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My dilemma........

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Sansiro, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Not sure what to do and hoped some of you could give some advice?

    My school wants me to go part-time so what I want to know is if I have to or not? Been at this school now for four years on full time contract. There hasn't been any school meeting with staff as far as I know soas yet and I'm not sure if other teachers are being asked to go part-time or not? i think it's down to lower uptake in my subject area. I was also supposed to teach Geography but they got a part-time teacher to do that a few months ago as History was very popular last couple of years.


    I don't particularly want to go to part-time as that messes up my salary obviously and who knows what other cuts will be following year and if I will ever get back to fulltime hours? They haven't said how many hours yet either so am worried sick.......


    Would appreciate any advice to get me started..... Am going to contact union once I've got my head round things......
     
  2. Not sure what to do and hoped some of you could give some advice?

    My school wants me to go part-time so what I want to know is if I have to or not? Been at this school now for four years on full time contract. There hasn't been any school meeting with staff as far as I know soas yet and I'm not sure if other teachers are being asked to go part-time or not? i think it's down to lower uptake in my subject area. I was also supposed to teach Geography but they got a part-time teacher to do that a few months ago as History was very popular last couple of years.


    I don't particularly want to go to part-time as that messes up my salary obviously and who knows what other cuts will be following year and if I will ever get back to fulltime hours? They haven't said how many hours yet either so am worried sick.......


    Would appreciate any advice to get me started..... Am going to contact union once I've got my head round things......
     
  3. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    If they want to reduce staffing, they will need to declare a redundancy situation and follow formal procedures. They can't just pick someone and ask them to cut hours.
    So no, they can't force you to go part-time, unless, after following all the procedures, you are the person who loses on the redundancy procedures. (I think different places have different procedures - maybe last-in-first-out or a skills audit to work out who is most dispensible - if you can teach both geog/hist then that probably makes you more useful, especially if the numbers fluctuate between the two.) They have to give six months notice of any redundancies.
    If you're a mother, perhaps, they might have thought it was worth suggesting part-time in case you said yes please - obviously it solves the whole problem if there's someone who would actively like to cut hours. But for now you just say "no thanks", and get onto your union in case they try to put any pressure on. Don't feel pressured into anything.


     
  4. Thanks for your reply.... I've been using google to try and find out some more details. Have realised a business aka school can 'get rid' of worker(s) if they claim it's good business sense .. Restructuring and all that. Had also read that they don't need to go through redundancy procedures much if less than twenty staff (me!) and if I don't accept part-time they're allowed to just make me redundant ie give me notice. Seems I am in a pickle? No such thing as last one in etc in employment law......
     
  5. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Maybe what I'd been told about redundancy procedures was just policy in our LA - worth asking to see the school/LA's redundancy procedures?
    http://www.atl.org.uk/help-and-advice/other-issues/redundancy.asp is also worth looking at, especially the bit about acting reasonably. And get onto your union.
     
  6. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    No, Frustrum's right: they cannot do that without invoking redundancy procedures.
    Union!!
     
  7. Does it make a difference if I am in independent sector?

    Contacted acas guidance line and seems employers can change contract eg to to part-time if facing cuts and doing it for business reasons even if 'unfair' it seems....
     
  8. The law is the law irrespective of which sector you are in. Basically the employer can change your hours but must consult about the proposed changes - and can cite operational or economic necessity as a rationale for changing the terms of your contract - which is the issue here. If, however, the consultation doesn't produce an agreement, the employer can either go for compulsory redundancy - or they can terminate the old contract - with due notice - and put a new one in place.

    For definitive guidance see http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=316

    As others have said, contact your union. However, unfortunate though this may be, falling numbers has long been recognised to be a justification for reducing hours. Actual redundancy procedures are usually negotiated locally, so procedures can vary. The school can define a "target" group - as many MFL and drama teachers are increasingly finding to their cost following reducing take-up of GCSE options. Last-in first out does often still apply where skills audit is unable to differentiate between those at risk from redundancy.Good luck but I sense a degree of inevitability here, regretfully.
     
  9. I think you need to seek union advice
     
  10. Thanks for all the replies....... I appreciate all.

    referring to Iconclastic's comments I think I agree with you unfortunately. My main 'complaint' I suppose is that my making my main subject popular over the years has led to my second subject (my contract was for teacher of both History/Geography) hours being taken up by other staff, especially in last two years. As a result I no longer teach Geography at all.. but used to.

    School employed another part-timer last September to teach Geography and he does not face any 'loss' in his hours so why should I ? I used to teach Geography but since I came to this school the numbers of students taking History have increased which led to my Geography hours being reduced eventually to nothing. Now that the school seems to face reduced numbers, and AS level numbers may not exist I seem to have become the scapegoat??? I know this is personal to me but would appreciate the view of the neutral to awaken my senses so to speak??

    Not really sure what to ask the union to be honest. Does school have to inform me in writing of what they want to do or can verbal be ok? Am I supposed to discuss this, agree to it or not??
     
  11. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    I think in the end, if it came to an employment tribunal, they would have to answer the question of why you were singled out over other history and geography teachers, given that you are clearly able to teach both. That goes against the "fairness" rule. (There is also an element of fairness that says they mustn't go for the part-timer because they're part-time, by the way, but that doesn't mean that they mustn't consider him.)
    That's exactly what you need to know from the union - do not do any of those things until you have got union advice: just say that you are waiting to hear from your union.

     
  12. Typical of a teaching union.
    Have you got legal protection cover on your household union? If so, use it and get free telephone legal advice.
    If not, agree to nothing at school and say that you are taking legal advice.
     
  13. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    First day back, just do your job. Any questions about the future: "I'm waiting for my union to get back to me." And keep on at the union - go up their hierarchy if you're not getting any response.
     
  14. You sound like you are becoming depressed. Get to the doctor if you need to. You will need to be strong and capable of dealing with a difficult set of circumstances, so you must look after yourself. Hope you get some good news soon.
     
  15. You should have signed a contract when you joined the school.
    Check that. It should state the procedure for changing your terms and conditions.
    If you can not find a copy of the contract, ask the school - or whoever employs you (the LEA?) for a copy. They should hold a copy with your signature on it. In addition, follow the advice above - hassle your union & tell the managment that you are 'discussing things with the Union' if they start pressurising you for a response.
    In addition, you could ask the school to set out, in writing, what they are proposing. Obviously you will want this so you know exactly what the school wants from you - and the Union will want a copy when you get to speak to the right person. In addition, it will be interesting for you to see who the letter comes from (the Head, the Governors, the LEA etc etc). You may find that they suddenly go quiet on the subject since they may just want a verbal agreement with no written trace.
    Let us know what happens.
     
  16. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    Your employer can't change your contract without your agreement. Although they could make your full-time job redundant and create a new part-time job. I agree with Hadron - ask them to put in writing what their proposal is and their rationale for the proposed changes. I'd be inclined to put this in writing yourself and cc your union rep on the letter. The fact that you are cc-ing will show you mean business! Good luck with this - it's rotten.
     
  17. Still no advice from union. Have phoned and told they will be in touch... Still no advice whatsoever. Why??
    Should i change union?
     
  18. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Did you contact the union at regional level?
     
  19. Yes and they said somebody would be in touch!! Had no advice at all since i asked for help. really want to change union...
     
  20. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Dont be afraid to contact Headquarters and complain vociferously. Check out your home / motor insurance, too - often there is free legal cover on there.
     

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