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Want to leave but boss will make my life hell. advice please!


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A month ago i was assaulted by a pupil in school who has been charged with GBH (and admitted it). My husband works in the school as a teaching assistant. I have been working for them for 13 years, no disciplinary ever and up until this assault been told i am their best teacher.

 

I would say that although i am not qualified i have been working as a teacher for the last 10 years. The school is an expensive private school and my bosses (a married couple) were furious that i reported the assault to the police. They said i shouldnt have as they were going for a contract that they wouldnt get if the education authority found out.

 

They also said i shouldnt have gone to the hospital as this brings attention, the lad broke my cheekbone whilst headbutting me! The lad is bailed and cant come into school atm. They have been absolutely vile to me and my husband since this and trying to trick me into wrongdoings since. They didnt get the contract which they blame me for and indeed have said they have been threatened with an emergency ofsted inspection as they clearly tried to sweep the assault under the carpet.

 

My husband and I have just turned up to work and done our job and put up with the dagger looks etc. They have sent references to bible verses saying we should forgive the lad and just generally being nasty. As we have refused to be intimidated they have now upped their efforts to unsettle us. This morning they sent us this text:-

 

Hi guys, you know we think the world of you and, when you are working on all cylinders, you are great with relationships and interactions. However, it has come to light that some very serious things happened when we were away at the conference (this was early May when they were away for a few days) which need to be discussed immediately prior to you returning to school. We are available this weekend and can fit in with you (we could meet where you want to meet) If you cannot meet this weekend, we ask that you stay off school until you can meet us off campus - God can make a way.

 

Absolutely nothing happened that either of us can think about and it was weeks ago so surely if there was anything they would have spoken to us about it. I know they are just trying to intimidate us and will probably try to either fabricate something or blow something small out of proportion to discredit us in some way.

 

Any advice how to handle things, it would be very difficult to meet them anyway due to existing commitments. Can they ask us not to go in and if we dont, surely they have to pay us.

 

I have joined a teachers union this morning but all other avenues of advice are shut over the weekend.

 

The stress they are causing us is untrue, I am on heavy painkillers not just for the injury but also the headaches that the stress is causing. My doctor wants to sign me off but i cant survive on statutory sick pay an besides, why should I when I havent done anything wrong at all.

 

Please advise, thanks so much.

Edited by citizenB
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Well, I would begin by looking for another job - because that is where this is all going.

 

Start making notes of everything that has happened. Keep it in a form of a journal and keep it up to date and keep it off-site.

 

If I were you I would buy a recorder and start recording any meetings etc and any phone calls. This is ideal http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006YBA0HC/ref=oh_details_o02_s01_i00 together with this http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000GU88CQ/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

 

They can suspend you if they want but it must be on pay. On the other hand you must take reasonable steps to attend meetings - but weekends at short notice would not be reasonable.

 

I think that it would be good idea to respnd that you can't meet but can they tell you what the problem is. try to get themselves to commit themselves as much in possible in writing. If you do not record a meeting, at least take notes. Ask them to put down everything in writing and to confirm everything in writing.

 

If you have the recorder, you could call them and try to discuss things on the phone and draw them out as much as possible.

 

It is all about gathering evidence.

 

If it comes to the crunch then you will be fully prepared.

 

You will be able to claim unfair dismissal as you have worked for longer than 12 month for more than 16 hours per week.

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I have just responded to the text saying that due to existing commitments we are unable to meet them this weekend. Ithen asked if because we are unable to meet them am I to assume we are suspended and would they please confirm that this is a disciplinary meeting. I also queried why if there were concerns about something that happened over 6 weeks ago, why we havent been spoken to since then and reiterated that they always say we are the perfect employees. They are just running scared because they have absolutely nothing on us. I am very careful to dot the i's and cross the t's where work and anything legal are concerned.They havent responded as yet. I refuse to be bullied. If they dont respond by tomorrow evening should i text saying that we will be in as usual and they can speak to us then if they wish?

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if they are asking you to stay away from your place of employment

 

send them an email asking if they are placing you on garden leave

 

if no reply

 

go into work as usual

Edited by squaddie
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Hi

 

Firstly have you made sure that this assault and injury has been recorded in the schools "Accident Book"?

(Due to the injury i wonder if the school should have followed HSE RIDDOR but others will advise)

 

Have to agree with Bankfodder my concern here is them telling you not to enter school property which leads me to believe they have Suspended you pending investigation of what you dont know so in a way they are now using the Disciplinary Procedure here without informing you.

 

What you now need to do is as previously mentioned probably start looking for another job just in case but you now need to get all the evidence you can to defend yourself against these allegations.

 

Remember it was not your fault at all that a pupil decided to assault you and the school tried to cover up such a serious assault. Also the school actually didnt care about its staff in this case and was only concerned that they got a contract.

 

This link may be a good read as it about a case of a teacher being assaulted by a pupil and taking on her local authority for "Breach of Duty of Care":

 

http://www.joyyalaw.com/v5/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118:assault-claim-by-teacher-against-pupil&catid=39:news&Itemid=60

 

Now I would write and request the following documents (remember to get proof of posting from post office) you dont want what may be in a staff handbook as this may be a shortened version you want full unedited version:

 

1. Disciplinary & Grievance Policy and Procedure.

2. Health & Safety Policy and Procedure.

3. Assaults on Staff Policy and Procedure.

4. Assaults on Staff Risk Assessment.

5. Well Being Policy and Procedure.

6. School Security Checklist.

 

Something else to point out is that due to this has the school your employer breached its "Duty of Care" towards its staff?

 

Have a read of this PDF from National Union of Teachers (NUT):

Edited by stu007

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Hi Kken67,

 

First and most important you have done nothing wrong and the actions of your employers say so much about them.

 

I suggest your first priority has to be your health. Being someone who fought tooth and nail with an ex employer for 18months, I have to say it just isn't worth the fight. They will lie, manipulate, intimidate, say things and then deny saying them and do anything and everything they possibly can to push both you and your husband out.

 

They are completely out of order asking to meet with you outside of work hours and you are under absolutely no obligation to do so. In writing they have told you not to come into work so I suggest you take them at their word. You have sought clarification on whether you are being suspended and the allegations having been made against you. I suggest you make no further contact with them until you have received a response to your queries and most important of all keep all communication in writing and save copies.

 

First thing on Monday I suggest you get in touch with the union you have joined and make them aware of the situation. I suspect it will be a few days before they get the wheels in motion and start to help and support you on a practical level, but have no personal experience of dealing with unions myself.

 

Personally I do not agree with requesting copies of company policies and recording meetings, that in my humble opinion seems a very aggressive approach which really will get your employers back up and they will do everything they can to make your life as difficult and miserable as possible. You have already suffered enough, don't give them ammunition or reason to up their game. Trust me in the end it really is not worth it.

 

Wait for a response from them to your queries and check with your union when you speak with them on Monday about representation at the meeting. Even if this takes a few days you can reasonably delay the meeting until a union rep is available to attend, but please if you choose to go ahead with the meeting at least bring someone else along. You are both entitled to bring a support person and it can be anyone of your choosing, I suggest a personal friend or family member rather than a fellow employee as you may well find it difficult to find a colleague to agree due to concern they become a target as well.

 

I realise this is very easy for someone else to say and so hard to see from where you are right now, but from someone who has been where you are things will get better and most important of all remember that you have done nothing wrong. They should be supporting you following the assault and going out of their way to be accommodating, not adding to your distress by behaving like animals.

 

Talk to a close family or friend member and surround yourself with good people who actually care about you. Allow them to support and be there for you, I may be completely wrong but unfortunately I suspect there will be times you will need everyone of them.

 

You will get through this, one day at a time.

 

In the meantime continue with your weekend as planned however possible. Try not to let these horrible people ruin your weekend, because that is exactly what they are trying to do. They are silly, insignificant little people who have not got their own way (the contract they wanted) so are throwing their dolly out of the pram and having a full blown tantrum and they want someone else to blame for their short comings.

 

Stay strong and know you are not alone. There are many on the forum who have been where you are and will be only to happy to help, even if it is only to listen and share experiences.

 

Be good to yourself.

 

Take care

 

DJ

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Thanks for the advice guys:-) I have just received another text from them saying that they love us and their relationship with us is very important (really, they didnt even ask me how my appt with the facial surgeon went on Thursday) They said we are not suspended and they wanted to meet outside of school so that we are not disturbed. They said they want to talk to us and get everything back to the way it was. This text had a completely different tone to it but i dont trust it tbh. I just think they could tell from my initial response that i am not going to let them bully us and are scared of us taking them for constructive dismissal or unfair dismissal.

If they had just done the right thing when i was assaulted all this nastiness could have been avoided. They did not go the RIDDOR route which i understand they are legally obliged to do, they wouldnt have even put it in the accident book. I did do as did one of my colleagues who came to help me and witnessed the assaut. I was careful to get a photocopy of both mine and her report just in case the book went missing. I have always thought my job though sometimes stressful was worth doing as i have seen some amazing results with my kids but this one event has certainly soured my feelings towards my bosses. I now have what may be a permanent lump on my cheekbone over the fracture. It is unsightly and uncomfortable and the facial surgeon has said give it another 3 weeks to see if there is any improvement and if not make the decision to have it removed (with a permanent incision scar) or live with the lump! How would my female boss relish that if it were her?

I am already feeling the strain from fighting with them, I have been prescribed anti depressants because i burst into tears in my doctors office and refused to be signed off. I havent had the presciption filled as i am worried about addiction etc but wondering now whether to get it filled to help with the stress and awful headaches. I dont know if I want to teach anymore!!

Edited by kken67
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Of course, now they are being all nice and friendly. They know they are in the wrong and you have shown them your not a pushover.

 

But be on your guard, they have proven themselves to be horrible nasty people and very dangerous.

 

Anti depressants are non addictive and I suspect your GP would not give them to you if they did not think you needed them. Depending on which one you have been prescribed, most take up to two weeks to start working.

 

It has to be your decision, ask yourself is a job worth all this stress and worry? Only you can answer that question.

 

I still recommend you get in touch with the union you joined asap.

 

Look after number one.

 

DJ

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Hi

 

I thought that as well papasmurf1cx

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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This was posted before about the actual attack but not the bullying that has happened since......however I think we all suspected it was going this way. Might be worth linking the two threads for more information.

 

As for the bullying, I think you need to make detailed notes of what is going on and how it is making you feel. As does your husband as you are separate entities if/when this goes as far as ET. Your employer should be treating you separetely also.

 

I'd let it all ride out for a little while longer, speaking regularly to your doctor about your depression, and then submit a grievance if necessary.

 

Employers have a duty of care to you and this treatment simply isn't good enough.

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Yes this was posted before but I asked for it to be removed just because I was concerned with the CID investigation going on that it was probably wisest to remove it. Obviously as you can tell, its been a horrible time since then and extremely stressfull. I was so grateful for the advice previously given that i decided to ask you guys for help again. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom, sometimes you cant see a route through when you are going through something!

The antidepressant I have been prescribed are prozac under another name. I asked my doctor about the potential addiction and she basically said the painkillers they have prescibed (dihydrocodeine) were the more problematic and not to worry as she was monitoring the situation and she just wanted to get me through the next few weeks.

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Witness Intimidation is a Criminal Offence http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/witness_intimidation/

 

There could also be the potential for Harrassment under the Protection From Harrassment Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1997/40/contents

 

if you think these people are bordering on this then I advise that you inform the Police and let them decide what the best course of action is. They seem to be turning on you because you have put there livelihood in danger and you are the 'threat' and they are doing what comes naturally... bullying. This is not a christian way to deal with things especially with the level of injury sustained.

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Hi

 

I know you say it is a Private School but does it have a Board of Governers?

 

If it does remember they are legally responsible for the schools actions.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Dihydrocodeine are extremely addictive. If you possibly can right now you need to try to cut them down slowly and have a good dose of paracetamol. Antidepressants (and I don;t know about prozac, only what I had) made me feel like I was walking on the moon for about a fortnight, bloody awful, but it did settle down and after about 6 months on them I felt better and the GP started reducing the dose gradually. Not necessarily because the things were addictive as such, but to guage if the depression was creeping back in. It didn't. Totally up to you if you take them or not, but these things generally only work if you let them and don't fight them. Whether or not you take them you will get through this - and what don't kill us makes us stronger.

 

Well done for being so strong, you've done the right thing, reporting that lad. Your employers sound like they don't know their a***s from their elbows and rely too much on advice from the man "upstairs".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been having problems with my employers since I was the victim of an assault by a pupil. They didnt believe I should have prosecuted the boy and are blaming the fact that they are struggling to get new pupils on my action.

Basically, we are on summer leave and at present, would be going back to school with 8 less pupils than ideal. Just before we broke up, a notice went up in the staff room saying we may start the new term with 1 less class than before due to numbers.

I have got a feeling that they are going to cut my class as a punishment to me. They know they cant sack me as I havent done anything wrong but i just have a strong feeling that they are going to put me in another class with a teacher and I would have to act as a teaching assistant.

My employers have previously told me that i am their best teacher and have the best relationships with the pupils. Also, I am the longest serving member of staff.

I heard through the grapevine that another class would be the one to go but the teacher would not be sacked, rather that i would be asked to go in and help that teacher achieve better relationships with their pupils.It just wouldnt work and I would be acting as a teaching assistant which I cant do when I want to teach! I feel that they are just trying to put me in an intolerable position, undermine me and make me want to leave. I actually believe in what I do over and above the present difficulties.

Also, can they just reduce my wages if they do this because thats what i think they may try next. I dont think I would mind too much if they make me redundant except that I will miss the kids but, I know they want to avoid this because of my length of service and because they really cant make me redundant before plenty of other staff. I feel they are trying to oust me legally and make me pay for prosecuting the lad who assaulted me. On the face of it, they are being a lot nicer to me but I am afraid that I still think they are up to something which is a shame as before all this, I had a good relationship with my employers.

Any advice?

Edited by kken67
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Is it possible you are being a little paranoid?

 

There is a whole heap of "what if" in here.

 

They could only make you redundant if they did a selection process and you get least points.

 

Same for downgrading you to TA, can't just do it.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys, really need some advice.

Basically, since the assault, my boss has been absolutely vile to me and has been doing really petty things to try to wind me up.

For example, technically we are supposed to be paid on the last working day of the month but in the 13 years i have been at the school, we have all been paid around the 25th of each month. Since the assault, my boss has paid everyone else as normal but paid me at the last possible hour of the last working day.

I mentioned before about my boss saying that it was due to the' bad press' with the education authority about the assault that the school didnt get a contract they were going for and that me reporting the assault to the police had damaged the schools future. They said they might have to start the new school year with 1 less class. That was obviously said to scare me with the thought they would cut my class but they know i havent done anything wrong and they cant sack me plus due to the years i have done it would be expensive to make me redundant. Added to that, I have a perfect record at work. So.... looks like they are intending to put my class and another teachers class together and expect us to co teach one class. That really wouldnt work for a number of reasons and they are only doing it to cause unrest and get me to resign so they dont have to sack me cos they cant and they wouldnt have to pay redundancy if i resign. Plus, my boss is extremely frosty every time i have to go into the office and it is making me a nervous wreck.

I have looked for alternative employment over the summer break but cant find anything that pays a starting wage that i can work with.

I actually know a number of things that would cripple the school if they got out and believe me, I am so tempted to report these things but I feel that that is lowering myself to the gutter and cant do that. Plus it would probably mean the closure of the school and all my colleagues would lose their livelihoods.

The lad who assaulted me is in court today charged with GBH which he has admitted but is likely to get off with a referral order as it is a first offence (officially) and I have already been told my employers are intending letting him back in school so I would be expected to teach him! All because they charge a fortune per year as a private school and we as staff are more expendable than their fees.

 

Any advice?

Just rung ACAS for advice but tbh wasnt much use. They just said put formal grievance in and if that doesnt resolve things, I may have to resign and claim constructive dismissal. But how do you survive financially if you do that. Seems that I am going to be the one to suffer due to some angry little boy deciding to attack me and headbutt me breaking my cheekbone. How fair is that!

Edited by kken67
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I have worked for the same place for 13 years and although our contract says paid on the last working day of the month, we have always been paid around the 25th of each month. I have been is dispute with my employer over another serious issue and since then, they have deliberately paid me at the last possible moment they can but are still paying everyone else at the same time they always have done. They are also trying to make my working conditions intolerable to force me to resign as I am sure they know constructive dismissal is difficult to prove and longwinded. They could make me redundant but due to my length of service, this would cost them plus I would still take them for unfair dismissal as I am so far down the list for potential redundancies. I dont know how to handle them. ACAS werent very helpful, just said put in a formal grievance or resign!

I do have a lot of dirt against them which would shut the place down I am sure but I am not that type of person but have to admit I am getting pretty close to lowering myself.

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I would keep this with your other thread as the full background is useful. In isolation it doesn't make as much sense.

 

Legally they can pay you when the contract says they will.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I've given my view on the legal position. I didn't say it was morally right!

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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