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Contacting union - I need advice
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Namexhangee · 25/01/2021 07:48

Hi, I have name changed for this but I am a teacher!

At the moment, as I’m sure is the case in many schools, we do not have a rota for staff who are in. Some staff are wfh 100% of the time, providing online learning (do not envy them that and am under no illusions that is easy). Most of us are in 100% of the time, delivering the normal curriculum to smaller classes (not smaller by that much).

With it looking like this is going to go on until after Easter - I feel it’s absolutely ludicrous that some of us are going to be exposed to the risk 100% and others 0%. We were not asked to volunteer to come in - just told.

I am also sure that the staff at home have not been selected to wfh based on vulnerability. I have taught here for several years and know them all well. I can be very very sure about it for most of them (not all). SLT have also made it clear that they have been selected based on being able to deliver the best home learning Hmm

I have never spoken to the union before and am really really concerned that it could get back to the school that it was me. How does it work?! I have looked up my union rep for the area (in NW) but I don’t want to proceed unless it’s absolutely definite that it can remain anonymous regarding my school finding out.

Also maybe I need to just suck it up - but staff morale is at rock bottom because of this.

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NamechangerTA · 25/01/2021 11:13

I feel your pain. But I don’t have any advice regarding contacting a union.

I’m on a TA rota where some of my colleagues are doing WAY less than others.

It’s become apparent to me that it’s ‘every man for himself’, and an ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude amongst most of my colleagues and I’m beyond pissed off about it. Oh and a ridiculous amount of favouritism.

I’ll chat more soon, got to get to a virtual lesson now.

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NamechangerTA · 25/01/2021 12:09

To add to my post; in my situation (which btw is nowhere near as bad as yours), I emailed my manager, who puts together the rota, for days we have to come in to school.

I pointed out that some of the team are doing a much higher percentage of their paid hours (in the classroom) than other members of the team. I also pointed out that WFH is much easier and safer than being in school.

My manager replied that the decisions they make are based on confidential information (which I didn’t ask for!). I just want the rota to be made fairer, going forwards.

Fortunately, I have a handful of colleagues who are prepared to speak out as I have. So again, my situation is immensely preferable to yours.

If I were you, I’d ring your local union branch and say you need confidential and anonymous advice. They must be well used to that!

Other than that, I truly sympathise/empathise. This situation is going to continue until at least Easter I would imagine, so feelings of low morale and resentment will only intensify.

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Namexhangee · 25/01/2021 12:42

@NamechangerTA thank you for your response!

It’s tricky because I know that some people who are in work who are vulnerable which is rubbish. And I am sure that some who are out aren’t.

Now I don’t want to be doing home learning all the time, I know it’s really really hard and rubbish. But it just seems so unfair that we have some people in our specific school who are not having to come in at all.

I understand the justification of having less people affected if a bubble closes, but while this all seemed reasonable when we thought it would be for a few weeks - it becomes kind of unjustifiable to have some staff unable to avoid the risks from January until like, April.

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NamechangerTA · 25/01/2021 12:51

@Namexhangee

I just wanted to show some support and solidarity - although, as I say, I don’t have much good advice. And like you, I personally enjoy being in school for a reasonable amount of my working week.

Also, I have colleagues who are not on our duty rota at all, therefore do not have to set foot in a classroom. The reasons for this are shrouded in secrecy, so I’m banging my head against a brick wall!

I wish you good luck in your quest for fairness - if only you could get support from colleagues.

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manchestermyself · 25/01/2021 13:46

There is no consistency. There is a school near me where all ETAs are in 100% of the time to basically babysit the keyworker/vulnerable children and they are getting them to do the home learning tasks, but in the school. Meanwhile the teaching staff are all at home 100% of the time generating these home learning tasks, for everyone. Doesn't seem right to me, I'm on a rota and that seems the fair way to go.

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SansaSnark · 25/01/2021 15:00

The union won't tell the school you have contacted them without you letting them know.

But to challenge this you would probably have to be willing to take some kind of action- which would require the school to know you are involved.

What are you hoping the union can do?

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2fatducks · 25/01/2021 15:33

I am currently in discussion with my union and this is one of the points I raised. Their reply was that 'pupil facing time should be shared as evenly as possible, but also taking into account those members of staff that want to be in more.'
They also mentioned SLT should be able to justify and evidence their reasoning.
I should add I'm a TA so a slightly different union, but imagine they're all on the same page.
My rep has also offered to email the Head but leave names out.

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MrsHamlet · 25/01/2021 19:36

I am a union rep. If I were to contact the head on your behalf, it would be phrased as "a member has raised concerns".

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Joyful65 · 26/01/2021 14:50

People have the right to confidentiality about their medical and personal issues and SLT are not allowed to disclose this without express permission.
People should not have their private life disclosed.
The fairest way in solidarity is that the vulnerable can work from home without it being dissected in the staffroom.
The union would not expect private information to be disclosed or people's health engendered because of the notion of this "fairness"
I have worked everyday since lockdown except when I had covid and recovering
I am happy to do that and not put my friends and colleagues at risk

Of course, your union rep will not disclose your name - just state you would like this to be dealt with in confidence

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CuckooCuckooClock · 29/01/2021 16:21

If you do not feel safe going in to school then you can discuss that with your head and then your union if nothing changes. Is there something specific in your RA that you disagree with? Your union can help with that.
What you can’t do is start complaining about other teachers working from home. That’s none of your business.
I am online streaming my whole timetable from home and the workload is massive. Don’t assume WFH is easier. The staff in with students at my school have a much smaller workload.

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