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compromise agreement

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sadandconfused, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. To cut a long story short, I am intending to resign from my current workplace due to a bullying, control freak head. The words "compromise agreement" are being bandied about and I am keen to leave asap and so very tempted to accept (it includes a reference that I will see and has to be agreed)
    Two concerns:
    1) the gagging order that usually accompanies these - does this apply to the head as well i.e. is she not allowed to talk about all the events that led up to this point as well as me?
    2) will reference be made to the compromise agreement at any point in the future - I am hoping to get another post soon and wondered if a new head would be able to find out about the compromise agreement?
  2. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I assume that you have the involvement of your union, as they could answer these questions for you.
    1-yes it applies to both of you.
    2-yes if you can both agree to it. I'm sure that it has been mentioned that you can tell if the reference is a compromise one. I guess by the blandness of it. You could ask in the Head's forum.
    Ring Teacher support line if you need some emotional support.
  3. union are heavily involved and have been an excellent support for me. In fact I also have the support of HR for various reasons. I have seen the draft reference and it isn't too bland actually.
    Just wanted some other opinions as well as union - this is a huge decision to make especially as I haven't yet found alternative employment so thanks for your reply
  4. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Do remember that a comrpomise agreement is just that: a compromise. You and your union can re-write your reference until you are happy with it. You don't have to accept the Head's version.
  5. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    A compromise ageement will prevent you from taking action against the Head in an Industral Tribunal. However it should not prevent you taking other forms of legal action such as a c laim for harassment in the future. You may not wish to do so, but it's useful to know what"s possible.
  6. thanks GL. Don't ever want to see the head again so was never going down the route of industrial tribunal - plus I don't have enough evidence for any form of legal action really. My biggest concern however is how compromise agreements are likely to affect my chances of getting another post - I am now hoping that part of the agreement will be that neither my head nor I will make reference to it again and consequently it won't be mentioned to prospective new heads - especially as I need to work again and PDQ!
  7. Do you have a second referee who is 'safe'? If not a line manager in your present school, then from your former school or college? Worth re-contacting these if necessary to ensure that they know you're looking for work.
    Don't accept the first version of the reference - when you have seen the first attempt, working through your union, provide a grammatically correct and positive, factual account of your work for the school (including such phrases as 'has shown excellent timekeeping' if these apply).
    Heads are often very sore that they have not got their way, and will attempt even at the last stage to rush you into agreeing to accept a lame / badly written reference. Often, for example, by the terms of the compromise you must agree to resign by X date - they will drag their feet and have a lame badly-written reference at this point. Be prepared with your union to state that you cannot resign and must continue to be paid as the delay in agreement is due to their intransigence.
    However, I have never seen a compromise agreement reference that does not address the recipient as 'to whom it may concern', and this is accepted code that what follows is the result of a comp. If you and your union can insist on the recipient being correctly addressed, it will be a bit of a first, but go for it anyway.
    You will find work again if you want it. You might have to accept temporary contracts / supply but but through this you will build up sufficient contacts to enable you to consign this head to the dustbin. Good luck and chin up, nearly there now.
  8. Thanks OGW. I can certainly ask previous head for a reference - there's no-one at the current school I could or would want to ask. We're already on second version of reference and I have asked for a number of changes already.
    It has been agreed that I will resign with effect from 31st August (a retrospective date obviously, but it means my current sick leave does not show on my personnel records).
    My reference is put on a standard form which is produced by the LEA and so that hopefully negates the addressing it to someone specific - as it is a standard reference it is what would have been done if I had left without the compromise agreement.

  9. Then you're off and away! Well done, and start enjoying the future.
  10. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    You do need shedloads of evidence to bring a legal claim.
    It will be a bit of a second, OGW! My comp does just that! Union rep and I wrote it between us.
    Actually OGW, this breaches the GTC's Code of Conduct and may be a source of complaint of misconduct against the Head. In my experience few people seem to realise that complaints of misconduct can be made directly to the GTC, providing the appropriate complaints procedure has been followed first. (Guidance for doing this is on the GTC website.) It may not be appropriate for this poster but I wish, in general, that more victims of bullying would look into this as an option.
  11. thanks OGW. The reference is still being thrashed out but I am hopeful - at least the most hopeful I have been for months - that it might get sorted out before half term!
    I am still worried about the compromise agreement -especially vis a vis the comments on my thread over on the headteacher's forum about it - and really hope that I can get a new position asap so that I can wipe this head from any future references!
  12. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    As has already been said, a compromise agreement does exactly what it says on the tin... the good thing is that you are left with an agreed reference, that may or maynot say that you left due to compromise agreement. The head should be 'gagged' too, this means that s/he cannot send out agreed reference and then ring up the head of a school you are applying to and 'tell the truth'... cause they have broken the agreement...
    Once you have a new position, and you want to move on again, you will have to still put onto employment records etc that you worked there, but you will have a nice, new reference from new employer!
    I wish you luck!
  13. Don't want to put this on an open forum.....
    I've previously received a CA and can tell you absolutely that it should never be mentioned (by either you or the school) that you left due to a CA.
    Make sure you get the reference you want. My union rep said he'd never seen such a good CA reference - maybe I was extremely lucky, as mine is far from "bland". I certainly have no concerns about applying for another job due to my CA.
    The downside I have found from being off long-term sick (prior to the CA) is that most teaching application forms ask how many days you've had off sick in the past 12 months, which completely scuppers my chances of getting the job. Due to this I decided to do supply for a while instead, starting a long-term supply position at the beginning of this term. You know what? It's great! Yes behaviour (I'm secondary) can be a bit like fire-fighting but I know I'm going home at 3pm with no marking and the evenings are mine once again.
    If you're planning to do this make sure you get yourself a good agency. Mine has a contract with the school that if they want me to do any meetings/parents evenings etc they have to pay £36 per hour. Guess what? The school wants me to go home at 3, which suits me!
    I did apply for one job after the CA (that particular application form didn't ask for sick record) but I know an informal conversation took place (in a pub) but I can't prove it.....basically I'd been told I'd got the job then suddenly the offer was withdrawn.
    But like I say, for now things are working out ok for me. Going through the CA was stressful in itself, but I'm through the other side and am enjoying teaching once again! So I'm proof that you can get through this.
    Good luck :eek:)

  14. flamered thank you so much for your reply. I can't do supply - young family and childcare issues mean I can't have something so unreliable. However I am more positive now that my reference won't be noticable as part of the agreement and so I should get interviews (plus my time off sick isn't too bad if it all goes according to the agreement between HR and my union)
  15. a comprimise agreement should be seen by an independent solicitor who will talk you through it and ask you if you fully understand what you are signing.Also beware if you are leaving for any reasons that might be child protection issues however flimsy they do inform the teaching authorities , independent standards etc and used to do GTC, but as they are being wound up not sure if they get involved, dont trust anybody including union rep or hr officials.
  16. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Just wondered if there was any update? Have you signed your CA? Are you happy?
  17. Regarding application forms and sickness absence records. Under the new 2010 Equality Act you can no longer be asked to say how many days off sick you have. Any new application forms will have had this removed. If it is on the old style application form as a question you can legitimately refuse to comment under this act. I don't think you can be asked it at interview either but not completely sure on that point. Hope this helps.
  18. Thanks melonballs.....I didn't know this.
    I've just looked at the Act and can see it came into force on 1st October, blimey, you're on the ball. Have checked some recent application forms as well and can see they're now free of the sick days question. That means as soon as a job comes up in my subject area I can apply. Thank you!
  19. Have finally signed the CA - happy(ish) with the final reference - it was never going to be an all singing all dancing one whenever I left due to the bad opinion the head had of me and my teaching ability. Am the happiest I have been for ages [​IMG](although unemployed and not getting any supply work, despite reassurances from my agency that there is tonnes of work around and I am "guaranteed" the two days a week that I would like)
    Let's just hope that I can secure a permanent post soon!

    Thanks for everyone's help and support
  20. Hi Sadandconfused,
    I am currently in a similar position to you and my union have approached Personnel Services to be able to forward my request for a compromise agreement to my head. This whole ordeal has been the most soul destroying experience I have ever had. How long did it take from starting the agreement negotiations until it was all over and done with? Any advice for how to get through it relatively unscathed?


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