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Educational IT Jobs Thread, What would you do? in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Hi all, I'm pretty new here, don't post often, but always glean lots of valuable information from this forum, so ...
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    What would you do?

    Hi all,

    I'm pretty new here, don't post often, but always glean lots of valuable information from this forum, so thanks to all you regulars who contribute!

    I have a little conundrum and thought i'd get the opinions of those who know exactly what i'm talking about. To avoid complications, I won't go into exact specifics.

    Basically, i'm an IT Technician, employed in an inner-city secondary for the last three years. I've been told by our head that as of April i'm being sub-contracted out to a local primary school for one day per week. I asked what was in this for me, and I was told - nothing (no big surprise there).

    Having now been to look at the primary, i've seen that they essentially need a network manager. I can do the work required, but i'm a little annoyed that i've not been given a choice in the matter and i'm going to remain on the same (quite poor) technician's salary for continuing that role 4 days per week, and taking on the responsibility of another school.

    What does everybody think?

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    It's a huge change in your contract, with a lot of extra responsibility - are you in a union? I'd make them aware immediately.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Whilst I feel your pain ( I am the lone tech in a middle-deemed-secondary and a junior school) I think you will find that there isnt much you can do about it.
    Will it impact your present job?
    The other way is to get the job desc from your local authority - for example mine has two levels of tech before you get to NM, but NM has budget responsibility so I won't get that - but I am pushing hard for senior tech!
    Otherwise I would see it as very good experience for when you want to move to your next job as NM

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    Yes it is. I work under a network manager, so what they're saying is that I take on the same as he does, just for a different school, and one day per week.

    I'm not a member of any union, although i've been told that I should join one by most of the teaching staff here. I'm not really a unions kind of guy, but maybe I should get in touch with Unison...

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    We've taken on Primary schools in order to gain another technician. Do we get paid for this extra work? No. But it does contribute to, and in some cases cover, our CPD costs, our business credentials and the 4th member of our team.

    Will it help with your appraisal/job review for a higher salary? Most likely (however a review for a higher salary doesn't mean you'll get one). Do you have a choice in the matter? Yes, you can stay and see how it goes (work wise, salary wise, etc), you can leave or if it really annoys you see what your union rep says (if you're a member). I'm not trying to be negative here, but most likely if you read your contract it will state "...and any other reasonable request..." which is basically a catch-all.

    -Ken
    Last edited by wagnerk; 16th February 2011 at 12:26 PM. Reason: more info

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    You could also look at Voice - membership is approx £120 per year but unlike UNISON you can claim it back off the tax man

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    The other way is to get the job desc from your local authority - for example mine has two levels of tech before you get to NM, but NM has budget responsibility so I won't get that - but I am pushing hard for senior tech!
    Otherwise I would see it as very good experience for when you want to move to your next job as NM
    Yeah, good experience, but for me the cons outweigh the pros. Especially with regards to how much it'll impact things here at my original school (we like to keep uber-busy!).

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    that catch all is an easy point to fight though.

    Wes

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    Quote Originally Posted by wagnerk View Post
    We've taken on Primary schools in order to gain another technician. Do we get paid for this extra work? No. But it does contribute to, and in some cases cover, our CPD costs, our business credentials and the 4th member of our team.

    Will it help with your appraisal/job review for a higher salary? Most likely (however a review for a higher salary doesn't mean you'll get one). Do you have a choice in the matter? Yes, you can stay and see how it goes (work wise, salary wise, etc), you can leave or if it really annoys you see what your union rep says (if you're a member). I'm not trying to be negative here, but most likely if you read your contract it will state "...and any other reasonable request..." which is basically a catch-all.

    -Ken
    Thanks Ken. I'd like to think I DO have a choice in the matter...whether i'm with a union or not. In my opinion the school have already used up their 'any other reasonable request' credits when my role was adapted to include other things such as marketing/website building/live@edu email roll-out/parental engagement portal... I think those are reasonable add-ons to a Technician contract, but it seems crazy to me that you can tag on roles/responsibilities way above my pay-grade and call that 'reasonable'.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    You could also look at Voice - membership is approx £120 per year but unlike UNISON you can claim it back off the tax man
    Would also highly recommend The Voice, not affiliated to any political party, so tend not to have a fixed agenda and operate in a more professional manner from my dealings with them so far. You also don't get some propaganda paper sent to you with half a trees worth of leaflets advertising ambulance chasing solicitors, dodgy companies who will look at your tax and take a 50% comission on any rebate they can wangle, expensive insurance on which Unision get a cut, etc etc.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Are there any travel costs involved that can be claimed for?

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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    I work covering primaries and yes, I woulc consider my job to be Network Manager/Technician but in Primary afraid it would (nearly always as I think there is/are some primary classed Network Managers on here) be classed as Technician. I've tried but after evaluation (Ha!) they will only go as far as saying its technicain mainly because I dont officially have to manage anyone or put my signature on the orders yet I do all the quotes, sort the orders, manage how the budgets spent (unofficially!), training, etc etc.
    As someone once said " I feel your pain!"

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    You could always try and put a positive spin on this... think of it as Career Development. It's an opportunity to stretch your wings, try out something in a new environment and maybe learn a few new skills that will be handy for the CV and your next job application!

    EDIT

    Staff, both teaching and non-teaching , at the secondary where I'm governor regard this kind of things as normal. As an outstanding school it is regularly suporting other schools and staff get the opportunity to grow their careers in a way they wouldn't by just staying within the school's four walls. Those skills do get taken elsewheer eventually, but it is regarded as good training and done with the co-operation... the way you've been told probably doesn't help.

    In these days of academiy trusts these collective arrangements with staff working over more than one school will become more and more common.

    If the the arrangement is short-term, live with it. If this is 'forever, try to get your job description amended and travel expenses.
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 16th February 2011 at 01:20 PM.

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    Will you be expected to use your car to get to the primary school you will be supporting?

    If so don't forget to upgrade your insurance to cover business usage as well. Plus, as has been said, will they be covering your costs?

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    I've already mentioned the upgrade of my car insurance to our finance manager, and any difference in cost will be covered by my school. As far as any other expenses go, i've been told not to expect any.

    I think elsiegee40 has hit the nail on the head. And in principle I agree that this kind of move can be good for both school and employee, but as you said, it's more the way in which the 'big giant head' (as I like to call him) has gone about things. Not using specific figures here, but it's ultimately about me not wanting to fulfil a job worth £30k pa for only £20k pa. And whilst I do thrive on opportunities to advance and build experience, i'm also keenly aware that by undertaking this new role, I will be stuck in it for the foreseeable future...

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