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AIBU?

Missed 3 hours of lunch break

366 replies

ThereIsNoLeftFalangie · 21/11/2019 05:48

AIBU to feel quite pissed off that I've missed out on 3 hours of my lunch break.
Work in a school, have been on quite a few trips for the last term. On trips the children get 30 mins lunch with staff eating alongside and supervising. Normally at school staff will get an hour lunch which is not paid. I don't mind missing out 30mins on the odd trip but it's taking the micky when im owed 2 hours. We're all expected to do things out of goodwill but thoses favours are never reciprocated by management. If they had to pay me for all the times I've worked passed my finish time they'd be in for a shock. Should I mention the 3 hours im owed?

OP posts:
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Goldenbear · 21/11/2019 07:38

That was to icecreamandcandyfloss.

People working through lunches or after their finish time is not exactly infrequent occurrence for people on high salaries but most jobs in education do not fall in to the category IMO.

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Pomley · 21/11/2019 07:38

No wonder people aren't falling over themselves to work in a school if everyone just accepts 'it's the way it is', and out trot the competitive I've worked on my lunch breaks everyday for 20 years. OP sadly there is no point mentioning it as they wont do anything to remedy it, I would suggest finding a job in which case your unpaid lunch break can be taken.

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saraclara · 21/11/2019 07:39

I never had a lunch hour as a teacher, in recent years. I worked through every one of them.
But I did make sure my TAs got their thirty minutes, even if it meant they got back late.

Trips though are harder to manage, break wise. But they're infrequent, so I don't recall anyone fussing over being paid for that half hour. If I could give them ten minutes alone time I would.

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saraclara · 21/11/2019 07:41

@Pomley, teachers fought for decades for working conditions changes and overtime, and got nowhere.
But life has changed and it's not just teachers who have to work until the work is done, however long it takes.

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BeanBag7 · 21/11/2019 07:41

Dont volunteer to go on trips in future if it's such a hardship to eat your sandwiches near some children.

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Walkerbean16 · 21/11/2019 07:43

I have worked in a preschool for years and get a 30 .minute unpaid break. I have never had one.

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Karwomannghia · 21/11/2019 07:44

Saying this very nicely, I think working in a school isn’t for you. It requires flexibility and going beyond for not much reward if you’re a TA. It isn’t fair I agree but you might be happier elsewhere as this happens a lot. Hopefully you’ll get the odd reprieve the other way though?

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Longfacenow · 21/11/2019 07:45

A lunch break is really good for your mental health even if you just take a short break away from the desk/kids/work talk but I think your focus on the money is where your employer may say it's just part of the expectation on a trip?

I take 30 mins most days, other days I may end up having to eat during a journey and it's not really a break but not at a desk or with clients etc so is a mental rest from work. I never let my team eat at their desks and encourage everyone to take 30 mins. Only a few people have contracted hour lunch breaks here due to working long days - 8 til 6+

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Namechanger001 · 21/11/2019 07:45

How are so many teachers not getting their lunch breaks? I always assumed you went at the same time as the kids and the dinner nannies came in and watched the kids during that time and possibly there was a rota for a teacher to maybe go into the playground as well if needed but that would be for half and hour and then another teacher take over so that each get half an hour to eat on those days.

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Namechanger001 · 21/11/2019 07:46

Sorry for my lack of punctuation- just wanted to type and post. Clearly not a teacher. Smile

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 21/11/2019 07:48

How are so many teachers not getting their lunch breaks? Mainly because during lunch is when we see individual students, sort out emails that have to be answered within 24 hours, catch up on any admin we didn't get done before classes started etc.

I always assumed you went at the same time as the kids and the dinner nannies came in and watched the kids during that time and possibly there was a rota for a teacher to maybe go into the playground as well if needed but that would be for half and hour and then another teacher take over so that each get half an hour to eat on those days. That is a lot of assumptions, about the types of school, staffing etc etc.

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Karwomannghia · 21/11/2019 07:54

Technically we do have an hour or however long but we have to get stuff ready for the afternoon and have a list of jobs. Whatever you don’t do at lunchtime you have to do after school. I chat or have a meeting while I eat my sandwich and then start getting stuff done. I don’t resent it though, I get bored just sitting. Sometimes we run lunchtime clubs and then there’s the squabbles that lunchtime supervisors can’t deal with. At my school quite a few teachers so go and chat in the staff room and eat for about half an hour; I get on with stuff and am happy to.

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badgermushrooms · 21/11/2019 07:56

If OP is a TA then unless I've grossly misunderstood TA pay there's no way she should be working for free on a regular basis - she's not paid enough. And a lot of posters here need to seriously consider why they're willing not just to accept poor conditions for themselves but expect other women to do so as well.

I say women because it's only ever female-dominated jobs where this is a thing for low paid hourly employees. I promise you the men who build and repair schools are not working through their unpaid lunch breaks.

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Karwomannghia · 21/11/2019 07:57

Male TAs would certainly be expected to work through their lunch break on a trip.

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msmith501 · 21/11/2019 08:00

What's a lunch break?

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itsgettingweird · 21/11/2019 08:01

Ignore the parents here!

Say something!

Many years ago when I started in my school we would work over lunches sometimes etc but if we needed to see own child's teacher we would be allowed to arrive 15 minutes late or leave 15 minutes early.
Give or take desisted and it worked well.

New management took over. They began to make us work to rule. No flexibility.
But they also expected us to work through unpaid lunches for trips or stay after school to dress it up for Xmas etc.
They couldn't understand why suddenly 30 staff who would have stayed no longer did.

We got our union involved and basically said if they are going to be stritct on work to rule and no flexibility then so will staff and that means ......

Another new management took over. We are treated as humans with lives again and morale has shot up again (despite further cuts) and people are willing to give extra again because it's not all give from take and take from management.

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Cyberworrier · 21/11/2019 08:09

Didn’t the OP say this happened on 3 school trips? Not in the usual day to day routine of school? Adult-child ratio would be a bit screwed if one team member insisted on having their own lunch break whilst at a museum etc...

At my school, we’d usually give the TA half an hour once back at the school if this happens on a class trip. Quite normal for teachers not to get their break. If one TA insisted on not going on trips as they wanted their hour to have lunch it would have a big impact across school as would involve swapping TAs for the day, so someone else would have to miss their lunch and intervention groups etc would suffer by not having their usual person.

Schools rely on people being team players and there is just not enough funding for everyone to have hour long breaks (OP has it lucky if she usually does have a full hour and only doesn’t on school trips!). It does suck, if people have a problem with poorly funded schools they should take the issue to the polling station on the 12th 🤷‍♀️

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Foxyloxy1plus1 · 21/11/2019 08:13

No one has agreed with OP, so she has nothing further to say. Hmmm.

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 21/11/2019 08:14

And a lot of posters here need to seriously consider why they're willing not just to accept poor conditions for themselves but expect other women to do so as well. Let me see!

a) this was on trips, normal working hours don't ocunt as the children must be kept safe at all times

b) tell the government that! Teachers have tried for decades. We can't strike because of it, that is illlegal, so what do teachers do? Stop teaching - in droves!

I promise you the men who build and repair schools are not working through their unpaid lunch breaks. But the male teachers who work in them do! ALL teachers do. Not just the female ones!

Or are you assuming that all teachers are female? And not all builders are male!

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Passthecherrycoke · 21/11/2019 08:18

I hate it when people pretend no one gets a lunch break in the modern world. It’s simply not true. If you claim anyone who works in your company/ organisation doesn’t then you’re lying. Maybe not everyone gets one, not every day, but it’s a fallacy to pretend they’re a thing of the past.

That said, I have never come across anyone protesting they want to be paid for missing one. Most people would accept the odd time, particularly on a trip/ conference where the day isn’t like your normal one

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Namechanger001 · 21/11/2019 08:21

@CuriousaboutSamphire yes you’re right. I’m quite surprised that teachers don’t get uninterrupted lunches.

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 21/11/2019 08:26

Years ago, when I was a kid, I think they did! But that was pre national curriculum and all the additional demands placed on the job.

I left when most of my work seemed to be providing written justificiation for me and my team continuing to exist! It was not the job I trained for by then!

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Beveren · 21/11/2019 08:28

Have you read the thread, @Foxyloxy1plus1? Because it's not true that no-one agrees with OP.

I am another one who fully agrees that TAs paid on an hourly basis should be paid (or have time off in lieu) if they're expected to work through their lunch breaks - likewise if they have to work extra hours on school trips. It's no picnic supervising a lot of over-excited and/or overtired children out on a school trip for beyond the normal school day, and even less so if you are a TA supporting a child with a disability or learning difficulties. TAs are certainly not generously paid, and there should be no expectation that they work for free.

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Someonesayroadtrip · 21/11/2019 08:29

Well legally I assume you are owed these hours and so it it bothers you that much then you can point it out and make a request.

Will it make you "that person"? Absolutely. But I guess it depends what you want. Some people the job is just a job, the hours lost will feel like a big deal .

The thing is, most people who work in a school do so for more than just the money, my own kids school most members of staff are in before 8 and leave around 5, that often includes support staff who are not paid to be there. School trips the staff volunteer for, the last one was a 730 start and a 10pm finish, our PTA events are heavily supported by staff including support staff.

Don't get me wrong we have some staff that have childcare to consider and leave earlier but everyone pulls their weight, not for the pay, not for the job, but for the children, they want to make everything special for the children.

However, our staff are supported and there is definitely a flexibility within the job, staff able to leave for appointments or to see their children in concerts etc, so it's swings and roundabouts. If your not getting the same flexibility then I do understand your frustrations.

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hannahs87 · 21/11/2019 08:35

Errr, are you being serious? Work must owe me 70,000 lunch breaks since I never have one. Anytime I do sit to have one an academic, team member, etc either comes to find me or start a conversation with ' Sorry, I know you're on lunch but...'

If this was a daily occurrence i'd be a bit more sympathetic, but as it's not a regular thing, I don't think it's something to be unhappy with.

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