I want to preface this by stating that I am very happy and very lucky to have a job in these economic times. I know some people out there who don't like to hear others complain about work, but I firmly believe it is an American right to bitch about your job, especially pay cuts.
We had a 9am meeting yesterday to chat about the rest of the semester and our work schedules. It was no surprise to us that the subject of overtime, or more specifically-how the various departments of our college were going to pay for our overtime-came up.
The simple answer is that they are just NOT going to do it! Due to budget crunches and (in my opinion) completely shitty time management within other departments, they have no money left to pay us. Since the college cannot cancel academic events, it falls upon US to deal with the situation.
It should be interesting to see what happens. I have heard talk about forcing us to take comp time. This would not be a problem for a "normal" 8-hour job, but we are here ALL THE TIME. I believe current HR policy is that you must use comp time within 30 days. What happens if you work every day? Another University policy is that they must pay you for comp time that you cannot take. What happens when the money runs out and you cannot take it??? I will NOT work for FREE. We predict another problem in the near future as well: time abuse, for lack of a better term. Say they make me take Monday off because I worked over 7.5 hours over the weekend. I come in Tuesday at 8:15am as normal to find out I am needed to cover a show that night. My rewards for that week would include:
1) working a 10-15 hour day and having to come back early the next day
2) not getting paid OT for said hours beyond my scheduled time
3) not being eligible for OT for the next week as well, policy dictates that you can't get compensational time or OT until you go over 40 hours for the week-if I am forced to take days off, I will never accumulate enough hours to get paid more
Even if we do get to accumulate time past the end of the month, when will we be able to use it? All three of us can't take the whole summer off, as cool as that would be.
Everyone here has heard the rumors that they are going to institute a new University-wide check-in policy by the end of the year. We all may soon have to slide our ID cards to prove we are here. I heard this was a massive backfire at a local hospital years ago; they thought everyone was cheating on their time when in actuality everyone was donating their own time because they cared. With everyone clocked in for every minute they worked, payroll costs soared the following year instead of going down!
I remember many, many wasted hours last year. After a performance is over, the performers are supposed to LEAVE the stage and go to the lobby so we can lock up. Instead, they stay on stage, invite their friends and parents up (which is against building policy) and mill around until they have nothing left to chat about. They don't think about the OT money they are wasting when this is going on. I remember a concert downstairs after which they held a reception for about two hours after the event. The guests used the orchestra chairs as seats, so I couldn't strike the equipment until they all left. If they would have had it 30 feet away (in the lobby) I could have been out and on my way home within 30 minutes. I have NO PROBLEM getting paid to hang out, but you aren't allowed to bitch when you get the bill for your own folly (my rule)!
The end result of this fiasco in the near future is:
-Any major house plans are on hold for the year. I will most likely only further insulate the kitchen with materials I have left from last year.
-That crate of spiders I was going to buy and breed in Steve's root cellar will have to wait.
-My tax return will most likely get spent somewhere I hadn't planned.
-The felines will not be happy that their hydroponic catnip farm on the back of my property is now only a dream.
I just hope this is a temporary solution. I can survive on my base salary, but OT makes the world go 'round. Morale is already crappy around work; I don't want to imagine what will happen when heads start butting (and they will).