I am never very good when i feel this way. I had avery anxious weekend trying to figure out what i was going to do when my union contract expired, as it did Aug. 31. (They have been bargaining since March!) But i have it all figured out now.
I've been talking on this blog off and on about how I am somewhat disillusion about my job in unions. Mostly it has been with my own union. We have a great contract already.( If i listed all the benefits you would be amazed that someone like me, without a college degree, could have the perks and salary that i do. ) In a word, we can be pretty freaking greedy when we bargain. I always hate the drama of it.
So my union is talking strike because they could not reach agreement Aug. 31 and our contract expired and now we are working under an extension. The big issue is pension plan take-aways because our plan is underfunded. Management thankfully allowed those of us who are eligible to retire (like me) to submit a letter of intent so that we will be grandfathered to retire under the old pension plan. Yesterday they let us extent the date of our letter too. I have until Sept. 14 to make a decision.
My union continues to bargain. Today i was told it looks like we are headed for a strike.
I cannot in good conscience vote for a strike. I am not even certain in good economic times I would vote to strike, but certainly not now. On Saturday, on a lark, I applied online for a school job. And within within two days and working late (and with louielouie's help) I now have all of my paperwork in order, including four letters of recommendations, a cover letter, and a resume. I have done SOOO many resumes for friends, but not one for myself in 23 years. It's not easy to write your own resume. But i think it looks good.
I am applying for a job that is not much money, less hours, even more time off during the summer than i have. I would get to work around little kids. The District may not be interested because i am overqualified, but it's just the kind of job i want post retirement: not the major responsibility for the office, task orientated duties, face paced.
I suppose it's possible they also might not want someone from the union. I don't know how to let them know i am not a rebel rouser without throwing my employer under the bus and seeming to be disloyal.
There are 3 options and i have a plan for all of them now.
#1 If my union calls for a strike before Sept. 14 i will retire no matter what. I'll buy a Kindle (or an iPad), a sewing machine and join the YMCA again and take bowling lessons.)
#2. If the school calls me and wants to hire me, i will take this new job, regardless of what my union decides and will retire and collect my pension.
#3 If my union gets it done without a strike and the school doesn't call then I will work for one more year and retire in June instead.
I like scenario #3 the best because i may end up with getting to add vacation time to the pension if they get to keep it in this bargain. I wouldn't get it now cause i didn't expect this to happen and i took it all. Plus I like the people i work with and i don't want to have to desert them suddenly.
In the meantime my headquarters boss just called me today to go work a strike build-up of a different school district union -which is what our work is all about. Helping school employees. This assignment is about 2 hours away. I'll be put up in a hotel and gone about a week. This same boss wrote me a reference letter for the job and it was almost over the top. He's always liked me because when he wants to tap me for outside committee work i am always willing. The problem is that it may make it difficult to be in touch with the school district on the chance they do call me. I think i am going to have to get a cell phone!!!!! He did say i could leave as needed if i got an interview.
I have been excited since i made all these decisions on Monday. More so than i've been in a very long time. I realize i've been in a rut and allowing myself to stay where it's comfortable, even though i'm not loving it as much as i used to. It's never good to stay just because of money. So at least, no matter what happens I am going to get off my butt one way or another and June 1st is the longest i will be working there, no matter if i have something lined up or not.
I always feel so much better when i have a plan. I know this is long and rather boring and leaves the participatory stuff out, but then again not much is happening here anyway, and i wanted to put this down for the record so i can read this later a year from now and see where i am.