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Independent sector hours change

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jeliella, May 18, 2019.

  1. jeliella

    jeliella New commenter

    Hi All, I’ll try to keep it brief.

    I moved to an independent school last September. They matched my pay (UPS 2) and agreed to a working week of 0.6. I have an offer letter to this effect. The contract I was given however had nothing about hours or pay in it. I brought this up with the head who claimed it wasn’t an issue and that no staff had hours in their contract so he wouldn’t make an exception for me. I was annoyed but didn’t feel like I had any options so I didn’t sign my contract but left the battle there.

    Roll on next year (Sept 2019) and they have given me 2 options, 0.45 over 3 days or 0.58 over 4 days. Both are a drop in hours and I feel the spread of hours over the days is unreasonable.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and what was the outcome? I’m on the lookout for another job and my subject is in high demand (Chemistry) but I have to give a full terms notice so I’m stuck until Xmas at least. I feel like I’ve been well and truly had!

    Any advice welcome :)
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    OK it's a long time ago but I did 0.5 for 2 years over 4 days (plus I did all practices and matches being PE as a full timer would) This worm turned when the timetable for the 3rd year was giving me 0.5 over 5 days.... with an odd 'dead' period non-paid to boot. I went full time.....as I might as well have been paid!
    jeliella and agathamorse like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    My experience of an Indy, is that many 'art0timers' were paid sessionally, only for the hours they were class-based and indeed they were often spaced out over 4-5 days if teaching English, Maths or Science. Most 'full-timers' have a smaller teaching load than many State Schools, like between 70 -80% class contact depending on subject, but as supplies are not used, 'non-teaching periods' often involve covering for sick colleagues.
    Pay in Indies can vary enormously and I take it that yours is not one of the more generous ones, or else the drop in pay might not be so detrimental. :(
    jeliella and agathamorse like this.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    And that didn't ring any alarm bells or cause you to get union advice? Employers are legally required to notify you of this


    At least you have the written offer letter and acceptance to prove your 0.6.

    How it is spread over the days is at head;s discretion unless you specifically agreed otherwise. But schools cannot unilaterally reduce your hours. It's probably redundancy and also likely to be a breach of regulations prohibiting unfair treatment of part time workers. You need union advice urgently.
    jeliella, agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. jeliella

    jeliella New commenter

    Yes it did ring alarm bells but at the time I felt my choices were either to leave or accept.

    Thanks for the link you sent. I haven’t seen it before. I will be discussing this with them on Monday, although I do fear that to spite me the hours will be as spread out as possible.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If you have this opinion of your school leaders, it is probably time to look for a new post.
  7. jeliella

    jeliella New commenter

    I just feel that if I ‘cause trouble’ then this would be a typical response.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Take your original job offer letter with you and ask them why you are no longer going to be on the hours which were in the original job offer.
    Don't immediately think that they are trying to spite you-you probably think this because, apparent from your posts, they have somehow imbued you with a fear of talking to them.
    This is common. It is a (not especially nice) managerial method of getting people onside with zero fuss.
    Ive seen time and time again how part timers start out with the hours they wish for as a lure into the job. But in subsequent years, they are then giving trapped time, part days, split shifts, whatever. This is in the knowledge that the teacher is at that point already invested in the school, and therefore more likely to go with it.
    I don't think they want to spite you as much as they need to treat you with expedience for timetabling reasons.
    But the drop in hours is wrong. They are chancing it.
    Challenge it. Just take your job offer letter and say to them "this is what I signed up for, this is what I expect"
    Your proposed two scenarios are potentially not actually that bad depending on how your contact time is distributed. But they do need to extend it to 0.6,
    Stand up for yourself and say so!
    jeliella and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. jeliella

    jeliella New commenter

    Thankyou. The replies on this thread have been very helpful!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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