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Long-term supply query

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Izzi, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. vicnqt

    vicnqt New commenter

    Hi Izzi,
    So sorry you're having to go through this as I know what a pain it is. I quoted from the NEU to my agency and they gave me a number similar to 232 which like you, was below my current daily rate. They told me this number was because they offered tutoring and nursery work (even though they'd never told me this or offered me any!!) during the holidays so technically I could work in the school holidays! This bugged me because I think legally the pay should be for the school placement only and nothing else but I had already finished at the school and I'd only worked a few days over the 12 weeks and they ended up paying me the 100 odd they owed me in the end.

    The union actually weren't much help with me and they might say that because you've already agreed a rate and carried on, you aren't entitled. I'd still push for it with them and if you want to continue in September I'd agree a higher rate asap.

    It really is naughty of the agencies because I don't think they tell the schools that a supply teacher will be more expensive after 12 weeks and they ask the school to pay more and often don't take the cut themselves. Good luck with it!
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and Izzi like this.
  2. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Thank you! The only problem is, my daily rate once on AWR/232 comes out less than my current daily rate so the fact that I've crossed the 12 week threshold hasn't brought me any benefits. I'm still negotiating but don't want to be beaten down on my price to a figure lower than than 195 if 195 is the number I'm entitled to. From what you're saying, FrauRussell, as I'm a supply teacher on an assignment through a supply agency, they work to a figure of 232. How disappointing! I wish this was more straightforward! Will probably end up pricing myself out of the job at this rate!
  3. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Thank you - really helpful. So that's how they're going to try to explain it away! I'm sure that the school must have had this kind of scenario before so it would be interesting to know why this 12 week threshold is all of a sudden news to everyone!
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    It isn't the school's responsibility to pay AWR though - it's the agency. I was talking to another agency about this and the consultant even said that the agency would be making enough off me to be able to pay me M6 after the 12 weeks were up. They of course still wanted their profit margin and so they go back to the school to squeeze more money out of them.

    I don't see how they can pull the 232 one unless they're going to start offering you the tutoring etc. In schools we can only work 195 days and we all know that.
    Izzi and agathamorse like this.
  5. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter


    My agency paid me after 12 weeks - I had to remind them though.

    You should look up your rate on the pay scale. Divide annual salary by 195. That is your daily rate.

    The school should have a pay policy somewhere. Unless it specifically says they offer M1 to all new staff regardless of experience, or that they don’t follow Burgundy Book, you should get your pay rate.

    Sign up with other agencies.

    Threaten to walk. If you possibly can turn down the work.
    Izzi and agathamorse like this.
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Can I make a plea to all readers here that we ignore AWR totally and go for the 'correct rate' from Week 2, or Week 3 at the latest. Otherwise you're leaving yourself open to the underpaying as detailed above or even unemployment after Week 12.

    Work for whatever peanuts Week 1, "to see if we're a good fit" and then push very hard with the agency. You have a few advantages now
    1. You're doing a reasonable job at the school
      Or you'd have been sacked by now.
    2. The agency has already sold you to the school as Mr/Little Miss Fabulous.
      So can't now undermine you without ruining itself.
    3. The agency has done nearly all the work it'll do and is just waiting for the money to roll in.
      Won't want to see you leave and have to start again or see another agency step in.
    4. You're at the school, the agent isn't
      So you can present this to the relevant parties as the agency being money-grabbing (always true)
    agathamorse, Izzi and MsOnline like this.
  7. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    To the OP,

    Be clear about what YOU want and what you're willing to accept - be clear with yourself. Make a list.

    From an outsider's view the school is taking advantage. The fact that you feel uncertain at this point in the year is sad really.

    A full time class role without AWR or a contract - holiday pay, proper CPD, sick pay, tlr!!! How about work-life-balance? All those late nights and report writing outside school will come but unlike your contracted colleagues - you'll be doing it for free. Happy with that?

    Not sure where you are based but don't be afraid to be assertive. The letters from other posters seem useful.

    Join other agencies and see what other offers you get. If you want a contract say so (in writing) Good luck.
    agathamorse, Izzi and JohnJCazorla like this.
  8. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Have got my list of pros and cons but still waiting for confirmation (which should have materialised yesterday). Agency is trying to squeeze more out of the school - school has said that they will pay me to scale but that leaves nothing for the agency. I've been trying to find out what pay scales are for 2019 - 2019 as theoretically if they go up, I should be offered a figure for my time over the 12 week threshold up to the end of term and then another one for my assignment as of September ... I think. Difficult to find the right balance between being assertive and being greedy and inflexible but finding it tricky to be positive with the prospect of all work and no home life to not be paid for it. Obviously if that is the outcome, I will have to walk but didn't want to be the 'meany' in this - I'm obviously not 'thinking of the children' in this scenario as they've already met their new teacher but, oh dear, she might not actually be there in September. In the meantime, I'll just keep on writing those reports ...
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Welcome to the Brave New World of negotiating salary (and it's not just in Supply). For the sake of your own sanity I strongly advise you to act like all other involved parties and not give a monkey's 'about the children',

    and should anyone actually deliver the line "But what about the children?" then I'm sure that is a case for Justifiable Homicide.
    BTBAM85, MsOnline, Izzi and 1 other person like this.
  10. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Ha ha. It's a line that's been trotted out before in other schools so wouldn't be surprised if it popped up again here!

    I haven't been able to find any updated teacher pay scales for 2019- 2020. Everywhere is still showing 2018-1019 tables. Am I missing something?
  11. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    Exactly - if they were thinking 'about the chn' they'd be fair and secure a caring teacher like yourself.

    You have given them the list of what you'd like and they're delaying?!! Don't let them wear you down.

    Also, don't listen to the plight of violin-playing agencies - surely they've made enough money off your hard work already. Who cares if it 'leaves anything' for the agency or not - that is for THEM to sort out independent of your pay. You are not being 'mean' or 'greedy' be clear at the start or you might regret it next year during those long unpaid working hours.

    Re scales - keep an eye on the union sites or ask your union directly. See if they'll help you to negotiate and don't forget to join other agencies should you feel you need to move on.

    Good luck!
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and Izzi like this.
  12. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    When I did long term supply the agency were making 35 - 40 pounds a day out of me and out of this they had to pay the NI costs etc. They were paying me 198 pounds a day.

    Which means they probably trousered 100 pounds a week for 30 weeks - not bad for one phone call!
    They could justify this as it got them further gigs in the school where I have no doubt they paid the supply teacher less and trousered more!
  13. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    The Teacher Pay Scales is now often irrelevant. Academies can set their own pay scale and certainly in my part of the country LEA schools are rare.

    Many agencies will try to get around AWR by claiming you are an agency employee and are being paid according to their scale. I suspect its not legal but then I also suspect if you make a fuss the school suddenly "will not need you anymore".
    agathamorse, Izzi and JohnJCazorla like this.
  14. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    I chased the supply agency again today and reiterated that unless my rate was confirmed as discussed, then I would not be able to commit to continuing in September and that it needed sorting out. The agency spoke to school. School spoke to me and said that if they paid what the agency are asking for, they would be paying the equivalent of a UPS and that they couldn't afford to do so. They were rather taken aback to find themselves in this situation so close to the end of term. Agency and school still quoting that figure of 232 at me. I know that I cannot commit to a class teacher role with full responsibility without being paid for it, so I have told them that I will not be back in September. I have agreed to finishing to the end of this term - however, they say that this, too, has to be at the rate that I started on. They are not able to increase it - the supply agency is obviously taking a big chunk of it already and so leave them no room for manoeuvre. I haven't spoken to the supply agency yet...
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  15. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    And so the saga continues ... the long-awaited reply from the supply agency runs goes like this: "As an intermediary we rely entirely on information provided to us by the school about the rate that you should be paid under AWR. In the case where one of our supply workers queries the rate, we raise this with the school. We then revert back to our worker with the information the school provide to us. We have acknowledged and we respect that you do not agree with the post AWR rate that the school have provided so far."

    Since when does the school decide what number is used to divided the payscale by? They're still sticking to this 232 number. The school is being fed this number by the agency but the agency is saying that it is relying on the school to confirm its 'policy' on how they work salaries out. So, where exactly do I go to earn a daily crust for those other 37 days when school is closed? How do they figure that 'equal pay' means I'd actually get paid less than I do at the moment?

    I spoke to other supply agencies this week and they all said that their education consultants have training on AWR and they all knew that after 12 weeks, it's scale divided by 195. Why do I have to keep banging my head against a brick wall trying to inform my supply agency and the school that it's not 232? I have been put in a position where the headteacher has said that they won't pay what the agency is asking for and then asked me whether I was prepared to carry on in September on the same money. So, being principled, I said no. It should not have even got to the point where I was having a discussion about money with the school when my agreement is with the supply agency. Where do I find it in writing about 195? All I can find about it is on the NASUWT website.

    Feeling incredibly frustrated and cheesed off about all this. Being made out to be the bad guy when all I've done is point out what legislation says. Just need a link to a document stating 195 so that they can't keep saying that the school decides it's 232. And breathe ... 10, 9, 8, 7 ... Rant over.
  16. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    The STPCD states that a full-time teacher, “must be available for work for 195 days in any school year, of which 190 days must be days on which the teacher may be required to teach pupils and perform other duties”. The 195 days must be specified by the employer or, if the employer so directs, by the head teacher.
    9. The STPCD states that teachers must be available for work for 195 days in any school year. It does not state that teachers must be present at school for 195 days. There is room for employers and for head teachers to exercise flexibility.
    10. A head teacher cannot direct a teacher to undertake duties on any of the 170 calendar days, 171 in a leap year, not specified as working days by the employer.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and Izzi like this.
  17. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    Is it an academy? Most generally follow the STPCD but don’t have to.

    As you can see though, 195 days. We all know that we work 195 days. Really they should divide by 190 as how often do we get the training days?
    Izzi likes this.
  18. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. No, it's not an academy.

    They say that because I'm a supply teacher, I don't get paid for holidays, hence the scale pay being divided by 232. (365 days a year minus weekends minus 28 statutory days' holiday). Makes a mockery of the whole AWR thing if it isn't applied consistently.
  19. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    Wave the STPCD in their face because that’s what the school works by then if it’s LEA.
    agathamorse and Izzi like this.
  20. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Result. I stood my ground and the agency have finally agreed to backdate pay calculated at scale divided by 195 from week 13. They tried to get the school to pay the extra but eventually relented. However, they haven't been so flexible when it comes to the role I was due to take up in September in the same school, covering the same long-term sick teacher and so I have declined to work for a reduced rate, knowing the workload that it entails. Thank you to everyone who posted and provided such sound advice. This has been quite a learning journey. I'm glad I stuck to my guns and didn't back down but I was definitely made to feel like I was being a nuisance for bringing it to everyone's attention.

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