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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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PhoneLock · 21/11/2019 08:58

I work in education and there are no hours. You are just expected to get the job done. There is an annual workload model based on 1700 hours a year (IIRC).

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Passthecherrycoke · 21/11/2019 09:00

The vast majority of companies put in contracts for salaries employees that they’re expected to work as many hours as it takes but most people don’t take this as literally as teachers, I’ve noticed. I think people in education are conditioned to expect poor working conditions and it’s such a shame.

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QueenBlueberries · 21/11/2019 09:03

from what I'm reading into this, OP isn't a teacher. She is probably a TA, which is grossly underpaid work. It's hard, demanding, and paid pretty much minimum wage.

In your shoes, OP, I'd take a quiet half-day off sick when it suits you. Completely unethical but hey, I'd support you.

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:10

So many grovellers on this thread:

'I am so grateful to have a job, I work for 60p an hour, 13 hours straight. I even pee in a bottle!'

No.

OP - working through your unpaid break is almost certainly taking you below the National Minimum Wage.

It's disgraceful that 'live for the children' & you being female somehow equates to everyone expecting you to go along with the erosion of working conditions.

A friend said to me the other day that there is currently a culture of 'shared trauma' in state schools. It's not healthy.

I would talk to your union about it. I doubt anything will happen but until enough people speak out, the erosion of conditions will continue.

And that helps no-one.

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:19

And you haven't 'lost' 3 hours of lunch: you've donated 3 hours of (already low) pay to the school.

Or rather, you've been forced to hand it over.

I wonder how many parents on this thread saying that's OK, hand over 3 hours' pay, per month, to their children's school as a donation?

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LooksLikeImStuckHere · 21/11/2019 09:23

School trips are what they are. The ratios needed to support the children mean that there is no way to manage breaks. However, as a teacher and when on SLT I would always try to make sure that TAs could have some flexibility - taking children to appointments, leaving a bit early one day for whatever reason, going to a sports day etc. There has to be a bit of give and take.

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Oakmaiden · 21/11/2019 09:24

Honestly - as a TA you are paid hourly. If you are expected to go on a trip and miss your lunch hour then the school should be paying you an hour's overtime to reflect that.

There is no point comparing it to salaried jobs. Compare it instead to working on a checkout in the supermarket. Would you all be telling her then to do an extra hours work and stfu about it, she shouldn't expect to be paid for the privilege of working extra?

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amusedbush · 21/11/2019 09:25

Do many people take an hour for lunch? I don’t know anyone that does

Hell yes I take my full hour every day. If I don't manage to get a break for whatever reason (event, meeting, etc) I will leave an hour early. My job is busy and thankless so that hour is my time.

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:34

For what it's worth, I think this is one of the reasons the NEU can lay claim to the title of: 'Most Shit Union in the UK'.

This is routine in schools.

If it was Amazon, there'd be much uproar.

But the NEU has yet to say shit about this.

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:35

They are crap about the exploitation of low-paid TAs.

(And about SEND too.)

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Justgivemethehobnobs · 21/11/2019 09:37

I also take an hour for lunch at work every day. As someone said earlier in the thread, a break is good for your mental health. I am currently on maternity leave though, so not getting any lunch break Grin

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:40

OP doesn't get a lunch break.

There is an hour's gap in her working day where she isn't paid.

This is a crucial distinction.

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tillytrotter1 · 21/11/2019 09:41

I 'missed' 20 years of lunch breaks, meetings were scheduled for lunchtime, extra lessons, pastoral stuff, I regularly finished my early morning coffee at lunchtime!

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SunniDay · 21/11/2019 09:43

I would keep a record of these occasions (dates/times/why your unpaid lunch was not taken). Then when you need time out if school - medical/dental/wedding/funeral/childcare emergency etc) you can tell them you have the time owing and will take it out of that.

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EmCamB · 21/11/2019 09:44

In any work these days lunch is of variable length - 30 mins grab some food, to an hour if you are lucky and it's a slow day.
The context of the job should matter more than exactly what the working day looks like. Clocking is long gone in most sectors.

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HiJenny35 · 21/11/2019 09:44

Just say you don't want to attend the trip and would rather swap with another lsa. It's not an issue. Lsas will often swap for trips especially when one will find the walking/activity difficult.
Usually I would be 100% on your side, I'm a union rep, if you were missing breaks for meetings or wall displays yes but it's the run up to Christmas and they are class trips. I'm lucky my Lsa's always wanted to attend the trips with their group and would have been gutted to miss out and realised that days out are busy and you grab a bite when you can. Schools don't have the money to make up the extra lunch time. It's things like this that just add another nail in the coffin of class trips.

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:51

The NEU - working hard for the future of our children against the erosion of low-paid workers' rights and the reconfiguration of capitalist exploitation as an ethical duty of the poor.

Not.

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Walkaround · 21/11/2019 09:52

Teachers clearly know fuck all about how support staff pay works...

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Pinkblueberry · 21/11/2019 09:55

Teachers clearly know fuck all about how support staff pay works...

I am a teacher and used to be a TA before training - but yes off course I know fuck all about how I was paid Hmm

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 09:58

How is it that when 'we're all in this together,' even unions expect the poorest to make the greatest sacrifices?

FFS.

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LEJOG · 21/11/2019 10:02

Lunch is for wimps

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messolini9 · 21/11/2019 10:03

Should I mention the 3 hours im owed?

No.

People on salaries just have to suck this up. Along with their employer NI contributions, pension arrangements, holiday pay, sick leave & training.

Plenty of people are paid 9 - 5 but regularly work 10+ hour days.
Should they be submitting a complaint that they want extra compensation for the extra 15 or more hours they are putting in each week? How do you think that would pan out, career-progression wise?

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CareOfPunts · 21/11/2019 10:04

Some of these responses are pretty shitty. If the OP is a teacher and salaried, fair enough, suck it up. If she’s a TA and hourly, and not particularly well, paid, it’s a bit crap. It’s nearly half a day’s work she’s done for nothing. I often work past my hours and don’t take lunch but I’m in a salaried professional role and my bosses are flexible if I ever need it.

No wonder there’s such a culture in this country of some employers taking the piss when so many people think staff just need to suck up working for free. If you’re happy to be such a doormat fair enough but the OP isn’t wrong for feeling differently. I bet you’d be the first to moan if staff refused to go on the trips and your kids couldn’t get to go.

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thecatfromjapan · 21/11/2019 10:07

No wonder there’s such a culture in this country of some employers taking the piss when so many people think staff just need to suck up working for free. If you’re happy to be such a doormat fair enough but the OP isn’t wrong for feeling differently. I bet you’d be the first to moan if staff refused to go on the trips and your kids couldn’t get to go.

Including a union rep., depressingly.

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CareOfPunts · 21/11/2019 10:07

And if you are hourly paid, stop working after your finish time too. Stop working for free.

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