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Change of hours

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by BOWLERGIRL, Jan 23, 2019.


    BOWLERGIRL New commenter

    Will try to keep this brief as it is quite a long story! I went off on Mat leave in Nov 2017. Just before I left, 4 members of staff returned from Mat leave (inc 2 who took over my class). Three of the teachers who returned changed from full to part time. In Jan last year I discovered that the teacher who was covering my class (on 0.6, which is what I wanted) was leaving. So in Feb, I proactively requested a return to work on 0.6. Her job was then advertised as temp until August 2018. I thought it would be a case of me having her hours.Cue a meeting in March where I was told my request was rejected. Lack of money, part time cost too much, part time are sick more, customer demand etc... I was told fulltime or leave. Gutted as I was the first person to have request rejected. So I seeked union advice and was going to appeal. Detailed evidence I required and the next day I was offered either 0.8 (own class) or 0.66 but in every day etc!Out of sheer relief I opted for 0.8. Returned to work in Oct with the intention of giving 4 days a good go and addressing any issues after Christmas. Was very positive and just got on with it. My third week back, my head approached me and offered me the option of going 0.6 from Feb half term 2019. He needed to save money he said!! I almost bit his hand off! He said to keep it quiet as I wouldn’t be sharing with my one day a week person. He said he would email me the details. 2 weeks passed and no email, so I chased. Email was a lot of ‘ifs and buts’ and wasn’t quite like the verbal promises I’d had! I thought it sounded like HR talk, so I went to speak to him and asked if off the record it was more likely to happen than not. He said he was waiting for a finance meeting, where he was going to suggest me dropping a day and that he just needed it approved (which it was likely to be as they have no money!) Again, I walked away feeling content. He said he’d tell me by Christmas. On returning from my last day of the term, I found an email which stated that he was sorry he hadn’t confirmed hours with me and that due to someone poss going off on mat leave early, he was unlikely to be able to accommodate my change of hours. He would let me know if anything changed etc. I started the Christmas holidays feeling very disappointed and fed up. After a week, I sent a reply which made it clear that I wasn’t happy and that he had dangled a carrot, approached me etc...He replied admitting that he hadn’t handled it well and that if any 3 day things came up in the future, I’d be given priority. (As I knew that another member of staff wants 0.6 who is returning in sept!) So after getting over this news, I returned to work in Jan with a positive attitude. I then found out that one of my colleagues went to the head in Nov and asked f anything could be done about her hours as she was fed up. He offered her 0.6 and said to keep it quiet etc! She was excited about this and was agained to believe it was going to happen. She was then told that it would have to be 0.8 for now but that she’s be considered for 0.6 in the future! She was gutted but dropping a day at least made things bearable! We had a giggle about it over coffee because he was having the exact same conversation with both of us at the same time!!! Then this week whilst chatting to a different colleague who also returned to work after Mat leave this year ( 0.8 like me) I asked how she was. She said she was tired, to which I replied “I know, it’s hard doing 4 days isn’t it?” To which she replied, “Oh I now do 3 days!” My face said it all. She thought that I knew! I burst into tears as 3 days is my ideal! She said he came to her very last min, just before Christmas and offered her 3 days from Jan! It’s all hush, hush and because she works in a totally different key stage me, it possibly could have been kept away from my knowledge for months! We have become more chatty since having babies and so I obviously have found out! She requested 3 days after my request and was obviously turned down like me. I can see why and how he has done it but I am so angry. I just feel that it is grossly unfair. That as he was sending me an email saying that I could no longer do 3 days from Feb, he was emailing her confirming it from Jan!!! Not sure what to do next. I am furious and upset. I just don’t feel valued or like I can work for him anymore.Union? Letter to governors/CEO? He has been told off before for promising things, he hasn’t learnt his lesson. Sorry for the loooooong post. Any advice would be most welcomed. Thank you in advance.
  2. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Did you make a formal request for flexible working when you asked for 0.6? I think that would make a difference. Otherwise, unless you have evidence that the school made an offer of 0.6, which you accepted, I doubt if there is anything you can do about it. But, the best place for advice is your union.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I appreciate this is your first post @BOWLERGIRL - welcome to TES - so please take this supportively not as a criticism, but posting a solid block of nearly 1,000 words with no paragraphs or formatting makes it very hard to read.

    I suggest you discuss it with your union before doing anything else.

    @Piranha's question about whether you made a formal request under the flexible working regulations is important. Not only because of its requirements if the request is refused, but also because if you have made a formal flexible working request you cannot make another one for 12 months.

    strawbs and agathamorse like this.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes. I was wondering if, assuming such a request has not yet been made, making one now would be a more constructive way forward than complaining about what has already happened. I am sure the OP's union can advise better than me.
    agathamorse and Rott Weiler like this.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Flexible working requests may also have influenced the head's decisions - it sounds as if he has a couple of people who have settled, after making requests for three days, for four days, plus someone with a new flexible working request for three days. If he now has a three-day post, I'm not sure he doesn't have to respond to the new request first. I don't think "there's a queue for working 3 days" would be a valid business reason for saying no, since the earlier requests are no longer officially current.

    It does sound as if your head is a bit inundated with people wanting to go (more) part-time, all at slightly different times, and is struggling with juggling it all. Might you all be able to put your heads together and make some proposals for next September? If you went to him with a solution, before he starts juggling next year's class allocations, maybe that will be easier than the steady stream of requests this year. If he knows you're all talking to each other, it might also be harder for him to do the "you can have this but don't tell anyone", too. If you did try this idea, probably the best bet is to sound him out about it, but even if he seems to agree, then put in formal requests, so that you get it formally agreed.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It doesn't sound that way to me at all; It's a pretty safe bet that the more you are paid, the more likely you are to be given that extra day "off".
    From the OPs scenario, nobody wants to do four days. People are all maxed out at three. But if they all get three, then the staffing ratios will not be fulfilled. So he has probably made a calculation to keep the lowest paid staff on four days.
    Because that's how it rolls these days.
    mothergoose2013 likes this.

    BOWLERGIRL New commenter

    Sorry for the length of the post, I was just ranting! I will apply this to any future posts!
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It's not the length - it needs to be what it needs to be - it's the lack of paragraphs!

    BOWLERGIRL New commenter

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I made an official request for 3 days in Feb last year which was refused. Part time costing more was one of his reasons for refusing it! My request was made before anyone else’s and therefore people who have since requested the same were also refused. But one of those colleagues has now been given 3 days. I don’t think that it’s fair! I am going to officially request 3 days again next month for the following year. Also...he has been approaching staff asking if they would drop/still like to drop days because he had to save money!

    BOWLERGIRL New commenter

    I completely understand! But because I was so cross, I was literally just writing and writing without even thinking about how I’d formatted it!Apologies
    mothergoose2013 likes this.
  11. Presleygirl

    Presleygirl Occasional commenter

    Bowlergirl I would talk to the union and see what they advise first port of call. Send the union a copy of emails you have been sent, recieved.
    Format for here it happens we sometimes just vent, paragraphs go out of the window and the spelling in my case too.

    Hope it gets sorted
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It could just be that it was possible to cover her extra day in her key stage and not in yours.
    There may have been someone who could do the one day in year 5, but not in reception or some such.

    It's an absolute nuisance, but probably not a personal attack on you.
    mothergoose2013 likes this.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well at least you most definitely don't have the opposite and more conventional problem of the HT wanting you out...

    Don't forget, the HT also has an overview of whole school staffing on each day of the week, something that you do not necessarily have; he might think, for example, that the only day feasible for you to have "off" is also a day that leaves the school populated by only new staff, ergo more calls out and ripple effect issues for him. Or something like that.
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    That seems to me the most constructive thing to do at the moment. I would suggest talking through the response to your previous application with somebody who knows about such things (your union?) to see if you can deal with the reasons for refusal, in your new application.
    agathamorse likes this.

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