January 2002 - Newsletter
Donít forget to claim back any cover which you have been asked to do beyond the terms of your contract. This means cover for a colleague after the third day of absence, or cover from the first day for an absence of more than three days which was known about for at least two days in advance. Cover here includes taking extra children from a split class for all or part of the day.
The Government agreed last summer that this time should be paid back as time off in lieu. So if you covered two one hour lessons for a colleague who had been away for four days, you are owed two hours off work covered by supply teachers. This time off should be given as a block and should be acceptable to you.
School managements may wish to negotiate systems for giving time off in lieu which deviate from the official model outlined above, and which may be acceptable to the Union. Such a scheme has been agreed at Buttershaw High School and is described here in case your school would like to consider something similar.
The Buttershaw Scheme
The timetable works on a model of 5 non-contact periods out of a 30 period week.
A teacher is entitled to time off in lieu if they do an average of more than one cover a week during the course of a term. The length of absence of the person they are covering for is not taken into account in this scheme (so cover from the first day of absence counts twards the time off)
For 1 or 2 covers above this average, the teacher gets half a day off; for 3 or 4 above the teacher gets a full day off; for 5 or 6 a day and a half, etc.
The school management will still try to employ supply teachers whenever possible so, as in the official scheme, this is not a substitute for the use of supply teachers.
Example. Over a fifteen week term a teacher loses 18 non-contact periods covering for absent colleagues. This entitles her to one day off in lieu. Her lessons on that day will be covered by a supply teacher, and the day that she takes will be acceptable for her.
Time off in lieu is your right. Please contact the Union Office if you are having any
difficulties obtaining it.
VIOLENCE TO STAFF
Violence to Staff Report Forms should be available in your school for teachers who suffer any form of physical or verbal abuse. The forms should be easily accessible, eg. in the staff room, and not in the possession of a member of senior staff, or any other member of staff, who would first have to be found and then asked to provide one.
It is crucial that school staff fill in one of these official forms if they suffer any kind of violence because:
There should be no feelings of guilt or embarrassment attached to the completion of these forms. You have a right to expect your employer to protect you from violence at work. If you suffer violence, fill one in, or if you know someone who has, encourage then to do so.The process is:
- it will support any possible future claims for compensation and/or sick pay resulting from the injury;
- it will support any attempts by the Union to redress the situation, eg by insisting on a pupil being removed from the victim's class or on a parent being banned from the school
- it will force the Authority and Council to officially recognise that an act of violence has taken place on a member of school staff.
- Complete the Violence at Work Report form, with a witness statement if possible.
- Keep a photocopy of it.
- Give the form to the Head to sign and to send to Safety Section, who send the NUT a copy.
- The NUT sends a letter to the member confirming that the form has been received and offering help.
JANE MOON is the new Equal Opportunities Officer for Bradford NUT. Jane was elected to this very important job at the end of last term and will be working to ensure equality of opportunity for teachers and children in Bradford schools. Please contact her through the NUT Office if you would like to discuss any issues with her.