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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by oojyspoon, Mar 2, 2012.
Does anyone have experience of of grievance investigation and hearing? Was it totally awful?
Yes and yes. Have you put one in?
Yes I have. Waiting for investigation interview date and then hearing. Were you successful Torey? I don't expect mine to go anywhere, but feel I need to do this before I finally leave. Just want a few other people to know what has happened to me and how I've been treated. In other words I don't intend to go quietly!
I have a different experience (as a parent and as a governor). I wonder if there is anything to be said for writing a drama documentary...
Hope all goes well
Can I just ask who you make the complaint to, if the grievance is against the Head and the Governing Body?
The school grievance procedure will set out the precise procedure. The application is usually made to the line manager of the person being complained about. If this is the head it's dealt with by the Chair of Governors (who is advised always to seek advice from the LA. The line manager arranges for an investigation by a person of suitable seniority, who takes a statement of complaint and interviews witnesses. The investigator then presents their report. At the hearing both parties can ask questions of the investigator, following which the investigator leaves. The chair then normally questions both sides to ascertain the facts and both sides then usually make closing summary statements, with the last word usually left to the person raising the grievance. The hearing may be an informal exchange or it may be more judicial/adversarial in nature. Once the evidence and statements are concluded the hearing closes and the chair then deliberates on the outcome decision, which is communicated to the parties in due course. Sanctions/appeals (if any) will be as specified in the grievance policy.
As a union caseworker I have been involved for quite a few. Even though the idea is that this is a low-key dispute resolution of a complaint against a colleague, in practice there are no winners irrespective of the outcome. The post-hearing fall-out can be very uncomfortable for some considerable time. However, if you are in an invidious position it may well seem that there is no better alternative, Do ensure you have experienced union representation, which may well mean NOT the school rep as they are rarely trained for grievance procedures. . Grievances can always be withdrawn at any time and an informal mediation may be a better alternative. Do pm me if I can assist further.Good luck
Let me add that if you are considering taking the employer (LA) to an employment tribunal for any reason, the tribunal will always ask if you first pursued a complaint through the school's internal grievance procedure. If you say you didn't, your case, the tribunal will in all probability dismiss your case.
If the complaint is just about the head the complaint is lodged with the chair of governors. If it's against the head AND the GB then it's usually the Secretary of State for education. The school procedures should specify who to approach, and if these are imprecise, the LA will have a complaints policy - however they may try to steer complainants towards the Local Government ombudsman. Complaints procedures have a legal basis and more information can be consulted here:
Thank you, that's really helpful
Tread very carefully if you want to work again in teaching . I can fully understand that you want justice but in my experience the complainant invariably suffers from "whispers" just as much as the school, even if the grievance is upheld. Union at the highest level and think about other options- early release perhaps or a negotiated reference. In the end you may still decide to pursue the matter but as others have said you rarely win outright in these matters. Good luck.
Depends on what you mean success. Everyone is aware of what they did and they won't be able to do it again due to the amount of money it cost the authority. If you are thinking of leaving the school and maybe teaching, then it won't matter so much if they force you out as they are likely to make your life hell. Good luck with it.
I don't want to detract from the accurate and detailed advice already given but do just want to add that it is unlawful to victimise someone because they raise a grievance though, sadly, many report that this is, indeed, what happens to them.
Good, free support, together with information about your rights, is available from Public Concern at Work, the organisation to support whistle-blowers.
True but you try proving it......
I have done.
My grievance went to HR who then sent to Chair of Govs. Together they decided it should be investigated by LA. This situation isn't written into the LA policy, but at least so far, things are looking fair.
Off the record HR told me they knew what the head was like. The LA will support the head as it works out cheaper. Do you have any evidence in writing to prove anything?
Thank you ALL for your responses. There seems to be a lot of experience on this thread!
Basically in my case, the usual, suffered at the hands of bullying manipulative HT, Govs looked the other way, one joined in, long term reactive depression and sickness abscence, mediation failed, redeployment offered (consisted of HR writting to 20 local schools telling them I had been off sick long term and was looking for alternative work-i.e I am now 'blacklisted' at all my local schools!) now I face dismissal because my GP and OH can't sign me fit to return to that school while Head is still there. Anyway...I can't see me ever having the confidence to even do voluntary work in a school, let alone apply for jobs in the future. Thanks to what one sick person has inflicted on someone more talented, popular and gifted than them, the career I loved is over. I was a very good teacher and desparately miss the kids, the parents and some of my colleagues. Ho hum...
THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR RESPONSES-WISH ME LUCK!!!!!
If you have reactive depression and they know this you may be covered by the equality act which changes things. Go and see an employment solicitor that specialises in employment and disability discrimation. Your chances in a discrimination case are better than for a bullying one and the legal protection is better.
OK it sux!!!! Do not be so disheartened. Get in there & fight for yourself because no1 else is going too.
I am going through a very similar thing & it is doing my brain in because I know what they are doing. However, I am sure that like me you have worked too long & too damed hard to get where you have to allow some over paid smuck to take it all away from you with a signature.
I am sure that you are a good teacher, i know that I am. Don't make it easy for them - they have no right to be making you this miserable.
Get the doctor to sign you off for a while & get yourself together. When you are ready go in & fight for yourself! Too often good teachers ( & by that I don't mean ones who suck up & get good observations after 5mins) are being forced out because younger cheaper models come along with thier new fangled ways. They don't last 5mins- they are not dedicated they are fast-tracked with no idea about what it means to be an educator. You clearly love the job - don't let them do this too you. If you have to go, make sure that it is on your terms- not thiers!!!!
Thanks so much Tbob. You are very kind.
I'm off sick now, feeling much better, just gutted! Not allowed to go back, not that I would want to.
Union solicitors weren't very hopeful of good outcomes on any count, because they felt success would be less than 50% chance. I would still like to look into it a bit more with a private solicitor but don't know where to start. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Ta folks.