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Uneven Pay

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by shoegal44, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    Hi all,

    A member of my department recently came to me and was really upset as she had discovered that the head of maths had been given a huge pay rise despite the fact that my principal had just told her that he could only afford to give her a small bump (she is being very underpaid)

    It turns out (and has been confirmed) that the head of maths is being paid £60,000 a year now after asking for more money. I am the head of English and I am making £43,000. I was told that this would be put up to £50,000 with my next performance review.

    Am I wrong to think that this is totally unfair? We have been teaching for a very similar amount of time, my deprtment's results were much higher than maths and I do ten times more whole-school stuff than him.

    My principal has said that maths teachers are like gold dust and so he has to deal with 'market forces' but surely a £10,000 difference is ridiculous?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Mrsmumbles and pepper5 like this.
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You (and your colleague) should have a claim for sexual discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, assuming that you are female @shoegal44. However this is easy to say but will require legal backing to actually get, you need to get in touch with your union about this.
    As a supply teacher I'm used to the concept of viciously negotiating for every penny I can get from the agency (who of course are viciously negotiating with the school). I'm quite successful as I'm a Maths/Science supply and so can push it but I'm surprised at the amount of teachers (a few male but ALL the female ones) who can't be bothered/too shy/not Trumpian enough.......

    So if you won't or can't follow the union/legal route then have you watched enough episodes of The Apprentice to handle your pay negotiations?

    EDIT: You'll notice that your actual teaching (or HoD) abilities aren't any part of this viewpoint.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    Wow those are high salaries but yes it is unfair,
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Senior commenter

    How do you know how much other people are paid? Are they telling or being asked?
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter


    It's really none of your business what other people are paid-your higher paid colleague or your lower paid colleague. (equally it's none of our business what you are paid-why post your salary on here?!) The Ht has given a good enough reason for a difference and that decision is in their hands.
    I find it remarkable that you've been qualified for just 6 years (according to your posting history), you are happy to post here both your salary, and that your salary is about to go up by a further 7 thousand and yet you cannot accept what somebody else is earning.
    Makes me squirm when somebody's raking it in yet complains about how unfair it is that others have more.
    Guess that's just me and my monthly pittance talking. Can't be bothered to look past that and say something more constructive, sorry,
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    You are getting £43,000. It doesn't matter whether the maths teacher is on £60,000 or £160,000 or £20,000 - your £43,000 will not be worth any more or less.
    tall tales, Pomza, Flanks and 3 others like this.
  7. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    On the face of it, there may well be an Equal Pay complaint under Equality Act 2010, if you are doing 'like work', or work rated as equivalent or work found to be of equal value.

    If the employer wishes to deploy a defence of recruitment / retention to explain a genuinely-justified anomaly, he can try. But he would have to argue it convincingly.

    JohnJCazorla, Mrsmumbles and pepper5 like this.
  8. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Your HT is right: these are market forces at work.

    I'm not sure if this is a consolation, but it's nothing personal to you or how hard you work.

    I hear tell that most HoDs in maths are on the leadership scale these days; and quite a lot of English HoDs, too - because it is difficult to recruit (for the former) or people don't want to do it (the latter). "Associate Director" posts for English are becoming more and more common (as they are for maths, one can assume). Also, there is a general shortage in core subjects.

    Look at it this way: if the maths department was disordered and poorly staffed the whole-school results (P8 etc.) would be adversely affected, which would invite more scrutiny on everyone...including you and your team.

    If you are really that pee'd off about it: go. Find another post and, as JohnJCarzola says, negotiate Apprentice-style.

    In every school I've worked in there are staff who are paid obscene amounts compared to what they do - I can name quite a few! Actually, scratch that, before I came into teaching...I could name many people I worked with in the private and public sectors whose pay seemed unfair compared to their output. Such is life. However; I would temper this by saying no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors.....
  9. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    Pay scales would disagree with that. Say they maths teacher and yourself both have the same TLR for line managing a department, curriculum planning, etc (let's call it £13,000 for now, just for argument's sake). That would make your base salary before the TLR £30,000, and your maths colleague's base salary at 47,000. You'd still be paid the same for your head of department role (same or similar work), but more based on your performance management, years of service, position on the pay scale. Head of maths could be at the top of UPS and you in the middle of MPS. That'd explain the disparity even if you've been teaching a similar time. Sometimes shortage subject teachers can negotiate starting on MPS2, putting them a step ahead in the ridiculous dance of performance related pay progression.

    I'm more confused by the head promising you £7,000 out of thin air. Short of a significant change in role to include more responsibilities I can't see how that's in line with any school's pay policies.

    If it is, I got really good results last year as well. Tell me how you negotiated that!
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Is this a state school or a private school?
  11. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    agathamorse likes this.
  12. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    I was being paid well below my M Scale due to the fact that my school is so small and, now it's grown, it's just bringing me closer in line to where I should be.
  13. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    Then surely it's not a problem with how much the head of maths gets paid, it's a problem with you getting underpaid (which is ludicrous - if I were getting less than the going rate I would be up in arms, and so should you!).
  14. border_walker

    border_walker Established commenter

    As it is harder to get Maths teachers, I would expect them to be paid more. If you feel this is unfair, train as a maths teacher.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Is this a free school or academy ? If so - it may be that payment is by negotiation,.experience, retention.. Can you prove any of this?
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    By that thinking , PE teachers should be paid less - which would be equally unfair . Clearly there needs to be a control on what shortage subject teachers get eg a 'golden halo' rule.

    Having said that - in a world where 'mobilty pay' is going, negotation and bargaining may rule in some schools. So bargain and negotiate if you need to or see Union in case this is in anyway prejuduced against you. You would need to prove you do the same role. :cool:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    Just seen you are the Hd of English. You might try arguing (as a Hd of Science I know did that you are accountable for 2 GCSEs - not 1. And potentially 30 percent of your school's Progress 8 as opposed to the Maths 20 percent of Progress 8.

    Are adverts in your area offering more pay for your role? That too is handy. Heads of core areas are turning into much needed employees lately. Sadly due to the skewered demands of Ofsted and League Tables.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  18. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    It was only ever going to be thus when Gove got rid of national pay scales; in fact, this was his whole rationale behind it - it was to free schools up to pay more for better teachers (did anyone fall for this line? That's for another thread).

    I don't think it's fair, either, but that's how the market works...More PE teachers than there are jobs? Then the employer can dictate the terms. More jobs than there are maths teachers? Then the bargaining power lies in the hands of the candidate. As STEM graduates are being drawn more towards industry where their talents are appreciated and appropriately compensated, why would they become a teacher?

    If I could do it all again I would come back as a PE teacher. One of my good friends in my current school is a PE teacher and, let's just say this, no SLT or parents are darkening his doors every week wondering why little Jonny isn't getting a Grade 4-5 (and let's not forget, little Jonny chose to take PE).

    Oh, and just to make things even more fun for beleagured English teachers, now our subject is worth double the points in Progress 8. I remember the days when English teachers up and down the land wished for literature to have as much clout as language; as they say, be careful what you wish for...

    I'm a Head of English in my current school. I've got no idea what my equivalent (Head of Maths) is making compared to me. More than that - I don't really care. He's got a couple of decades more than me at the chalkface so I guess I'd hope he was being paid more, in anything!

    Out of curiosity (a' la SKRobson's post) I had a quick look at the OP's posting history: a lot of it centres around unfairness in pay/allocations etc. They're going to have to toughen up somewhat - to trot out a cliché I usually reserve for recalcitrant students: life isn't fair...
  19. install

    install Star commenter

    Agree. The argument also now is 'you get what you bargained for'. With no mobility pay in places - bargaining for higher pay is key at all levels. Sadly, the one who negotiates best wins the highest pay in places. Guess that is 'business' these days in some schools.

    Although, it may be worth pursuing if there is any bias or discrimination here and the Pay Policy is not being followed.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    JohnJCazorla and englishtt06 like this.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    'Upset' in what way?
    'Found out' how? People with large pay rises tend not to spread the news around.

    Most state school teachers have only had a small pay rise.

    Seems like another thread where people are feeling disgruntled after hearing gossip.
    Pomza, Flanks and border_walker like this.

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