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Job Agreed then Head says MAT says no!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by cillia, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. cillia

    cillia New commenter

    Was brought into a teaching post by recruit agency at a MAT to start absolutely ASAP as the full time teacher who was offered the post through the system HR etc and was due to start, realised it was too much and quit. They had 3 days to offer Per week but head stated more hours/days for me could be found including cover and was happy to recruit as full time post if that was what was required. I said I couldn't do .5 of a post. The head said not to worry he could sanction it but I needed to start next day 9:00am but also stated that to begin immediately it'd have to be through umbrella Co. as I would need to complete the MAT's lengthy application procedure etc.to get the FT job. I kind of got the feeling the Head was just agreeing to anything to get me into the class to teach a course specialism of mine across 4 year groups which is less common. However i was pushed by the head to agree a salary there and then and negotiated one. The head shook my hand on a figure I proposed it was felt was reasonable, and my agency were informed; I would be hired full time for a finders fee which is usual. The secretary then preceded to fuddle around for good few days failing to send the application and other details. Meanwhile there I was totally in the deep end of a subject left somewhat in array understanding the curriculum and taking on some pretty difficult (unruly) classes straight away. Finally I get the application process complete and request viewing the contract offer ASAP. After a few days sure enough as I figured, I get called in to the head's office - The head states : unfortunately the MAT board had rejected his appointment and that as he was short some hours with other teachers as some courses did not run. The courses I was running, as well as being form tutor would have to be taken up by any spare hours any other teachers had on a rotor basis and thanked me for my picking up the ball at short notice but unfortunately my services would longer be needed. I knew they just wanted to buy time to get the classes set-up and organised from term start and till they could look at things. I can't help thinking that the head told me they had the weight to sanction this position and a greed a contract there and then and shook my hand to seal the deal. They know though that unless I have paperwork to back it all up i'm stuck, so I left politely and thanked them. I was used!
  2. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I am sorry, and disgusted, to hear what has happened to you, @cillia . The duplicity of this Head is despicable. Will he pay you for the days you have done?
  3. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    This appears to be the other side of a common problem here.

    If the head made a specific offer regarding hours and pay, and you agreed, then you have a contract.

    Sue them, or at least let them know that if you do not receive satisfactory recompense for their breach of contract, you will take the necessary steps.
  4. Jamvic

    Jamvic Lead commenter

    If your agency was officially informed you were being taken on permanently and a ‘finders fee’ agreed with them then surely this constitutes evidence of a formal job offer.

    You could have turned down or missed other opportunities due to accepting this offer and therefore be out of pocket. The agency could have had to make other arrangements for assignments they were intending to send you on.

    The Head has to take responsibility for his actions, if he knew he didn’t have full authority to make the job offer at that time then he shouldn’t have made it. I agree with @Geoff Thomas and think both you and the agency should pursue some form of recompense.

    A solicitors letter to the MAT CEO should get a reaction. Even if it’s just a months salary as a good will gesture it’s better in your pocket than theirs and may help that Head think twice before misleading someone again.
  5. cillia

    cillia New commenter

    Problem I (and the agency) have is that the MAT consisting of large group that we may be shooting ourselves in the foot as the MAT will withdraw other posts and work offers.

    Which is why I bit my tongue and said thank you. I am angry about this but not at all surprised and it's not the first time it's happened to me and other teachers I know. The 'Gig Economy' draws hard nose hirers and firers in who care little for anyone apart from getting their job done. They know when they can be touched or not - Next time if there is a next time I will ask for a basic email (memorandum of agreement) which I can check on my phone before leaving the office.
    agathamorse, JohnJCazorla and Jamvic like this.
  6. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Old adage: 'You don't know who's conning who, and they're all conning you'.

    Things get complicated when an agency and a school involved, neither of which have any vested interest in being honest with you. That his secretary did not pass on your application forms would seem to suggest that the Head intended to be 'less than honest' with you. Did your agency confirm to you that the school had approached it to negotiate a finder's fee? If the agency wants to keep this school as a customer, you might find that it will not back you up.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  7. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Yep. You have been bent over and well and truly shafted. Remember, trust no one these days, especially agencies and Headteachers. No one is here to help you - they have enough of their own problems to solve. The Head knew this, has no scruples, doesn't care about misleading you and why should they?

    I would definitely try to negotiate a month's salary severance though but only if you have some written evidence that an offer was made and accepted. It will take a solicitor's letter or get the Union involved if you are a member. Failing that, forget it and move on and chalk it up to experience.

    Next time, ensure you get everything in order and in writing BEFORE you start. If they are desperate, it will give them an incentive to pull out all the stops to get everything sorted. You have been tangoed.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Also, remember that whatever your agency is telling you is b0ll ocks. They are only interested in themselves not you and will tell any lie and half truth, make all kinds of hints and promises about future work, to stop you from making a fuss and being compensated. If you were working for the school permanently as you say you were, the agency is nothing to do with this anyway now. See your union or a solicitor.
  9. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @cillia Really sorry you have been used in this way, but this is common and it is not you, it's the system and the Head's justification was something along the line of, he was doing it for the children etc. YOU know you deserve better and I agree that attempting to sue the MAT would cause MORE problems in getting work in the future and you would be seen as a trouble maker and another reason not to offer a proper job to in the future.

    On the positives:

    You ARE an AWESOME teacher and the Head knows, hence his politely telling you to you had to go. He would have been really nasty if you weren't and
    You got a DECENT salary for the work you did. I am sure he would have taken you cheaper if he could, so you won there in negotiating a good deal. Good one!:)

    Now what I would do, and I am sure a lot of others would disagree, is to write a letter to the Head stating that you would be willing to return to the school, if needed, subject to your availability, if another vacancy should arise and at a particular fee preferably through direct employment or through the UC for a few weeks and leave it at that.

    The situation within schools nowadays is NOBODY knows what the future holds and the Head's cheap solution, i.e. getting all the other teachers, CSs, TAs etc to cover the the role that was meant for you, as a cost saving exercise WILL fail. He may have to try getting a UT to cover, in form of a TA, Student Teacher, a graduate, NQT and after many fails, return to you. It is not the ideal place to work, but the offer could be made and probably will.

    The problem is, we are ALWAYS so pis$$ed off by these experiences that we shoot ourselves in the foot. The call may be next month or next year, but keep the avenue open whilst you look for better offers, I wish I did this. Very few teachers can do this, and this is why this strategy is more useful especially as this MAT is MEGA.

    And good luck on the journey.

    And I hope the perfect school finds you soon.:)
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It's a bit of a mess. Certainly the head has probably been underhand - it seems unlikely that he's so incompetent that such a situation would arise. However, I do not pretend to know much about the machinations of MATs - I would not be surprised by "I'm the biggest beast in this workplace" wars in some trusts.
    I would expect the administrative failure to probably be down to overwork, but you might expect this to be a priority action.
    It's difficult to know how to proceed - if you fear that you may have to have work at this Trust again, you may have to accept it. It's probably worth talking to a union adviser to see what might be a sensible course of action.
    I hope you find alternative work soon. I hope getting it off your chest has helped.
  11. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    That fact remains though, will @cillia get paid for the work she did do? if so, who will do so: the school, or the agency?
  12. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I am sure @cillia will get paid and it was through an UC, and UCs will chase the money and if they don't pay, she can chase them. It's more a matter of being lied to by the Head, who was just looking for a transitional teacher.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I hope at least that the agency are aware you hold these sentiments. I know they don't reward loyalty, or staff thinking of the bigger picture on their behalf, however, if you state to them that you feel it's unfair but know that fussing about it will impinge on their business relationship, it's the sort of thing that they will give you plus points for, even if only stored away at the back of their mind.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I hope you are right, @catbefriender. It is bad enough for @cillia to be treated by the Head in this way, without being cheated out of pay for the work she has done. Pursuing this Head might be difficult, if he really does not have the authority to hire staff. If so, then one could only hold him personally liable for his action, not the Trust for which he works.

    If @cilia is in a Union, not only might be able to take on the case, but it will know if this school has a previous history of this sort of trick.
  15. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    With this Head's shenanigans, there will be LOADS of teachers leaving or doing long term sickies and getting a quick buck now and again from this farce may be worth biting your lip for. This Head is a classic 'crazy maker', i.e. an individual who makes everyone around him crazy all the time, hence there will be a lot of temporary work there, for anyone with the stamina for it and I predict, not a lot of people will have it.

    Could be useful as a stepping stone to getting better work at another school in this MAT.

    By all means informing the union will be useful but pursuing it, may impact one's ability to work for ALL the schools in this mega MAT.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I like your term 'crazy maker,@catbefriender! I wonder if this Head is an intentional or unintentional crazy maker.
  17. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Crazy makers are people who have to project outside of themselves the turmoils that are going on inside of themselves. He even has his secretary performing a role i.e. taking a long time to send an application form! And he is pretty convincing when probably lying, i.e. saying he hasn't the authority to hire a class-teacher! All that matters with crazy makers is that there is a lot of chaos and confusion around them whilst they are the ones looking sane and in control, providing justifications for their HIGHER salaries. If it's an underlying personality disorder, or him just doing what he thinks a Head needs to do to survive in this MAT, we will never know. But what we do know is that there will be a lot of crazy going on around him for a very long time.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You'd have to be mad to even consider working for these people again.

    At the very least you've had a contract of employment (albeit verbal) which should see you paid for a notice period if they have made an error somewhere along the line and now wish not to employ you any longer. You cannot just employ professionals like this and then say, "sorry mate, no job now."

    MATs like this are not above the law and certainly should be treating people with common decency. I'd be inclined to take legal advice if they do not agree to a decent package for you to leave and take the issue no further.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    She was employed through an agency and paid through a UC therefore TWICE removed from the school. If she was employed via a direct contract, she would probably have been given a week to a month's notice.
  20. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The contract as agreed above would be between the teacher and the school. The agency would get a finder's fee and their involvement in the person's employment would cease.

    confirming the appointment was made verbally.

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