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Help please regarding pay and covid-19

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Annie873, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Annie873

    Annie873 New commenter

    Good evening everyone, hope you are all keeping safe and well.
    I'm really hoping someone may be able to offer me some advice on my situation. My union is obviously not open until tomorrow and I'm really upset and worried.
    My son is in a mainstream comprehensive. He has a diagnosis of ASD and an EHCP with full time LSA hours. I was called to pick him up because he has been in close contact with a positive covid case. Told he must stay home for 14 days, even if he tested negative, they would not allow him back before 14 days. At present he has no symptoms.
    I am a single parent of two school aged children with no childcare support other than my parents whom are both "vulnerable".
    I have offered to work from home. I have been told that if I don't go in to work, I will not be paid.
    Alternatively, I can lose an hours pay everyday by working 9.30 - 2.30 without lunch. "So I can see my other child to school - because they cannot go to my parents now - and I won't leave my other child with SEN alone for so long" (I think 5 hours is a long time, longer if you factor in travel time)

    Is this what I have to accept? This could happen again with myself or my children multiple times in the present situation??? It is not my fault, I do want to go to work.

    I will lose around 10 hours in total. I feel like a terrible mother being torn between what I want/should do and being responsible for supporting my family. I know it might not seem much to lose, but TA wages aren't great, and it will make a difference for my family.
    My current school is an academy.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

    Take care everyone, stay safe x
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi Annie873, really sorry you find yourself in this position. I think schools are deciding for themselves what they want to do in these situations - I'm sure there are others finding themselves in the same place. I would definitely contact your union today, I hope they can offer more practical help.

    My only suggestion is to talk to your line manager or school business manager - someone you have a good relationship with and can trust. Explain the situation and ask if there is any way you could make up the missing hours when you are able to return - could you have half an hour lunch break until the hours are covered? If it is difficult to talk to them now that you are at home, try an email.

    Sorry I can't be more help, but I feel for you and hope you can work something out so that you don't lose the money.
    Annie873 likes this.
  3. Annie873

    Annie873 New commenter

    Thank you so much for offering your support, it means a lot.

    Unfortunately I have no good relationships at work due to only being in this school for a short while.
    I wouldn't have been in this situation had I stayed in my previous school - sadly I've learned a harsh lesson that trying to better myself wasn't worth it, poorer and happier was by far the better option.

    My union were incredibly understanding. In fact, their kindness reduced me to tears. It's my first experience of using their service after more than 8 years of membership. It was suggested I apply to their hardship fund and ask for some financial support. If approved, I may stay at home with my son ensuring his well being (and mine!) whilst not suffering the loss of income which would have a massive negative impact on my family.

    I know that there will be millions more parents facing these types of dilemmas and worse, in the months ahead. Unions and community forums like these are therefore vital in order for us to share our experiences, offer each other advice and words of support. These are dark and uncertain times.
    Stay safe everyone and thank you again! X
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I'm glad the union were supportive and hope the hardship fund comes up with something.

    Please don't feel that you were wrong to try and further your career by moving schools - none of us has a crystal ball and could forsee what has happened, but better times will come and you will move forwards, maybe at your current school or maybe elsewhere.

    Very best of luck x
    Annie873 likes this.
  5. hubcap

    hubcap Occasional commenter

    Yes, best of luck looking after your family. This virus puts everything into perspective- family and health first, always.
    Annie873 and sunshineneeded like this.

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