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Call for Supply Teacher Strike!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by pedigree, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Thanks Hazel Catkins for your observations about supply teaching agencies!
    Very depressing reading on their appalling employment practices...
  2. Most appalling behaviour and employment practice by supply teaching agencies!
  3. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I don't think a strike by supply teachers is practical, in that schools are already using supply CS to teach anyway, that is besides their own CS, TA's and support staff. NO, I would argue that the unions, who are talking about striking over pensions (a fact that does not impact on supply teachers), should look to strike on the issue of the use of support staff to teach and protect the teaching profession from the use of use of staff without any teacher training from teaching. Unfortunately the union leadership are spineless self-serving fools and many teachers in permanent posts cannot see the long-term danger of using support staff to teach. So we need to educate the teachers in permanent posts and the union leadership to the dangers.
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    A lot of the CS support is actually teachers working in schools because they can't get teaching posts. If those CS with QTS also withdrew their labour, agencies would not be able to meet the cover needs of the schools they serve.
    In my area the LA supply agency is certainly starting to see a fall off in their access to CS staff in busy weeks. I get late calls asking me to please step in asa CS. I refuse and sometimes get a call back asking if I'll go as a teacher instead. It's not happening enough to give me sufficient work but it is a *** in their armour, I think. They recruited hundreds of supply CS 18 months ago and many must have thrown in the towel.
  5. Supply teachers need their own trade union affiliated to the teaching unions, in order to co-ordinate a strike. Even for the teaching unions, this is tricky because they have to survey industrial action. The number of respondees is usually few, making those who vote in favour a relatively small proportion of teachers. Someone, I've forgotten who, said something like, "All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing." When my union wanted someone to represent 'minorities', I declined but suggested speaking on behalf of supply teachers. They fobbed me off with, "We have supply teachers in our midst." To be honest, I would not know how to establish a trade union for supply teachers, but I suppose the first step would be to write with a suggestion to the teaching unions.
  6. I am so glad i found this thread.
    I work in Swansea for an agency which has completely monopolised the market. I get £75 a day BEFORE deductions. I have calculated that if i supplied EVERY school day of the year if i average it out from when we cant work i.e holidays the then it works out about 800 a month!!!! that is HUNDREDS less then we would get as a fully employed teacher or supply through the LEA (which dont seem to care).
    There was some slight relief when I heard that the AWR regulation was coming in. However that hope was short lived when I received a 'permanent contract' by the agency. They stated that schools cannot afford to pay long term supply staff full money after 12 weeks and as a result we will all be out of work. So by signing the contract we are agreeing that if on a long term placement we DONT WANT our money to rise after 3 months!? do they think we are stupid. they also basically stated if we dont sign then they wont give us any work. They gave ONE DAY for us to opt out from when we received the email otherwise it is ASSUMED that you want to be in the contract, which i am sure is illegal. You cant assume a contract you can only have permission to sign a contract.
    I am a very good teacher so therefore am continually placed on long term maternity covers, sickness etc. I am expected to plan, go on residentials, reports, parents evenings all for agency pay of 800 a month!!! So the AWR was a saviour for me..not anymore!!! I have just been offered to do a maternity and INSPECTION on agency wages!! i said no. Its not on!!
    This is ruining any love I had for teaching, I am starting to resent it.
    My friend and I have emailed the contract to the union, the LEA etc. No one has cared to respond.
    Something needs to be done. I dont know what but it cannot go on that teachers who have worked long and hard to obtain their qualifications are working for minimum wage but expected to deliever as much as fully paid full time teachers.
  7. £75 BEFORE deductions. Well, if that isn't a sign to stop it and do something else, then what is?
  8. Any suggestions as to what else? I search the direct.gov.uk site every day in addition to specialist teaching sites - there are no jobs! I've applied for jobs outside teaching, even minimum wage jobs but have not even received an acknowledgement let alone been selected for interview.
  9. Hi There, I would just like to point out that not all supply agencies are doing the same. I work for a supply agency called Vision For Education and they have been set up with the ethos of paying their teachers the top rates in the area whilst remaining competitive for schools.
    We will still be paying our teaching staff to our current pay scales which are upto £145 per day depending on scale, and we will be increasing our teacher pay rates after the 12 week period to comply with the AWR legislation.
    I would personally advise you to look at the supply agency you are working for as there are too many that are just in it for the money and making as much profit as possible. There are still some supply agencies that value their teachers and believe they should be paid a fair rate.
    If teachers refuse to work for these supply agencies that dont pay a fair rate they will eventually not have any teachers and will go out of business.
    Dont accept less than you deserve.
    Please find the website below.
    Andrew Rogers
  10. Vision for education are just like all the other agencies that I have ever worked for. The lie, they certainly do NOT pay £145 per day. They will drop you the instant anything goes wrong, doesn't matter if it is you fault or not. Not contact you for months, then give the cheery "helllo how are you" phonecall. Expect you to drive very long distances for half a days work. Try to make you work when you are ill. They string you along and promise you the world but sadly fail to deliver. They are MASSIVELY into recruiting cover supervisors. They will use you then discard you while happily telling you about the nice holiday they have just been on. Do not touch them with a barge pole.
  11. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Thanks for that information, there's another agency I wont trouble with my time.
  12. I am also a supply teacher in Swansea and am in similar position to you. I am soooooo confused as what to do. Should I sign the so called contract or not?!! I spoke to the agency (ND?) again today trying to get them to fully explain the details but they had no answers. What a surprise! I am also completely fed up of working my butt off for a tiny wage. But i struggle to get my regular schools to call me directly due to the monoply this agency (ND?) has in Swansea, and the ease of the schools have in calling them. I always accept work even if i travel for 30 miles. I am worried about being burnt again as I was when signing up with the umbrella pay company. I have worked for 13 years in schools from being a teaching assistant to now a highly experienced teacher. Getting a job is difficult enough now we have this confusing and frankly disgusting decision to make. Schools make it difficult enough at times for supply teachers as it is and now if we don't make ourselves available at the cheapest rate they are even more unlikely to supply work.

    Do we have the right to negotiate a higher rate if we sign the contract as schools pay the same rate for us as they do for those directly from the LEA? It is the agency who obviously take their cut that keeps our rate low.
    Doing my head in I am soooo angry!!!! Any ideas?
  13. I am glad i spotted your message. I am also a highly reputable and experienced supply teacher in Swansea who gets regular work from my agency and have been given one of these opt out contracts. I am confused as to what to do. Sign the contract and get minimal hours so they wont have to give us the between assignments wage and have to continue working for £75 a day. Or not sign and risk getting no work from the agency. When I started supply work I got most of it directly from schools and was on the LEA payscale and an excellent wage. This dried up, probably because it is easier to call the agency,and I had to start with an agency and was shocked at the low wages especially when they send you miles away. Sometimes you do not see any other supply teachers for weeks so cannot ask for thier advice. What have you decided to do? I have asked if they will give me regular work if I sign and am considering asking if they will be increasing their rates for those who do sign or I might leave them and therefore they will not have any cut. This will probably get me nowhere but yet again for those of us who have an extremely difficult job but love teaching are disrespected!
    How could we possibly organise any form of strike or action?!!!!!!!!
    Please get in touch![​IMG]
  14. Unfortunately teachers are a most disunited and divided "profession" and strike action would be most ineffective by supply teachers! However now that HTs are striking over pensions then we all my have a chance???

  15. Hi Math26,
    I work for them in Nottingham and have heard nothing but praise for them from both schools and teteachers and in Nottingham we do pay upto £145 per day. Please could you let me know which branch you have had problems with and why. Please feel free to contact me on the office number 01159817355 or email me on andrew.rogers@visionforeducation.co.uk
  16. Can't see that supply teachers could strike. It might have been possible to form a supply teachers union, there must be more supply than Heads for instance. It might have been possible for supply to maintain principles, ie not accepting CS or TA work, or low supply pay, schools only get a way with it because they find qualified teachers to do it. The government gets away with it because they manipulate the schools. Doubt in years to come going cheap will earn the country a high place in the international league tables, unless it is a table for cheapness.
  17. Fully qualified, registered and highly experienced teachers should <u>NOT</u> be employed as "cover supervisors"! The cover supervisor role is totally unacceptable and should be abolished.
    Pupils deserve to be properly taught by properly qualified teachers in every lesson.
    The whole corrupted and unacceptable system must be rectified. Schools should be fined heavily for using unqualified staff as "teachers". At one time we had a member of the SMT/SLT employing and peer assessing supply teachers. Now we have some bureacrat, highly paid "cover manager" who fires/employs all manner of cover staff!? Totally unjust and unacceptable.

  18. An interesting development last week screen25, stopping one of the bad practices that agencies are deploying to get round awr.


    Not sure if this is what they are doing but is encouraging that some things will just not be tolerated.

    As a governor at a school that is proud to employ supply teachers and not cover supervisors, it is difficult to balance the budget sometimes, but not so difficult that standards in the class are compromised.

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