I probably shouldn’t write this post, as I’m sure it will get back to people eventually, but I’m still going to write about it because… well, because I want to have a chance to have my say. I’ve been a union representative at my school for the last two years. I stepped into the position by default more than anything else – the previous rep was no longer interested in doing it, and I was the only other person who had any interest in the job. Fine.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the role, and I think I’ve done a very good job int he role, too. In my time, I’ve become the secretary for the local branch, as well as holding regular chapter meetings. I’ve ensured staff have attended lots of opportunities for professional development, and I’ve followed up industrial issues thoroughly and appropriately.
However, recently I also became a member of the school executive. A junior member, to be sure, but still sitting on there. However, this caused a little bit of consternation: despite any member of staff (with the single exception of the principal) being able to be the union rep, I had a teacher at the school come and see me to tell me that I should resign because I was conflicted. I asked this person to explain what he meant, but he failed to get beyond, ‘I don’t think it’s right.’
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with people calling for an election for the rep position. It does annoy me that people suddenly feel the need to do this, but they have every right to do it. What I cannot stand is the insinuation that I am not up to the job, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In addition to that, the idea that the whole thing can be sorted out in the kind of sickening back room deals really annoyed me. I know it’s childish, but I’m not intending to simply resign because some one had a ‘quiet word’ with me. Basically, come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.
And then, when it all gets too much and you can’t do the job, perhaps you’ll reconsider the wisdom of annoying me.