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A message to the Teaching Unions..

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Ostpreussen, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Not sure they trawl the forums or have a "peep" in, but I thought it would be nice to have a message board for them where supply teachers could air their concerns. We are fellow professionals and our Voices need to be heard and the Unions need to listen to us.
    Anyone reading the supply teachers forum will see that there is much that needs to be addressed with folks struggling to survive, dwindling work and agencies creating a new Game of Play.
    Please feel free to add any comments or concerns..

  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I went to my Union's website, found out the contact details for one of my region's National Executive members and e-mailed them with an outline of the concerns we have as Supply staff. I had a prompt and honest reply stating they're very much aware of the issues we face. The problem of losing work to CS, and the over use of unqualified cover for long absences has been raised and debated at their conference and is likely to be debated again. I suspect their main effort at present is on pensions so until that's sorted we're going to be pretty low on the agenda, but as more staff are made redundant and try to use supply as an alternative, maybe our situation will become more prominent. I was told that there has been a rise in applications for Union benevolent funding as more teachers find it impossible to make ends meet.

    I sent another e-mail to the Union asking for a backdated subscription reduction proportional to the 3 days a week average I've worked since I started supply. I haven't had a response yet but I strongly suggest others do the same based on their own average working week. Maybe if the Union's supply subscription revenues start to fall they'll take more notice of us?
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Perhaps I'm being naive and believing propaganda, but....
    I'm a member of the NUT and just voted in their elections for....something. Vice president or somesuch. Some leadership position, can't remember the title. Anyway, 3 of the 4 candidates had "ensuring unqualified staff are not allowed to teach" or similar as one of their priorities in their manifesto. I voted for them in the order of how far up their manifesto it appeared and thus how important it seemed to be to them.
    Not sure about this discounted sub rate. Do part timers get a cheaper rate? Or are you just asking for a refund to make a point?
  4. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    I declare that I work on average .6 and under. I assumed my subscription reflected the box that I ticked? I will have to check this out................................ AND IF I FIND ITS A FULL SUBSCRIPTION................. I may well be writing to them for a refund also.
  5. My union, NUT, refunded me without a problem when I reported my annual work had dropped from around 0.8 to 0.2.
  6. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    I am in the ATL and I have tried to perusade the union to ask questions and push for reform and I will continue to do so. In fact the union stance is basically that support staff should not be teaching.
    So are the unions are next target and how do we get them to tackle the issue head on?

  7. It seems to me to be more naivety on behalf of ATL and NASUWT. As I have posted here before, shortly after the workforce agreement, I attended a regional supply conference in Taunton, organised by a supply agency, Go-Teaching, (later taken over by Eteach). The conference was addressed by union representatives, the ATL and NASUWT reps told the supply teachers what good news the workforce agreement was, because it would bring so much more supply work. The audience, already finding less work, were surprised. There was a NUT rep there too, who said he didn't think it would work out that way. History reveals past wisdom, in my opinion. Short of a parent winning some legal case, it looks fait accompli now. NASUWT and ATL might start getting more concerned, but once the permanent jobs are seen to be lost.

  8. I attended an NASUWT regional conference in Surrey two years ago and we put in a motion about the use of unemployed support staff for teaching. And the detrimental effect this was having on work for supply teachers. A friend of mine spoke. I'm afraid no-one seemed particularly bothered and at the lunch table I spoke to a lady who was HOD/ MFL at her school and she said that she had a teaching assistant with an "A" level in German teaching all the sixth form German!
    My heart sank.
    The fact is - that the union did not seem bothered. It seems that supply teachers are low on the agenda.
    The reason I started this thread is because we are fellow professionals who pay union subs.
    Anyone with half a brain cell who reads this forum will see the impact of rarely cover and the use of non QTS-bods taking classes. They may have many different names and functions, but teaching as a profession has become so watery and watered down. Anything seems to go (as long as it saves money - the key issue here!). It is sad that so may of us are desperate for work, taking agency pay cuts and feel marginalised and ignored.
    Yes, the supply teachers forum might be a tad depressing, but it is true reflection of the state of affairs and the job situation for many supply teachers.
    It is time the unions addressed this issue.
    It would be nice if someone from the NUT, ATL or NASUWT would come on board and offer some support.
    Wishful thinking maybe.
  9. What you lot need to know is that the word "Teacher" means someone with a permanent teaching job. Teaching unions are there to serve teachers, or people with permanent teaching jobs, whether they are qualified or not. Since you do not appear in that classification, as a supply, or a newly qualified, you can eat shizzle, basically. Once you have grasped this fundamental and obvious fact, it becomes quite clear what to do next.
  10. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Schools and unions just might start to take more notice of supply teachers very shortly. Under the new Ofsted regime, one of the areas that they are going to focus on is supply cover! How supply teachers are deployed, the cost effectiveness and the quality of the cover work set. Cover supervisors may well be in the spotlight, too. This could shake things up.
  11. With the emphasis on cost effectiveness I expect. OFSTED expecting the school to cut its supply costs through not using supply teachers has been going the grapevine rounds a couple of years
  12. With CPD being almost non existant for supply teachers (now that we mainly no longer work direct for LEA)- not fair really to be subjected to OFSTED.
    But, if you're brave- or foolhardy or past caring -it would be a good opportunity to tell it like it is.

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