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Sharing of own resources / unfair work distribution

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by natalielonglegs, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. natalielonglegs

    natalielonglegs New commenter


    I am having a nightmare in my current role with regards to resources and unfair work distribution.
    I work in a young offenders institute, teaching 15-18 year olds. I am a fairly new teacher, having only worked previously in one secondary school (as a fully qualified teacher). Prior to that, I studied on my PGCE and worked as a TA.

    I came into the role with no course set up and since working at the prison for nearly 2 years I have managed to successfully build a qualification from scratch. This includes:
    • Seeking approval for the delivery of the particular course I wanted to deliver (NCFE)
    • Writing each of the four L1 units of work
    • Having each unit quality assured
    • Producing all of the resources for the four units
    • Producing the necessary assessment documentation alongside the resources
    • Writing (up to now) three L2 units
    • Having each of the L2 units quality assured
    • Producing the resources for the L2 units

    I have also, since starting in the role, managed to successfully support a large number of young people through full units (and sometimes the full qualification). I have sent all of their work in for quality assurance and have had limited developmental feedback on my assessment methods. I have developed my units as I have delivered them, making changes as I see fit.

    Alongside this, I was fired from the role and without a job for 6 weeks (which was overturned). I also have longstanding depression and anxiety (both of which are highly influential on my life). I have completed many distance learning courses and also achieved my TAQA qualification through my work.

    To top all of this off, I am on the lowest pay scale.

    We now have a teacher who delivers the same L1 qualification as me, but in a different class in the prison. She has worked in the role for almost a year (having started as a maternity cover teacher for Art, and transferring over). She managed to completely destroy a great art course with successful units, and has not contributed one thing to the running of the qualifications.

    I have now been told that I have to give all of my resources to this girl. Bearing in mind she has given me NOTHING. I have also made 99% of the resources in my own time at home (due to a lack of prison accessible websites).

    My question / advice: Do I have a right to say no to this? Can I fight this?

    It doesn't seem fair. My manager says 'we should all share'. Yet it is only me and my friend (who teaches Art, and who is being expected to hand over ALL of her resources and worksheets to a teacher who is paid almost £10000 a year more than her and who is 'unable' to write a SOW or make a worksheet) that share.

    Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. It is making me very stressed at work.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Nope. You don’t have a leg to stand on. If they were produced for your place of employment, they belong to your employer. Sadly it doesn’t matter where or when you did the actual work. Absolutely galling but there we go.

    Of course, if you were to leave and then supply your former employer with a faulty thumb drive or a scratched CD, what could they do? Especially when you’ve just reformatted your own hard drive to free up some space...

    But sadly, this is a very common situation. Sometimes all you can do is shrug and try to maintain the moral high ground. And frankly, whilst it’s annoying, it doesn’t directly affect you. It’s not like you bought them or can’t reuse them yourself. Or sell them on TES. Let it go.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well I'm of the opinion that everyone benefits when resources are shared. I've always shared freely and you notice all my resources on here have always been free. Yes some people will contribute more than others, that's always the way.

    Personally I would count it as a complement that you are obviously gifted in your planning and that it is a privilege to to be able to help develop someone; else's practice..

    But then I'm 'old school'. I know how much I benefitted from older, more experienced colleagues sharing ideas and resources with me, which I was then able to reciprocate as I became more experienced.
    You see that's the way we established good teams and is one of the problems with many modern trained teachers- they view things as 'their' resource' under their ownership, whereas it is only part of their job and all resources technically belong to their employers.
    jlishman2158, khru, pepper5 and 7 others like this.
  4. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    Do you have any evidence for this? I have heard the opposite many times due to IP, etc but never what you have just posted.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Yes anything produced as part of your job, wherever you produce it and even if done in your own time, is produced as part of your job and 'technically' belongs to the school/ employer.

    Resources will always be pertinent to the group they were produced for and even if shared will always need adapting, but it helps share the load and prevents all teachers 'having to re-invent the wheel' by giving them a starting point to develop materials for other groups.
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    On the issue of copyright it is worth getting union advice - If you wrote a text book in your own time would this belong to the school or to you? Worth checking.
    It can be argued that if writing SOW's is part of your job then these belong to the employer - but other resources? Surely that means that every teacher selling resources on the TES must be required to give their employer a share in the profits?
    When you pass them on you can put your name on every page - Header / footer - created by etc.
    Also do these all have to be electronic? - you could pass on hard copies only. You may still be compelled to pass these on but your name is on every page - yes the other teacher could remove your name, but on hard copies it would require a lot of tippex.
    What is your relationship like with your LM - Will your LM stand by their words of insisting on sharing resources, this has to work both ways.
    How do you feel about your future at this place? it does not sound as if they value you and it may now be worth looking around.
    Sorry no easy answers and hopefully others can give more advice.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    pepper5, agathamorse, Pomza and 2 others like this.
  8. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    https://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/client...-it-comes-to-intellectual-property-12423.aspx The key point is under the heading "Has the employee created the work during the course of their employment?" If it was, it belongs to the employer. How one can demonstrate whether or not this is true is beyond my legal expertise, although I would hazard a guess that if it is used at school then it was created in the course of employment.

    I have huge sympathy for the OP, but wonder if this is really worth fighting over. If things re that bad, I would suggest cooperating and then looking for another job. Or, if you can, ignore this colleague and just do a good job yourself. You could use your creation and sharing of these resources as a lever in PM reviews and pay negotiations. Fighting it would just create more stress and may lead to a less than ideal reference. I know that it is unfair, but sometimes the path of least resistance is best. If you do leave, then make sure you have copies of your resources - not strictly in accordance with the letter of the law, but most people would do it and it would not cost your employer anything.

    If you are determined to fight, then it could turn nasty, so you would need to get union advice and support.
    jlishman2158, pepper5, Pomza and 3 others like this.
  9. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    According to Dr.Google it depends on your job description. If you have gone beyond your job spec then you own the copyright, if it's something that could be expected as part of your job the organisation owns the copyright.

    So yeah - there might be room for manoeuvre there if your job spec doesn't include the work you've been doing or it's beyond the remit of your contract. Is it really worth it though?
    jlishman2158, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    So I have quoted your list of things you have achieved.
    Why did you do them?
    Your managers believe you did them for your cohort.
    You believe you did them for your personal success. Measurable against how much others do of similar stuff.
    You cannot both be right.
    Until you stop involving the achievements of colleagues in how you value your work, you are going to find it difficult to share the stuff you create.
    Nothing is as relevant to what you do as the people who you are instructing or supporting.
    I don't think you have reached that place, and therefore you feel ownership of the systems and resources.
    Either you will reach that place, or you wont.

    Not judging.

    The formal questions of copyright and ownership and contractual tasks will never be as pivotal here as questions of attitude and motivation.
    What compelled you to do all that work?
    pepper5, Pomza and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I think one lesson for everyone is - if you are generating resources for your job and wish to retain control over them then lie about it. Tell them that you produced the resources before you took up the post, or were given them by a friend. Don't use a school laptop and keep them on a memory stick.
    If you are in a department where you are happy about sharing and feel you can work collaboratively then that's great. If not, then you don't have to.
  12. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter

    Didn’t your laptop at home ‘crash’ and you have lost all the resources, what a shame. If you were working as a functioning team, I’d say hand the over, but, never in these circumstances and under duress.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    So a surgeon who makes a breakthrough should tell the other surgeons she's keeping it a secret unless they pay her?

    We should still be paying royalties to the bloke/woman who invented the wheel, I guess. That's just silly. To their descendants. And who came up with the idea of grinding coffee beans and adding hot water?

    You've been paid. To do the work during the course of your employment. You were paid. You didn't do it out of the goodness of your heart. You didn't sit at home jobless and decide to go into business writing coursework for youngsters and then market it to educational publishers, did you? No.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You say that's a lesson for everyone, but it certainly is not for me, sorry.
    I am a teacher, and that is my vocation.
    Wishing to gain control over something which is essentially supposed to be delivered to benefit a third party is fundamentally the opposite of "vocation".
    By definition.
    Your suggestion reduces the craft behind teaching to nothing more than a party political style squabble of "I'm keeping this, I invented it, you cannot have it because you are not really that great, irrespective of who it is meant for"
    Piranha, Rott Weiler and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    You could always now "tweak" the lot.... making them less easy to follow..... leaving quite some work to make them workable..... that's if no hard copies exist of your real ones.
    As for putting your name on everything...absolutely
    A friend of a friend loaned a 'best friend' booklets they had produced. Lo and behold quite some time later on a Baker Day, a KS consultant from the authority was 'delivering' some training and produced a booklet.... and guess what? It had this consultant's name all over it and no acknowledgement of the author. ie the so called friend had passed it off as theirs and this consultant had grabbed it. Nice eh?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    You know, if I wasn't currently sitting here creating lesson resources at 10.37, I would have a lot more sympathy with the argument that my school gets the copyrite....
    jlishman2158, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Then, quite clearly, your organisation owns your 'resources'.

    Not everyday you see a line like this tucked away in the middle of a post...
  18. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sometimes life seems unfair. Sometimes you have to reshape your narrative.
    You have some power, they have told you that they like your resources. You have shaped the learning that is going to go on in this setting for a while.
    If you share all your resources, that you created for enriching the education in your institute, you're effectively the boss.
    This will be good on the CV.
    Of course if you want to limit your influence, you won't remember exactly where everything was. I'd tend towards provisional generosity.
    I do sympathise that you're at the bottom of the scale. Sharing strengthens your case as a team player and a contributor.
    jlishman2158 and Lara mfl 05 like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Well - drug companies actually DO that - they develop drugs then sell them, leaving those who cannot afford them to die in the gutter. Its all legal and above board and - yeah - hooray for capitalism. Go them.

    As for being paid - isn't it funny how teaching can involve some of us spending hours and hours developing lessons and that's just 'our job', whereas when other people do additional work, it earns them a TLR? How come you don't get paid more for some extra responsibilities whereas you do for others? And - isn't ensuring that your departments resources are excellent rather important?

    Personally, I'm happiest in an environment where we all share and improve each others work. I like the idea that my resources can be found in several schools, giving students access to a richer educational experience. But I'm damned grateful to the people who have given me resources over the years and made my life easier.
  20. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    My point is that each of us has a choice about what we do - Yes of course it is great to work collaboratively and share ideas and resources. Some people will always contribute more than others and that is something we all have to accept.
    A good line manager will recognize when someone is going above and beyond and at the very least make sure that credit is given where it is due. The OP should at least feel that their hard work is valued. If the OP chooses to do more than their colleagues, then that is their choice.
    I have always shared resources I have generated and have been happy to do so and have benefited from working with colleagues who have done the same.
    But I have also worked with colleagues who have taken and never given and even people who have taken credit for mine and other peoples work.
    It is great to have a vocation and put the pupils first and I respect your wish to do so, unfortunately I have worked with colleagues and SLT who have cynically used those words as excuses for s*****g on the rest of us.

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