August 16, 2008


This omission of proper procedures and standards is at the heart of my complaint and subsequent sacking from my College. My contract states that I am to work 37 hours a week Monday to Friday. But there is another clause that says that I am expected to work flexibly and efficiently.

I've been doing this for years. At first I loved my job so much that I willingly put in many hours overtime unpaid. Then as the years progressed and I begin to feel increasingly disenfranchised I began to flex my hours to enable me to keep my unpaid overtime to a minimum.

Now, because I was seen on a Monday morning by a colleague who subsequently reported it. I have been sacked because the college 'owns' those hours so they have me down as a thief.

The point I have made is that you cannot flex 37 hours Monday to Friday, your either in, or your out. So that contract appears to give the college the right to expect us to work long hours on a promise that you might be able to arrange time off in lieu. Yes!! If your not too busy, or there isn't a meeting coming up or your face fits

This is just one of the gripes made by many of the personnel employed in this centre. I'll show a list of what I think are transgressions below.

I did speak to PCAW about this. The response I got is that at this present time they would advise that whistleblowing could affect my
employment tribunal and to try again after all that is over. This seems to me to be a rather redundant statement but there you go.

Here's my list of gripes.

Trainers are expected to spend in excess of 30 hours per week in contact with students. This leaves little time for paperwork.

Myself was given extra duties because I was on a lecturer pay scale and therefore earning more and receiving longer holidays.

Paperwork is legion and complicated and subject to the variations of human error and availability, therefore being regularly inaccessible.

An large amount of pressure is put onto this unavailable paperwork because failure to 'fill out the forms' (and properly) could result in sanctions from the LSC, which amounts to money, which amounts to jobs.

There is little training and training is inadequate for the complexity of the paperwork.

Huge amounts of resources, papers etc are generated by each trainer during any one academic year. Apart from time wasting this is also an environmental issue.

There is no storage for resources, therefore trainers are accustomed to carrying work around with them in their car or hold it in their house.

There are four computers between 32 people, which results in tensions over usage. Therefore large numbers of trainers have installed computers and internet access to their homes.

Peripatetic trainers are often asked to drive long distances, driving for up 6/8 hours per day. Trainers are often asked to drive long distances, deliver training and then return again, creating 12 or more hour working days. Or are asked to source a cheap form of overnight stay. Pay out of their own pockets and wait for the money to be reimbursed.

There are few procedures written down and those that are are subject to change without consultation usually resulting in email notification and a change electronically to the document.

There are no saving protocols so documents held electronically are duplicated in locations and type. Some have been inadvertently saved over.

These are just few of the many trap doors laid down by this employer, and while I'm the first to say that you would have to live with it to know just exactly how stressful it is. I'm hoping that somewhere someone will see the sense that this particular educational establishment is out of control and responsible for the strain it is putting onto it's staff because this department is an accident waiting to happen.

I've just completed my final appeal with the governors. If they turn me down (and I expect they will) hopefully (it is not clear yet) my Union will get behind me and go to tribunal. I'm not sure whether or not I expect to win that either, but at least then it will be out in the public domain.

People have to know. Education has gone mad. It has lost it's morals along with it's marbles and for me that is a very serious matter. If we are all fish in a big pond then colleges are the barracudas of the pond, universities are the sharks. How can we possibly trust these people to be in charge of educating our young? It is too sinister for words.


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