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General Chat Thread, Holidays - unfair or is it me?! in General; As poeple have said, if you are able to take your holidays all year round, then a mimimum level of ...
  1. #16

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    As poeple have said, if you are able to take your holidays all year round, then a mimimum level of support should be provided all year round.

    However, if you are only able to take your holidays in school holidays then I would be checking my contract. I think it is unreasonable to expect someone in all year round but only provide a limited period when you can take your holidays.

  2. #17

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    I see it a a necessary evil of the job to make sure that there is someone watching over the network at all time. You would be more upset if everything went T-up while you were all away. I personally make sure that servers are switched off for a little downtime during my holidays and I also rarely support staff in holidays, just the network.

  3. #18

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    We spread the load.

    The NM can take up to 10 days (he gets 28 days including the additional 'extra' bank holidays) during term time.

    The other full time members can take up to 5 days during term time but for the odd day (for a long weekend) we do allow them some leeway.

    The term time only staff have 10 days to make up during holidays ... but I am happy for them to take up to 5 days during term time and make up those days (makign it 15) during holidays ... this helps to provide cover for the full time staff during the hols.

    We *never* leave the place unmanned if it is open. Even on the extra 'bank holiday' days we have someone in.

    The NM and team are expected to manage their workload so we are not left in the situation where everyone is off.

    Then again ... I do have a horde serving my every need (6 people ... it is only 6 ... and 2 of those are term-time / part-time!)

  4. #19

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    GrumbleDook what size of establishment do you work in? 6 people? sounds huge!

  5. #20

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    We have similar issues here - the two of us are FT and the rule is that holiday leave can only be taken during the holidays. As we're both entitled to around 35 days each on average with entitlement and toil, it's a tad frustrating. I for one don't want to have to take the majority of my holiday in the summer so it inevitably leads to clashes when we both want to take time off during the other holiday periods.

    To make matters worse the school will not allow us to take time off during term time as it will 'set a precedent'.....

    What's this term I keep hearing bandied about in the staff room - 'work/life balance' - hmmm I wonder if it applies to techies......

  6. #21

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Its worth bearing in mind that you are legally required to have your 20 days holiday in a working year. If that cannot be fitted in to the school breaks - you must take the requisite number of days off during term time.

  7. #22
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfmad
    GrumbleDook what size of establishment do you work in? 6 people? sounds huge!
    surely you must have heard of GDs legion of staff before. He cant mention them without some of us making a comment .

  8. #23


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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    The poster and his team have obviously/persumably busted a gut to get the network ready for the start of the school year. Now ill assume it just happened to be loads of work to be done and not mis-management (although that would be the NMs problem, not the techies). Im also assuming, like us, you cant have term time off.

    Next time just leave the work un-done and explain to the distraught teachers that they cant teach their lessons, or the class room wont be getting new computers until the next holiday and all the expensive PCs are sat in a cupboard getting old because you all had to have x number of holidays through the summer. Simple really.
    You tried to be flexible to suit the needs of the school and they've just thrown it back in your face. What exactly do they think will happen in that week your off?

    Maybe say one of you will be on call for *major* problems, and obviously dont class any day you do get called as a holiday.


    Im the only full time techy at our school, with one term-time only. No NM at all. Plus an apprentice. And it aint a small school, based over 2 sites with 1300 pupils. So it isnt possible for someone to be in at all times.

    Personally i think its part of a larger problem that school refuse to realise the importance of IT support staff, and expect you to put up with anything for peanuts.

  9. #24
    Midget's Avatar
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    it is strange how they winge about how their £30k+ wage is too low, and then in the same breath say that £18k and no holidays is good pay for the Person who keeps all the computers running.

  10. #25
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    We are 2 and so far this year we've both been off at Easter AND will both be off the whole of half term week, as the Head has decreed no term time holidays. The summer hols were a pain and neither of us got to take leave when we wanted, just long weekends here and there, as we were accommodating results days etc..

    Of the 11 weeks of school holidays with my 5 weeks and my buddies 4, that leaves only 3 weeks leeway, also taking into account the mid week days we have to be in for results (2 days x 2).

    Much more sensible would be as others suggest here, so at least one person is always in to cover. There is no business need for no term time holidays.

  11. #26
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    We've got to take our holidays in the school holidays.

    As such, when we have our Internet upgraded and a new firewall installed I'm having it done during school time so there'll be a day with no/very interrupted Internet access.

    IMO if they make you have holidays at certain times then they have to accept that at other times when work has to be done and it will be disruptive.

  12. #27

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfmad
    GrumbleDook what size of establishment do you work in? 6 people? sounds huge!
    1300 students, 160+ staff

    450+ desktops (including XP, Macs and thin client)
    250+ student leased laptops
    50+ classroom laptops
    100+ staff laptops

    Remote access for staff via Terminal Services ... soon to be available to staff and students (via Secure Global Desktop thanks to Andy & co at The Cutter Project)

    11 physical servers, 4 on VMware

    Coverage from 8am to 5pm

    We cover all AV kit to where required

    Remember that I don't do support ... I am a meeting victim ... a hunter of donuts ...

    If I had hair I would be the PHB (but with some intelligence ... maybe only a bit, but at least it would be some!)

    I am Manglement!!! (apart from the last 2 weekends when I have been in doing upgrades on SIMS or deploying our new music suite!)

  13. #28
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    maybe it would be better to restrict (ban?) teaching staff from wandering in randomly and expecting the network to be up and manned and fully functional during their ....what was it called again?........HOLIDAYS!!!
    can't understand myself why they count the days to the end of term , then after 2 weeks or so of holiday they get bored and decide to come in (usually in shorts, ugh) and start rummaging around in cupboards etc....

    you can't have it both ways, as someone said - people NEED holidays sometime, if you tie them in to school breaks, then you have to expect limited/no support at those times.

    but of course it's a bit like most other aspects of this job (i.e. pay/conditions/responsibilities), - it is wide open to interpretation from one school to another ,with no universal ruling to be applied!

  14. #29

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    We publish downtime a few weeks before the holidays if we can. We always try to have some downtime planned to allow for patch management or other things that may occur at the last minute.

    Staff have had to get used to this and it also makes life easier for the Site Supervisors ... they tend to plan their work for the same day so that if they need to keep staff out of school on a particular day we can do.

    It doesn't always work ... the last minute revision sessions that need 'Net access ... software given to the team 2 days before the break (we have a 1 week rule in our SLA but sometimes we have to bend this ... usually for something happening the first day back!) .. that sort of thing.

  15. #30

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Quote Originally Posted by pinemarten
    then after 2 weeks or so of holiday they get bored and decide to come in (usually in shorts, ugh)
    LOL sounds like my school - or they come in wearing a t-shirt with something really crap on it like 'Sex Appeal - please give generously' - and we techies all collectively think 'yeah right - in your dreams ferret-face...'

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