It’s the teachers who are making sacrifices

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Sir,

As you are aware, it has been widely stated in the press that the job losses at Rawmarsh Community School have been reduced to only 10 “compulsory” redundancies, as opposed to the original 34.

Progress indeed, or at least that is how it would at first appear. In reality, the staff are making concessions and sacrifices, NOT the head or his leadership, although they are quick to take full credit for it.

Many staff have felt pressurised, even obligated, to take early retirement when they can ill-afford to do so. Other teachers, out of a sense of decency, have volunteered to drop their hours, effectively accepting a 20% cut in salary and pension contribution.

Non-teaching staff have not been included in the so called “10 compulsory redundancies”, even though nine of these staff are being forced out at Easter, in addition to the widely documented “10 compulsory redundancies” of teaching staff.

This will of course threaten the welfare of many vulnerable students who rely on these familiar faces for support and continuity.

These members of staff feel degraded and demoralised, particularly as they have been treated so differently to their teaching colleagues, whose job losses have been so well publicised.

Other unfortunate non-teaching staff who are, quite frankly, already poorly paid have been told they WILL be losing one hour per day, taking them from 32 hours to 27 per week.

They have been told this is to pay for the redeployment of two other staff from the school, who will now work in their department. Not only is this a callous and dramatic cut in salary, this also affects the least well paid members of staff detrimentally. In essence, the staff are now trapped in a job they can no longer afford to be in, but cannot afford to walk away from.

This measure is one of many that has nothing to do with government cuts. The funding for these posts is ring-fenced and still available. Proof once more that these dreadful measures are purely a cost cutting exercise.

However, some staff members have taken the restructure as an opportunity to promote themselves, being actively encouraged to apply for posts, while the person doing the role is still in post.

This has seen members of staff, scrambling for position to elevate themselves at the expense of their long-standing colleagues. This mismanagement of staff has been highly divisive.

Whilst some teachers have been allowed to drop hours to safeguard jobs, many have not been given this option. This has been the case where, in one department, six out of 10 teachers are now out of a job.

Why is there such disparity between departments as some have been encouraged to job share whereas others have been told in no uncertain terms that is not up for discussion?

Furthermore, why are the five Heads of school not making any of these sacrifices, and why are five Heads actually necessary? They are, after all, paid far higher salaries than those staff who have been forced to take a drop in income.

It also needs to be said that several teachers have seen their permanent contract become a one year contract. Deferred redundancy in other words.

In short, in terms of provision for students, 34 job losses, still remain. This is a slippery and self-serving regime. An effort, to cut costs, whatever the cost!

If the books balance at the end of this, someone’s CV will look good, but what of the school, the students, its staff and the community of Rawmarsh?

A disgusted member of the teaching profession

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