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AWR - problems with School

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Bytor, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    Hello folks

    I took on a long term supply via an agency in Jan, teaching a shortage subject.

    I am being paid via weekly timesheets.

    Now 12 weeks are up, I have asked my agency to inquire about AWR, to see if I can get a rise, and sick pay etc.

    I am currently on the equivalent of M6.

    The School's own pay policy states they follow the STPC and Burgundy book, and states that they are also committed to the principle of portability for new employees.

    I attained UPS3 over 10 years ago, and left my last permanent post 5 years ago.

    The School is currently refusing to increase my pay to UPS3, and state that if I was a new employee without any responsibility, I would be on M6.

    I am currently seeking to challenge this through the agency.

    I have give written proof that I passed UPS3, but the School are requesting a certificate, which I have never heard of, or received.

    Should I be stubborn and keep pushing it?

    I realise M6 is pretty good for supply.

    Will I be risking cutting off my nose to spite my face?

    I'm now considering looking at opportunities closer to home to reduce the commute.

    Advice would be appreciated.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Could you call your union to find out what your legal position is?
  3. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    When I did supply I was paid UPS3 from the start (£198 a day) if I wasn’t I wouldn’t’ accept the gig. I too teach a shortage subject. I was never out of work.

    I found that negotiating rate at the start of the deal avoided any skull duggery later on.
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  4. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    I have called mu union already.

    They are interested to hear outcome of negotiations.

    They will appoint a caseworker, if required, when I get back in touch.

    Agency's Finance Team agree with me (as they would, seeing as they'd likely get an increase too), but say it's down to the school and their interpretation.

    Can't believe that School would only give any new appointee M6.

    They have been unable to hold interviews in this shortage subject despite a number of adverts. Last round they invited four, and they all pulled out. Presumably secured posts beforehand.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter


    I could accept M6 at the start, especially as it was long term, as I understood that AWR would kick-in after the 12 weeks and give me an increase.

    My handler at the time said this would be the case.

    Since then, they've left.

    The previous time I supplied at a big agency, my handler left, and there were salary promises to battle.
    Is this a ploy by agencies in order not to pay-up?
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    People do all sorts to get round AWR - that is why I refuse to play along with it. If I am worth it after 12 weeks I am worth it on Day one.

    The agency I worked for came to their senses on this and I think were charging the school around £235 a day.
    That meant that after paying employers NI the agency were earning about £125 a week from menot bad for one phone call.

    Renember agencies are there to charge the school as much as possible and pay the teacher as little as possible.

    It is up to you to get as much as you can out of the agency!
    agathamorse, JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  7. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    The School eventually relented, but am told by the agency that I will be expected to do something additional (?!).

    I'm looking at options and seeing if there is any post with a contract directly with a school,.

    Would be better than week to week, where they can dump me at their whim.

    Following this episode, I wouldn't be surprised if they ditched me before the end of July, after exam classes leave.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Slight correction: UPS3 now works out at £202.08 per day, outside That London.

    This thread shows the many perils of waiting for AWR, my philosophy is to accept any peanuts in Week 1 and seriously push the agency for around £200 from week 2 onwards. This is now resulting in agencies offering £190 a day from the start and not being too surprised that I push that upwards. By and large I only do a term in most schools, lots of reasons for this but who cares as I'm hardly ever unemployed. Of course that is because I'm Maths/Science in West Yorks rather than my fantastic skill set but while I've got the gravy train running I'm going to ride it.

    To my shame all pay has been via UCs but I can't see how to get around that without risking a 10% or worse pay cut.
  9. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    I'd be interested to know how often anyone being paid, say, £120 a day - which seems to be a common and worrying reality in parts of the country - makes the leap to AWR for UPS3, as it is the high jump if not the pole vault in salary terms. I use my daily rate as my reason for saying no to unnecessary meetings, CPD, parents' evenings without extra pay, after school catchups, excessive marking (I've seen work previous teachers have reviewed 6 or more times and it's still not at the "required level"). It's always worth reminding colleagues you don't get sick pay or holiday pay too, especially when a nasty bug is doing the rounds or a holiday is coming up and they are working out how to get to the airport. It almost always comes as a surprise. Of course AWR is supposed to be obligatory after 12 weeks. BUT, even if you get it it's not clear what paying you the same means as, as we know, many schools pay even regular new staff as little as they can get them to work for, pay portability having disappeared over the horizon.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  10. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    There have been a couple of cases through the NEU of members who were entitled to UPS and who got it. You have to remember that the staff at agency offices are mostly salespeople. They don't have any specific training in law and find themselves hopelessly out of their depth when confronted with an AWR claim. The law is very clear. AWR entitles you to parity pay. It is a statutory entitlement once you have worked 12 weeks with the same hirer.
    If a school's pay policy is not based on STPCD and Burgundy Book rules, then they might be exceptions but this is very rare. A school has to prove that it has not hired any permanent teachers at their full MPS rate for a long period of time and that it is their official policy not to do so. Otherwise, if you are MPS6 with UPS, that is your rate of pay.
    Those upper pay scales were introduced to incentivise the profession. Taking them away only adds to the growing crisis in recruitment and retention.
    What agencies always fail to tell schools is that the uplift in a supply teacher's pay after the AWR entitlement becomes active, will be charged to the school. Schools take the lowest bid, because that is what they have to do to meet their financial targets. Agencies try to stall it because they know the school might actually not be able to pay the uplift.
    In the first instance, the agency will have to pay the worker, but they can quite legally invoice the hirer for the difference, even retrospectively.
    Once case we handled recently in my union concerned a £8k. The agency will now have to bill all those schools. Head teachers and school leaders stand to get hit by some big bills now that more and more supply teachers are claiming what is rightfully theirs.
    At this point, the argument for a return to a local pool of supply teachers starts to make sense.

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