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Contract changing and I want to rant

(14 Posts)
batters Thu 03-Feb-05 12:27:33

I am really really annoyed.

My employers (a university) merged with another university over 2 years ago. They have just begun to sort out the contracts, so for all this time I have been on my old original contract.

I have just seen the new contracts which are about to go out. For part time staff, which I am, there is a big difference in one area. The new contracts state that bank holiday allowance is going to be pro-ratered (is that the right word?!) according to the hours you work. So I work 0.5 of a post, and will therefore have to take half of all bank holidays as annual leave if I am usually working that day. As I work Mondays and Fridays when the vast majority of bank holidays are I am going to end up having to take around 4 days extra annual leave a year, which is nearly two extra weeks. I struggle with my annual leave allowance already, although it is good, it is not the same as academics have. But up until now I have been given all the bank holidays as paid leave as stated in my old contract.

I've got legal advice and apparantly if the union have agreed to this, I am going to be bound by the new contract, whether I am in the union or not. The union haven't yet got back to me to confirm they have agreed the new contracts but I am pretty sure they have.

So I lose nearly 2 weeks of annual leave which will translate into me having to take unpaid leave which means I am effectively having a pay cut. I am so mad over this. AAAAAAAAAAAH. And it is so sodding petty of my employers to do this - are they going to get any extra work out of part time employees because of this? I think not. In fact they have already lost out as I woke up yesterday morning and just couldn't be bothered to go to work so took sick leave for the first time in 9 months.

Rant over, thank you for reading!

Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 12:30:26

I'm not a lawyer, but I thought an employer couldn't force you to sign a new contract while in service, if you don't agree to it.

Or have you always been re-contracted every year?

Frizbe Thu 03-Feb-05 12:30:44

perfectly acceptable rant, I would feel exactly the same {{hugs}}

Pamina3 Thu 03-Feb-05 13:13:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Prufrock Thu 03-Feb-05 22:07:17

Batters are you sure they can do this? I'm thought that if it is your employer not allowing you to work BH because they are closed then this cannot be taken off your annual leave entitlement (But I don't really know what I am talking about)
If it is correct, is there anyway you canchange your working days?

weightwatchingwaterwitch Thu 03-Feb-05 22:15:29

Oh no Batters, this sounds a PITA. Have you spoken to the union? I hope someone else can be more helpful.

SenoraPostrophe Thu 03-Feb-05 22:35:33

b*stards. Don't suppose you can swap to another day?

I misread this thread title as "contract killing..." That would be going a bit far though.

Potty1 Thu 03-Feb-05 22:50:03

My understanding is that
a) if you are staff taken over by a new employer that they have to honour your conditions of service for a certain length of time - probably why they are just getting around to changing it now.

b) they can change your conditions of service with three months notice, often whether you like it/agree to it or not

I once had my conditions changed from 35 hours over 5 days a week between 9 and 6 to 35 hours over any 7 days 8 til 8 and couldn't do a damn thing about it. Except resign, which I did.

batters Fri 04-Feb-05 09:00:28

Thanks everyone for commiserating with me .

I think potty1 has hit the nail on the end. For some period of time after a merger, an employee's terms and conditions are protected. After that time contracts can be changed. I am speaking to the Union on Monday to clarify whether they have a collective agreement with the University over the new contracts (and if so why when so many of us are going to be penalised).

prufrock, an employer doesn't have to actually pay employees for bank holidays at all - I was shocked when I was first told this, but it is true! What really gets on my nerves as well is that the University is closed over all the bank holidays so I am being foreced to take annual leave when I don't have the option of working anyway.

I am considering changing my working days. The thing is (she whinges) my days are perfect at the moment in that they fit in with my little girl's after school activities. But I think that if the contract is going to be imposed on me then this is going to be the way forward. Either that or ask for a period of time every year that is unpaid leave. Which as I work in education means very little difference in my finances .

Anyhow I am back at work today in a foul mood gently surfing Mumsnet and thinking "sod it"! It took me years to find a reasonably paid and reasonably interesting part time job and the thought of looking for another one fills me with dread.

i will update the thread on Monday when I've spoken to the Union. Thanks!

sis Fri 04-Feb-05 13:17:52

Batters, what a pain - especially if, as you suspect, it is a done deal with the union. If it is all agreed with the union, you can either write to your employer and say you do not accept the unilateral change in your contract of employment and/or that you wish to discuss it with them. You could try and negotiate some unpaid leave each year as I think the time off from work seems to be the main problem. If they are really unhelpful and you want to kick up a stink, you can always say that you think the changes are discriminatory and that if they do not reconsider, you will be forced to take the matter up formally. To be honest, as some part-timers will gain and some, like you, will loose as a result of the proposed changes, I don't think a sex discrimination claim is likely to succeed, but hey, you have the joy of sending HR on a wild goose chase.

batters Fri 04-Feb-05 16:20:38

sis thanks for that.

I have also just seen the new pay scales. I have gone from the middle of one to the top of another (my pay hasn't changed). This means, oh joy of joy, that I don't get any more incremental pay increases, just the annual cost of living one. Oh, and the University used to give out 2 special extra leave days at Xmas and another 2 at Easter, which amounted to "free" additional annual leave. And guess what, this year it has been cut down to 1 for Easter. Could I be any more disadvantaged?!!

batters Tue 08-Feb-05 12:49:20

Just a quick update for anyone who is interested.

The Union have indeed signed a collective agreement. They simply didn't know (and didn't bother to find out) that this was an issue for part time members of staff. The Union thinks they may be able to do something though, as the contract hasn't gone out yet. Unbelievable that a Union completely ignores one of the most vulnerable group of workers within the University.

Anyway the Union are at least being helpful now and are raising the issue. I meanwhile am quietly seething in a gentle and ladylike manner.

Marina Tue 08-Feb-05 12:53:54

Hope the union get on the case belatedly for you on this one. I too am a bit gobsmacked they "forgot" about the part-timers, Batters!
Also very grudgingly impressed at the weaselly way you have gone from mid-way up your old scale to the very top of a new one. Time for job evaluation methinks?
Good luck and sorry this has arisen

batters Tue 08-Feb-05 13:00:53

AAAAAAAAAAH! Don't talk to me about job re-evaluation Marina. Been trying to get my job regraded since October 2003. I kid you not.

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