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Rebuffed after asking for more money per day.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by baxterbasics, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I am working at a highly specialised unit for PMLD.

    The daily rate was umbrella at £120 per day

    I have recently been doing after school meetings, which I did not expect to have to do

    I wrote a polite email to the agency saying that, umbrella is a worse deal to begin with; I have been there 7 weeks and will be asked back after the holidays; I have been doing extra meetings...any chance of a move up to £130 per day?

    The reply was that, sadly, the school will not pay any more.

    "Well, how about you (the agency), taking a bit less and giving it to me? "

    I didn't say it, though,

    I was told that they will charge the school for any extra hours done in the week, and this will be the solution.

    Was i within my rights to ask?
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  2. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I think you were right to ask..

    Next steps. - wait for 12 week rule to kick in

    OR say you aren’t willing to work for such a low wage ( and be prepared to walk away).

    I think £120 a day in an SEN setting is exploitation...
  3. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I agree.

    Ok, there are zero books to mark, but the level of skill needed is very specialised indeed.

    I teach music and unlike some music teachers, can play a wide range of instruments to a least a fair standard and know the music tech side as well (ie. using assistive technology to inspire PMLD learners).

    There is no way I can be replaced easily by any old supply teacher.
    BetterNow and pepper5 like this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You're definitely within your rights to ask but you shouldn't have left the easy opportunity for the agency to say No.

    If you have the stomach (and sufficient financial security) to go for negotiations then can I suggest an e-mail worded on these lines.
    "Unfortunately I can't manage on such a low rate of pay. I'll keep there until Easter but I'll have to move on afterwards"
    Or even adding
    "I appreciate that you'll have done your best in negotiating the current deal but....."

    This will put the agent on the spot and as you currently represent a source of income for little effort then they won't want to throw it away for want of a few tenners.

    @Teslasmate also appears to be very good at haggling for a good rate but I guess is much more confrontational and probably more successful. Maybe that success is down to offering Physics instead of Maths but as a specialist yourself you can push for the pay rises.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Don't wait for the 12 weeks, if you're worth it then you're worth it now.

    Also schools can chuck you at that point and look for the next cheapie and agencies can be very creative as to what represents equivalence to permanent.
    tonymars, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  6. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    Ideally, I would like to put my foot down.

    However, although I am specialised, unlike maths, there are not many jobs going for music, and very few settings like the one I am in - so it could be a risk.

    What is so unfair is that teachers are probably not by nature (and vocation) driven by money. And yet, they are constantly being pitted against, and taken advantage of, by agents who are money-driven careerists.

    A very sad state of affairs and a sad commentary on the state of UK education.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You are definitely being exploited and I would agree with John's suggestions and not wait for the 12 wreek rule.

    Is there sufficient day to day general cover work available if you leave?

    You need to find an agency that will pay at least £130.00 per day PAYE.

    I know it is difficult but keep trying.

    Are you also looking outside teaching?
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  8. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    No, because I have taught for 20 years. It is all I know, all I have ever done. Also, I am very clued up on the state of schools and the problems of education, as like you, I am a regular reader of these threads.

    I also write books and I am doing a masters part time, so this fits around my teaching.

    As for day to day, you can guess what has changed in my region in two short words - cover supervisors.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I was paid £120 10 years ago for day to day supply. You are clearly being underpaid but only you can decide if you will accept that wage. You do have to walk away and mean it if you ask for more money.
    You are being doubly ripped off by being paid by an umbrella company.

    Recently, I found out after going through my payslips that one of the agencies I work with has underpaid me by some substantial amount. . When I get my money back or before, I am going to report them to any professional bodies they may be members of. Perhaps that will make them think twice before they do it to someone else.
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @baxterbasics I really feel for you. You are worth a lot more but you have to remember that there are too many teachers of everything, per se regardless of all the shortage of teachers headlines you read and of that group, too many music, drama and dance teachers and the agency/school will can always opt for some music graduate or undergraduate student from the local conservatory that will be happy getting £10-£15 an hour.
  11. tonymars

    tonymars Occasional commenter

    You have to weigh it up yourself. I've never worked for less than 120 PAYE, but as you say, as a music teacher...
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    A music teacher in a specialist school and the school won't pay an extra £10.00??? They have the money.

    15.8 billion pounds on a Universal Credit system and the government can't give any more money to schools so Baxter can have an extra £10.00 per day???

    This is all mixed up.
    agathamorse and BertieBassett2 like this.
  13. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    The funny thing is about music teachers is that there is a massive range of diversity in that group.

    Because I play guitar and a number of other instruments, including not piano, I think I have a lot more to offer than most, as I can open up lots of different sensory experiences across a whole range of music.

    Plus 20 years of experience.

    To put things in perspective they could have a clarinet player who can play nothing else, who is an NQT.

    Anyway, as people have said - supply and demand etc.
    Human decency and respecting skills come pretty down the list.

    I'm guessing the twenty-something agency recruiters couldn't tell the difference between a guitar and double bass if it fell on them.
    FrauRussell, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    and copy it to the HT.
    JohnJCazorla, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  15. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    you did right, the agencies will try to rip off, I have a reputation for asking for more. So don't be sorry you stood by rights to ask for more money for additional duties.
    BetterNow, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  16. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    That struck a "chord" with me because I suspect that these recruiters don't" fret" too much about paying you to " scale", ;)

    To be more serious, the agency and to some extent the school are probably less interested in your music skills then how cheaply they can fill the vacancy. Provided you know one end of a guitar from the other that is good enough for them and they aren't going to play any more even if your name is Eric Clapton.
  17. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    play any more or pay any more?

    Maybe...but this is a bit of an unusual situation.

    We are talking about young people who in some cases can only make a choice between two things by moving their eyes one way or another. It is that extreme, in some cases, in terms of SEN.

    I imagine that many people would simply throw in the towel, as it's a real educational challenge, an I am only at the beginning of a learning process myself in how to approach this.

    (and for once what can be a rewarding challenge, as the word "challenge" is 99% used to describe **** behaviour, ie. "a challenging class").
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    It is so wrong for you not to get extra money for the specialist work you do.

    Are there locall schools you could approach to work for directly not using agencies?
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    TBH I have only been there for 7 weeks, so it is still a learning process, but one that has generally been positive, and I'm not sure how long it will go on for.

    When I get more confidence and experience, I will maybe make some approaches. I'm also doing an MA part time, so although the pay could be better, it does suit me not to be too committed.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  20. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi baxterbasics

    I see what you mean: at the moment it fits around your studies. What are you studying? Is it music related?

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