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Head of school I work for wants me to do cleaning to make up hours I can't do at mo

(321 Posts)
babayjane67 Fri 03-Jul-20 11:26:17

Hi all!
Sorry the titles bit long but couldn't think of a shorter one!
I work as a lunch time supervisor at my DDS school.we both went bk 3 wks ago as she's in yr6.i look after both her class bubbles,which is nearly the whole class of 29.
Anyway in normal times,I also do the breakfast club every day but obviously at the moment that's not possible.
When I went into work on Tues,the head caught me&said they're wanting to get everybody bk into school to make up for the hrs they're not working.one of the breakfast club girls is shielding so can't come bk but he's apparently talking to her about how it's going to work in September.
The other girl is coming bk on Mon being a lunch time supervisor for a new key worker kids bubble that will start.
He wants me to clean to make mine up.so all light switches,door handles,sinks in classrooms& toilets &all toilet seats throughout the school.desks too I think.
He said think about it&let me know tomorrow I'll come&find u.well he didn't though I did see him wandering round on Wed.i wasn't in yesterday as I've got a nasty ear infection at mo.we don't work Fridays as the kids only do half day so that a deep clean can be done of the school each week.
This morning I get an email detailing my cleaning schedule starting Mon&saying what equipment I will be using etc.not asking me if I wanna do it/have I thought about it&made a decision.no just this is yr schedule starting Mon let us know what side if the lunch time you want to do it.
I've got nothing against cleaning,I've been one as a job in the past.so I haven't got a problem with doing it as a job but I don't want to do it as fir a start I get asthma so that's why he said fir me to work with yr6 not the younger ones,as they can social distance better&they understand more.plus I really don't want to be cleaning their loo seats etc.Im not dealing with any little ones at mo in any capacity.ive got 2 GC the youngest being 4&I've had to keep away from them as he's got a low immune system as well as me with my asthma so I don't want to then be dealing with stuff like that where everyone sits,touches things&risk passing anything on.
My dp isn't happy about me doing either fir the same reasons&said he would have told the head no straight away!
I haven't replied to the email yet.
Aibu?

OP’s posts: |
MarcelineMissouri Fri 03-Jul-20 12:46:44

Just make sure you have the correct PPE. I don’t really think you can say no to be honest unless your asthma is severe but I presume you’re not shielding or anything as you’re back to work. I work as a lunchtime supervisor and our hours and duties have changed a bit since we went back, as it has for the teachers and ta’s as well.

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland Fri 03-Jul-20 12:47:52

Ps of course you should request gloves and a mask to do the cleaning but actually given that you are far more likely to catch covid from contact with a person than from surfaces, cleaning alone (especially given the products you will be using will be antibacterial) is probably a lower risk activity than helping in the classroom.

Chocolateandamaretto Fri 03-Jul-20 12:53:32

If you are employed directly by the school there is likely to be a clause in your contract stating “may carry extra duties, as directed by the head, not described here but appropriate to pay grade”
I’d tread very carefully about refusing tbh.

UltimateWednesday Fri 03-Jul-20 12:53:38

Our HR advice from the LA is that is is not reasonable to expect staff, other than cleaners, to perform significant cleaning, but it is reasonable to ask them to clean equipment and surfaces they have used.

I would however, bear in mind that nothing will be the same "afterwards" and heads will remember those who supported the return and those who obstructed. We do have staff willingly doing additional wiping of surfaces, door handles, light switches etc. I would draw the line at asking others to do the toilets, although I have been doing the staff ones part way through the day myself. Most staff are very keen to help with ensuring the building is clean and safe.

I'm afraid asthma is not a reason not to do it, provided RAs are done.

Osirus Fri 03-Jul-20 12:56:15

How was your asthma in your previous cleaning job? How did you control it then?

I think you should just do it. It’s two weeks and it will show you are flexible and willing to pitch in. Plus, all that extra cleaning will help keep the spread of Coronavirus and other illnesses down.

sownahsk Fri 03-Jul-20 12:58:45

Honestly I think you're being a bit precious. Cleaning surfaces isn't any more risky to being in a room with kids. A lot of people have had their roles changed slightly with this.

Bargebill19 Fri 03-Jul-20 13:01:13

Most companies are using cosh free cleaning products now. So your schools products may not affect your asthma. Wear gloves and a mask+apron if you wish. But my view is that as the person wielding the antibacterial fluids etc a cleaners is probably the safest job going so long as you wear gloves, change them regularly and are mindful of cross contamination by disposing of cloths used in cleaning. (Eg new cloth for each toilet/sink/room etc etc.).
I am currently working as a cleaner!

babayjane67 Fri 03-Jul-20 13:14:42

Chocolate I'm employed by the council as we all are that work in the school,apart from kitchen staff.
I'm not being precious,as I said before I've had cleaning jobs.theres nothing wrong with that.I just dont see how whoever's been doing it fir the last 3 months can't continue seeing as I don't wanna be mixing with anything that the little ones have touched etc.im afraid I won't be able to see my GC as it'll put me bk iyswim because he's got low immune system already.

OP’s posts: |
Emeraldshamrock Fri 03-Jul-20 13:34:39

Looks like you made it up your mind OP.

PikachuAndMe Fri 03-Jul-20 13:41:37

I wouldn't do cleaning apart from basic wipes over desks and equipment in the classrooms. I am not a cleaner. My cleaner is much better at it than I am and gets paid way more than a TA.

1AngelicFruitCake Fri 03-Jul-20 13:44:05

I’m a teacher with young children and parents who’ve been shielding so I don’t want to pass on anything to any of them.
I’ve cleaned as have other staff. The head probably assumed you were ok with it as you didn’t say you weren’t.
The head will be busy at the moment. They haven’t got loads of time. I think you need to ask for your wages to be docked temporarily but don’t think of going for TA jobs in the future as your lack of willing will be remembered unfortunately

Paperthin Fri 03-Jul-20 13:49:19

Firstly I am surprised you are looking after 2 bubbles as this isn’t advised, as far as I can see. It means they are not bubbles then surely? I agree with a PP usually your contract will say something about any other reasonable requests.... I assume this is cleaning in addition to the school cleaners, so asking staff to top up clean at the moment is happening in most schools.
if you have asthma you should have an individual risk assessment in place already, ask for that to be reviewed. And whether you are part of a shielded group or not if your health means you are vulnerable your employer has to consider that with you. Have you had an occupational health referral OP?
Having said that Cleaning in schools wouldn’t require any other type of cleaning equipment than at home, and all good hygiene measures around waste, ventilation etc etc should be in place. The CoShh assessments for cleaning will detail the PPE that is required.

Gogogadgetarms Fri 03-Jul-20 13:49:41

I think you’re going to struggle to use your health or your GC as a reason not to do it, given you are already back in the school environment so you already have accepted an element of exposure.

I don’t know about your ‘right’ to refuse but I’d be prepared for them to say you’ll need to accept a drop in pay in line with your reduced hours.

If it’s just 2 weeks I’d do it.

SayakaMurata Fri 03-Jul-20 13:49:52

I don't see how cleaning is more likely to make you ill than working closely with the children.

At my school the teachers (me included) now clean the tables before and after the children eat their lunch. I also clean the class sink, taps, soap dispenser etc, and my desk and computer keyboard and mouse.

TAs and teachers work to together to dish up and serve lunch to our classes, then collect plates and cutlery after they've finished.

None of this is in our job descriptions, and none of us have been expected to clean and serve food before. However we are all getting on with it. Not one member of staff has complained or refused to do it.

It's a case of all hands on deck and everyone helping out at the moment.

Think very carefully before you refuse to do this.

Rosebel Fri 03-Jul-20 13:54:51

Well if your okay with a cut in wages then I suppose it's no problem. Tbh it does sound like you just don't want to clean, not that you can't.
I would be wary that you won't be seen as a team player so if the job cuts come they might chose you over someone who's pitching in.

Belowwreck Fri 03-Jul-20 13:58:51

Do you want to continue being paid for that time?

Honestly, you're being ridiculous. Check your contract, you'll see the any other duties clause.

If you're happy to take a pay cut for the hours you are not working currently, then say you're not doing it.

Esptea Fri 03-Jul-20 14:03:02

Cleaning chemicals make my asthma much worse, so from that point of view I'd not want to do it but I wouldn't be worried about it any other sense.

Catapultme Fri 03-Jul-20 14:04:40

try posting in the staffroom

GU24Mum Fri 03-Jul-20 14:07:19

But if they don't need you to do the extra things you'd prefer to do and do need more cleaning resource then it's either you do it or someone else does - and your hours are cut. Personally I know which one I'd opt for but it's your call...............

Pinkdelight3 Fri 03-Jul-20 14:09:08

I think at the very least you could be more 'can do' as in find ways to make it work, with PPE or just avoiding the specific things that mean you won't be breathing in chemicals if that's what will effect your asthma. Everyone cleans and you used to be a cleaner, so it's unlikely that you can't contribute to the cleaning in some way rather than saying a blanket no. And if you are saying a blanket no, it would have to be much clearer than you've put it here, because it does sound like you just don't really want to get into any of it, which of course no one does, but needs must at the moment. You say that whoever's already been doing it should carry on, but surely you must be aware of how stretched things are and that you're an extra pair of hands that can now pitch in.

SunshineCake Fri 03-Jul-20 14:12:45

How come you were happy to do cleaning jobs before but not now? Your asthma doesn't know whether you are in a home or a school.

TeaAndHobnob Fri 03-Jul-20 14:12:58

It's only two weeks, I think you could cope with it for two weeks tbh if they provide proper PPE. That your asthma 'might' be affected by cleaning products isn't really a reason not to try.

But more importantly than that - if you were asked on Tuesday, you've had 3 days to get back to him with an answer and you haven't, so I don't blame him for just getting on with the planning and assuming you were ok with it. I would have expected an answer by Thursday if I was him and to come back to him now and say no, well it comes across as very unhelpful. If it was a no it should have been a no straightaway. Because it sounds like you were ok with it until you saw the plan.

cg88 Fri 03-Jul-20 14:15:38

I work as a TA in a school and all staff are on a rota to be either with the kids or cleaning around the school including teachers, ta's and the head themselves. I'm not thrilled about it but the way I see it is although I have been working and working hard I have no way been working my usual hours from home or with key worker children and I've been paid in full each month. If in return for that I have to spend time wiping door handles I'm ok with it, it won't be forever.

Rosebel Fri 03-Jul-20 14:17:16

If the head has been cleaning he probably hasn't got time now as more children are in and he's trying to get sorted for September (I would think).
I don't quite understand about your GC. If they are vulnerable surely you can't see them anyway? Why would you cleaning make a difference especially if it'll only be until the end of term which is only a couple of weeks away?

MrsVeryTired Fri 03-Jul-20 14:17:53

I'd agree that you either take a cut in your hours to reflect your reduced working or do what they are asking. You can't ask to help in classrooms instead if they don't need you to help in classrooms. I work in a school.

The head will definitely remember that you weren't of the "all hands on deck" approach. If its definitely to do with chemicals and asthma then you need to say so.

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