Hopefully you start the new session in a stress-free and positive mood after a relaxing holiday.
I apologise if anything in this update reduces the positive effect of the holidays, and assure you that is not my intention.
Regrettably teachers are returning to a changed working environment with the imposed changes to conditions of service now a reality. It’s interesting that, despite holiday s and other commitments, time was found to produce the wording for these new conditions of service in record time.
Before discussing the effects of the imposed changes let me remind you of your contract. You are contracted to work 35 hours a week and any additional time is voluntary. We all know that teachers work additional hours to benefit their pupils, but no teacher can be forced to undertake tasks in addition to the 35 hr working week. If you are given a task which exceeds the time allocation in your WTA, or which is not included in your WTA, please contact us for advice.
We are committed to challenging the changes to conditions of service with all means at our disposal. Our success depends on our having accurate information as quickly as possible. Please contact us by email if any of the following situations occur:
• Any attempt is made to suggest that ‘school closure days’ can be varied at short notice, or that the school will not close (e.g. to allow revision to take place). Please mark this urgent.
• You begin Maternity Leave after 1 Sept and suffer detriment due to the reduction in holidays and introduction of school closure days
• An artificial break is created in your supply contract (or in a supply contract in your department) with either internal cover or another supply teacher being used.
• Any attempt is made to pay the first 5 days of a fixed term contract at a reduced ‘supply’ rate.
We have also been informed that some local authorities have erroneously stated that supply cover will be paid at 5/7ths of scale point 0. This is a breach of the SNCT conditions. The imposed changes to payment of supply staff are enough of a detriment without any action to worsen the situation.
With best wishes