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What can I do?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by nixmiddleton, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. nixmiddleton

    nixmiddleton New commenter

    At the end of the last academic year I was asked if I could work 2 afternoons a week on top of my 5 mornings. I said I could easily do Thursdays but Wednesdays would be difficult because of childcare issues and that I could only do so on the proviso that I was able to leave no later than 3:30pm. This was agreed, but unfortunately not put in writing.
    My new head (who the agreement was made with) has now said that I have to attend staff meetings on a Wednesday after school. I have asked if we can have them at lunch (like we used to) or on another day, but all she keeps saying is that I have an obligation to come to 0.7 of them, on a Wednesday!
  2. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    A: simply don't go

    B: tell hem to take a looooooooooooooooong running jump, then don't go.

    C: pump your child full of sugar and take them along, with the loudest toy they own!
    FrankWolley likes this.
  3. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    Get in touch with your Union and let them work with you to formalise the verbal agreement. As far as I am aware a verbal contract is as binding as a written contract (I am sure there are people out there who can correct me if I'm wrong) and your HT is not playing fair.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Def contact your union. That’s outrageous!
    However do make sure you always get things in writing. I think, depending on your contact, heads can ask for you to change days but there’s a provess
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    If there's no written contract, maybe you didn't agree to work Wednesdays. If they say "but you did" you remind them of the 3..30 clause, you maybe remind them you're doing this to support them, you didn't really want to work afternoons at all.
    I know it's easy to type this at a distance.
    Pomz and Bonnie23 like this.
  6. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    While the Head does seem to be on the pedantic side, you might need to approach this from the other side and find a way of making Wednesday work with the meetings, sadly law of averages dictates a staff of 100 wont move a meeting for one person. Not wishing to be harsh here, but realistic.
  7. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    They don’t work on a Wednesday!!
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    The OP does work Wednesdays, but agreed to do Wednesday afternoon on condition that they would be able to leave by 3:30pm.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I don't think you have any wiggle room on this. The HT has a right to ask you to attend 0.7 of the meetings.

    The HT rashly made a promise on which s/he reneged.

    I don't think any union would be able to help you with this as the HT is right. You can be very cross you were led up the garden path on this but an exception can't be made for you. What would your colleagues think? That's what all this may be about. The HT casually mentions to someone else that you won't be there for the staff meeting and that colleague points out that the other teachers will be up in arms.

    "What? She's 0.7. She's here. She gets to go home? Bog off. If she can do it then so can the rest of us."

    And staff meetings at lunchtimes (although some staff may prefer it) are not acceptable to the unions.

  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Have you received a new written contract? If not, then I think the verbal agreement made when you said you could do Wednesday afternoons only until 3.30 should stand.

    I've come across other people with agreements like this - someone who went from mornings only to all day to help the school out of a temporary hole, but with agreement to leave before the end of school on some days (I think the head or a TA did hometime story), and someone who took on a job in a tricky school who didn't have a tutor group so she could take her own child to school first. It happens, other staff can like it or lump it.
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    We are frequently told that a verbal agreement is as valid as a written one (so if you start a job based on one, it is just as if you have signed a written contract).

    So your HT agreed you should leave at 3.30 at the latest? That stands. If they quibble, remind them of the agreement - and say that you HAD assumed that they actually meant what they said...were you so wrong?
  12. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Eek sorry I missed this - thank you!!

    I agree that schools now are more flexible and have various arrangements in place for staff. I think this has happened due to the RandR crisis and also as other professions have increasingly become more flexible on the whole.
    I think you had an agreement and that’s it! She’s going back on her word. You’re also being flexible and saying you will attend but you can’t due to Child Care arrangements. How long have you been leaving before 3:30 on a Wednesday? I would contact your Union and also appeal to the head’s better nature. Otherwise just say you can work the afternoon!

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