1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Supply pay and conditions - biggest let down in our profession?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by green mosquito, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Originally started thread in supply forum, but realised this is such an important pay and conditions issue.......

    Now that Supply registers/ or the management of supply by English LA's is almost obsolete, what can we do?

    It must be one of the biggest errosions to our professionalism in the last decade, or thereabouts.

    I'm comparing our model with the Scottish model, which I worked in 5 years ago.

    In Scotland, the supply was still run by the local LA. You got a morning call from one of two ladies at the local council (so it can't be that big a joint to run!) - the work was local, never more than 30 minutes away, but usually 10 to 15 minutes. This was rural, rural Scotland.

    BUT - the biggest difference was the way the COUNCIL managed your wages. They deducted holiday pay and saved it up for you. So you got your decent daily rate monthly, and in July and August, huge pay cheques (i.e. on M4, working part-time, £2,600 in August, accumulated from January to July). You still made pension contributions!

    So, by contacting out supply to agencies and larger organisations, our holiday pay and what we would pay into pensions is being creamed off.

    We are also having to travel further.

    There are more and more agencies, meaning less work now.

    I have had to register with 6 in my area (6 x £36 CRB).

    As a teacher on M6 with over 10 years experience, I can only negotiate between £125 and £140 tops a day, no pension contribution, and no holiday pay accumulating.

    So, as the supply year runs, say 26 busy weeks a year, and the rest not so busy, you are averaging about £14000 net, - just over £1000 a month and the agencies are getting the rest.

    The agencies are not bothered about real issues, like the fact that if you are team teach trained, and working in very challenging schools, the advice is 'stand back and do not intervene at all costs' - what about our duty of care?

    In contracting out supply services, we have lost out as a profession. Nurses command higher casual rates than we do, and they have traditionally been on lower pay scales marginally. Schools won't pay high premiums like the NHS. So we are losing out.

    Some people say we/supply teachers are in charge of our own destinies - but how can we be? if there is less work available, as it is spread more thinly between the growing number of agencies, and if there is no central pay to scale point of contact offering work, and you need to average a certain number of days to pay the mortgage.... then it is not control, but catch 22. You have to register with agencies just to access local work.

    What can we do about this as a profession?

    Does anyone have any idea if this is set to continue, i.e. if any of the contracts are due to 'run out' in the near future, and what future plans are for the future of supply work?

    Supply is a choice for many, as they have other life circumstances which means they cannot lend their time to the poor work life balance demands presently in teaching.

    For others, supply is not a choice - they may have been forced out of jobs, or moved areas etc - and find themselves inadvertently with dire pay and conditions. Whatever the reason, we are at a very very low ebb now.

    Anyone else concerned, and if so, what could we do, or start to do?

  2. I qualified in 1997 and have only managed one year of full time contracted work. I have heavy family responsibilities and am a carer for an elderly relative. A full time job was simply not an option and so I decided to do supply work. I have seen my pay cut down from £156 daily in the early 2000's to around £110/£120 now. This has meant a loss of hundreds of pounds a month from when the borough used to pay supply staff (paid according to scale) to a poor daily rate from a supply agency.The daily rate is going down all the time and I'm wondering when it will stop. As far as I can see, agency staff do very little. For long term positions, they do nothing other than pick up the money which should be yours, the professional. One or two phone calls and you're booked. As a result of this situation, I lost the ability to save any pension money (I do not have a pension), cannot afford new clothes, cannot run a car and have to cycle to schools a long way away and in general I'm strapped for cash all the time. I have had long term supply positions which have posed considerable work and the agency paid £5 more daily, enough for a cup of coffee and yet, there I was, leaving school at 6, having set out at 7, my children coming home to an empty house.

    In 2004 when my youngest child went into Reception, I embarked on an MA in education which I gained with distinction. I felt the time was right to enter into full time work again. Sadly, I could not get a job (teaching is an ageist profession and I was 47 by then)I think employers think you are below par as a teacher as you have not shown full time contracted experience. The present position is very difficult and I can't see it improving. Unions should have taken action long ago as we are very valuable members of the school's community and often do much more work than is bargained for.

Share This Page