Update on pocket duties with a difference

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Slosh
Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
edited 16. Apr 2015, 11:02 in Living with Arthritis archive
Not the best of meetings

After being told what an excellent job I have been doing this year in supporting and developing the Inclusion Team, moving things forward and how much my knowledge and experience is valued the bombshell was dropped.

In essence no to a part-time role as Inclusion Manager/Assistant Head for a number of reasons, but they included the fact that as I am not allowed in the playground when there are lots of children there I cannot meet the part of the job description linked to this.

Instead I have been offered an alternative role in school, Reading Intervention Manager, while it does play to one of my strengths , it is a significant demotion and also a cut in pay. While some of it is appealing I don't want to become a one trick pony. To be honest post 60 as a way of supplementing my pension I'd love it but I don't feel ready for such a role yet.

To be honest I feel as though I have been kicked in the teeth! I've been crying, and feel so angry/upset/hurt etc. that my health issues/disability is threatening to rob me of something else. It also hardly fits in with the school claiming to be inclusive. My head knows I am upset, another colleague went to the diary meeting instead of me and I didn't go down to the end of term lunch because I couldn't face seeing him and the deputies and having to put on a happy face. He did phone to ask if I was OK and I honestly replied "Not really " but we didn't discuss things further as he felt we needed to keep things professional.

The bottom line is that I cannot accept this offer on financial grounds.

The only positive is that I did make sure I had my union rep with me, and he and I are going to meet again after the Easter holiday, look at the draft job description in more detail and look at any ways in which it can be tweaked to make it equivalent to my current salary scale. Otherwise I'll just have to struggle on full-time a bit longer until I can apply for early retirement.

Sorry this is so negative, I just feel so upset by it all.
He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
Julian of Norwich

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh dear, this is not the outcome you were hoping for, there's no doubt about that. I guess you are feeling the very sharp end of inclusion, a theory that is wonderful on paper but can fail to meet the needs and realities of those it is trying to help. Dammit.

    I am so sorry. This is indeed a real kick in the teeth and makes a mockery of their policies and kind words. Take some time out over Easter, be very kind to yourself and don't make any rash decisions. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you DD. My Union rep advised me to view this as the start of negotiations. I spent some time thinking things through today and making some notes etc so I could leave it at work rather than keep looking at it over the holidays. The only thing I plan to do, once I feel up to it, is research any other schools where the Inclusion Manager is a job share.

    It just raises so many issues, not least how is this going to look to other staff?
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh lovey I do feel for you, its must be so hard, I know you love your job and for them to want to demote you is rotten, but glad you took your union rep with you, and I will have every thing crossed that the next meeting goes much better ,don't you give up ..keep on fighting we are all in your corner.
    Love
    Barbara
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you. I had quite a disturbed night as it was still on my mind, one of the hardest parts was hearing the head talk about advertising my current job.

    Last night my mind started to rush ahead of itself but hopefully I'll start to relax soon.

    Sorry to be so emotional but it just feels as though I'm being punished for something that isn't my fault.

    I've never been as happy at a school or with my job as I am at this one, I know and appreciate how lucky I was not to develop Arthritis until two years ago, and that it could be so much worse but it's been two years which have seen things change so quickly and which seem to have taken so much from me.

    Hopefully the sun will come out soon and I'll manage to forget about this for a couple of weeks.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I agree with your sentiments about being punished because it does appear like that, especially after all your efforts towards achieving recovery and the hard work you have dedicated to the school. I guess this proves that no-one is indispensable to their employer and they can move the goal posts at will.

    I am not surprised that you had a poor night, the thoughts must be whirling like a tornado (and not many of them good ones either). For what it's worth I am cross about this, I think they have failed you and no mistake. The words of encouragement you have heard time and time again have proved to be somewhat hollow now reality has come to pass.

    Chronic conditions do punish us, they take their toll on our health, our financial circumstances, our relationships and our employment. I don't know about you but sometimes I do get sick and tired of rolling with punch after arthritic punch. This disease tests us to our limits but yours, my girl, are pretty far out there. You have the strength to overcome this, that I do not doubt for one moment. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh dear, I really do feel for you, it feels very unfair that your illness affects every inch of your being. You are no doubt doing an amazing job, and your own struggles give you an insight into what the children you help have to cope with.

    I'm sure that right now it must feel like the world is falling down around you, and there are no easy words to offer. I can only say that I hope with some thinking and relaxing space you will begin to feel more optimistic. I hope too that your union rep can bring some wisdom and fresh insight to the way forward.

    Take care, and be gentle with yourself over the vacation period.

    Deb x
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you both. It helps so much being able to "talk" to people who understand and can empathise.
    One reason it got to me, or another reason to me more exact, is that after receiving the formal letter from my head setting up the meeting, he phoned me to say it was nothing to worry about, he just felt it was best to keep things formal and I had wondered if I was over reacting in involving my union.

    Feeling quite relieved I don't have to see him or either of the deputies for two weeks.

    I know I will get through this, but it's hard at the moment.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Of course it's hard, and will be so for the next few days or maybe longer. I have had eighteen years of steady decline to adjust to my changes in circumstance but yours has been far more rapid and ergo far more bewildering. I am surprised that your Head rang you as he did - I think you were wise to involve your Union. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Words of wisdom as always DD.
    Did some online retail therapy yesterday, a new garden parasol, as when the sun does come out my garden is a real sun trap, and some crafting bits. I need to remember that I have also been diagnosed with a bout of depression and so emotionally I lack my usual resilience and ability to "bounce back".

    Luckily I have some nice things planned for the holiday, including another mini-spa break next week.

    Hope you have a good Easter and plenty of chocolate :happye:
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Although no longer depressed I am still on a maintenance dose of citalopram, which I daresay helps to keep my head above the deep arthritic waters :wink: but it also helps me to cope better with the pain. My rheumatologist reasoned it as such and I think she is right. I have retail therapied just now - two new duvet cover sets from Laura Munchley (as Mr DD calls them) sale because I suddenly tired of the ones I've had for more than twenty years! It does cheer one up, yes?

    I am pleased that you have a treat or two planned - we need to spoil ourselves every now and again to try to redress the balance of the negative rubbish that is continually thrown at us. I did breakfast in bed this morning, and cleared up after, to justify spending the rest of the day doing nothing - we are meeting friends tonight in a local pub, I am driving and know it'll be tough physically but worth it mentally. And so the arthritic dance goes on . . . .

    I hope you are able to have a pleasant Easter with your family and can shove all this to the back of your mind, if only briefly. DD

    PS No chocolate eggs in this household but we do have two Lindt bunnies (plain for him) to be demolished. :D

    :chocolate-bunny:
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    So sorry to hear your news, Slosh. Like DD, I feel cross about what I consider to be a betrayal of all your hard work and commitment to the school. I'm pleased that your union rep is involved and, hopefully, negotiations will prove to be successful.

    In the meantime, relax and enjoy your Easter break. Take care.

    Meg
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you, the support is great. My union rep was reassuring and said it was the first stage in the negotiations, it's just a big thing to move away from Inclusion like this as it's a job I've been doing for about 18 years in one school or another. I told my office collegues as well and they were shocked.

    I think the plan will be to try and add a couple of bits into this job description so at least I keep my Assistant head post, if nothing else for the money as otherwise I can't afford to go part-time.
    The head will be keen to resolve this quickly as he has to advertise my current post and appoint before the May half-term break as that is resignation day.

    I'm making notes of questions etc about this as I think of them as it helps to stop them going round and round in my mind.

    Tuesday I'm also going to try and speed up my counselling referral.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • polly123
    polly123 Member Posts: 96
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi,
    We haven't met as i'm rarely on the forums but didn't want to read and run. My psa came on in 2009 and has been aggressive, I now work part-time but that's becoming difficult too. As others have said be kind to yourself over the hols and take as much time as you need to consider your options.

    Polly
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh Slosh, I am sorry to hear this. I do hope you aren't going to have to go through rounds of negotiations though and that a resolution which suits you can be found very soon. Definitely speed up that referral, you seem to have waited a very long time for it. ((((()))))
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry I somehow missed this thread, Slosh. I'm so sorry that your meeting turned out the way it did - after all your efforts you must have felt like the rug had been pulled out from under you.

    I'm really pleased your union rep was with you, and hopefully can negotiate further towards a more favourable outcome. You work so hard and deserve better. My last Head was a bully, so meetings were always quite traumatic.


    Please try and enjoy your Easter break, and be kind to yourself.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you both, I think part of the reason I was so taken aback is that my head is far from a bully!

    I am making notes of things that pop into my head as I think of them as that helps to stop the same thoughts going round and round and I'm glad I left the draft Job Description at school as I can't keep going over it. Hopefully it will be resolved ithin a couple of weeks once we're back at school as if it ends up with him advertising my post he will want to get the process started as soon as possible in order to complete the process before resignation day on May 22nd whereas as I have said I want this to start in September I am in less of a hurry. My union rep was good, and has said we will hold back on playing the "disability " card but have it there in case we need it as the part about being demoted because I cannot go out in the playground and need a rest break at lunchtime are clearly discriminatory as they are classes as reasonable adjustments.

    In my heart of heart I think I shall have to say "goodbye" to Inclusion Manager /SENCO, but hope we can work this new JD up to the same salary level as otherwise I will have to continue full-time a bit longer with the additional worry that next year I will be pushed towards early retirement. It will also be interesting to see what his response will be to the other Inclusion Manager who is currently on maternity leave if she also requests part-time working. .. he won't be able to say yes to her either.

    I am enjoying the Easter sunshine and being able to catch up with family and friends including cuddles with my new Granddaughter ....and eating a bit of chocolate of course eastern_basket:
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • Ladybrown
    Ladybrown Member Posts: 130
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh Slosh what awful news. I hope you have managed to relax a little this Easter and that the union are able to offer the support you need to get something acceptable sorted out.
    Good luck
    x
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I was wondering why they don't just employ an extra playground assistant for the rough and tumble duties and leave you to carry on doing the inclusion work, which you are clearly very experienced in.

    am I missing something?

    Elizabeth x
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    In terms of the playground it's because the head likes to have senior members of staff in tbe playground before and after school to make informal contact with parents and at lunchtime to support the MDAs in dealing with any serious incidents. Due to my mobility problems I have to avoid the playground due to the risk of my having an accident. I think I may suggest that if it's that important he buys me a mobility scooter! Mind you then I think the children might be in more danger than me :D
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich