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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dew_a_change, Jul 13, 2011.
I was wondering how you word a grievance. Any help appreciated.
If this sounds like a flippant answer, it isn't intended to be - but first read the threads below on workplace bullying and the experiences of those who have sought to complain. That is not to say you shouldn't do it, but you need to be very careful to protect yourself.
Go to the website for the organisation Public Concern at Work www.pcaw.org.uk , whose advice is free and contact them for advice, should you devide to raise a grievance and before you go ahead.
Have you talked to your union at regional level?
Think very carefully about taking out a grievance, because the other party will take one out against you; whatever the outcome, you will probably have to remain in the same school for the forseeable future and even if you do win, the muck that has been thrown about, whether true or unfounded will stick!
Don't put one in, think VERY carefully, then if you still feel the need, look for a new job and still don't put one in.
You'll end up looking for a new job anyway, just this way, you avoid all the stress and unpleasantness and may get a reasonable reference.
I appreciate I don't know the circumstances but the above is my general advice.
Very best of luck with this dew_a_change, keep us updated on progress. Don't worry if your union is wary of grievances, see what has been said in this thread about success rates.
Regarding future relationships - if you are putting in a grievance things have already got to a pretty bad state....if management know you are willing to fight back they will think twice about trying to push you around
References: heads don't want to keep 'trouble-makers' on their staff so will not put obstacles in the way of them leaving quickly and easily.
'forcing teachers out' takes a while and is mainly psychological in nature: if you are pretty bloody minded in the first place it is not so easy, if you have already put in one grievance they won't want to attract even more attention by enabling you to put in another. so will have tread more carefully.
and the very telling point: you can not address any of these issues at a tribunal if the school's greivance procedures have not been fully explored first.
As you learn more about dealing with this kind of issue, you might also consider looking into becoming a union rep, that can be sobering for management too.... and encouraging for colleagues: people rarely get to the point you are at in isolation, there will be others ...
Good luck from me too, dew_a_change. I hope things work out for you.
If, by any chance, you find yourself victimised as a consequence of speaking out, contact Public Concern at Work www.pcaw.org.uk for advice and support. I sincerely hope you won't need them.
Good Luck dew-a-change. I'll let you know how I got on when it is resolved
thanks guys - will let you know how it goes.
Do keep in touch via the forum. Strength to endure comes from knowledge. I have had more good leads from individuals saying "Did you realise you could...?" , helping me to nag and ask the right questions of lawyers and others, than from any other source.
True gardening leaves. I had more help from acas than my union initially. Wanted grievance in before holidays t prevent it dragging on during next year.
Not ideal situation but feel I will struggle to have closure and move on if it is not dealt with whatever the outcome.
I'm guessing that they will drag their heels, tell lies, ignore the obvious and suggest that you are the one at fault. I'm saying that because that is the norm and by recognising that it is the norm then you can be ready for the psychological hit when the corruption inherrent in the grievance process hits.
Its important that you read
<h3>'Kangaroo courts' -- Never ! -- Our systems are both fair and reliable.</h3>
We have had our response and I am reasonably happy with it. The acknowledgement of issues of concern is there in writing and the governors are going to keep an eye on whether the suggested remedies have been successful and on how the Respect at Work policy is being implemented and promoted. We have been offered independent mediation so now we need to see how it goes.
Good Luck to everyone else who is going through this process, hope it works out for you
Isn't it ironic that a bunch of teachers are warning each other about 'telling' on the perpetrators of wrong doing. Don't misunderstand me I completely agree with the advice that has been given. I raised a grievance and... well lets just say I'll be fighting my case for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. But isn't it all appalling that we feel we need to warn against doing something as an adult that we encourage children to do all the time. I can't help but wonder if every member of staff who felt they had been treated badly by the management all stood up and complained, and if all the other staff stood with them instead of slinking off to the shadows, we might be able to make a real difference.
Just as long as the difference isn't to the teachers who haven't been able to find work and now find there are swathes of schools with multiple job opportunities for them.
While the system supports the head -whatever they do is seen as acceptable- it is difficult to change the situation. I am trying to get into a head's position and make sure I am fair to my staff.
PS good luck with your tribunal.
I think I just worry about an environment where every member of staff has received training at one time or another about the effects of bullying and how to prevent it in relation to the students they teach and can still harbor bullying staff. I know that most teachers aren't mocking their colleague's trainers or trying to pinch their phone or dinner money but being over critical about work practice, moving the goal posts, 'forgetting' to include people in social events, taking away responsibilities and that horrible thing when you walk in the office and everyone stops talking and looks away seem to be so commonplace in some schools that people almost forget that it is nothing less than bullying. If I was to become a head teacher (seriously unlikely at this point! lol) I would try to introduce a Restorative Justice system into the school. The idea being that if two people are in conflict in any way they meet and discuss what happened and (sorry a bit wishy washy liberal I know) talk about how it made them feel. The two parties then need to find a way to repair the damage. That might be on a literal level... paying for any damage to property, or it might be a way to earn back the trust of the other person. So if a kid kicks off in a science lesson and wastes the teacher's time they might have to make up that time and show some responsibility by helping clean test tubes or tidy up the lab a few days a week. In the same way the system should be in operation for staff to take their issues to as well. If a couple of members of staff are trained in Restorative Justice then they could be the contact point for both students and staff as a way to reconcile conflicts within the school. I've seen this used with kids who have committed crimes and the impact of telling a kid how they made the other person feel is incredibly powerful, especially as they often have little concept of the effects of their actions. I know it's been used with children who have been involved in bullying... why not try it with adults? How many poor managers are simply mimicking the style of management they have experienced without thinking about the effects that has on the person they are dealing with. I know I have left my own experiences wondering how some people can sleep at night knowing what they are doing to another person... maybe they just don't think about it.