Schools

Wedded to an app for better or worse – the highs and lows of Class Cover

June 19, 2019

I wish I could claim my phone purchases as a tax deduction. With the introduction of the Class Cover booking system for casuals, a slow phone or poor reception can cost you thousands of dollars in lost income each year.

I have to buy the best performing tech I can afford. At least this is what I tell myself.

Being tied to an app affects your life in different ways. It makes you rethink that Sunday afternoon bushwalk or lunch at the beautiful but similarly network challenged local botanical gardens.

You just know the minute you have no signal, the requests for work will pour in. Nobody wants the dreaded pings of lost opportunities the minute Telstra finds them again.

The Class Cover work-chasing game goes like this. After your phone pings you usually get between three and 10 seconds to accept work or another hungry casual gets it. I once lost a day when I picked up my phone too slowly. We teachers love each other but dog eats dog.

I try and think about my life before Class Cover. In some ways the app has made my life easier. I don’t get the 6am phone calls anymore, although I am up by then just in case.

Taking a day off for a sick child or booking a holiday has never been easier, just one click and you are in workplace Siberia. It is a little trickier when the app is down and, unfortunately, lately that seems to be most of the time.

You’re back to phone calls, to speaking to an actual person. It’s a luxury I am fond of but I don’t envy their job. It must be exhausting navigating an app that hardly ever works.

A friend asked her schools to call as the app was putting her blood pressure up. It wasn’t possible to customise the booking request tone and so driving at 100km/h she was pulling over to check every notification. Exhausting. I think her life is better now.

Being on call 24 hours a day is our lot but it would be great to be able to switch off occasionally and not have it cost us.

My phone literally goes everywhere with me (lucky it is so stylish) and my family are on hyper alert lest it makes the slightest squeak or ding. They are excited for me as I really do love getting a day on class.

Hang on. I just got a notification.

It’s just eBay telling me about a new phone sale. Umm, actually, I had better go.

⁠— Kathryn Underwood

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© New South Wales Teachers Federation. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

Privacy Policy