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General Chat Thread, Advice please. in General; Hello Folks, I've just found this site, it really is a brilliant resource. I was hoping to pick some your ...
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    Advice please.

    Hello Folks,

    I've just found this site, it really is a brilliant resource.
    I was hoping to pick some your brains on a problem I’m having in my current workplace.

    I’m working as an ICT tech 2 for a school in Northern Ireland. I’ve been here for around 6 months. I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible but apologies in advance if it turns into a rant.

    When I originally applied for this position it was advertised as an ICT Technician 2 with some duties in T&D. Having read through the job description I assumed that there was maybe some CAD work or the like and had no idea I’d be expected to spend around a quarter of my time using drills and saws! In any case I don’t particularly mind this as it’s a welcome break however I’ve come to the conclusion that there simply isn’t enough hours in the day for me to keep on top of my work.

    I am solely responsible for everything that is ICT in this school. I support a RM network of 75 pc’s, An aging scrap heap of legacy network made up of around 60 pc’s, 30 laptops, around 25 standalone pc’s and a few Macs and all the other general IT guff like projectors, whiteboards etc. Now this in itself isn’t really an issue but the only reason I’m familiar with the RM network we have in place here is because I worked as a lead engineer on its rollout. As you may or may not be aware in Northern Ireland we have a core C2K network in every post primary facility in this country. I believe it may be the biggest AD in Europe but suffice to say this adds allot of litigation and silly procedures when users move from another school and limits what I can actually do on this network. I’m also solely responsible for the administration and support of Simms, surely this should be the Simm’s manager’s job? IE the VP. Also anything marked for the C2K Manager/Head of ICT is referred to me.
    At the risk of insulting these people they are teachers and have no interest or intention of doing anything ICT related, it all falls on my shoulders.

    Surely this cant be the case in all schools? I’m no stranger to pressure but it really seems like I’m being loaded with to much. Last week I also found out from my line manager than the senior management want me to have an active presence on the classroom assisting teachers during school hours. If this is the case when am I meant to maintain the ICT facilities? The reality is no one has any idea of what I actually do here.

    I have contacted my union but in short they have no idea what I should be doing either. My rep is going to ask some tech’s in other schools.

    I’m at my wits end here, any advice welcome.

    Martin.

  2. #2
    simongrahamuk's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please.

    I would suggest that you have a meeting with your line manager to discuss your concerns.

    Put down in writing what you do on a daily basis, what you think the school needs to do, what you want to spend your time doing, and express your concerns.

    Before showing this to your LM I suggest asking him / her what they think you do all day.

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    Re: Advice please.

    I had a quick word last week.
    I mentioned that my workload was very high at the moment but I was working through it as best I could.

    She concluded that I could have another week to work as best I could then I should only leave my allocated classroom towards the end of the day and only if it was a pressing matter. The rest of the time I should be where I'm timetabled.

    I'm not one for confrontation but I guess I better put a greivance in writing. That being said what use will it do if they dont understand what I'm doing in the first place?

    Martin.

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    Re: Advice please.

    and the job description and contract you signed stipulates what exactly?

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    Re: Advice please.

    THE SOUTH EASTERN EDUCATION AND LIBRARY BOARD


    JOB DESCRIPTION

    POST: ICT Technician 2

    RESPONSIBLE TO: The School Principal through the line manager

    RESPONSIBLE FOR: Maximum of five staff (see paragraph 1 below)

    JOB PURPOSE:

    To assist the line manager in the development of ICT within the School and ensure that all computer systems and peripheral devices are maintained in good working order to meet the needs of the school.

    MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

    1. SUPERVISION

    1.1 Allocate, control and monitor work of appropriate staff.
    1.2 Identify and provide on the job training to appropriate staff.

    2. PROVISION AND MAINTENANCE OF ICT FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

    2.1 Ensure that the school owned microcomputer systems and peripheral devices are maintained in good working order.
    2.2 Co-ordinate the repair of all ICT related equipment.
    2.3 Liaise with the authorised repair agencies as is necessary.
    2.4 Assist with the installation of ICT related hardware and ensuring its successful operation.
    2.5 Perform routine software operations as required
    2.6 Make back-up copies of software for security purposes as required.
    2.7 Assist with the installation of software on any school managed network.
    2.8 Assist with the installation of software on stand-alone systems.
    2.9 Make minor alterations, where appropriate and copyright permitting, to software as directed.
    2.10 Maintain the schools web site.
    2.11 Liaise with the managed service provider as required to support the maintenance of the Classroom 2000 infrastructure.

    3. CURRICULAR ASSISTANCE

    3.1 Co-operate with the Head of ICT Department and other staff in the development of ICT.
    3.2 Help staff with operational and technical problems, related to both hardware and software.
    3.3 Assist with the provision of facilities for school focused INSET.
    3.4 Assist with the preparation of classrooms for ICT related activities.
    3.5 Set up microcomputer based stand-alone systems in individual classrooms and ensure the proper functioning of these systems.
    3.6 Set up internet and conferencing facilities for specific teaching and/or training situations.

    4. RECORDS AND ADMINISTRATION

    4.1 Assist with the co-ordination of the use of the ICT facilities.
    4.2 Maintain a booking system for ICT facilities.
    4.3 Catalogue, update and maintain a software library.
    4.4 Catalogue, update and maintain an inventory of all ICT related hardware.

    5. OTHER DUTIES

    5.1 Such other duties as may be assigned within the level of the post.


    Information relating to location, hours, pay and criteria/criterion please refer to appropriate advertisement or the Board’s website - www.seelb.org.uk

    It is essential that you fully describe in the application form how you meet the criteria sought. Please provide detailed information against each requirement, providing dates and ensuring that where requirements are time bounded (i.e. 1 year within the last 5 years) you provide detail and dates that fully satisfy the requirement. It is not appropriate to simply list the various posts that you have held. Assumptions will not be made from the title of your post.

    Canvassing will disqualify

    LATE OR FAXED APPLICATION FORMS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

    Please complete and return your Application Form and Equal Opportunities Questionnaire by post/hand delivering to the Equal Opportunities Unit, South Eastern Education and Library Board, Grahamsbridge Road, Dundonald,
    BT16 2HS no later than 4.00 pm on the closing date for completed applications.


    Sorry for the spam.

    Martin.

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    Re: Advice please.

    oh I love job discriptions, they always include a clause about anything else you boss might ask you to do.

    In other words...... they have you over a barrell!!

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    Re: Advice please.

    Typical IT technician Job description that. Asking you to do EVERY thing they can possibly think of and more. If you put all that into time, you would need 3 times as many hours in the day. Imagine giving a teacher a job description with the corresponding amount of work load involved, they would go ape.

    You really need to document the time you spend on these tasks. Present it with a written letter showing your concerns to your line manager, then if they still want you to keep up with your timetable, you let everything else drop. Don't put in any more time than you are required to. They will soon get the point when you start turning down staff who have a problem with their interactive white board so that they can't teach!!!

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    Re: Advice please.

    I was at the point of getting stressed over my workload so came up with the following (see attachment). As I am only contracted to do 37 hours and the workload would take over 40 hours per week, I explained that some things had to give or not get done. In the meantime I have had extra activities added, go figure?

    Alex
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Advice please.

    Thats pretty much what the union guy said it would come to, he also suggested I may have to refuse to go to the T&D dept.

    As backward as it sounds I'm not the sort of person that can have a backlog of work. I actually felt ill on Sunday thinking about i'd be coming into on Monday. I have no problem working under presure and working at a high rate as long as I can get through it but I dont see how I can maintain what i'm doing at the moment and be in class during school hours.


    Many thanks for the replys.

    Martin.

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    Re: Advice please.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinC
    I actually felt ill on Sunday thinking about i'd be coming into on Monday.
    Martin, when you get to feel that way there is something wrong. You sound as if you are suffering from work-related stress. Involve your union asap. Your LA should have occupational health staff who could perhaps help you too. You should insist on a meeting with school management & agree what you can/cannot reasonably do in a 37 hour working week.

    Your employer has a legal duty to protect you from work related stress. If the school don't recognise that, the LA must. The LA cannot afford to risk stress related absence & possibly subsequent threats of litigation by ignoring employees suffering stress.

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    Re: Advice please.

    look for a another job,

    You could fight a losing battle trying to educate people about what's involved in keeping a network running - but why bother? You sound like a capable chap - 'vote with your feet'.

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    Re: Advice please.

    The School post was always going to be a stop gap until I found something more appropriate. I guess this will give me the motivation to start looking a bit harder!

    Cheers again.

    Martin.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please.

    I've been in that situation recently Martin. I cracked under the pressure I mean.
    HR insisted I saw councellors and the experience has been very positive. The school has set on a second IT technician and setup effective line management.
    I see an LA coucillor - a real bonus of working for an LA. And things are great now.
    You could say - shame it had to come to that. I would say: take advantage of the councelling before it does.

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