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Part time hours increased without consultation

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by sunshineonarainyday, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter


    I'm a frequent reader of the forums, but rarely post. However, I would really appreciate some advice regarding a situation which has arisen this week.

    I was on maternity leave for almost all of the 2014-2015 academic year, but returned at the end of the summer term. I met with the Head many months ago to discuss reducing my hours to part time from September 2015. It was agreed that I would reduce my hours to 0.8FTE. I received a letter from school confirming this arrangement before Easter. Yesterday, I received a letter from the LEA payroll office stating that my hours are to reduce from full time to 0.88. My salary has been calculated pro rata, so I won't lose out financially, but I was wondering if the school can make the decision to change the arrangement from 0.8 to 0.88 without any consultation. Having received my timetable before the summer holiday, I do have an incredibly heavy teaching load and no time allowance for my TLR position (absolutely no parity with others in parallel roles), and am wondering if the extra hours have been added to reflect this.The school has been great at giving me a whole day at home with our baby (my reason for requesting part time in the first place), but I was wondering if they can add the extra hours without any consultation, particularly as I have the original letter stating that my hours will reduce to 0.8, not 0.88. Many thanks for reading.
  2. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Seek clarification, of course, before going off all guns blazing - but essentially the answer is No. A mutually agreed variation to your contract cannot then be unilaterally varied by either party (unless there is a term in the contract that states that it can be varied at any time without consutation).

    I don't know the details of the comments you make referring to having 'no parity with others in parallel roles' and 'an incredibly heavy teaching load'. However, as a part-time worker it would be unlawful to treat you less favourably than a full-time worker. The particular circumstances could also amount to indirect sex discrimination, depending on the facts.

    You can always ring your union or the Equality Advisory Support Service and have a quiet chat if you think things aren't right.

    First step is to ring payroll - someone may just have typed the wrong number!
  3. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    Many thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it. I know that if someone else had written my post, I would have wondered about the idea of a typo too, but the letter states 0.88 at least three times, including once in a formula to show how my salary will be calculated.

    I doubt there is a clause stating that my contract can be varied at any time, as far as I'm aware I have a standard teacher's contract. We're an LEA school, so I'm covered by Burgundy Book conditions.

    My comment about "no parity with others in parallel roles" was regarding the fact that those in full time roles similar to mine are given designated non-teaching time to undertake these roles. i have benefited from such time in previous years. This year I have my PPA time and nothing more, as well as a teaching load which is almost a full-time timetable fitted into four days. I feel overloaded already, and we haven't even returned from the holiday yet!

    Many thanks again for your help. I will call payroll tomorrow.
  4. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    If you have PPA time and nothing more and are continuing to do a role comparable to others, they are getting additional non-teaching time to do it and you are not, there is likely to be a breach of the regulations protecting part-time workers from less-favourable treatment.

    Have a quiet chat with your union.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    My first query would be: are they giving you 8.0 teaching then adding 0.8 to reflect PPA?

    As long as you are getting the one day at home per week, this could suggest this.

    So first find out what your timetable is.
  6. carol95

    carol95 New commenter

    When I had a 0.8 teaching commitment over 4 days I was paid 0.88 so that, effectively, my ppa fell on my non teaching day and I was able to do it at home in my own time. This also benefited my class as it minimised disruption. My job share partner had the same arrangement and was paid 0.22 for the day she worked.

    I think this is quite common but it should be agreed with you initially.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It may be that the school thought that you would be happy to get paid at 0.88 for being at school for 4 days. You say that your teaching load is almost a full time timetable. If you didn't have a TLR, then it would be correct for somebody on 0.88 to teacher for 4 full days a week, as posted by carol95. So, could the time you are not teaching during your 4 days at school be taken as your TLR time?

    If you are not happy with being on 0.88, perhaps just politely saying so would be a good start. It strikes me that this is an arrangement that would suit some people, if they are happy to do their PPA at home. If you are sure you only want 0.8, then I suppose that you could insist on a timetable that includes your PPA during the 4 days. It is worth remembering that your TLR will also come down to 0.8 if you do this - something that has come up in other threads.
  8. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i think the point of OP going down to 0.8 is to spend the free day with the baby - so having to take PPA at home on that day, even paid, is possibly not what was really wanted. Doesnt sound like it was negotiated that way, in any event, from what's said.
  9. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    Many thanks for so many responses, I really appreciate it. I can see the positive aspects of 0.88, and would have been willing to discuss the possibility of a change from the agreed 0.8. My primary concern is the apparent lack of consultation. Emilystrange, you're absolutely right that the reason for moving to part time hours was to have a full day with our baby, and there was never any mention of PPA being completed at home when the agreement was reached to move to 0.8.
  10. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Seek clarification first. Talk to your HT about your queries so that everything is fully understood from everyone's perspective before the school re-opens in September.

    I would advise to take all the written evidence you have from the school confirming that your hours will be reduced from full time to 0.8 NOT 0.88.
  11. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    I contacted the payroll office today, and as I expected I was told that I have to query it with school. Payroll simply process the information school provides. Apparently the form submitted by school definitely says 0.88, so at least I know it isn't a typo. One interesting thing they did say was that anything I receive from them will be the official contractual change, and anything received from school that pre-dates their letter is irrelevant.
  12. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    In terms of the way contracts are constructed, I would disagree with that. Contracts are about a meeting of minds - courts look for an agreement. The 'contract', I would argue, is what you and the school agreed between you. An oral contract is binding on both parties (unless it's related to the purchase of property, shares or similar).
  13. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    It is now looking as though it may be a typo on the school's part when they submitted the form to payroll. I saw the Head today whilst in school to collect A-Level results, and his immediate reaction was, "Ignore it, it will be a typo from payroll". When I explained that I had spoken to someone in payroll, and showed him the letter he was baffled and couldn't explain it. Our Business Manager who deals with all HR issues is currently on holiday, but the Head has copied the letter and has said that he will chase it up and will let me know the outcome when I'm back in for GCSE results next week.

    If it is a typo on the form submitted by school, I'm so glad I have queried it, as I could have been receiving 0.88 pay for 0.8 hours, which would certainly be spotted at some point and the overpayment would then be clawed back as a deduction each month, a situation I really don't want.

    Many thanks to everyone for all your advice and help, I really do appreciate it.
  14. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    I'm just glad that it's as simple a thing as that, and that something is being done!
  15. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Do also check your teaching load, and make sure that is right for 0.8; you said it was heavy, so maybe the same error had reached the timetabler.
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It does still seem wrong to me. If you are on 0.8, I think you should get PPA time plus something (an hour?) for your TLR responsibilities. Say an absolute minimum of 3 hours per week free. Your original post suggests that you are going to get less than that - sorry if I have misunderstood.
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Exactly what I was thinking. Surely, PPA time should be incorporated into hours worked at school not tacked on afterwards to be taken on a non-working day. Swing this around to someone on a full-time (1.0) contract, there would be hell to pay if they found out that their PPA time was to be taken at home at the weekend even if their pay was to be calculated on the basis of 1.1.
  18. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Some people prefer that arrangement.

    That wouldn't/couldn't happen.
  19. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    I am worried about the fact that my teaching load is very heavy, I currently have two non-teaching periods which are designated as PPA. I also have one hour timetabled to supervise the time out room, which isn't a teaching period, but as it involves supervising our most challenging students I know from past experience that it is almost impossible to do anything productive whilst in there. I think that's how the school will justify the teaching load as they will say that I can do my TLR work during this hour. I spoke to a full-time colleague in a parallel role, and he told me that he has six non-teaching periods each week and no time out supervision, and he thinks that others have received a similar timetable. This is what I meant when I said that I feel that there is very little parity with full-time colleagues in similar roles.

    As far as doing PPA at home is concerned, I expect to do work at home as all teachers do, but I have always assumed that I would have had to agree to PPA time being allocated in this way, and no such discussion has ever taken place. I can see how it would suit many people, and it would certainly appeal when our baby is older as it would be lovely to have such a block of time to complete work in peace whilst she is at school, but right now it would be impossible to work productively whilst she is so young. Her daytime naps simply aren't long enough, and the reason I have reduced my hours is to have the opportunity to spend time with her during these precious early months and years.
  20. PPA time should be allocated within your timetable (directed time), pro rated for your contracted hours. The time out room is directed and therefore should not be counted as PPA but should be counted the same as a lesson. Likewise a pro rated amount of TLR should be included in your time table. There should be no expectation for you to do any work on your non working day though the expectation / requirement for teachers to complete work as required sort of negates this.

    This needs to change for all teachers because this working practice is used to absorb every new directive and requirement that has been 'given' to teachers without any redress or even recognition that teachers are way beyond saturation point with this.

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