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Salary well below pay scale - any way to challenge it?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by onbekende, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. onbekende

    onbekende New commenter

    I've taken a one-year part-time post at an independent school.
    Although the post had been advertised as 70%, in the interview suddenly it was being described as a 65% post when money was being discussed and they offered what seemed a pretty low figure given my experience (7 years!).
    I was lucky enough to get offered the job and managed to negotiate up a bit to something that was less than my ideal but seemed tolerable.

    Over the summer I was posted the staff handbook, however. In there it says how part time percentages are calculated (my post definitely is 70% by their own rules!) and it also has the school's salary scale which is way more generous than I'd realised - and I seem to be on about £6k less than I should be (given the scale point I was on at my last school). Also my salary figure doesn't seem to correspond to any particular point on the scale, it seems to be just a random amount!

    Is there anything I can realistically do about this at this stage other than just learn a bitter lesson for future reference?
    Do schools have to follow their own published rules about calculating part-time percentages and follow their own published scales or am I just being hopelessly naive?

    Any help much appreciated!
    install likes this.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Most likely the handbook is out of date.

    The scale point at your last school is utterly irrelevant, it is a different scale and a different set of pay and conditions. The points on the scale will likely be full time salaries, so your 0.65 wouldn't appear as an amount. The school offered you a post with an attached salary and you accepted it. If you are bitter about it, then it makes sense not to accept a post with a lower than ideal salary next time.

    You could take the handbook with you and ask the head if you have misunderstood something as your salary doesn't seem to appear to be correct. They may change it, they may not.
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    Ignore the handbook . Sadly some employers llke to play games though.

    You need to email/ check with the head. Reference the salary and experience you are bringing to the school. Try to be measured and see if there is a way forward for you.

    It is better to do it now at the start of your contract - rather than thinking about it all year.

    This being a one year post may make it even more difficult to negotiate but there is no harm in trying. (Check your contract with someone you trust or your Union if you need to).
    Lara mfl 05 and onbekende like this.
  4. num3bers

    num3bers Occasional commenter

    It sounds as if your salary might be calculated in a similar way to where I work. I say similar...... and I am still not sure how they calculate my terms and salary either.

    Its basically some fraction based on paying you only for the hours you teach as a fraction of some taught hours by full timers. You may well find that you will be required to do 65% additional " free" periods which will not be on your timetable but assumed that you can do them anywhere the school feels it requires........ these will be unpaid periods. The same will go for duties and clubs. All will be unpaid extras.

    So, in effect you will be teaching and paid for an 0.65 but will be expected to work an 0.7 ( or possibly slightly more. ). Your contract will be silent and likely the hours established by " custom and practice" ( which might mean newer people like you are doing it and older established teachers not doing it. Some may be doing it voluntarily and others forced too).

    I have found this out at great stress and calling in the union - but I am a long tooth teacher who had a different contract and the school tried to change it. You took the job. If I am right, thank your lucky stars it if a one year contract. look elsewhere.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Great post - the OP has stated it is a one year contract. They could at least try and negotiate for more before they considered leaving and if they wanted to.

    Another way - if they get no luck is to do the minimum and see the year through.
    onbekende likes this.
  6. onbekende

    onbekende New commenter

    Thanks for replies everyone!

    I think the fact that a) it's a one year contract and b) I already got the original offer upped means I may well get nowhere if I try to revisit this now but I think as some have said above, it's worth a try!

    I'm glad at least I did negotiate it up at least a bit - I still can't quite compute that the original figure I was offered appears to have been at the very bottom of their pay scale now I've seen it (as in NQT rate), which seems extraordinary given I have 7 years under my belt but then I guess that's the marketplace these days.

    I shall live and learn for next time!
  7. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Use the first six months to convince them that you're abso-bloomin-lutely wonderful and then, when it comes to talking about renewing or not for next year....

    Good luck!
    onbekende likes this.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Unfortunately with some Independent Schools being even more strapped for cash than State Schools yes they often can have very low rates of pay.

    As said, unfortunately you accepted the post and may have little recourse other than to start looking for another post, unless your contract, if you ever get one, states you are required to stay the full year.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Then again, it is your first year in an independent school, there will a lot to learn that is entirely new to you, so you may find you aren't half as experienced as you think you are. If that makes sense.

    Read your contract carefully. You probably also have a probation period, which in general means nothing at all and no-one even notices it. However, you could use it to your advantage and at the end make an appointment with the head to discuss the end of probation and a possible increase in pay now you have shown yourself to be amazing, as per a previous poster.
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The best way to challenge it is to get another job.

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