Thursday, 18 January 2007

A good news/bad news post

First the bad news. Turns out we've all been misinterpreting an extremely unclear clause in the collective agreement. Recall that I was expecting an 'extra' credit towards my sabbatical following the rejection of my current request. Apparently, the relevant clause 'is intended to be understood' that there is no penalty for requesting a leave that is rejected. That is, it is spelled out in the collective agreement, supposedly, that rather than rejecting my leave *and* not crediting me with the full time year that would therefore ensue, I get full credit for the year. Which I would have gotten anyway, had I not requested a leave. Apparently, somewhere out there, there is an intepretation of 'requesting a sabbatical' that constitutes 'signing away a year of work credit should you be required to work the year anyway'.

Boggle.

So the relevant clause in the contract states:

"In the event that a Member applies for a research/study leave but it is not granted because of the application of s. 21.4.4.2 [which provides that a reason to reject a proposed leave is that it cannot be arranged "within the priorities of the department/faculty/school/libraries."], that Member's application shall receive prior consideration on the next application. In such circumstances:

(i) a faculty member/instructor shall also receive a credit in the case of denial of a full leave and a half credit in the case of a half leave. No more than one (1) creidt, or half credit may be received by a faculty member/instructor in respect of applications for leave proposed to be taken during any one (1) academic year.

[sub-clause (ii) provides appropriate credit for librarians, whose credits are calculated differently than faculty]"

Now what, if anything is (i) above there for? If I'm supposed to get a leave, and don't, wouldn't you think the default assumption is that I would receive credit for work I did instead of going on leave, just as I would have had I not asked for a leave in the first place?

The following clause in the contract requires written reasons for denial of a research/study leave. Mine indicates that:

"The leave cannot be arranged within the priorities of the Department/Faculty/School/Library. In accordance with section 21.4.5 of the Collective Agreement [quoted above], your next application shall receive prior consideration, and you will accrue credit pursuant to the denial of your application rather than pursuant to 21.3.1. Accordingly, you are hereby granted ... one credit in the case of a denial of a full leave."

So the critical thing is interpreting clause 21.3.1, which basically lays out the plan for accruing credit, which amounts to a one-half credit for every half-year of full time service, where "service" is usual teaching/research/etc. work, rather than being on leave. That is, if you're on some kind of leave, you don't get credit, even though technically you are a full time employee. Which is how it works unless you fall under the scope of some other clause.

Which, having had a rejected leave, I do. So my clause specifes that I get a full credit for a full year of full time service (or a half-credit for a half-year of service) that I perform following the rejection of my proposal.

So the effect of these two clauses is that my credits are calculated one way, unless they're calculated another. Except the two ways to calculated credits are the same.

Boggle.

So it's not that I get a half-credit for each of my two-half years of service because I will provide two half-years of service rather than go on leave. It's that having had my full-year of leave rejected, I get a full credit for the ensuing full year of service.

Boggle.

The good news is that I'm a happy camper tonight. I'm on the verge of getting two reviews, a dissertation, and some other paperwork off my desk, I've had a great yoga class after almost a month without, and last night I saw the Rocky Horror Show at the Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Rollicking good time. The Narrator bits were done on film and projected onto bits of set. There were a couple of gags involving a digital camera on stage getting projected as well. The cast were belters with amazing voices. But the best part of all were the chorus (or 'phantoms'). There were only four of them, but they sang, danced, hauled set around, and all the great stuff chori (?) do, except they did it with attitude.

By which I mean each stayed in character. My favo(u)rite was the smaller guy, mostly because I got to see his shtick in the house before curtain. The phantoms were sent out as ushers, lurching around the aisles, sneaking up behind oblivious patrons, groaning and shrieking, and generally playing. The smaller guy had this great stiff-armed, hands-clasped posture, a great twitch, and a truly inhuman shriek/gasp noise. When walking, he plodded. When running, he went all ape, legs akimbo, arms waving. The taller guy (who understudied Frank and Riff, and let me just say the first thing I thought you did was find physically similar actors to understudy your leads, but these three were physically very different) had this great drag-queeny, toe-first kind of gait. Which worked great in heels. The two women were scary. One spent the whole night pigeon-toed and knock-kneed. Try standing for a few minutes like that, let alone dancing, singing, and hauling set around for two hours. The other woman did the whole show with her upper back hunched over at a funny angle.

So even during Brad's song (Brad has a song in the second act I'd never heard of before), there they were upstage, hunched, knock-kneed, twitching, even while in full-on Pip mode singing backup and dancing. It was hysterical. I couldn't take my eyes off them for most of the night.

Which is saying something when a huge, shaven-headed man in a corset and fishnets is being projected three stories high on the back wall.

"Rose tints my world/keeps me safe from my trouble and pain."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doesn't all that contract language make your head want to explode?!?