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Nottingham City - HUGE TA pay and holiday cuts

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

  1. Lauralei, we actually thought thats how they were paid already...Not actually paid for termtime, but the pay split over every month. Some of our TAs are going to drop to about £10k according to this calculator. They've actively said they could work in ASDA and make more than that for less stress. Where's the incentive to do a professional job?
  2. TA pay is such a muddle and so confusing. Comparing wages is a real challenge. Most TAs just look at what they take home rather than their top line.
    When single status was introduced here those who took a drop were cushioned for 3 years. Council workers went on strike but it achieved absolutely nothing. I am guessing in these harsh economic times it will be even trickier to change the situation. There is a lot of anti public sector feelings being kicked around by the press and public sympathy may not be there.
    I think the teaching assistants will have to check this one with the unions.
  3. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    The incentive is the holidays and the working hours. Nearly all of our LSAs have children (mostly at the school itself) and couldn't work at Tesco/Asda as it would them far too many problems/extra costs with childcare.

    Interesting you mention it being a professional job. I remember a post a while back where lots of people said that neither Teaching or being a TA were professional jobs!
  4. I am an HLTA, paid the proper rate for all my hours on a term-time only basis and I would love to leave Education and go back to a less stressful job! I don't mind only having 5 weeks holiday a year as it would be lovely to be able to go away outside of school holiday time now that my own children are out of school. However, I cannot find any job that will pay even close to my current salary even though they involve working for 52 weeks - I think if you look at what some TAs are paid and round it up to working 37 hours per week (which I do, but most TAs work far fewer hours) you may find that the Asda job actually doesn't pay a higher hourly rate!
    I do know that some LAs still pay appallingly low wages, but in mine, and in many others I know of, the reason TA pay seems so low is because of the hours worked - this will apply to any part-time job, not just TAs.
    I sympathise greatly with Notts staff - I've been there, done that and got the teeshirt with Single Status - it is being disgracefully misused in order to cut costs by local authorities!
  5. <h5>Yes, this is happening now with the Lpool City Council.....I have contacted the Union and basically cuts are being made. 60% willstay the same, 20% de-crease/20% increase. It is national as you can see and their is nothing we can do about pay and conditions.....terrible. Even the Unions can't see what the cuts will be or pay!!!!</h5>You have 90 days to appeal, but again....it could be that your appeal is looked and if they think the you are worth the salary be in lower or higher that is that...even if you don't sign a contract..Once you go back into work on the 91st day you have agreed. It is terrible.....
  6. We were told that NOONE would stay the same or get a pay rise, people would be dropping between 3k and 7k. It seems the different counties are doing things differently.
    Weve now been told its on 'hold' and wont be happening anytime soon, though it may be brought up again next year.
  7. Any rumours in the Kent area? Strangely ominous note from head saying he wants a meeting tomorrow that ALL ta's must attend. Could be innocent but all this talk makes me nervous.
  8. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    It is obviously awful that their pay will be cut but I am actually astonished that they were being paid for 52 weeks and 37 hours anyway. That was a real cushy number and must have made the pay seem great compared with the reality of TA pay.
  9. The whole point is that their contracts say they AREN'T. Someone bought their contract in and it specifically says they are only paid term time, but that it is equated to create a payday over the summer holiday...but the letter said that they WERE paid for 52 weeks. I think the starting pay for a new TA was about &pound;13k? Does that seem inline with national average?
    If they were paid for 52 weeks, they've never been told because someone who started this year has exactly the same contract.
    Anyway, its on pause for the time being so we will see what happens.
  10. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    In our LEA TAs who were employed prior to 2004 were supposedly paid all-year-round (although it never actually said that on their contracts anywhere) but I was told by my then head that all heads knew perfectly well that the salary rate reflected the fact that they only worked in term-time. Any 'new' TAs starting after the date of the 2004 Agreement were paid exactly the same wage - but it was quoted as being pro-rata to a higher rate!
    It sounds as though a similar situation may have existed in your authority, impulce, and this would explain the confusion. I think that &pound;13000 as a starting salary would be fairly typical, assuming a working week of 32.5 hours. However, I was told by a TA who worked in Notts a few years ago that her wage was very much higher than that!
  11. Hi, i used to work in Nottm city and have friends that still do. they are treading on dodgy ground as single status is all about fair and equal pay and conditions. not having a choice when to take your holidays and being forced to take them in the most expensive time isnt fair. in fact its discrimination. if you refuse to sign a new contract and they sack you, i believe from HR that you have a right to sue for constructive dismissal.
    also if they are taking away your holiday pay-then you do not need to work in the holidays-as theyre unpaid.
    unison have taken this to their legal department and havent agreed such terms yet. Rummour is the city have backed off a little-scared of strikes?? or being sued for discrimination? i heard they hadnt issued the correct amount of consultation time too.
  12. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I'm afraid I doubt that any other authority is too worried after the biggest LEA in the country, Birmingham, managed to force their Single Status Agreement through - it has taken years and there were three strikes which caused chaos in the city, but the council dragged the whole messy business out over a period of years until people just wanted to see it end and gave in! Unions just couldn't get the level of support from their members over this length of time and ended up having to accept that there was nothing else they could do - believe me, I tried very hard to persuade people to keep up the fight!
    My guess would be that Nottingham will take Brum as a good model for how they can enforce what they want and it sounds as though they are following very much the same path as Birmingham LEA.
    It is taking many years for any cases to be heard here: I was one of the few TAs who held out against the new contracts but even I wouldn't take this risk - no amount of compensation I would get (assuming the action was successful) would make up for the loss of earnings through those years.
    I would love to see another workforce be successful in preventing the implementation of the Single Status Agreement but, realistically I cannot be too optimistic - I genuinely hope you succeed though.
  13. Hi Ophelia,

    I have heard that some TA's in Birmingham on term time only contract are being paid pro rata over a 36.5 hour and some

    on 32 hours. Those on 36.5 contracts who work part-time have to bank a portion of their hours in order to benefit from all year round

    pay. Have you heard of this? I find this confusing.
  14. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    My understanding is that the Single Status Agreement has now been imposed and therefore all staff will be paid pro-rata to 36.5 hours as a full-time week (though, as usual, Birmingham seem to use some piece of financial jigger-pokery whereby they are actually still using the figure of 37 hours in their calculations of salary!)
    This being the case, I can only imagine that the few TAs who have not yet got to the end of their 90-day notice might still be paid pro-rata to 32.5 hours as per the 2004 Agreement, but will be put on to the other rate when their notice expires. In our school notice ran out for those who didn't sign a couple of weeks ago but I do know that there were some schools who didn't get the new contracts till quite some time after us - I'm not even sure that they all were issued by the end of the summer term - and so, they will still be receiving pay on the old basis.
    I haven't heard of any TAs having to 'bank' hours, although admin staff will still have to do this, I believe - is it possible that there are still some people who have a job which combines admin and TA work - there used to be a few many years ago? I have worked 36.5 hours for several years but am still classed as part-time and still have my pay split up into 12 monthly payments - as opposed to all-year-round pay which I do not believe is paid to any TAs in the authority - this means that my actual pay is based on something around 32.4 hours per week but this has been the case since the 2004 agreement as far as I am aware and is not something new.

  15. I have never heard of TAs getting paid 52 weeks before. Its term time plus 4 weeks in our area which is why we dont have to attend inset days unpaid etc.
  16. Hi!
    I'm a TA in Birmingham. I alos haven't heard about TAs being paid for 52 weeks. We are paid, though, 12 months but it is only an evened out wage for the 35 or so weeks so that you can have money over the summer months as well. Due to Single Status I had to wait a whole year for my salary to be sorted to the level where it should have been from day 1. That I think speaks for the pace councils work with....
  17. Chirimolla

    Chirimolla New commenter

    I don't know what the situation here used to be, but in Manchester City Council we're paid term-time only.

    As a level 2, my headline rate of pay is around £14,000 / year. It's reduced because of the holidays but paid in equal instalments through the year. We have to stay for an hour after school finishes to make up to a full-time week, running after-school clubs, tutoring, etc. We don't have the option to work in playschemes etc. during the holidays.

    So, our monthly payslip looks a bit like this:

    Gross pay = £1,100 / month
    Income Tax = - £100 / month
    National Insurance = - £60 / month
    Pension contributions = - £60 / month
    Take home pay = £880 / month

    In other words, not enough pay for food, rent and heating.

    I'd be interested to know how that compares to other council areas.
  18. In Northamptonshire, our CC are currently implementing a similar programme affecting all county council workers by creating job families where similar jobs are on a levelled recognised pay scale.
    TA`s have been affected in a number of ways, however we have never been paid 52 weeks a year, we have always been paid for either 38 or 40 weeks, ie term time only plus training days, this is then paid over 12 months so no change there for us .Our nursery nurses however are paid a full 52 week year and i think this is so wrong, they are paid for 12/14 weeks more than TA`s when they are not there, this will now be reduced to the same as a TA, and quite rightly so !
    You cannot be forced to work holidays or additional hours that are not in your contract but at the end of the day, the council can and will do whatever they want as they are making some outrageous unilateral changes to our contracts too the only recourse you have at the end of the day is to mount a legal challenge and take them to a tribunal, but as this would involve resigning, who is prepared to do this? They have got us cornered whichever way we turn, we are the lower paid and have the least protection, forget what the union say, they are totally toothless and cannot stop this process, our council have gone ahead without reaching an agreement with the union! the whole thing shameful, you cant win !

    Best of luck


  19. We have had single status terms and conditions in Manchester, phased in between April 2008 and April 2011. This process was ridiculously termed 'harmonisation'. Basically, we could protect our salary by working more hours either longer term time days or in some cases in the school holidays or we could accept a reduced pro rata salary for either 38 or 39 weeks (dependent on whether we were required to work inset days or not) plus our holiday/bank holiday allowance. Although those of us on 52 week contracts were unhappy at least it seemed fair on our colleagues who were already paid pro rate. I find it very hard to believe that you can be expected to receive payment term time only and be expected to work in the school holidays.In fact this makes a mockery of 'single status' as other council workers are not paid term time only.
    Unfortunatley far too few TAs are members of Unison, and I would urge you to persuade as many of your colleagues as possible to join ASAP. Although we did not win our battle completley , there is not doubt that Unison were able to get us some concessions.


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