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Can they make me pack boxes??

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by teacherabc, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. teacherabc

    teacherabc New commenter

    An odd'ish one so not sure where to ask.

    Basically our dept has been told that by the end of the next week we will have to have packed up all our resources, displays etc..... as they are doing some building work and we will be assigned new rooms for next year.

    They did similar last year and HoD got time of timetable and a member of staff returning from maternity leave did the packing. This time there will be no extra time off and no one without a timetable to do the work. Also they gave us more time last year.

    Union rep has said to not do it. I agree but my HoD is a in tizzy as she is the only full time member.

    My question is - is there anything in my contract which means they can 'make' me pack? I have no issue with the move etc... but I have a million things to do which involve actual teaching and learning and no time to be faffing about putting text books into boxes.

  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Haven't you got a stiff back? The sort that means you can't possibly do all that bending and lifting. I know I would get one if told to do this...

    Incidentally, shouldn't there be a risk assessment before you are asked to do such a task? And relevant training (in safe lifting etc.) be offered?

    I agree with your Union Rep.
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Elf'n safety, guv.
  4. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    My last dept was in a similar situation but we hadn't done the relevant Manual Handling Course so, with local union support, declined to undertake the task.
  5. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I had to move class room a few years ago. I packed up my things and moved them. A ball ache? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. I'd prefer doing it myself and knowing where everything is than someone else coming in haphazardly packing and unpacking my resources etc and me never seeing most of it again!
  6. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    I don't know what the union advice is, teacherabc - but I agree with the above.

    I had to move three times in one school. From a different site when the new build was completed and then to different rooms when the new build was being, well, re-built! Hmm, re-modelled by a highly paid site manager is probably the correct term...

    Anyway, we complained a lot about move 3. Most staff weren't affected as they were already in the new building, but for 6 of us it was such a pain. I went to work to find my stuff had been packed away by site staff. It took me ages to locate bits and bobs and I'm sure some of my chocolate mini-rolls were missing.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Why collaborate with a poor and uncaring SLT? No wonder teaching conditions are going down the plughole...
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I would also add that if you have to move rooms then you should be giving time to do it.

    A friend of mine was told told that they were to move rooms on the last day of the summer term with the expectation of doing it in the summer holidays. Of course some teachers seem to forget what the word holiday means.
  9. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I don't remember saying poor and uncaring SLT....

    Failing that of course, you could just tell them that your s**t doesn't stink and you're far too important to pack boxes and get someone else to mess up all of your things ;)
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I see no problem in packing and moving your own boxes. But there SHOULD be time given for this, on a PD day or gained time, or with the OP being realised from her teaching obligations for a day (or however long is needed).

    A couple of years ago when a new HOD started in the department, she was determined to de-clutter. The FIRST meeting we ever had involved her sending us off to clean, chuck, dust and re-organise the storage cupboards. No introduction, no team talk, no biscuits or coffee...just "Go. Clean". Set the tone really, and only got worse.
  11. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    H & S...

    PS Nothing wrong with cleaning the school toilets either, I suppose...
  12. markjeppo

    markjeppo New commenter

    We had to do something like this at our school a few years ago. We were given time (at least one full day off timetable) to pack our stuff. Site manager provided plastic crates etc. for us to put stuff in & label it clearly, but under no circumstances were we expected to carry boxes across the school. Temporary staff were hired to move the stuff. I believe this is the correct procedure because if any teacher had any kind of accident moving heavy boxes it would be a H&S issue. So in summary:

    - Pack your own stuff, but ONLY if you are given time off to do this. This is reasonable.

    - Do not carry any boxes.
  13. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    You should have told her to do it herself.
  14. CaptainDJ

    CaptainDJ New commenter

    At the risk of being very unpopular or daring to say what other people won't.....what's the problem? This happens regularly in primary schools when teachers move year groups...and yes we pack our own boxes and take it along the corridor. If its too heavy, I take something out, thus lowering the risk of a life- threatening injury. Usually happens on a PD day, but often you need a couple of days holiday to sort it out new room. Anyway, doesn't it come under 'Any other duties that may be assigned'? Oh and everybody teachers and TAs embark on a big tidy up, because we take pride in our school. :)
  15. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Gained time?

    I think packing your own boxes is not unreasonable. Nor is unpacking them.

    However, moving them half way across site - a caretaker's job?
  16. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Agree with Captain DJ on the proviso that time is allocated for such a task either in terms of gained time. covered lessons or TOIL.

    I often think that things would work a lot better in life if everyone was grown up about things and worked like adults. Don't overfill a box and lift from the knees. Obviously if someone has just had a hip op etc. then it may not be sensible, most people can manage though! Bringing up H&S is a bit pedantic.
  17. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Why should you give up your holidays to move rooms? If they want you to move rooms they should give you the time.

    No. Although I agree that packing up boxes isn't really an issue, moving them is.

    The problem is that too many teachers are scared to say 'no'.

    A friend, last year, was given a list of things to do to their room, tidy and clean etc over the summer holiday. by their head on the last of the summer term. I told them not to do it but sadly because everyone else was doing it they gave in.

    Giving in to this kind of thing all the time allows unscrupulous heads to take advantage of their staff.
  18. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    We had to move building a couple of years ago and pack up/declutter 30+ years worth of stuff to do so. About 60% of people got stuck in and packed and recycled but some people avoided helping out. As others have said, if you want to know where your belongings are I suggest you do pack but certainly don't move or carry any crates or boxes. We took on a student to help us pack up and a removal company moved everything.
  19. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Not outside the 195 days...

    And, no, packing & moving is definitely not acceptable. And is possibly dangerous.

    Well diddums for you...

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines]
  20. Hair Shirt

    Hair Shirt New commenter

    Thats a nasty sneering comment. What's wrong with taking pride in your classroom? Nothing. Ignore him CaptainDJ

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