OK, so the meeting with Jim, didn’t go quite according to plan, but since then, we’ve moved onto a different and thinking about it much more positive track.
Jim is a manager, and as such has a great skill for talking for quite a long time without conveying much information, so after about ten minutes it became clear that it would be fine for me to go part time, he went on about .6 and .4 and not being able to replace skills directly, but the gist was yes we can do it.
Ruth however, was a different story, before Ruth went on maternity leave, she was CWIS Team Leader although he contract was Senior Computing officer (this is information we will need later on). Jim has consulted and the ‘management’ of the department have concluded that the job of CWIS team leader cannot be forfilled adequately part time, now without going to deep into that, we thing that’s wrong. However given that this is the ‘management’ view it’s probably not going to change (they rarely do), so we are look at the alternatives.
Jim’s alternative, involves offering Ruth a technical job inside another part of the department, such as (and almost certainly as this is where the land grab is at the moment) Corporate Applications. Now this is pap, because that means Ruth will lose her management roll, and end up working below other people who by pure quirks of fate have slightly differing contracts.
So we’ve been away, and we’ve thought about this, and well to be honest it’s not good enough, and after some more thought, we’ve decided it’s not worth fighting over, so Ruth isn’t going back to work!
Now this is quite a departure, although it was always there as a plan b, Ruth will quit work, and I will stay on full time, money is tight but OK. Ruth will be free to follow other career paths (not right away, daisy is more than a full time job), and I don’t have the worst job in the world what with 35 days holiday, and flexible working hours.
We haven’t told Jim this yet, but he’s lost a key member of staff, though his own inaction, and lack of commitment really. To offer a team leader a dumbed down technical post, somewhere way away from there current team, is a bit weak in terms of employee offers.
The next step for us is going to be the exit strategy. Technically Ruth has to return to work for at least 13 Weeks. Otherwise we have to repay money, but she is owed 8 weeks leave (don’t ask), and will accrue a further 2 weeks, during those three months, so she could end up working just 3 weeks! Given how farcical this seams, we are hoping for leeway here, but then again, knowing the university, We probably won’t get it. So, what might have to do, is have me take 4-5 weeks unpaid parental leave while Ruth forfills her contract, and then Ruth can leave work, and I can return.
As I’ve said we are looking at this in a positive light, Ruth isn’t a pure nerd, and hasn’t gone from IT student to IT Job, in the same sense as me, so it was never her intended Career, given how we’ve been surviving on the reduced budgets for some time now, this is the best opportunity she will get to step off the IT conveyor belt, and move into something that hopefully will make her happier, and more fulfilled, even if it pays less.