A number of matters for your information , attention and some action as follows, please share with colleagues. This will be sent via email to all Derby city schools members today.
Most of you will be aware that ballots have been sent out for industrial action resulting from the ongoing situation in Derby surrounding the Equal Pay Review. Please complete and return your ballot as soon as possible and speak with all your UNISON colleagues , (not just TAs ) about the issues surrounding the ballot and encourage members to participate. This affects all our members, not just TA,’s
Some members have asked what support is being offered or measures taken to support those of you who have been affected by grading outcomes and the answer is that we firstly need to exhaust the appeals process. One of our requests to DCC is for an enhanced period of pay protection. We have started to see results of the appeals procedure in non schools and we have concerns over the way grades are being assimilated if you have been downgraded and then ‘ upgraded’. This forms part of our collective dispute and will continue to be a matter for us to seek redress over. Also the changes to terms and conditions relating to pay protection following restructures etc affects all support staff equally and we have not agreed to it.
Appeals against job evaluation outcome
It is hoped that the results of appeals will be shared from the end of this week, DCC have indicated that they will release results on a school by school basis as they arrive back. This may mean that you hear about the outcomes for other schools before you receive a letter for yourself. It is my understanding that Pay and Reward hope to have “the vast majority ” of outcomes released by the end of the month …watch this space
Appeals against dismissal
At the point of writing we are unaware of any appeals being upheld. However, we continue to oppose and register our protest against the imposition of the new contract. Appeals are ongoing in several schools this week and there are some council house appointments. UNISON commits to supporting our members in these meetings and ask that you inform the branch of date/ time/ venue and your intention to attend. We appreciate you letting us know if you do not wish to attend. Our resources are limited and this helps us to plan.
We have been provided with some guidance notes that were sent to Head Teachers last week regarding the allocation of holiday dates throughout the year, in other words “annual leave dates” and the procedure in the event of sickness during annual leave. We are not able to agree the guidance at this stage and will be seeking further dialogue with DCC over this issue. Bearing in mind this was first raised in consultation meeting before Christmas and we have only just received a response from DCC we feel that we should not be rushed into agreeing guidance that is likely to be detrimental to our members. This is a complex issue. We are not prepared to accept that DCC have no outstanding question to respond to as this issue is unresolved
A further outstanding issue is further clarity over the meaning of “short term cover” we utterly refute DCCs suggestion that this can mean covering for teacher absence. We maintain that this should be covered by a supply teacher or an HLTA at the appropriate rate. Short term cover, relates to periods when a teacher may need to temporarily leave the classroom. Eg short meeting with parent / colleague, take phone call etc . We firmly believe that this was the intention of the writers of the JIQs , our members, when they signed the template JIQ. If necessary we would need to seek a further evaluation from Hay to deal with this issue . We do not accept that potentially unprepared TA1 and TA2s should be expected to take on the role of a teacher without agreement, notice or recompense !
Finally in our letter of 27/1 we asked for details of the supply rates for each of the TA levels and also details of the uplift per hour for those covering PPA or taking additional classes. This remains outstanding .
We would urge you all to explore the options available to your relating to membership of the LG pension scheme . The options available will be dependant on how long you have been in the scheme and how long you have until retirement . Please contact pensions on 01629 538900. Some members may wish to explore the benefits/ or not of leaving the scheme temporarily before 31/5 , and subsequently rejoining and so may need to act quickly . Unison cannot advise you on pensions and strongly suggests that you contact Matlock for further information, as quickly as possible.
Confirmation of hours
Most schools have now confirmed what mitigation, if any, is being offered. We understand that after this information is submitted to DCC they will produce a letter in June for all school support confirming the salary and temporary offers if any. We appreciate that many of you are exploring the availability of benefits such as tax credits and would welcome DCCs early turnaround on this matter. We are fully aware of the impact on our members and are disgusted that our schools colleagues are only just receiving clarity surrounding their June salary, a mere 2 weeks away from imposition. We feel this is not the behaviour expected from a reasonable and caring employer. We are aware of many members who have had to make very difficult decisions about their personal finances whilst waiting for this clarity and the outcome of appeals.
This terrible state of affairs could have been avoided and may still be avoidable if DCC delay changes to terms and conditions for schools employees until appeals are settled, permanent hours offered and DCC fulfil their commitment in the Employment Charter.
Finally , please contact the pay and reward Helpdesk with any outstanding issue you may have and feel free to copy the branch in to any email.
If you have not already looked at the SIP, please do take time to look . You will need to access the Equal pay information by hitting the HR tab , then Equal pay review and entering the details as follows
P/word: MdKRHR9K (All case sensitive)
Well that’s all for now , hope this provides an update . Please contact the branch if you have any questions.
Derby City schools team