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School Won't Pay Me For Cover

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by msaturn, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Way back before Easter I was given a long-term post at a school that was meant to last until Easter. It ended early (after just 3 weeks) as they found someone permanent to take over the classroom. On the Friday, meant to be my last day, I was approached at dinnertime by the headteacher who informed me the new teacher would be taking over in 15 minutes when the children returned. She assured me they would pay me the full day since the notice was very short, however.

    Low and behold, the following week I received my pay and as it turns out I was only paid half for that final day. I immediately rang my agency who said they would get on it and it would probably be credited the following week.

    School is now out for the summer and I have approached my agency 3-4 times about this issue. First the reason was they couldn't get a hold of the headteacher...then it was they were waiting for her to ring them back...and just this past Monday I sent my agency an e-mail asking what was going on, and they STILL haven't even responded to me.

    I feel like both the school and my agency are taking the **** a bit. I wouldn't be pushing about this if it weren't for the fact I'm out £60! That's a week's groceries for my family! I struggle enough as it is, much like other supply teachers with inconsistent work and a family to feed, but I don't know what else to do to get my money that they told me they would pay.

    Is this right? Any suggestions on my options from this point?
  2. Go to the small claims court? Though I suspect it would cost as much to claim as you'd get back.
    It's appalling. How on earth can someone come in to teach at 15 minutes notice? Either they knew she would return much earlier and didn't bother telling you or............... or what? I can't think of any reason.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It was not the permanent postholder who returned. The OP says that the school found a permanent person to take over from him/her on supply. Presumably the teacher was interviewed that morning and was given an immediate start!
    I think the OP needs to establish whether the school paid for a full or half supply day on that last 'no notice' day.
    It could well be that the agency, knowing about the OP only being kept on until lunchtime, decided to only pay for the morning even when the school paid the full daily fee. Maybe the agency only claimed a half day from the school.
    Pin the agency down about whose mistake it is. If the agency won't sort it out, contact the school direct. There should still be office staff, including a bursar or school manager, on site for part of the holidays.
    I made a fuss recently about my 3 hour 20 minute sessions suddenly being put through by my LA agency as 3 hours .They said it was 3 hours for a morning session even if I worked longer. Some of my schools do 4 hours before lunch and one hour after. I asked if they'd then put me down as teaching 2 hours if I only did a 1 hour afternoon session!
    I'd worked on claiming 3 hrs 15 minutes and 3 hours 30 minutes in the ration 2:1 to get correct pay overall. The timesheet only allows for quarter hour entries for the minutes. I triumphed in the end with a missing half hour of pay coughed up (that's £16 gross and pays for 1.5 return journeys to my furthest school.)
  4. If you win in the SCC, you get back the fee you have to pay. I have used this once and the agency paid up before the hearing and I got back my fee.
    However, schools/agencies still use the 'trial day' to get freebies. I went to a school for a trial day and was asked to do another three days. I thought that this meant that they were happy with my work. The agency phoned me saying not to go in on the 5th day, as someone else had been found. All these days were claimed to be 'trial days'. However, they changed their minds when the SCC papers arrived. Even the threat might work.
  5. My agency DOES know, and it's the school that isn't paying. Understandibly, what happened was I signed out for the day by half-one (which is only 2 hours before dismissal anyway) and the person who does the pay to agencies for supply (probably the business administrator or something) simply went by the sign-in log even though my timesheet said I worked a full day. Rather than the flighty headteacher communicating that I was to be paid the full day, that person only had the log to go by.

    However, the fact that my own agency seems to be playing a bit and not even responding to my requests about whether or not something has been done to move forward is concerning to me.
    Perhaps I can use the SCC as a way to get the agency to light a fire under the school (or themselves to contact the school again).

    My only worry was whether or not to contact the school myself as I wasn't sure if this would be crossing any boundaries of professionalism to skip the middle man, so to speak, which would be my own agency.
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Tell your agency that unless they agree to sort out the missing pay you will be looking into the Small Claims Court to recover the unpaid wages from the school.
    It shouldn't come to that as the Head agreed to honour the day's pay. It's strange that the school didn't use you elsewhere for the rest of your booked day and you wouldn't then be in this position as you'd have signed out at the end of the school day.

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