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Too many voluntary days?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by conorlake, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. conorlake

    conorlake New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am passionate about my job and so have been happy to take part in training and other events which aren't on normal working days (weekends and holidays). It wasn't until I was booked on for a two day Saturday training that I thought it might be going too far. I worked out that since I started at my new school last September I have attended training on 7 non-working days not including the two more coming up and usual days setting up classroom etc.

    On the one hand I appreciate the extra training and the investment from the school and understand that teachers are expected to work reasonable extra hours, but on the other I wonder if it's being taken too far, especially since these two coming up could have been done on school days and weren't something that I volunteered for.

    Do people think these extra days seem reasonable, or should I be asking for some extra benefits in return?

  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If you're covered by STPCD, you can only be directed to work on 195 days, so this can't be expected of you. Have you already agreed to the two coming up, or could you put your foot down and say "sorry, but I have other plans for those weekends"?

    Some schools might offer extra pay to work at weekends (or time off in lieu), but if you've been doing them for free it might be hard to ask now.

    Do other people do so much at weekends, or is it because you do something particular (DoE, first aid?)?
    You could try a chat with your union rep. They might be able to have a word along the lines of them being very lucky that you've been so willing but it really isn't very fair to exploit that.
    strawbs, bonxie, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Much depends on your school - every one is different. Some do pay extra for weekend work or offer time off in lieu, but in many, it's just expected. School staff are a pretty accepting lot (I'm not sure what other professions would be so easy going!) but, if there comes a point when you feel it's too much, then you'll have to have 'other plans which can't be changed.'
    One point to make - sometimes it can work in your favour. Like you, I've always done the extra time, often grumbling inwardly but never getting as far as asking for overtime or time off. Then, when my son decided to get married abroad in term time, I was terrified of asking for a couple of days off. I plucked up the courage and - to my amazement - was told that as I was always flexible, etc, I could have the week off and travel with the wedding party. SLTs can have a human side after all!!!
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    The labourer is worthy of her/his hire. So it says in the Bible. Somewhere.

    I'm not devaluing my skills by giving them away. I stuck rigidly to the 190 teaching days and 5 training days. I am contractually obliged to work and they are contractually obliged to pay me. It's not a hobby. I do voluntary work. Teaching doesn't come under that heading.

    Thin end of the wedge, you see. You have been compliant so that is now expected of you. I would put my foot down and you are at liberty to do so. Having made concessions thus far though? I expect pressure will be applied. Are you in a union? Do you know your rights and responsibilities under STPCD?
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    no, just say no.

    Is it normal to expect staff in on weekends and holidays. Yes. Should anyone agree to do it. No .not ever, not even once
    towncryer and Laphroig like this.

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