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Doubling teaching load

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by hhhh, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Hypothetically, what advice would you give X? He is currently on sick leave, following an operation for a health problem that he'd been suffering with for a few months. Just before he went for his op, the manager of his centre (it is not a school, it is a community teaching centre, so lower pay/no school holidays/no Burgundy Book- don't want to say more) announced there would be a meeting about changes to contracts the following week. He told her that he couldn't attend and asked her to let him know details about it-she said she would after the meeting-but obviously since then he's been off, and more concerned about his health/family and not contacted work, other than to send in a sick note and explain he'd be having a follow-up hospital appointment soon, after which he'd let them know what the doctor advised.
    X got a text from a colleague, saying that the manager has said everyone is being told to sign contracts that mean they have to teach a minimum of roughly 50% more than they do now. X would normally ring his union BUT he has been told nothing officially-the colleague had said letters would be posted out, but X hasn't received one.

    Worse, very few of the staff are in a union, X thinks he might be the only one.

    I know X should focus on his health, but he really doesn't want to change jobs, but will not be able to cope with this extra load. He's had other teaching jobs in the past, but doesn't want to go back to those.

    Can they do this? He has been there over 4 years.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Could be all sorts of things happening. Is "everyone" really all the staff?
    If X hasn't been told what the changes are there is nothing to get upset about- yet.
    It may be worth a pre-emptive chat to someone from the union. Bottom line, it must be unsettling for Xnot to have a clue what is going on.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Yes, especially as he has serious family issues too, alongside being on the sick. Maybe he should ring the union, but wouldn't they want the full facts before being able to give advice, plus as (unlike in schools) most colleagues are not union members, would they be able to do anything?

    Everyone in his section will have to teach about 50% more. In other departments, some already have more student contact time, but they don't do the same things as x and his colleagues(don't want to be too specific, but some staff are more like TAs/support workers or supervisors), so it will only be his department that doubles their current workload. The manager is not a teacher and cannot seem to understand the difference between, say, invigilating a paper for an hour, and having to plan, prepare, teach and assess a class-yes, you might only officially be standing teaching that class for an hour, but...
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The union will do nothing for non members . They can use the money they've not paid on subs to pay for legal advice.
    Your friend can have an advisory chat. But his workload remains unchanged at present.
    The thread title talks of a doubling of work load but then talks of a 50% increase. Which is it?
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    How much time does he teach now? Most teachers could not add 50% to their teaching time, as there are not enough teaching hours in the week.

    As far as the legality of this is concerned, I think it is only a change to contracts if the contracts specify the time spend teaching. I know that my contract just specified STPCD, which meant I could be asked to tach for up to approximately 90% of the full teaching week. I know this is not the same, but the contract probably does say something about working hours.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yet your post title says the teaching load is doubling?????

    Any teacher who has space in their timetable to fit in 50% more clearly has at least 33% non-contact, which is an incredibly low teaching load.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Again hypothetically-he has been told by a colleague in his department that the number of hours teaching will be approximately doubled; this part-time colleague currently teaches for 6 hours and has been told she will have to teach a MINIMUM of ten-for no more money.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    As I say, it is not a school-don't want to be too specific about this (hypothetical) place, but they spend a lot of time doing things other than teaching-things we wouldn't do as 'normal' school teachers, for example travelling the best part of an hour between one class and another/having to enrol students/set up room/admin and paperwork, so as X will STILL have to do all this, it will mean he has to do a lot more of this in his own time. The pay/holiday time is far lower than 'normal' teachers get, which X accepted when he took this role, but he (and other colleagues) were told they would usually only be teaching a small number of classes, as they were expected to use their remaining hours to do the admin/travelling between sites etc.
  10. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Can he not email his line manager and ask for details?
    phlogiston likes this.

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