Friday, May 7, 2010

Voskne-fravær... Grown-up's absences

Det er en samtale imellem mig og min kollega som gik på barsel i sidste uge...
This is a conversation between myself and my colleague, on her last day at work before going on maternity leave last week....

Kelli:
Er du meget spændt at i dag er din sidste dag?
Aren't you just so excited that today is your last day?

M:
JA! Selvfølgelig. Jeg har så meget at gøre før babyet ankommer!
Oh yes! Of course! I still have so much to do before the baby gets here!

Kelli:
Hvor lang tid har du tilbage?
How much longer do you have left?

M:
6 uger... / 6 weeks...

Kelli:
LOL! 6 uger er det hele barseltid til lærer i Texas!
LOL! 6 weeks is the full maternity leave time for teachers in Texas!

M:
HVAD?!!! Det må være din spøg!
WHAT?!! You've got to be kidding!

Kelli:
Nej. Lærer får 6 uger barsel. Og du tjener løn i de 6 uger... KUN hvis du har sparret op "sygedage" før du får babyen. Hvis du har ikke 30 sygedage sparret op, er du på barsel men du tjener ikke penge.

Nope. Teachers get 6 weeks maternity leave. And you can only earn your paycheck during those 6 weeks if you have have SAVED UP sick days before you have the baby. If you have don't have 30 sick days in the "pot", you can go on maternity leave, but without pay.

M:
HVAD?!!! Det må være din spøg!
WHAT?!! You've got to be kidding!

Kelli:
Nej! Og efter du har babyen, bruger du alle 30 dage så du får ikke flere sygedage til det næste skoleår!
Nope! And after you have the baby, you use up all 30 days, so if that was all you had, you have no more sick days until next school year!

M:
Men hvar sker hvis du (eller barnet) bliver syg lidt senere??
But what happens if you (or the baby) gets sick later on ??

Kelli:
Du tager en sygdag men du "mister penge" undtagen du har flere dage sparrede op. Du får TI dage hvert år.
Well of course you can take a sick day, but you lose your salary on that day unless you have days saved up. You get TEN days a year.

M:
TI DAGE? Det må være din spøg!
TEN DAYS? You've GOT to be kidding?!

Kelli (så jeg griner lidt... /laughing a little....)
Nej. Det er systemet. Det er ikke en spøg! Det lyder mærkeligt fra det danske perspektiv hvor du kan blive syg flere end 100 dage om året og du mister ikke penge....

Nope. That is the system. I am not kidding! I know it sounds a little strange from the Danish perspective where a person can actually be sick more than 100 days in the year before it ever affects your salary....

M:
Vent. Hvor går babyerne hvis mødrene går tilbage på arbejde efter kun 6 uger?
Wait! Where do the babies go if the moms have to go back to work after only 6 weeks?

Kelli:
Vuggestue!
Day care!

M:
Vuggestue tager babyer som er kun 6 uger gamle? Åh gud!
Daycares take babies at the age of 6 weeks? Oh my god!

Kelli:
Velkommen til min verden...
Welcome to my world....

Jeg møder ofte mennesker i Danmark som er CHOKERET om systemet vi har i Texas (og i USA) vedr. sygedage og barseltid. De kan ikke tro at jeg fortæller sandheden! 6 uger på barsel... 10 sygedage om året... Hvad sker hvis dit barn har influenza eller du har kirugi? Og jeg svarer, "Du mister ikke dit job...men hvis du har ikke sparret op dage, mister du din løn." Så de spørger mere..."Hvordan kan du betaler din budget hver måned hvis du mister penge hver gange du er syg?" Og jeg svarer, "LIGE PRÆCIS.... Det er et godt spørgsmål...med et dårligt svar."

I often meet people in Denmark who are completely SHOCKED about the system in Texas (and the US) regarding sickleave and maternity leave. They cannot believe that I am telling the truth! 6 weeks for maternity leave....10 days sick leave each year.... So, they ask me questions like, "what happens if your kid gets the flu or you have to have surgery?" And I assure them that you do not lose your job, but if you have not saved up sick days, you do have your salary docked for each day you are gone." So they ask more..."How do people pay their bills each month if they are losing their salary because they are out sick?" And I answer..."EXACTLY.... that is a very good question with a very bad answer..."

Jeg ved hvad man tænker om og vil spørge mig--- "Så hvor mange dage er lærer syg på din skole i Herning?!"
I know what you are all thinking and what you want to ask me next--- "So exactly how many sick days do the teachers at your school in Herning take?!"

Selvfølgelig er jeg sikker på at vi har mennesker som "bruger" systemet i Danmark...(i den samme måde mennesker "bruger" systemet i andre lande...) men jeg kan siger at det sker ikke på vores skole. Vi har FÅ lektioner som bliver "aflyst" pga "syg lære" (Vi kan se alle lærer undervisningskema i Lectio)... Så selv om vi har en meget "åbent system" for fravær, har vi medarbejder som har den danske filosofi-- "Frihed under ansvar". Efter min mening fortjener lærer i USA et system ligesom dette....

Of course I am certain that there are people in DK abusing the system... just like in any country! But I can that it does not happen at my school. We have SO FEW lessons that are canceled due to "teacher illness" (no, we don't get subs...) and I know that because you can see everyone's teaching schedule in our electronic scheduler (LECTIO). So although we do have a pretty free/open system regarding absences, we have employees who practice the Danish philosophy of "Frihed under ansvar"-- which translates directly to "freedom with responsibility". In my opinion, teachers in the US deserve a system like this....

3 comments:

nettielouise said...

Sounds too good to be true! It's so interesting how things work so differently in different countries.

Amy said...

Same system here Kelli and people give me the same response when I tell them that you don't get paid on sick leave over there and how babies have to go into daycare so early- they are shocked and it's truly sad.

But I DO see people abusing the system here and I unfortunately think the same would happen in America, that people would abuse a system where you got paid for being at home if you were sick. In Norway you're allowed so many days a year to call in sick on your own, without a doctor and then doctors here are so easy to get sick leave from if you really try. Parents are given I think it's like 20 days or something per child to take off with pay if they get sick in a year but that is only up to age 12.
I was a daycare mamma in America and watched a little girl who was 3 months old, she was with me from 7AM until about 5PM...at that young age, you can imagine she went home, had dinner and a bath and went to bed around 7PM, so I was with her more then her own mother....horrible really (not me..but that she had to be away from her mom at such a young age)

LadyFi said...

Same system here. We get paid to stay at home with a sick kid until they are 12. Parental leave is somewhere in the region of 360 days or so. Plus fathers get 10 days once the child has been born or adopted.