Unions / Pay & Conditions
I've been employed part-time for 7 months now, on a relief basis, and am pondering joining a union because of various problems I've had...
Basically, the school and council seem to say one thing and do another - for example, there's this whole grading thing which I half-understand (your job description gets evaluated which puts you on a particular rate) - yet I've never been given any job description, or told how my pay rate is worked out. I suspect they're not exactly following their own procedures.
Also, I worked loads of hours over the summer, and was told when I asked that as a relief worker I didn't get any overtime pay, just plain rate. Got my written terms and conditions yesterday, 5 months later than should be supplied under law, and found that "hours over the standard working week (37 hours) should be worked at time and a half" and I can't find anything saying relief workers don't get this. Is it possible to get backpay off your employer, even if it was so long ago?
However, I don't know that the unions have much strength in our school - I've never heard anything from them, it's not like they're proactive. The staff I know who are unionised are in UNISON - though when they had a strike last summer all of 2 (out of 20-30) staff went out. So I'm not entirely convinced that they have enough "muscle" as it were to actually make anything change?! The other issue is that because my hours are not fixed, they could easily turn around and tell me to shove off, and I'd have no recourse.
I suppose this is turning into a mini-rant! I would appreciate any advice people could offer on the matters.