? I'd still have to be back for the next 15-20 days at school with no program or classes or students but simply because they want to record my attendance as present? This doesn't sound consistent or responsible at all.

If my school cancelled the summer program NOT due to safety/health concerns but just simply because they wanted to give kids the summer off but teachers still have to come in and deskwarm or do whatever, I'd have ZERO problems with that. I will say, "Yes SIR/MA'AM!"

But my school cancelled the summer program CITING safety/health concerns so to ask me to come in just doesn't sound right!

My next logical step is to take this to the labor board. I already submitted my case to them and I'm only doing this to exercise my options and see what the outcome will be. If the Labor Board rules in favor of my school, then I will simply use my 20 days paid vacation time during the summer, so no matter what, I still won't come into school during this renovation/construction phase. So I don't get what is the big deal why they can't allow me to stay at home like everyone else is due to safety/health concerns. It's not like anyone is going to lose money or make extra money. Whether I'm at school doing nothing because there is no program, I'm still getting paid my full salary. If I'm safe at home, I'm still getting paid my full salary. Nothing is being affected or changed. I feel that it's now just turned into a "I'm right, you're wrong" battle and they just want to tell me that's their policy and there's nothing that can be done about it. I can't accept that. So that is why I am trying every option possible and of course, last resort, I will still not come in because I'll be forced to use my 20 days paid vacation time. I was actually saving it for the winter so that I could fly back home and visit family, but in this rare exceptional case, I'm pretty much being forced to use my paid vacation now in the summer not because of anything wrong that I did, but the school decided to cancel the summer program citing safety reasons.
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Joined: 21 May 2005
Location: Boo-sahn

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe there is more involved, insurance-wise? I dunno.

I only worked for a middle school one year, and remember I had to be there when only one other teacher was there. They have to come in if they're slated to. They have a longer 'vacation' than we do. but have other crap expected of them. Granted, I had already done a camp, and there were no 'potentially hazardous' renovations occurring at the school at that time, so my situation was far different than your current one.

I think they should've informed you a bit earlier, but I'm not surprised they didn't. I recommend that you get a good dust mask, and request a room far away from the construction. Having said that, it could be a huge team doing the work and getting it done quickly, whick will mean it's gonna be noisy and hectic.

I don't get home that often these days, so I wouldn't cancel my winter vacation over the cancellation of a summer camp. I'd put in some earplugs and go into work and read or do photocopying for next semester, or something similar.

If it's easier being said than done, apologies. Hope things work out well for you!
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Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the respectful and mature response.
I've so far been exploring many options for learning purposes
and potential that I might be able to get what I want in this rare/exceptional case.

If all options fail, then the last resort will not fail and that is to use my
paid vacation time. One way or another, I won't be coming into school
this summer. In my mind, it was shutdown by our school's decision based on
safety/health reasons, therefore, I don't believe I should have to come in.

It's really too bad, but at least I can use my paid vacation to get out of this. There's a good chance they might actually do asbestos work in the winter time so then I won't have to come in to school and no paid vacation days are required to not come in. It would fall under another category (not in our contracts) that under asbestos work, the school can give us unlimited paid-leave.
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