At a recent Pasco County School Board meeting, Barbara Munz, a retired educator who spent 33 years in the district, took the opportunity to express her concern that morale is at an “all-time low” among Pasco teachers.
Munz, who said she retired just over a year ago, still maintains strong relationships with many of the educators she worked most of her life alongside.
Several employees contacted her recently because they have concerns about what is going on in the district office, she said.
“Morale is at an all-time low,” Munz said. “This troubles me greatly.”
Though part of the problems she came forward to address involve accusations of political coercion, which are now being investigated by the board, the issue of employee morale in general in the current economic climate is something that anyone, no matter where they work, can probably relate to in some way.
And regardless of the outcome of that particular investigation, the issue of morale is real, and acknowledged by the district.
There are very few people in public education anywhere that have a high morale right now, Pasco Schools spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said.
Teachers, administration and staff are being asked to do much more, with less than they have ever had, she said.
“When we’re asked to do more with less, that’s a problem,” Romagnoli said.
I would venture to guess that employees in nearly every industry are feeling the same pinch in the current economic climate. I can think of many people I know personally who are doing what three people used to do—before the other two were laid off—without a corresponding increase in pay. But is that something that everyone should just accept as a (hopefully) temporary side effect that will resolve when the economy (hopefully) rebounds, or is it something that can be improved now by shifting attitudes, working smarter rather than harder and simplifying systems that present hurdles to productivity?
Is it time to really buckle down, get creative and smile through it? I'm not saying anyone should have to endure unfair employment practices (nor do I mean to oversimplify Mrs. Munz's complaints), but are there things we can do to make things better in the meantime?
I'm curious as to what you have to say about the climate in your workplace, and what ideas you have to make your job as pleasant as possible. We spend more time at work on any given week than doing most anything else—it should at least be a positive experience, yes?
Would love to hear your thoughts.