Monday, May 13, 2013

A verbal contract? Is it worth the paper it's written on?

A nasty piece of work this morning. I am still running the West Sussex NUT Helpline pro tem. A member has agreed to work two days a week as this fits in with childcare arrangments. The head insists that the member agreed to three days a week. Three days a week would be impossible for them. Head charmingly hinted they seek work elsewhere.

The head is taking advantage of the Goldwyn adage that "a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on" (It should of course have been an oral contract but Goldwyn was Goldwyn)

I suggested the member should set out their objections in writing and request a meeting with the head.
Members are entitled to be accompanied at meetings:
Ideally by the NUT rep
Failing that an NUT member
Failing that another member of staff.
They should certainly take a record of the discussion since this seems to be a shortcoming of previous negotiations.
It is most important to have clear objectives for the meeting. It is most often the person with a clear agenda who gets their own way.

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