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fletch70

Travel Time - should it be paid?

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I have agreed to do some mentoring in a school. This is for one child who is in the care system as a 'looked after' child. I rely on public transport and from home to the school is on a good journey 1.5 hours so a 3 hour round trip. If I can fit it into a day when I am at Uni then the total travel time is about 1.5-2 hours.

 

They have agreed to pay me for the time I spend with the pupil and 1 hours travel time. While the pay is above the living wage it is not much so if I got paid 2 hours and even spent 2.5 hours travelling and meeting the pupil it would fall below.

 

Does anyone know if, in these circumstances, travel time would be counted as work time? I know that for people who do work such as care work , travel time is included.

 

I am not doing this for the money and do not want to let the pupil down as they are great and I have worked with them before last summer. At the same time I do not want to let a system abuse me - the scheme is only run as part of the widening participation schemes under HEFCE and uni's have to participate in these in order to be able to charge he fees they do - so their actions are not entirely altruistic

 

 

Sorry for the rant


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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You are not an "employee" per se I trust?

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You are not an "employee" per se I trust?

 

Not sure what you mean by an employee per se as the status of employee is open to question.

 

I work via an agency- unitemps.

 

Sadly the Neo liberal education system leaves little room for 'rights'


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Travel to and from your place of employment, assuming you are even employed, is your responsibility. In my experience, mentoring is usually not even paid, never mind getting paid travel time.

 

If you have such a dim view of the "system" then perhaps you shouldn't participate in the scheme. It seems that toy begrudge the activity, so wouldn't it be better for all concerned if it were undertaken by someone who wants to do it?

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This is the point. The school is not my place of employment, it is just somewhere I was asked to visit to see this young person.

If I worked as a carer, for example, travel time to clients and between clients is payable. If I were office based and had top travel to a client then the same would be true.

 

I am not saying the underlying motives of helping looked after children achieve their potential is wrong, it is fantastic and everyone should be encouraged and supported to do that. This is my dilemma, do you suck it up and let the broken system continue to exploit or do you make a stand and say enough is enough - clearly you think standing up for your rights is a good thing as you recommend recording phone calls

 

Maybe if you understood the universities do not do this outreach work for altruistic reasons, it is done as part of their funding agreements so they can charge fees of £9250 per year to students . maybe you remember being told these fees would only apply to the best universities when in fact they all jumped on the gravy train and ticked the boxes so they could charge them. It is of course also extremely good PR .


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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It seems likely someone nearer could 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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It seems likely someone nearer could do it.

 

Absolutely

 

It seems they are under the mistaken impression I asked for this particular young person to be my mentee.

 

I received a rather vitriolic email last night from someone who is clearly out of their depth running the scheme.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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This is the point. The school is not my place of employment, it is just somewhere I was asked to visit to see this young person.

If I worked as a carer, for example, travel time to clients and between clients is payable. If I were office based and had top travel to a client then the same would be true.

 

I am not saying the underlying motives of helping looked after children achieve their potential is wrong, it is fantastic and everyone should be encouraged and supported to do that. This is my dilemma, do you suck it up and let the broken system continue to exploit or do you make a stand and say enough is enough - clearly you think standing up for your rights is a good thing as you recommend recording phone calls

 

Maybe if you understood the universities do not do this outreach work for altruistic reasons, it is done as part of their funding agreements so they can charge fees of £9250 per year to students . maybe you remember being told these fees would only apply to the best universities when in fact they all jumped on the gravy train and ticked the boxes so they could charge them. It is of course also extremely good PR .

 

And that is my point, which you are missing. You don't have to do this, so don't. You do not work as a carer, so the comparison is irrelevant. And actually, if you did, travel time between appointments is paid, not travel time too and from first / last appointments.

 

If you do not wish to undertake this activity - and I'm still not clear it is "work" - then don't. I can't see any benefit to a mentee of having someone with them who doesn't want to be there, no matter what the reason, good or bad. And I do, in fact, fully understand the circumstances of universities and their students working in their local communities to benefit people less advantaged - most students do this because they want to, and if they do not want to they don't have to. In my quite substantial experience of the sector, there are benefits both to universities and their students, and to businesses and their employees, of altruism. But it sounds like altruism isn't your thing, which is fine, but then don't complain about not being paid enough for your altruism! You might want to look up the definition of the word.

 

If you wish to complain about fees, the correct address is, for now, Theresa May at 10 Downing Street. The fact that students must pay fees is the result of political decisions taken by the government, not universities. Maybe if you understood where the gravy train actually is located, you might be better equipped to complain about your rights.

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To Sangie

 

The issue is that travel time was agreed during the training and now they have reneged on that deal. This is the thing that I find problematic, I had agreed to do this on the understanding I would be placed with a student relatively close to where I live- 90 mins travel is not relatively close.

 

You are right , I do not have to do this mentoring but I did want to do it because I do feel strongly that I should not pull the ladder up behind me but help people to get onto that ladder.

 

I do understand the meaning of the word altruistic and I used it in exactly the way I intended.

 

I think as well I must be more cynical than you, I believe many students do this kind of work because 'it looks good on their CV's'. There is so much pressure on students to stand out from others when it comes to applying for jobs that work like this might make all the difference.

 

The role was advertised as paid so that is work - I contribute my labour and get paid for it , maybe not in a physical way but you might call it emotional labour and yes I know exactly what emotional Labour is as well.

 

Finally as an aside, if I disagree with the education system the person I would write to would be the secretary of state , that is protocol. Not my MP or the PM but the secretary of State. I have made it clear on many occasions, through many means that education is a right and not a privilege and sadly that is just not the case now. I fought the Tories under Thatcher when they tried to bring in tuition fees, I fought labour and then the coalition . I complained when they froze repayments which was another breach of promise.

 

Much as I dislike Tony Blair he did a couple of great things and one of them was to set participation targets of 50% 18-30 year olds in higher education

 

We clearly have differing political and social viewpoints, that is very clear from your post but c'est la vie, you have the right (at the moment) to disagree with me and long may that remain.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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It is rather sad that following a vitriolic email from the person running the scheme it would seem my position is now untenable and the only person who will lose out is the pupil who has great potential.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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I am sure they will find another mentor. You probably won't be the only person with skills on the books.

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I am sure they will find another mentor. You probably won't be the only person with skills on the books.

 

Sadly that is one of my concerns. I know they did not have enough mentors for the number of mentees but hopefully someone can take the pupil on.

 

I am in now way saying my skills were in anyway unique


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Thanks for the reply. This was my point and although I was not asking for the full travelling time from home , but asked instead for the ‘shortest’ travel time from the office I felt my position was untenable as the trust had gone. I have not even had an acknowledgment to my resignation. All rather sad and could so easily have been avoided.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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