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Best way to negotiate pay

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by ck1ng, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. ck1ng

    ck1ng New commenter

    Hi there,

    I'm about to do some supply teaching in primary schools again after 4 years in a permanent role. I'm working in a new area so just want day to day work at the moment.

    I'm in the process of contacting a few agencies to see who I want to go with.
    My question is, what's the best way to negotiate a good rate of pay? Do I wait till they bring it up? Or do I ask how much they pay? Or do I just come out and state what I'm willing to be paid?

    When I did supply previously I was on £130 per day. Now after a few years' experience, I'd like to haggle closer to £150+ if I can.

    Also, even if an agency states they only pay through dreaded UCs, is it worth asking if they offer PAYE or just not bother?

    Any tips would be much appreciated.

  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Always a8sk about PAYE. It does not hurt to ask.

    I would ask for £140.00 per day, do a good job for the schools, then after you get asked back on a regular basis,then ask for £150.00.

    £130 for day to day supply teachers was the standard rate but I notice in adverts the rate has gone up to £140.00 per day for day to day supply.

    It is not an exact science but you do have four years' experience,but dont forget there will be teachers with 20 years and more looking for supply work plus rertired SLT .
    Happyregardless and JohnJCazorla like this.
  3. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    My suggestion would be to accept their standard day rate and ask for more if they want you long term to cover planning and marking. Have a figure in mind for long term ask for it if you don't get it be prepared to say no.
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Agree about UCs but I can't seem to shake them off. If you start off only accepting PAYE then they'll have to accept that.
    There doesn't appear to be a standard but you'll have to accept peanuts (£120?) to establish yourself until at least October half-term when the work picks up (both in frequency and pay rate).
    Though I'm largely long-term I find it best to only discuss pay at the end of the phone call, then the agent is thinking about the several minutes potentially wasted with you and having to repeat the same with the next sucker teacher. Then he might throw in a tenner on the rate.
    DISCLAIMER: Such games are easy for me as I've a paid-off mortgage and a few days/weeks unemployed is bearable, though Mrs C is not the kind of woman who can bear to see her man idle :(. Is it the same for you?

    Knowledge of the market is the agency's strength over both schools and teachers but one way to help inform you is by asking every supply you see what they are getting for that gig. And volunteering yours of course. I'm starting a long-term supply in Maths on Monday and will be getting £202 per day via a UC. I've yet to see a supply who's getting more than me but hopefully this informing of the rates will help us all push upwards on pay.

    I seem to be pretty good at the haggling but, if so, it's because I often buy a few drinks for a friend of mine who's in business-to-business sales and so expert on the BS that is trotted out in negotiations. He knows nothing of education but that doesn't stop him coaching me through various scenarios that I invent. Can you find such a guru, well worth the investment in beer/choccy biccies/meals or whatever?
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Yes, bring the subject up. Remember the people who work as "consultants" at any agency are sales people, on commission, so they're under pressure to sign up as many clients and candidates as possible. They'll promise the schools the lowest charge rates, so if they want to make any commission, they'll have to offer you the lowest pay rates. More and more agencies have tried to muscle in on the market, which has driven wages right down. However, as we know from buying anything in the sales, it's cheap for a reason. Schools still want to have a really good teacher, especially if the cover is for a few weeks, which will mean more commitment, thus worth more. Once you've accepted the agency's first offer (the mug rate) you've got a big climb, so you do need to ask for at least £150. It's worth the bother of approaching schools directly with your own sales pitch and cutting out the middleman altogether. They can pay you though payroll, as a peripatetic teacher, which is the best option, as they'll be obliged to pay to scale. Probably about the same as they'd pay the agency when it all pans out. The use of umbrella payroll, at least according to NEU members surveyed, seems to be on the decline.
  6. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    You need to know your worth. It depends on the schools you are willing to work in and the subject. I was offered a long term supply maths job at a behaviour school. I asked for £200 a day which I thought they would say no to but there wasn't anyone else who would do the job.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    That's my raison d'etre but I don't see how you can 'know your worth'. I'm currently worth £202.08 a day* but that is decided by the market. It is quite possible that I will be revalued at £120 a day by the same conscienceless market, even though I personally won't change. Mammon does currently smile on those who offer Maths and Physics in bottom-end schools but perhaps all that money which Boris is promising will actually arrive at the sharp end and ruin my career path.

    *Sorry about the one-upmanship but I'm still traumatised by Mrs C getting £7 a day more than me a few months ago. I recovered to be 8p up:)
  8. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I am not perturbed as I clearly need to ask them to £300 a day! (I felt like I was sticking my tongue out - so to speak- by saying I got £200 a day) In all seriousness though I like the 8p. With my current agency (£25 an hour) I was going to ask for an inflationary raise but then I would be asking for less than £1 per hour and I thought that was a bit strange.
    MathMan1 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  9. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    It's a hard one and I've picked up from this forum that primary tends to be less well paid than secondary, and it also depends on area. However, £10 or £20 a day makes a difference whatever your rate and is better in your pocket than someone else's. Personally I accept an agency's first offered rates but then when/if schools say they want me to stay, I ask for more. I've got it so far. It may be less of an issue in primary, but in secondary I rapidly became aware that male supplies seem to get paid more (it's not verifiable of course). So let that make you justifiably angry, annoyed or whatever and always ask for more, but make it about you, your skills and experience. I've only ever once said"sadly this job is not for me if you don't pay me ups3" - you have to be ready to walk, and I was, as you will destroy your credibility - but they wanted me enough and they coughed. BUT be ready to negotiate on every job. I find the hustle wearing, but remember you are dealing with salespeople and you are the unique product once a school wants YOU. Always ask for PAYE, not all agencies offer it but many do. I think it's just more straightforward and something in my head says a big fat no to paying employer NI on principle, but if you have a choice, it's yours to make.
    MathMan1 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  10. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    OH YES IT IS! (sorry I came over all panto then)
    You can ask other supply what they are getting for the gig. It’s most likely that you’re getting short-changed as the one message I took from the BBC pay scandal was that women seem to assume they’ll be paid their worth whilst men reckon they have to hustle for it.
    Whether you’re prepared to take this up with agencies is another matter. Perhaps union advice with the prospect of legal backing would help?
    MathMan1 likes this.

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