This is a quick update to you all as our time recently has been physically taken up, meeting with members in schools.
The plight of our TA members in schools worsens as a number of schools are only offering additional hours to staff who voluntarily sign up to the new terms and conditions. They are threatening to withdraw the offer of extra temporary hours if staff do not sign voluntarily.
UNISON Derby City Schools Team are challenging this approach in the strongest terms in schools who feel they have to link the two issues. We wonder why a school leadership team would want to treat staff in this way?
In fact the agreement and guidance signed by the council made no mention of the offers of additional hours being conditional on accepting the changes but issued the directive in an attempt to help staff suffering huge losses.
It would appear to be a directive issued by HR to reduce their workload.
We thank those schools…the majority, who are taking a caring and helpful approach to helping their staff through this distressing time and making the decision to separate the issues. It must be made clear that the decision to link the issues, or not, is one for individual schools and their governors.
When HR are challenged directly as to whether they are instructing schools to link the issues they invariably reply that they are not.
This issue is leaving school leadership and staff feeling confused and intimidated. The solution is simple and has been adopted by many schools. Offers of additional hours are not conditional on acceptance of DCC’s new changed Terms and Conditions.
Many questions re the changes to Terms and Conditions remain unanswered as DCC sail into uncharted territory with school support staff moving to term time only contracts. We have collated these and will present them formally to the pay and reward team on your behalf.
Please be assured that we will let you know when we have a response.
Members in the schools who are being denied hours if they do not sign, say they feel they are being backed into a corner and feel threatened by this approach. We shall be raising this issue with the elected members.
In the meantime if you are affected in this way, please appeal to your School Governors and ask your head to compromise. Be assured that we shall continue to challenge this approach and if you feel bullied or intimidated into signing, you should email the schools team or the branch: firstname.lastname@example.org