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Job sneakily being changed: job descriptions and pay change required?

(11 Posts)
Tallyra Tue 21-May-13 15:05:55


I work in a school that has recently turned into an Academy, and they are basically telling everyone they have no money to do things like employ new people. I'm a reprographics (printing) tech, and they are about to remove the room that I work in (on my own, in the calm childless quiet, albeit with lots of noisy machines) for an improvement they have been given some money for. I was assured informally when they were bidding that they would 'make sure I still had somewhere to work', and that nothing was changing for me. Now the bid has been accepted I find that they don't actually know what they are doing with me and have not consulted with me at all, but are planning to give me a desk in the reception office and my main printer in the 'back' room of the office, but separated from the rest of the stuff I use less frequently. They will be in a room down the corridor, along with the school's paper supply that I am supposed to be responsible for.
I will be put into a bustling office, with a phone that rings all the time, boys come to the window needing assistance and parent to the main desk (the receptionist is often ill so not at the desk).

In my contract it states that I will 'help out in the office when necessary' (possibly not exact wording, still looking for it in my messy house to check that...) and people have got used to me being there first thing to help with the rush of late pupils and morning phonecalls, and covering at lunch breaks when they are short staffed. The trouble is, they are permanently short staffed, and I think the idea is to sneak me into the office, and to get another office monkey out of it, while not actually changing anything in my contract or pay. I don't know if they can do that officially or not
I am not saying I couldn't do it, but just that I don't want to without acknowledgement that I'm stepping up a bit and will be increasing my workload and possibly being less efficient with my actual work I'm employed to do.

Can anyone advise on the amount that a job can be changed without it having to be official?

Tallyra Tue 21-May-13 20:12:29


Tallyra Thu 23-May-13 16:49:46

can anyone give me any advice at all?

PeterParkerSays Thu 23-May-13 16:55:47

Sorry but there's usually a catch-all phrase at the end of job descriptions "plus other duties as deemed to be appopriate" etc. so they can add extra bits in. If you were being asked to teach etc, that's different, but your contract does state that you'll help out in the office, it's just, if I've read it correctly, that you haven't been asked to do a lot of that before.


adagio Thu 23-May-13 18:28:17

[Disclaimer] I am totally not qualified in this field!

It might be worth checking with HR for a copy of your contract (if you can't find it) - assume it might still be lodged with the LEA if they were your original employer? Also I am not sure how the conversion to academies works - have you been TUPE to new employer (the academy) or something? If so, the TUPE agreement should set out how they are handling things like hours, pension, pay and any variance to duties. If you are still technically employed by the LEA then their HR may have a view on how much of a change is OK, plus you may have a customary practice type angle to fall back on if you have been doing the (original) role for some time even if the contract says otherwise..

Are you a member of a union, they tend to have legal departments who are skilled/experienced in what is OK and what isn't; although I suspect PeterParker is correct… If no union, ACAS or CAB maybe?

Tallyra Thu 23-May-13 21:33:34

I help out quite a lot at the moment, every morning, many lunches and whenever it gets too busy, but being moved in there permanently will change things greatly. I was there this lunch time and trying to get my own work done while covering for a colleague who was ill, but had to answer the phone so many times it took me a very long time to do a very simple thing. sad

I'm not a union member but have just been advised to call acas which I may do.
All the employees have been transfered across to the academy, and they say we will have a job description review in September, but until then we were told everything would stay the same over the transfer.

flowery Fri 24-May-13 12:22:56

It sounds like all that's happened at the moment is your desk has been moved, unless I've read it wrong? If they start asking to do lots of things that aren't part of your role, and you haven't got time/it impacts on your main job, then raise it with your manager.

adagio Fri 24-May-13 14:03:23

I would call ACAS, and also document your concerns (your post here is fine) to make sure you are clear on everything and don't forget anything. Specific examples e.g. on 21/05 x was off sick therefore my designated task y could not be completed in a timely manner. The reason to document is to cover your arse and also help demonstrate that your primary role is not compatible with the new set up up, so either 'they' (not sure of the management set up) need to accept the primary role can't be done (or will be slower or whatever) or put things back as they were.

I notice you said the paper you are responsible for - is there a risk then of it being nicked or messed with and would you be held responsible? If so, that is definitely worth raising to manager, back up with email. Any chance you could move to the room down the corridor with the rest of your stuff?

Tallyra Fri 24-May-13 16:29:15

I am responsible for the paper, in the respect the the teachers are a bit thoughtless with the amount they print, so we have to keep it 'not easily accessible' to ration it out. I am not accountable per se.
Unfortunately the other room is too small to house all my machines, let alone me as well. I have a room full of equipment such as booklet maker, collator, folding machine plus many other smaller bits at the moment, all easily accessible, as well as my photographic equipment, as I take the staff and pupil photos for the files too.
I covered again this morning and despite having my work ready to do, I didn't even get to start it until about 10 as reception was so busy.

Tallyra Fri 24-May-13 16:29:57

Thank you for your help. I will call acas next week during half term.

BranchingOut Fri 24-May-13 17:39:26

I think the best thing is to have a clear conversation with your line manager or a member of SLT and say that if you cover regularly in the office then it will have an adverse effect on your ability to carry out your reprographics work. If they are happy with that impact, then you may have to accept it.

I do also think that you might be being a teeny bit unrealistic to assume that you will always have a calm, childfree space in which to work, within a school. I was a member of SLT in a school and, in a busy school on a cramped site, I just had to use a shared workspace like everyone else. I have also seen many a visiting professional, ed psychologists etc, have to set up camp in a corridor while carrying out work. Space and budgets are at a premium at the moment, so if your school can free up some space by almagamating rooms/functions, then that is what might have to happen.

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