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New union case worker needed

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Stormy861, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. Stormy861

    Stormy861 New commenter

    I can’t sleep or eat for worry. It’s a long story but basically I’ve been trying to get an agreed reference from my previous head. They did agree to give me a reference and this was negotiated with the union. A draft agreed reference did not materialise for weeks and the union did not seem at all worried.

    I went to my local MP after six weeks. Their case worker was horrified and phoned my NUT case worker to ask when exactly this matter was going to be chased up. According to the MP caseworker the NUT caseworker was going to give it another week but phoned the headteacher straight away after being pressured and I got my first draft the same day.

    What alarmed me the most is how many times the NUT caseworker stuck up for the headteacher and defended their actions during their conversation. The reference is literally seven lines and no way took six weeks to think up. The thing is the head urged me not to leave and was upset when I did.

    The first draft contains a statement that I need to contest as it’s misleading and have evidence of the true situation.

    Now the MP has been so very helpful and said that the door is still open should I need to go back. I really don’t see why I should go back to them when I’ve paid my subs and want the representation I am entitled to.

    Has anyone requested a different case worker?
  2. silversnapdragon

    silversnapdragon New commenter

    I have sometimes found that union reps in the workplace don’t always stand up for you in meetings . I’ve had meetings that have broken ACAS guidelines and basically had to try to prove this on my own with the rep sitting next to me and saying nothing! and when he has spoken at other times he has contradicted me thus making me look stupid in front of management.
    I’ve never had a case worker involved but have unsuccessfully requested one when union reps in the workplace were unavailable as it was a relatively minor issue.
    Stormy861 and Orchid2457 like this.
  3. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    I have known of several run-ins with unions over poor representation for their members. The NUT has figured more than most.

    The worst case here, on TES, that I remember involved a senior member of staff with a disability being managed out of her job because of it.

    Eventually she involved Jack Straw, the then Justice Secretary, who intervened robustly with NUT HQ. The teacher went on to become a very successful Headteacher.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Nothing to stop you doing the following:

    Draft a form of words you think appropriate
    Email it to the HT
    Remind them that a misleading reference is unlawful
    Remind them that you are losing out on work as a result of not having a usable reference and that this could result in a compensation claim
    Give them one week to provide a reference which meets with your approval

    Yes, I know. You paid your subs. The service you got was poor.

    I can't understand why this wasn't done and dusted before you left! Disgraceful. I just think you'd be better off sorting it yourself. Well, you might get closure on it much more quickly.
  5. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    It’s a terrible state of affairs when you pay your subs but don’t feel fully supported by the union. I remember a of mine colleague once found out that her union caseworker and the headteacher she had a grievance with were best mates! I don’t think it helps that cases are referred to case workers in the same district as the school. Education is a small world, you’re bound to know someone and this can cause a conflict of interest in my opinion.

    You could as suggested persue this yourself. GDW as ever has given fantastic advice.

    If you’re not confident, you could phone the union, explain the situation and that you’ve already been to see your local MP. You don’t want to have to go again and say that this hasn’t been resolved because you’ve not been supported by the union. The union doesn’t like being told off by politicians. I’d be surprised if they don’t act after this.

    I would also keep your MP on board if necessary. As stated above, they hold a lot of sway. I think they’d be happy to help you further if requested it’s not embarrassing for you it’s embarrassing for your union and should highlight their incompetence which should have been addressed years ago. Maybe if more teachers did complain to the powers that be, the union would behave themselves.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  6. runawayjackson

    runawayjackson New commenter

    I am in the middle of a settlement discussion and find the union of little direct use. They seem to want to agree to any offer even though I haven't done anything and can prove it.

    Why are they pushing for settlement when they should be standing up to wrongdoing and exposing this national scandal?

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