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Support staff & parents' evening

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by ilovescience!, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. The rules are quite clear about teachers attending after school meetings, but what about support staff?
    My friend is a cover supervisor, she has recently been given a form group and has now been told she must attend the up-coming parent's evening. She has been told that she can have the time of the meeting in lieu, but that the trapped time between when she finishes work and the start of the evening meeting is not included, as refreshments are to be laid on. Unfortunately she is a lone parent and will need to arrange for her
    children to be picked up from school and baby sat at a
    total cost of around £30. Also unfortunate is that she has not joined a union yet as she could not afford it.
    I have said that I think that she can not be made to stay for the meeting, but she is quite resigned to fact that she does have to stay. Is there anyone who knows if she has a right to refuse to stay for the meeting?
     
  2. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    I am no expert. But such staff are usually employed to fixed contractual hours to which they are paid, and as such could not be forced to do this 'overtine'. But I would suggest that she first checks her contract (if there is one), and any other terms of employment that are relevant.
    I would say no, she doesn't have to attend, at least not without pay.
    Mark
     
  3. Wow! That was a quick reply Mark. Thanks.
    I do not think the contracts for any support staff directly say anything to do with having to work overtime, but we all have the dreaded phrase which says "and anything else directed by the head teacher".
    There is the provision for overtime to be paid to staff e.g. site staff opening or closing school after lets, but my friend is only being offered time in lieu when mutually convenient (she says it could be handy for watching her children's sports day, but it might not be convenient to the school at that time.)
     
  4. Couple of points here, I think.
    1) I am pretty sure she cannot be made to attend as it is (presumably) outside her contracted hours.
    2) Time off in leiu may not be acceptable. She may wish to ask for overtime payment. "Trapped" time will not count.
    3) However, will making an issue over this result in her relationship with the mgt suffering? Would it be worth the hassle?
    4) Any chance she is in a union where she could go for advice?
     
  5. Thanks bd99, no she is not in a union (I am and if it were me being asked I would have contacted mine - might ask them anyway, in case I come across the same problem.)
    She is reluctant and resentful, mainly because of the problem with her children, but is prepared to stay to keep peace.
     
  6. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Then I guess there is no issue...but poor managers and leaders rely on the 'keep the peace' attitude to get staff to work extra hours for free.
    Non-teaching staff will have contracted hours and are paid hourly (unlike teachers) so she has every right to demand overtime pay if she attends. This could be the beginning of a slippery slope unless she makes a stand.
    My technical staff are paid extra hours to attend department meetings once a month - I wouldn't expect to attend otherwise, non-teaching staff simply aren't paid for it.
    Mark
     
  7. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Can she quite simply say to the Head, or whoever is dealing with this, that she cannot afford the childcare and so will not be able to attend? Its true and its nothing to be embarassed about!
     

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