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teaching assitant tea break

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by moggy29, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. I have been working in schools since I was 19 years old, I am now 50 years old. I have always been paid my tea breaks, now our head has decided to not pay us anymore I know the budgets are tight, and you should work a number of hours before you are entitled to a break. We all feel upset about this as we all usually work during are breaks anyway. What do we do now if we are needed for first aid during breaks? and what if we are on school trips, we will be with the children, but not get paid for 20 minutes. The head was very dismissive about cutting them with no concern at all for us. Has this been happening in other school recently would be interested to know please from anyone.
  2. Hi,
    Many of our LSAs are not paid for their breaktimes or lunchtimes. The few that are undertake break duties outside. In terms of trips, our LSAs work the full day so technically work unpaid for 1 hour 20 minutes each day. It can be negotiated with teachers to take this time back at a convenient point but the goodwill of most of them mean they don't...but they are entitled to.
    Not sure if it is an increasingly common thing...would be interested to hear from others.
  3. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    We are paid for our tea breaks and we all do a rota one day make tea other playground duty then first-aid then corridor leaving one break free well not really as there is always something to be done, we don't get paid for our dinner break.
  4. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    We are paid for our tea breaks and we all do a rota one day make tea other playground duty then first-aid then corridor leaving one break free well not really as there is always something to be done, we don't get paid for our dinner break.
  5. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    In the school I worked in we didn't get paid for dinner break, but we did for morning tea break (except for nursery who don't get a break).
  6. At my school we are paid for a 15 minute tea break, but not for lunch. Truthfully most of us rarely take a full break.I have a quick coffee in the classroom whilst preparing for the lessons after break. I would guess that most schools rely on the goodwill of their staff. We do not get time off in lieu for extra hours worked on school trips, even residentials. However when I needed a day off, to attend my Grandmother in law's funeral, I was allowed the day off with pay even though it should have been an unpaid absence. My HT definitely recognises the dedication of his staff and the unpaid hours we work. He is very reasonable should we need to take time off for important appointments etc, so I don't begrudge the extra hours I work. Although I would like to get paid for attending inset days. They are often too valuable to miss, but as they are voluntary for support staff we are not paid if we choose to attend.
  7. Trekkie

    Trekkie Occasional commenter

    We have paid breaks but we are in school 10 mins before the start and we also have several playtime duties during the week. Like the previous poster, most of us are in the classroom during break, preparing for the next session. We are paid for inset days when we choose or are asked to attend.[​IMG]
  8. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    If you're not working during the break then I can understand why they would do this. However, if you are normally working through the break then I think its very unfair that payment should be stopped. The grey areas are things like the teacher asking you to help set something up during break or needing to be available for first aid etc. If a child falls over as you leave the room and starts crying you're not going to ignore it and say sorry I'm on my break, you would help out.
    So my feelings are TA's should be paid for all the time they are in school with the possible exception of lunch if it is taken in a separate area away from the children with no expectations to work at all. Deducting 15 mins break each day seems a bit petty and can create a bit of resentment when you do need to work through.
  9. In my last three schools, I was paid for tea breaks. In my new school, no I do not get paid. When on school trips, I note my extra hours worked-coming in early,tea break and lunch. I can then take as time in leui when needed.
  10. In the school I work in we get paid during our break, but technically we're not entitled to one as we get it an hour after school starts.
    It doesn't bother me if I don't get my break, as usually I'll get it later on, but at the end of the day the was I look at it is that I have to be flexible and not complain about it if it annoys me. Now if I get taken advantage of I would say something to the Principle, but TBH I'm just grateful that I have a job ATM so anything I can do to help out esp if it's an emergency I don't mind.
    I look after a diabetic child and a disruptive child in our school and have been sent for a few times during my lunch or tea break, yes it annoys me at times, but in times like that I'm always given extra time afterwards to get a cup of coffee or finish my lunch.
    I signed up for it and at the end of the day the children always come first, and it's what I get paid to do, so I have to expect the unexpected at times.
    As for trips, again, I know I'm not going to be having a normal day so I expect not to get my break. It doesn't bother me as on a trip you're on a longer break anyhow lol.
    We don't get paid for lunch though, and when thinking about out, I'm always in 20mins before school starts anyhow,

    Maybe that's just the way I look at things and no-one else agrees with it, but I'm not fussed if I am needed elsewhere or something, it's all part and parcel of working in a school. Well in ours anyway :)

    Although like another poster said above, our Principle is also very good to us and notices and takes into account extra hours and jobs we do around the school etc. If we need some time off we are given it, as long as we don't take advantage of his kindness, but even when it's thought it goes un-noticed, it does get noticed, and I was in the staffroom once when a teacher passed a comment about how her TA worked through her lunch when one of the children had taken a nasty fall.
  11. I think there is something about being entitled to paid tea breaks (or other perk) if you have historically been given them. Your contract would have to be redone if this is being taken away. You need to talk to your union, if you are in one and they should negotiate something.

    Anyway, if your tea break is unpaid you and the others in the same position should leave the premises so as to not be able to be contacted and this may bring home that you should be paid if they want you to do something. You can refuse to do first aid, surely there will be someone else who can do it? The head, perhaps? ;)

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