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Pay when off for snow?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by clairey179, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Exactly. And look at all the landscaped carparks, with raised pedestrian footpaths, plantings, kerbs, and so on---in Canada, carparks are vast kerbless expanses of asphalt. It doesn't look so nice, but in the winter, the big sweepers can just whip across them and get them cleared in jig-time.
    There's no simple solution to the problems with snow here---it's very much a mindset thing. in Canada, snow is assumed as part of the equation in everything we do and design, from trains to clothing, because we have to deal with extreme snow for months and months every year. Not so here.
  2. I find all this talk of tyre chains,snow blowers and "my snow plough's bigger than yours" rather pointless. OK adverse weather has affected us badly twice this year. Prior to January this year, who can remember the last time so many schools were closed or there was such widespread disruption?. Why would I (or indeed my local authority) invest any more money in snow moving equipment than currently, only for it to be used once or twice in a decade?
    Comparisons with how other countries deal with snow serves no purpose. Scottish local authorities deal with winter weather better than those in SE England. Why? The answer's obvious, our weather is generally worse than that of the SE of England. Just as the winter weather in Scandanavia or Canada is going to be far worse than that of Scotland. As a result, they (and we) are better prepared.
    I am not for one moment dismissing the difficulties that those in many remote areas of both Scotland and England are having to deal with. Nor am I suggesting that the public shouldn't be encouraged to clear their own property or that of their neighbours. There will always be community spirit and it has nothing to do with government, local authoritiies or your nationality.
    This extreme (for the UK) adverse weather is a rare occurance, just listen to the news reports "lowest temperature since xxxx", "closed for the first time in its history", "most snow in November for xx years". One of the findings of the Climate Change and Changing Patterns of Snowfall in Scotland report of 2001 is that: "there has been a significant decrease in the number of days with snow lying since the late 1970's at the average rate of 12 days per decade" concluding that averaage snow cover will decrease.
  3. Well, you know, sometimes people just like to chat about things. There's not always a point to sharing ideas and experiences. Someone asked me how Canada does snow and I gave some examples. Other people joined in the discussion. Sorry if you found it pointless, but you didn't have to read it, did you?
    As for your point about comparisons with other countries serving no purpose, I would agree completely, as I suspect most of the posters would, since that was the whole point of the discussion, from my point of view, anyway.
  4. No, you volunteered it in post 19 by suggesting that in Canada things are done better.
  5. ryeland

    ryeland New commenter

    It is always interesting to hear from Canada. They have gone through the big spending contraction which we are experiencing now.

    Also, some parts of Canada have a climate like ours - ie coastal BC.
  6. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Advice for SSTA members here ...

  7. The Canuckgrrl has often offered a Canadian perspective on things and this thread, like most others, has developed into a "water-cooler" conversation of little importance. Not of course, to decry contributions to the thread.
    Overall point seems to be that we don't do snow very well.
  8. JPM1967

    JPM1967 New commenter

    I think that's an important point to remember when people (mis)quote the police advice that you should only drive if your journey is really necessary or essential. If you need to turn up at work to earn your wages, to pay your mortgage, rent, utility bills and food, then your journey is necessary. That should be true for both the public and private sectors.
    However, if you were simply planning some non-essential shopping, a visit to the cinema/theatre, or visiting friends / attending a pary, then those are non-essential things which can wait for another time.
    If your school has been declared safe to open by your HT/LA, and the vast majority of your colleagues can make it in, then I don't think it is fair (or right) that some teachers cry off and leave others to carry their weight but then expect to be paid as usual.
    N.B. I accept that the situation is different if your employer has closed your place of work, plus I acknowledge that schools have greater health & safety concerns given the duty of care we owe to the pupils in our care, therefore there are valid reasons for schools to shut even when other workplaces are open.
  9. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    HT declared school was not open for pupils and only open for staff if it was SAFE for them to travel. No pupils in school and unsafe for me to travel as my employer was unable to clear the roads therefore I stayed at home and work. Probably got more done to as I was working when I would normally have been travelling!
    As there are no pupils in I don't see that I am expecting others to carry my weight.
    Also staying safe at home is probably better than risking serious or even a minor injury and the possibility of being off work and the council having to pay for a supply teacher to cover for me.
  10. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

  11. Prudent

    Prudent New commenter

    The situation regarding pay really depends on the authority chooses to close the school or whether you decide that it is not possible to get into work.
    Local authorities are subject to UK employment laws in the same way as any other employer.
    This link provides some helpful advice on your legal rights:

    If you scroll down you will find the section on workplace closures which says:

    <h3>Workplace closures</h3>If no work is available to you (eg the office has closed and you do not work at home) then your employer cannot dock your pay or require you to take annual leave.

    Like all teachers, I have taken the opportunity to catch up on some things at home. Practically this has been limited by not being aware that I might need to work at home. I would have taken home a planning folder, my memory stick, my glow passord etc. However I have used my time to do things like researching teaching approaches that I would never usually find time to do. We are also not set up by the authority to work at home. I don't have a compatible version of word on my computer, I don't have a printer. The computer is my own, not a school one and is therefore set up for my personal needs only. I have also used part of the daylight hours to shovel snow and keep my access as clear as possible so that I could return to school as soon as I got word it was open.

  12. Going back to the Canada question.... In parts of Canada you are not allowed to park your car on the street during the night. This means that the snowploughs can clear the roads effectively overnight.
  13. I think I've missed something here...........is it actual fact that teachers are going to be paid on the point 1 pay scale? When is this due to start and where can I read more about it?!!!
  14. I meant to say - supply teachers!
  15. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter


    There's also a page which allows you to join the SSTA ...
  16. Is this just for Scottish teachers then? Couldn't see a refernce to supply teachers being paid on point one of the pay scale though - maybe I have to dig a little deeper!
    Thanks for responding to my message tho!
  17. Our HR has told us that only staff on contracts will be paid.
    I have offered my non-contract staff the opportunity to make up the missed hours before the end of term to claim as overtime.

  18. It's easy for those without small children at home, but since my children's nurseries are also shut, I can't get a thing done! It'snot my fault that I can't get into school - I think we should all be paid!
  19. Hi,
    A couple of years ago I was on a long-term supply assignment and negotiated pay for the two days that the school was closed by snow. They were quite accommodating, but I did a recent short-term assignment, and somehow felt unable to ask the school which was closed last week. I reckon if you're full time you should be paid, although a friend of mine works full-time in a private school, and he reckons he doesn't get paid if he doesn't go in. But if you don't at least ask, you won't get owt!

  20. If you have been asked to work till Xmas or any other time - make sure the person asking has the authority to offer such contract and if so it is a legally binding contract - written or not. The problem lies in what terms and conditions are/were implied. I expect as an "ad-lib" request you could argue the the standard terms and conditions of a permenent member of staff would be employed even though you were being paid by a supply agency(?) on a daily basis. They were expecting to be paid by the school therefore you should be expecting a pay cheque from the agency.
    If you were going into school and then told not to then technically it is not your fault and you should be paid otherwise it could be a breach of contract - "will you work every school day until we break up for Xmas?" - "yes" - that is a verbal contract and can be upheld in a court of law.
    However, how much do you want to be kept on the supply register? Think carefully before answering.

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