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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pinkang, May 24, 2011.

  1. pinkang

    pinkang New commenter

    Hiya I wonder if anyone could give me a bit of advice. I worked 2.5 days as nursery/reception teacher) Last July I started my maternity leave and informed them that I would be taking a year off which was no problem. The Headteacher (who has since left) advertised a position as a full time permanent for nursery/reception. The girl who was covering my remaining 2.5 had come to the end of her temp contract so needed a full time contract or she would have to leave. Needless to say she got the job. However, when I approached my headteacher about the fact that I was worried that when I return from maternity leave I wouldnt have a job to go back to, seeing as she had just given it away her reply was 'well im not sure what they are gonna do, I wont be here'!. So .....all of my leave I have been stressing about not hvaing a job to go back too!. Since I have been on leave, the school has federated with another local school. I feel like I have been treated very unfairly. Not once has the school contacted me to tell me anything that is going on or that it had federated. I find information out from my friends that work there and worst of all - playground parents! I officially wrote a letter to the school in April informing them of my return to work date and asking to drop 0.5 so I would just work two days, stating the reasons for this , mainly childcare. I also told them I would like to return to my old job, my return date and would like a decision asap so I had time to sort out childcare and use my KIT days to gradually go back in observe, become familiar with new practice etc, etc. I received a letter from the goverors saying that my request had been put to them and they would hopefully let me know sometime in May.. I have since heard on the grapevine that I am going to be put in year 1, of which I have no experience!!! Anyway today I receieve a phoneceall from the secretary to inform me that my start date back to work is June 30th. She then proceeded to tell me that no decision has yet been made and there is a govs meeting on the 9th of june so I will know the outcome then - she did say that as far as she could see there wasnt going to be any prob working the 2 days. I am sooooo cross. How can they let me know 3 weeks before I am due to start? Also Im upset that I wont be having my old job back as I started the nursery up when it opened 4 years ago. I just feel that i have been forgotten about and traeted a bit unfairly. Im even considering ringing my union. I would appreciate some advice from u guys please x

  2. You need to speak to your union, and/or to someone with knowledge of the current rules on maternity leave. There might for example be a contact available via your health visitor service.
    It always seems to be the case - amazing though it is - that women are content to repress and maltreat other women especially over maternity rights. Hey ho.
    I think you'll find you have the right to return to the job you did, and as you correctly feel to be kept informed of any organisational changes. But you may have to make them do that. Personally I'd get the hump over a secretary discussing my future over the phone - it doesn't fall into my perception of being kept properly informed.
    Much of what you do next depends on how much you're prepared to kick off about it plus who you have at your back legally eg union. Even after consulting your union you might be advised to hear what they say after their next meeting. The real trick lies in then officially not agreeing with wht they say if it means your job has been changed beyond recognisition without you being formally invilved in the process.
    This latter comes under the heading of constructive dismissal, and this is what your union should be watching out for. Hopefully it's Unison - they're generally very good in these situations.
    But be very clear that you have not agreed to anything, verbally or in writing, or that you could be deemed to have agreed. Keep your contacts formal and avoid discussing your details with any of the jungle-drum mothers, friends who might blab etc.
    And when you log in again, please 'reprt' yourself and ask for your post to be pulled, as you could be identified from the details you have given.
  3. pinkang

    pinkang New commenter

    The problem isnt merely that im unhappy about being put into year 1, the fact that they are only giving me just over 2 weeks to organise care for my 2 babies. Just thought that this was a bit unfair!
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    What date was your year of maternity due to end?? If this correlates with your return in 2 weeks then surely this is no surprise?? If you are being told you HAVE To return.... and yet your full year is not up, then that is incorrect as you can change your date of return at any point provided you give 21 days notice of your intended date to return to work.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But you say that last July you started your maternity leave and would be taking a year off. The school have let you know that they expect you back on 30th June. That would sound about right to me.

    You left as a FS teacher, but are coming back as a year 1 teacher. This is perfectly acceptable, as a HT can put you in any year group they so wish.

    You asked, fairly late on, to drop to 2 days a week. This obviously has to be agreed by governors and so take a little while to give you a decision. They aren't going to convene a special meeting just for that. They let you know within a month, which given how often governors meet would be about right.

    I can understand that you might not want to teach in year 1, but other than that I cannot for the life of me see what the problem is.
  6. Minnie and George both reckon official job-related business is OK to be conducted by the school secretary.
    George seems to know that the head delegated this to the school secretary.
    So if your doctor gets the refeptionist to read out your diagnosis over the phone, that's OK too?
    Come on - a simple letter signed by the head at any one point, and a little wee phone call to follow, would have made this all better. It's a primary school head, not Alan Sugar.
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I do???

    We have a 'school manager' in our primary who is part of the SLT of the school and as such is party to much of the personnel type business. In the head's absence (the DH is often teaching) she would be more than able to deal with dates and times of returning to work. No the regular 'secretaries' wouldn't be able to nor be party to information to allow them to do so.
    The head probably thought it would be stupid for him/her to ring and give the same information that has already been given. I'd think my head was mad if he phoned me to tell me something I already knew.
    She certainly gives out results of blood tests and the like and I'd put this situation on a par with that.

    I still can't see any problem other than the OP feeling miffed about going to year 1.

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