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Nottingham City - HUGE TA pay and holiday cuts

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by impulce, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. I wondered if this was affecting any other LEAs or whether its just us. I work for Nottingham City and they have just informed us that all TAs are going to have a significant pay cut (Ranging from £4000-£7000 depending on how much they are currently paid) because they will no longer be paid for 52 weeks a year, only for the 35 (or however many it is). They are trying to create 'single status' wherein all council staff (Excluding teachers) are on a similar rate of pay.
    Theyre also going to have to work over the holidays doing playschemes/holiday clubs/work within school. If they dont sign, they face disciplinary and potentially can be forced out of their jobs.
    I dont understand how on earth it is legal, but am assuming the people at the top have made sure they can do this before they went ahead with it.
    The unions have been arranging meetings and they are all adamantly fighting it - as teachers we are looking into what we can do to support it too.
    Is it just us?
     
  2. OMG!! Thats absolutely terrible..
    We have had massive cuts (redundancies) but no pay cuts, althoug I did hear a rumour..
     
  3. When my Local Authority brought in single status all the TAs in our school gained a pay rise and were given a lump sum as recompense for previous years.
    However we were all on term time only contracts and I am assuming your pay cut is due to that. I was amazed to hear that some TAs do have 52 week contracts.
    Some time ago Unison informed TAs at our school that there were to be national pay and conditions for TAs. Is that still going ahead with the new government?
    We really do need to have some continuity of TA pay between Local Authorities but I would worry that TA pay would drop to the lowest paid rather than rise to the highest paid or that jobs would be lost.
     

  4. They were doing something similar not long ago - some were due to get a lump sum, some were due to drop about £1000 off their salary. It hasnt gone through yet and now this new information has been given.
    Our TAs are adamant that they are only paid for the weeks they work but it is spread out over the whole year (as teachers are) but I cant imagine the 'people at the top' would make such a huge mistake so they must not be.
    As they have all said, they can cope with working in the holidays, or a small pay drop, but losing 7k AND their holidays is attrocious. Most of them work above and beyond their hours anyway.
     
  5. Well that sounds a right old muddle.
    What do your trade union representatives say?
     
  6. Hi...
    I am a teacher in a Nottm City school and I agree the "**! has hit the fan this week. How are all your TA's going to respond? So far out of 15 TA's I suspect only 1 will sign the contract before the Nov 5th deadline. This will be interesting to see if they do follow through as we'll have no TAs.
    As for the teachers we are currently discussing with our unions the implication of wildcat strikes in support of TA pay and conditions.
    Whats worse...lose a few days pay and get a rollocking from the head for going on an unofficial strike or have no TAs. I'd loose my sanity without another adult in the room!

     
  7. We're in complete agreement. Weve not contacted teaching unions yet but Unison and GMB are in school this week. Unison have advised to hold off signing as long as possible, if at all - NONE of our TAs have said they'll sign. All our teaching staff are willing to do what we can to support them.
    Our acting head is going to a local heads meeting tomorrow on a different matter and is hoping it will be bought up. If every school feels like ours both seem too, and all teaching staff and heads are supportive, we mght be able to help.
     
  8. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Single Status has been implemented in many other areas already - have a search on this forum to read about some other people's experiences of it.
    In Birmingham we had 3 days all-out strikes (SS does not just affect school staff but all public sector employees) and the whole process has dragged on for years now - The Single Status Agreement was enforced for all non-schools staff around April 2008 but new contracts have only been issued to schools staff over the last few months. Unfortunately, this dragging-out of the process and the separation of school staff from other LA employees has had the desired effect and many have given in and signed the new contracts having been sent threatening messages from the Council's HR Department - though, to be fair, the eventual rates of pay here actually amounted to a small rise for most TAs (though not as much as they should have got!) rather than pay cuts. Currently most TAs here have Equal Pay claims going through the legal system to try and get back pay for the last six years when we were underpaid.
    I firmly believe that the action of school support staff did contribute to improvement on the terms originally intended as far as TAs are concerned - I also believe that other authorities, Notts included, waited to see if Birmingham would finally get their Agreement through and when it was clear that they had achieved this the other LAs decided to push ahead with implementing their own as a precedent had been set.
    We have been repeatedly told by all the different unions involved that TAs being paid 52 weeks would contravene Single Status as it would represent an inequality in comparison to non-school staff who actually do work all-year-round, so I am sure you will be told this too.
    Interestingly, now that Birmingham City Council have managed to push through this hateful agreement they have just issued another notice to all non-school employees of changes to contracts, pay cuts and redundancies - probably the next thing we have to look forward to in schools!
    It would be fantastic to hear that that someone has had success in fighting this - I really thought we would do it - but I suspect your LA will use our experiences to try and 'beat' you down by dragging this process (which is already many years overdue - if I remember correctly the final implementation date for Single Status was supposed to be April 2007!) out for so long that eventually everyone will be so weary they will just want it to end.
    I can assure you that you will all have my moral support if you take action against this - and any practical support I may be able to offer - good luck!
     
  9. Its just such a massive pay drop for them - not gradual, and on a very short time frame. They have to sign by the end of October and it has only been explained to them this week! We think it is all very sly and backhanded - they knew the unions didn't have enough time to arrange strikes with that timeframe. They're also offering those that sign £100 as an incentive which is just pi**ing on their chips considering the amount they will lose!
    I can almost see some of the reasons behind it, but it has been implemented very very badly. Our TAs would grumble but not mind if they had to work most of the holidays (as long as they could choose when to have theirs as other council workers do!!) but it is the huge pay drop that has done them in. As someone said today - being a TA took alot of traning and most of our TAs have undertaken alot of professional development, training, courses etc and are what I would class as highly skilled professionals. Why try and put everyone into the same box when they're simply not the same?
    Anyway...I will keep you posted on our next steps!
     
  10. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    Crikey, that's tough. I thought that with single status, some people's pay would go down but others up?

    What salary are TAs on to begin with? What % pay cut is losing £4-7k-it sounds a lot?
     
  11. We went through that a few years ago. Our salaries were protected for three years - perhaps this may happen for you? As a level 3 TA, I did not lose much money, but the level 2s took quite a drop. We weren't told we had to work the holidays though. Shocking!
     
  12. It is all rather complex and I dont know the full details myself. They have justified the drop by saying TAs are currently paid 37 hours a week, 52 weeks a year...when they only work term time. They've decided to drop contracted hours to 32, and that along with only paying them term time, means they drop a large amount of salary.
    The holidays is another issue - apparently if school can provide work for them during the holidays, they will claw back some of that pay - but it is most likely that they will be placed in holiday clubs and playschemes and would only be paid as a playworker for those hours.
    Some of our TAs are in the process of contacting the media to drum up support.
     
  13. I have every sympathy for Notts TAs that are about to lose money but I'm not sure you will get much support through the media because whilst as a support staff worker myself I think we all deserve better pay and conditions, as a taxpayer it makes me very angry that public sector workers are recieving 13 weeks holiday pay and being paid for 37 hours a week whilst not working 37 hours! I'm sorry but your current contracts are no longer acceptable in the current economic climate! That said, a 32 hour week term time only contract should be a livable wage which I know for many it isn't, but I think you might get more sympathy if you campaign for a livable wage rather than campaigning to keep pay that you are not earning. In your position I would be campaigning for a decent hourly rate rather than campaigning to keep the 52 week contract.
     
  14. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    Its only fair. Why should some TAs in the country get paid an extra 4-7K for sitting at home twiddling their thumbs during the holidays while the rest of us are on Term time only contracts and are only paid for the actual hours we work.
     
  15. Because they always have been? Because they wouldnt have gone into the job to be paid £10k? Because alot of them (at our school at least) are in with teachers during the holidays helping out?
    If they're going to do it they need to do it gradually, to allow people to adjust lifestyles appropriately, or start it with all new people that they employ.
     
  16. Although I have every sympathy with the sudden drop in pay, this is how we in Somerset have always been paid, only the hours worked, not including lunch hours (who stops working dead on time!) I am a degree level HLTA and I do not earn anything like the amount I would get if paid in the manner Notts Support Staff are; the truth is all TA pay is rubbish for the work we are required to do. I always work at least one hours overtime everyday and spend many additional hours at home planning and searching for resources (unpaid). I have also just taken on the role of PSHE Coordinator and asked to train to be the Forest School Leader. On top of that, I am only paid HLTA rate when I take a class, the rest of the time I'm on TA rate. I do the job for the rubbish money because I love it, yes I get frustrated and yes I do get taken advantage of but in the end I do it for the kids. What should happen is we are paid for all the work we do, my job requires an additional hour everyday, so I should be paid for that, also if you are a qualified HLTA you should be paid as a HLTA all the time. Lots wrong with our pay, Notts Support Staff you are now joining the club. [​IMG]
     
  17. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    Same here in lancashire, for the last 7 years term time only!
     
  18. Can i be cheeky and ask what your salary is?
    Im not actually a TA Im a teacher but the news shocked me - and I didnt actually realise that other counties have the same thing!
     
  19. I think the norm is term time only and there are only a small amount of councils still paying 52 weeks a yr - I have always been paid term time only with 1 week for inset days and pro-rata holiday pay after certain amount of yrs service -most of us are paid anything between £6.00- £9.00 per hr depending on grade
     
  20. The average Teaching Assistant salary is around 14k. However because it is term time only it is a lot less than that.
    TAs receive a pay packet over the holidays but that is made up by sharing the total yearly earnings between each pay packet.
     

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