How to Understand Nothing about Your Job: Work for the Education Nationale

If I were to give this week a name in terms of work, I’d give it one of the following:

General Confusion Week

No Good News Comes without Bad News

How to Feel Like a Worthless (?) Immigrant

Take your pick, as you read the following details about two different things that happened this week.

1) I got a promotion. When you start out as a stagiare or as a titulaire in the Education Nationale, you can apply to have your former contracts taken into account to give you ancienneté (=senority). What with my years as a maître de langue, a lectrice, and an assistant, I had 3.5 years of ancienneté to ask for. Unfortunately, according to the list of what counts as ancienneté, none of this counted because I was American, and not French or other European. I decided to ask for it anyway, and sent off the request in January of 2012. I got an answer in November of 2012 (yes, ELEVEN MONTHS LATER) saying it was not possible to credit me those years because I wasn’t in the right categories. I contacted the union about doing a “recours hierarchique” but the union guy I wrote to just cited me the same rules, plus, it looked like it was too late to appeal. The appeal has to be done within two months, and what with my surgery, I only got around to thinking about it three months later.

So last week the CCMA (comité mixte académique and some other C word I don’t know) met with all the union representatives, and lo and behold, in my box on Wednesday morning I found two different notes saying I’d been bumped up to échelon 4 because of ancienneté (I was at échelon 3, where you typically stay for a few years). Don’t ask me why, or how, but it is wonderful, and I’ll get retroactively paid 48euros more per month since September 2012.

Edit July 2013: Turns out this ancienneté promotion is good for all teachers after their first stagiaire year, and was automatic for everyone at my status. So, still nothing for the three and a half years I worked for the EN before passing the CAPES.

2) I have to technically reapply for my job every year till I become French. I found this out yesterday after the rectorat asked me what the status of my new carte de séjour was. Of course, I’ll get my new carte de séjour probably in September, after getting a récépissé at my appointment on July 2nd, so, really, there was not much to say except that I’d asked for an appointment. I then got an e-mail asking me to apply for my own hours when the open positions are published this coming Monday. My boss has assured me that the hours are reserved for me, and that it’s just an administrative problem, but still, applying for my own job in case I don’t have a titre de séjour next year (the chances of that being zero, of course…) does make me feel like the bastard child of the system.

In short, the rectorat doesn’t like the fact that my carte de séjour is always valid only for a year, and there’s nothing I can do about that. I can only get a ten-year card starting in September 2014, which is also the month when I plan to drop off my naturalisation request. Does that mean I’ll only be applying for my job again next year, and after that this bulls*** will be over? I’m not counting on it.


5 thoughts on “How to Understand Nothing about Your Job: Work for the Education Nationale

  1. my brazilian friend (chair of our languages dept) says that France’s motto is “liberte, egalite, stupidite”.
    tee hee
    (but we know the US does this kind of crap too—surely, also Brazil—that movie about the little boy who gets a rattlesnake bite in the Amazon, what was that movie called? it was a famous art film about bureaucracy in Brazil)

  2. amal says:

    Hi, I was googling maitre de langue/lecteure and I came across your blog. I’m glad to see someone else has all the same difficulties I have (I was sans papiers for 6 months after a mistake at the prefecture!). I have a question: I am currently working as a lectrice, and my position expires next year; I want to continue as a Maitre de Langue, but apparently this isn’t possible after you’ve held the title of lectrice. Yet you say you’ve done both! How did you manage that?

    Thanks so much for your response 🙂

    • Hi Amal,
      Technically what I did is not “réglo.” I was a lectrice for one year at one school, and then came back and was a maître de langue at another school where they wanted to keep me for a second year. The fact that I’d already been a lectrice one year slid under the radar.

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