Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Daventry Years (4)

One of the most bizarre periods of my life happened when the senior staff at Daventry Tertiary College decided that they wanted more flexibility from the teaching staff. They put forward a proposal whereby staff would work 23% more hours per week for several more weeks per year in exchange for a tiny (3% comes to mind) pay rise.

The Management tried to persuade us that there were vast numbers of potential students just champing at the bit to come to the college and that the only thing preventing this massive influx of students was the inflexibility of the existing staff.

This of course was total rubbish and it was fairly insulting to all those outside their tight-knit clique that they should be seen to base so much of their business strategy of this fabrication.

Increasing the workload of existing staff by about 30% (23% via more hours per week and about 7% via more weeks per year) would greatly reduce the number of staff required. Even if the total income coming into the college remained static the proposed contractual changes would free up large sums of extra money. This was the (sole) reason for the sudden burning desire to change long-standing employment contracts.

Amazingly a small number of staff who wanted to accept this offer. The colleague who was most strongly in favour justified her stance on the basis that she needed the extra 3% to fund the ever-increasing cost of child care. This remained her view until somebody pointed out how many more hours of child care she would require per year to cover the proposed changes to her working week. Her about face was as sudden as it was dramatic!

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