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TA paid per 'period' or hours?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Zinebe, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Zinebe

    Zinebe New commenter

    I'm working as a Language Assistant in a maintained secondary school, my contract says 12 hours a week but the teacher explained to me that classes are a 50-minute period so I work 13 periods and that works out 12 hours.
    I was dubious so I called my union and was advised to go by what my contract says, i.e. hours, no mention of 'period' anywhere in writing. I was advised to explain to my line manager that there is a discrepancy between hours and periods and that I've been directed to work more 'periods'but the direction doesn't match up the contract hours and as a result am doing more than my contractual hours.

    My questions:
    Is any TA being told they are paid for working 'periods of 50 minutes' instead of hours?
    Is there any written documents to support TA salary per 'period' as opposed to hours ?
    Thanks in advance for your reply.
  2. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    If your contract says 12 hours and you are paid for 12 hours then that is what you work. I get paid for some time after the children have left (primary school) but I'm often in school past this time but that is my choice to finish off some printing/copying rather than do it at lunch time or break.
  3. Zinebe

    Zinebe New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, that helps.
    I'm talking to the head of faculty on Monday to clarify that.
  4. Zinebe

    Zinebe New commenter

    I spoke to the head of faculty who calculated the number of hours and periods of 50 minutes. And according to his calculation it all fitted in. But I explained the hypocrisy of the 50 minute periods calculation meaning that if during the 10 unpaid minutes students asked us something, then we'd have to tell them, 'no I can't help you, we're not paid during those 10 minutes sorry'. He said he was going to get back to me after the holidays with a breakdown of hours worked and amount paid from HR.
    I feel that was more a question of acknowledging that I work 1 hour and paid per hour not 50 minutes and raising the standards for everyone - support workers included - rather than making it more unfair for all the language assistants.

    Anyone here calculating their hours of work not by the hour?
  5. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    Would you really do that?
    "I can't answer that because I'm not getting paid!"
    Mazod likes this.
  6. Mazod

    Mazod Occasional commenter

    Am I missing something or is my maths wrong?

    You are contracted to work 12 hours. 12 hours = 720 minutes
    You work during 13 periods which are 50 mins long each.13 x 50 = 650 minutes
    Therefore, they should actually be asking you to work more time rather than you asking for less.
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I don't understand what you mean by students asking you something in the 10 unpaid minutes. If lessons are 50 minutes long, there are no extra 10 minutes when the pupils might be asking you something. They will have left after 50 minutes and be on their way to their next lesson.

    I would be looking at your start and finish times at work.
    If there are 5 minutes changeover time between lessons I would expect those to be paid time for you. If the 50 minute lessons are timetabled with no movement time, you will have to work 13 x 50 minutes to make up your contracted hours.

    If there are 50 minute gaps between two of your timetabled sessions, a teacher would be certainly be paid for that time as 'trapped time' as they couldn't be somewhere else earning at that time.
    Over howmany days do you work and how are the 50 minute lessons timetabled on those days?
    Zinebe likes this.
  8. Zinebe

    Zinebe New commenter

    Thanks Jubilee, I do have 4 hours 'trapped time' obviously unpaid on Thursday I work from 9 to 11am then again from 3.15 to 4.15pm.
    The rest of the timetable has 'trapped time' disguised into unpaid break time too.

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