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Can the school force me to change my JD and take on responsibilities

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by delmamerchant, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    I am employed as a SEN Teacher. This involves teaching interventions and mainstream lessons.

    One of the interventions that I teach was previously led by the 2ic and then offered with an increment to another member of the team who no longer does it.

    The school want to change my job description to include leading on this responsibility but without additional pay. The role includes, organising time tabling, writing reports and analysing data that I will feed back to SLT and school governors.

    They also want to include EAL responsibilities.

    I have been doing the post since April 2015 and constantly asking for payment. I only did the post as no one else would do it, stupidly not realising that this is what would happen. I feel as if my kindness has been taken for granted. I was off sick for 6 months due to stress at work last year. My line manager has said that I need to prove myself before they considered paying me for the post.

    My line mentioned on 3 occasions in other meetings that she needed to discuss my time table. As arranged, we meet to discuss it in my LM meeting on Friday, she had a whole new JD written for me. I asked for a copy of my original JD so that I could make comparisons and she said that she did not have it. I suggested that HR should have a copy. It appears that they do not have one. (I am going to look for my copy) I feel as if I am being bullied.forced into taking on this role.

    I would really appreciate your advice.
     
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Union, I suggest - and not just the school rep (unless he/she is excellent). Until you have advice agree verbally (and sign) nothing. I'd also be tempted to send an email to your line manager your 'notes' of the meeting, asking them whether your memory and theirs coincides. (By email you will keep a arecord of their response - and send it to your home email too, along with all similar communications too unless they mysteriously 'disappear'!)
     
    sabrinakat and pepper5 like this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    whether they technically "can" do this or not I don't know, but the fact is they frequently do, and your choice is basically do what you are told, or resign
     
    grumpydogwoman and pepper5 like this.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    See Union @delmamerchant .

    By doing the role you may be accepting that it is part of your job...and the more you do it the more you agree.
     
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If the new JD is the job you have been doing since April 2015 and they are just sorting out paperwork, then there might be little you can do.
    However if the new JD has extras that you don't currently do and are being asked to take on, you ought to be able to refuse.
    Your union should be able to work with you to look over both and sort it all out.
     
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You certainly need to hunt out the jD you have/had.

    Whether or not this attracts a TLR element of pay I do not know.

    Has your kindness been taken for granted? That's one interpretation. Not just you btw - but all teachers must begin to realise this is now a genuine free-market for jobs. Negotiate, get things in writing, do nothing until it's signed and sealed, ask for more money, haggle, bargain.

    You can approach the union. Of course you can. I fear I'm with @dunnocks on this. I think you don't have much hope.

    I'd revert at once to my original JD and confine my activities to fulfilling that brief and that brief alone.
     
  7. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter


    I agree.

    Unfortunately I don't know how to do it. Where, I wonder, could I (and others) practice these skills BEFORE we need to use them.

    Haggling on holiday, in a market is one way, I suppose.

    But at interview, having done all the prep, been interviewed amongst your competitors, not knowing what price they are offering their services at (unlike at a market where you have a range of stall holders, with prices already placed on items) it's a very difficult thing to do.
     
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I suppose it's a whole new ball-game and deserves some training.

    This is what we've come to. Aspiring and practising teachers have to learn how to sharp-elbow their way to decent pay. It doesn't come as standard. Disgusting.
     
  9. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Are you SENCO as well? If you are then you should be getting the SEN allowance.
     
    install likes this.
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    You've been well and truly shafted. Schools are absolutely entitled to ask you to do just about anything at all that's legal, just as you've the right to say 'No'. Stopping being a little girl's wet blouse and stick up for yourself. Clearly and unambiguously say, 'No'. Send a short email if you prefer but be short and clear, and then let them come back to you. If they want to restructure your job, you should have a period of time to look for another if you choose not to apply, but the restructuring process can take 6 months and then a further few years of pay protection. They could also try the redundancy route, if they can make a case for you losing your job. Do not get into debates about why you are saying no, and as you have clearly suffered from stress issues before, do not do it for an extra one or two grand a year - time to breathe and unwind is more important than an extra hundred quid a month for extra responsibilities that you don't want. Involve your Union to support you.
     
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  11. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I am confused: is the principal concern for you lack of payment for the role or concern for workload and stress? It affects how you approach the problem. You need to think what it is that actually concerns you most about this.

    When you took on the additional responsibilities, did you make it clear at the time (or since) that you were doing so only to help out and on a temporary basis? At what point(s) did you say that you would only do so if you were paid additionally, or that you expected to be paid?

    The fundamental principle is that no employer can unilaterally impose a change to the terms and conditions of an employee's contract. It can be changed by mutual agreement.

    If you raised no concerns at the time you took on the additional responsibilities, or since, the school may argue that the terms of your contract have changed by your conduct and the new job description is just affirming that.

    If you raised concerns previously, you have the option of reminding the school that you only did it temporarily, to help out and no longer wish to continue. You did it in good faith, but under protest that you were not being paid. You affirm your existing role and will work to that.

    If you are willing to take on new responsibilities formally, you need to decide whether this is going to impact upon your health if you try to do it alongside everything else. You need to have the conversation that, IF you took this on, what responsibilities could they take away from you, or benefits give to you, to compensate, taking into account they are not offering any additional pay. If they are prepared to offer extra pay for the work, you need to think whether you actually want that long-term, with the additional stress it could bring.

    You need union assistance with this - either to support you in refusing any attempt to unilaterally change the terms of your contract or to negotiate the terms of any agreed changes.
     
    TailwindTurner, strawbs and wanet like this.
  12. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    'Additional tasks as directed by the Headteacher' falls short of a significant and permanent change to the terms of someones' employment contract.

    A straight 'No' is not necessarily the answer in this scenario - it is not so straightforward.

    You are right to raise a question about potential impact if the school decides the role needs to be restructured. I have been out of teaching too long to be able to comment on the accuracy of your statement that restructuring would attract pay protection.

    You are also right that a potential redundancy / SOSR dismissal situation could develop from this, IF the school no longer needs the OP's existing role to continue and needs to find a way of enabling the new responsibilities to be undertaken.

    But there is a lot of communication and negotiation that needs to take place before the OP finds herself in that scenario.
     
  13. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Thanks. I will do that email with a synopses of the meeting. I will contact my union tomorrow.
     
  14. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Thank you
     
  15. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Thank you
     
  16. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    No one else would do the role. So I took it up whilst negotiating pay. It was decided that they would not pay me. So I said I would give them time to find someone else to do it. Now they want to write it into my JD.
     
  17. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I don't understand why the setting would want to impose this job spec and the significant responsibility (to the students ) it carries when it is aware that there is a possibility you will go off with a stress related illness ? Perhaps I am being naïve or it has an agenda ?
     
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    Sounds the most cynical piece of 'leadership' I have heard for a while. Union, ASAP.
     
  19. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    If these are the facts, then you are quite within your rights to quietly state and repeat that you do not wish to agree to have the terms of your contract changed to reflect permanent new duties that you took up only temporarily in good will.

    Do not agree to anything to just keep them quiet. Oral agreement (an oral contract) is binding in an employment contract.

    You are likely to need your union support throughout so ensure you contact them earkly.
     
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Oh @delmamerchant

    I do hope you haven't shot yourself in the foot by agreeing to do this for so long.

    Really though - revert to your original job spec and do it TODAY.
     

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