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Absence mamagement meeting - to air grievences or remain quiet

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pancake99, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. pancake99

    pancake99 New commenter

    In brief, been off with stress for 3 months - due the above meeting.
    Stress was induced becuase although working at full strength my efforts were deemed as not enough and was told there was to be changes to my PM and i had to tick the boxes or else. Went off since then as i could no longer cope under that sort of pressur (previous past issues with head ).
    heard my meeting is with a tough cookie from HR, yes union are coming with me.
    My question is this, I am having sleepless nights as I feel my 'performance' will be scruntinised (things were said before I went off) I denied all at the time and was able to pretty much rebuff most of them and have some evidence to do so (union felt I could take a grievence but then they always seem full of it with little backbone thereafter!) Should I use this meeting with my rep to address all the issues as I'm sure the head will relish bringing them up OR
    should I say the stress was building up but at the time I wasnt aware of it but thanks so much for pointing it out to me and im doing all i can to get better. (in other words - well yes you would have found fault with my work as i was oblviously unaware how stressed i actually was)
    TBH I feel the latter will avoid confrontations which i really cant face
    thanks for your thoughts
     
  2. pancake99

    pancake99 New commenter

    In brief, been off with stress for 3 months - due the above meeting.
    Stress was induced becuase although working at full strength my efforts were deemed as not enough and was told there was to be changes to my PM and i had to tick the boxes or else. Went off since then as i could no longer cope under that sort of pressur (previous past issues with head ).
    heard my meeting is with a tough cookie from HR, yes union are coming with me.
    My question is this, I am having sleepless nights as I feel my 'performance' will be scruntinised (things were said before I went off) I denied all at the time and was able to pretty much rebuff most of them and have some evidence to do so (union felt I could take a grievence but then they always seem full of it with little backbone thereafter!) Should I use this meeting with my rep to address all the issues as I'm sure the head will relish bringing them up OR
    should I say the stress was building up but at the time I wasnt aware of it but thanks so much for pointing it out to me and im doing all i can to get better. (in other words - well yes you would have found fault with my work as i was oblviously unaware how stressed i actually was)
    TBH I feel the latter will avoid confrontations which i really cant face
    thanks for your thoughts
     
  3. Tricky one - it always seems easier to avoid confrontation for an easy life but will this situation crop up again in a few moths time if you dont resolve it now? And if you air your grievances now will that be kept on record incase anything crops up in the future? Not sure what I would do but all I can advise is that you do what's best for YOU. Good luck.
     
  4. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Is it the regional rep? I'd take any evidence you have so that you can use it if necessary. Have you been to OH? I would be very careful as they could go down the capability due to ill health route. Whatever you do don't get emotional and make sure you or the rep minutes everything.
     
  5. I have been through similar and although I am a strong person I could not forsee other life events occurring soon afterwards. ( 2 major bereavements) . So, because of this, I would advise you to go with the softer hand leading to a possible compromise rather than a more forthright approach that could inevitably lead to retribution.
     
  6. In most situations like this you end up being put on capability and forced to go out on a compromise agreement. It often happens where SMT try to sneak in things that aren't true about your performance, and often when you challenge it the argument falls apart. However, even if you can prove you've done a good job and they haven't got anything left, SMT are within their rights to say, "Well, we're just not happy in general," as if the very fact that your capability has been called into question is the reason you're not capable.



    It sounds like you are in quite early stages of negotiation on this, so I would advise to state that you are going to try to meet all the targets set and to say you are doing everything you can to get better. Don't try and muddle through if you are still feeling bad though, because SMT will say, "Well you came back to work and said you'd be able to do this," so make sure you look after yourself. I'd request a visit to OH, and use a regional union rep, not the one in school.
     
  7. pancake99

    pancake99 New commenter

    thanks to everyone, i think this might be the right approach for me as i do want to go really, just want to make sure ref is good and capability isn't commenced. Have seen OH and they are supporting me in so much as I think they know the head is a bully and suggested i go back to GP to get tablets etc (im guessing this will strengthen my case). In view of this perhaps admitting yes i was stressed but didnt realise it, im doing all i can to get better, plz send me the details of what you would like me to aim for when i am better - the only thing is i did ask for p/t in view of my health but was refused. Can they turn round and say but you have said you cannot return f/t so you need to leave?
    thanks folks
     
  8. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Have you said you will only return if part time? If this wasn't possible then they could use this for capability due to ill health. It doesn't sound like you can try for this as a reasonable adjustment which would give you more options. Do you think you can return? You could ask for a phased return.
     
  9. pancake99

    pancake99 New commenter

    nope i def want to go - had enough, u know how it is - no win situation
     
  10. Time to take a deep breath - and step back from the gloomy prognostications being offered. I think you are worrying needlessly. It's easy to feel beleaguered and under the spotlight when you have been under so much stress you cannot work. But on the basis of your original and subsequent posts, perhaps it's not as sinister as you may think. The first thing to recognise is that the school has a management of attendance policy. This policy stipulates what happens when a teacher is absent for any length of time. A broken leg heals in a set time (excuse the pun...) so everyone knows how long you would likely be off with a fracture. Stress is far less clear cut. Hence the meeting. Having been involved in a good many of these I can assure you that the purpose of the meeting - particularly a first meeting - is very likely to be just to explore the absence - and not the cause. As long as your GP is signing you off you have a legitimate reason for your absence. The employer (= the LA - hence HR) is entitled to inquire as to the nature of the absence and to explore ways in which they can support you. I know many of the respondents have weighed in with their take on things - understandably, of course. And there may well come a time when the cause of the stress has to be investigated - but if this is your first management of attendance meeting - this will not be it. You can, at this stage, say that you continue to unwell and "can't predict the outcome of a consultation you are having with your GP - and that you think she's asked to see you in two weeks [ i.e. after the meeting !! ] - and indeed, it would be premature and wholly inappropriate to preempt that at this stage".....(!). The Management of Attendance meeting will schedule a series of what are called review meetings and may well also invite you to meet with occupational health - which you should attend as they are a form of mandatory support put in place for all LA employees. The meeting will also ask you what support mechanisms would be useful to you at this stage. You can ask to think about that pending the imminent appt with your GP - and the LA would have to regard that as an appropriate response. Say no more than you absolutely have to. Most teachers have 100 working days full-time sick pay and 100 half-time sick pay - which is fairly generous but not infinite - but a protracted absence must also be kept under review. So I would take a relaxed view and do not panic. Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me for more information if you would like to know more.
     
  11. pancake99

    pancake99 New commenter

    thanks for such a good reply, i appreciate the time it took you and may well pm you soon
    however,knowing the people involved .... well we will see!
     
  12. The earleir reply from iconoclastic was very detailed, but the
    precise details for minimum sick pay entitlements for most teachers on sick leave etc are set out in the so-called Burgundy book. This shows that teachers
    are entitled to 25 working days of full pay (and 50 day half pay after
    4 mths of service) in the first year of service. This entitlemetn increases by 25 days (on full pay) and another 25 days on half pay for
    each year of service to maximum of 100 days (full pay) and another 100
    half pay for each annual leave year.
    Leave year starts 1 April.Entitlements do not run over
    from one leave year to another, so employees who were absence before 31 March will need to return to work before the entitlement for the current leave year kicks in.
    Employers have discretion to provide more than this contractual minimum, but the chances of them doing that must be slim...
    .
     
  13. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    They can also start absence proceedings due to capability before that 'entitlement' runs out as well.
     

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