Image from europeisnotdead.com
If you love tales of won battles. If you relish learning that despite multiple stumbling blocks, one came out victorious, then this is a story for you.
On the 6th of August I was unfairly excluded from the possibility of obtaining a teaching post in my home province on the basis that I am British and that the UK is no longer a member of the EU. From this day onwards, my family and I have literally lived a nightmare as not only am I a permanent resident, having all the qualifications from Spanish universities and years of teaching experience, but nobody, not even the labour unions, were willing to defend my rights. – It’s pretty ironical to see that one of these unions celebrates equality and the right to work on their website however, it seems that this does not apply to British citizens that hold a legal resident status and have settled on the island. How two-faced can you get!
But if I could hand out an award, for the worst possible blunder of all, it would, without any doubt go to the Consellería d’Educació. This organisation, misinterpreted an official document and twisted language to their own convenience, and even blamed a BOE for my exclusion, the result being that on the 6th of August they launched a resolution that made no sense whatsoever as belonging to the teachers’ list is NOT a ‘PROCÉS SELECTIU’. This brings me to my most sincere apologies to the Government of Spain for taking it out on them as they had absolutely nothing to do with this problem.
A person from the Conselleria, told me that the facts of: being a legal resident, in a stable relationship with a Spanish guy, mother to two Spanish boys, and having worked as a teacher was quite irrelevant. I was British and that was the end of that! He even went so far as to say that this situation would remain the same until Boris Johnson signed an agreement with Spain, recognising Spanish workers’ rights in the UK. I mean, I’ve always been against the whole Brexit idea, and Boris Johnson is definitely not my cup of tea, but what’s this got to do with me? What could I do? Grab a loudhailer and celebrate a very English tea party in Plaza España? Really and truly! Mr X …., I chose to live and settle in this country and will not put up with somebody stripping me of basic rights, pointing an accusing finger and expecting me to take the blame for every single mess the Brits make, will make or made in the past. ( I got over the stage of whipping myself for being British when I studied the history of the British people way back when I took my five-year degree in English philology). So this brings me to the next extra point the Consellería would get in the award for Complete Blunder, which spelt in capital letters would read PREJUDICE or/and DISCRIMINATION.
And finally, I’d like to mention the point the Conselleria would get for “assistance”. Well, we all know that Spain is famous for its red tape system and I never expected the Conselleria to adopt a bosom-friend policy with me, but not even responding a complaint is going a little too far. What do these people do all day? They must be so busy if they cannot even, after four months find the time to answer a complaint, especially one as decisive as not being able to continue working. Honestly, am I asking for too much? Am I being difficult and picky of maybe even, very British?
So adding up all the points awarded to the Consellería so far, we get : 1st for misinterpretation of an official document. 1st for using language to justify an unfair resolution. 1st for prejudice. 1st for neglecting assistance. Now that’s a whole lot of points! Could I add anymore? Yes, certainly.
Fortunately for me and my ‘paisanos’, The European Commission came to the rescue and clearly spelt out what arduous negotiations had established as laws, not only for Brits in Europe, but also for Europeans in the UK. (I may consider sending the document to the two labour unions, so as to avoid any other person having to grapple through darkness for months and months). The result is that we are back on the list and in the future, will be eligible candidates for teaching posts. This may not be the liking of some of my colleagues (the ones that started this whole business in the first place), that consider that Brits should not be allowed to work, but if we are to be just and to find ourselves in a position of claiming reciprocity, we have to accept it.
I now find myself in a situation where I can only possibly get a post for covering a sickness leave, when I should have actually been working since September, But don’t get me wrong, after almost five months of anxiety, stress, sleepless nights and worry, I finally see the light and my mind will find some peace. Whatever may happen from now on will probably be the cause behind another very boring post on this blog. Which finally brings me to an apology for rambling on, but I just had to get it out. I have the pestering habit of expressing my concerns and feelings towards unfair situations and contrary to what many perceive as a problem, I’m not afraid of doing so, even when the thing or person that is in the wrong, is an organisation in power. What’s more, I strongly believe that this is a necessary practice if we wish to keep a healthy democratic system.
3 thoughts on “A tale of a battle won”
I just try to have always a “B plan”, in case, regarding laboral possibilities.
Thank you!!!! I absolutely love the idea of being ‘the best teacher’ although there are some amazing ones that we can all learn a lot from. It’s true I stuck up for my students, but it wasn’t the reason why I left/resigned as there were professors from Madrid that agreed that I had a point. The reason is that I chose not to continue the following year due to the work conditions. Teaching the subjects I had at the UNED was a very enjoyable experience indeed, but I ended up having to pick between doing something I loved, but that could not guarantee any finantial stability, or doing something less challenging, but that would allow me to make ends meet. It was a hard decision, but I never regretted it, as I also gained some more free time for other studies and interests. Who knows, maybe some day, I’ll pick up where I left…
Concerning “this atmosphere”, I reckon we have a lot to blame for this. We should learn how to stand up for our rights and at the same time, also learn to respect others. We should learn how to complain without calling people names and learn how to change things without inflicting pain on other people during the process. We obviously don’t have this habit in Spain and when people do protest, it is very common to see this done in a violent way. Which I don’t think is right. I think it’s pretty urgent that we should take up this activity, in a healthy way as there is a lot at stake. Well that’s what I think anyway. What do you think? Do you think we could do anything to change the atmosphere?
Many happy Christmas Greetings!!!!!
Congratulations, Serena! Precisely Today I was talking about you to a friend that is teacher too: “The best teacher that I had in the UNED was out due to her defense of the students and now is out too due to the Brexit! I don’t like this atmosphere!”