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mcfletch
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Hi , I am a pre-school leader and have been for six years.

We have recently got a new chairperson who is a close friend and next door neighbor of a member of staff. This week I have

 

Has anyone any thoughts?

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At any meeting that takes place try to have someone there as moral support for you, and dont let the meeting be during pre-school hours, you need to be able to focus. I presume the chair and the other member of staff will be there, if you feel they are already too close, having someone else will even things out, and no-one can say something was said that later is refuted. They dont have to say anything.

The person from the PSLA is there for all of you, she wont be coming in to give you a telling off her role will be as a mediator, so dont worry on that score.

As pre-school leader you have the responsibility to ensure all your staff behave in an appropriate manner and if you need to tell someone about their language or volume you should be able to do so without it coming to this.

Hope all goes well for you. :o

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Write down your daily happenings on a daily diary sheet. Do not target this member of staff's behaviour alone and write a number of occurences that you would like to evaluate -good and bad. That way, you have some written method of logging the events, but also protecting yourself.

 

Take it carefully and get to grips with the law as regards disciplinaries and your rights.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

 

I have held a disciplinary and it's suprising how your own words can be used against you!

 

Take it one step at a time and ensure that you maintain your usual standards. Speak to your chairperson - you never know they may be aware of this as an issue too! Do you have a vice Chairperson too?

 

If you have no joy, get in touch with your EY advisor, citizens advice, the department for Work and Pensions (link is below) and the PLA. Don't feel you are alone - with a forum made up of such a wealth of experts and supporters, you shouldn't feel that way and the external bodies should be able to guide and support you too. Let us know how you get on x

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Hi thanks, all my other staff are lovely and I have never had a problem before. I feel I treat them all the same but this member of staff takes any comment very personally and is a bit of a drama queen. I feel I have no one to support me now the new chairperson has taken over. We have reached a high standard, which I don't want to slip. Thanks for good advice, the chair came up during afternoon session and it was hard to concentrate, she told me to write everything down there and then, and was taking notes of what I said, am now worried this will be twisted against me!!

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try not to allow this woman to intimidate you, and DON'T let her make you write, or say anything, on the spur of the moment.if she comes after you again, tell her you need time to reflect on her question/comment and you will come back to her with a considered response...................and ALWAYS make sure you have a friendly witness on hand.Good luck.....and watch your back!!

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try not to allow this woman to intimidate you, and DON'T let her make you write, or say anything, on the spur of the moment.if she comes after you again, tell her you need time to reflect on her question/comment and you will come back to her with a considered response...................and ALWAYS make sure you have a friendly witness on hand.Good luck.....and watch your back!!

 

Sound advice Narnia. You must not write about this particular incident or anything else that comes up unless it is balanced by your writing about other staff and good and bad happenings.

 

However, don't panic either. The person who is coming in to see you will have seen this type of incident before and should have a balanced view.

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A member of committee came up to tell me that the member of staff has written a letter demanding a written apology and threatening to take me to court! I haven't done anything wrong so I don't know what to apologise for and they wont tell me what is in the letter! Help!!

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right lets put everything back inot perspective mcfletch oh first I send you a hug :o

now

YOU are the leader,

YOU saw fit to correct a member of staff,

YOU are responsible for the everyday running of the pre-school

YOU are responsible for staff

THE committee employ YOU to do this

YOU have done nothing wrong

NOW if the chair (not the whole committee) is questioning your action they need to discuss this with all the committee and approach you

If a member of staff has made a complaint then fair enough it has to be dealt with but I would INSIST it is not dealt with by the chair as she is a friend of the member of staff

Have you a vice or secretary or other officer on your committee?

i would insist from now on you only deal with another sensible trusted member of committee who is able to deal with it without being emotionally involved and the outsider (forgot who you said)

The committee HAVE to have trust in you

If it was me i would insist on a fair meeting and depending on what her complaint actually is possible interviews with other staff members who will be able to answer without comeback to what happened.

Do you do appraisals?

Please dont be put down by this how were you ofsteds?if you have had no problems before hand this will be all in your favour.

Incidently if a formal complaint is being made against you it needs to be all in writing and you will get a chance to explain

Have you a staff grievence procedure?

Try and stay calm do not get into any back biting with other staff or committee members just sit and wait like a true pro!!

also write down you events of what happened befroe you forget it all

good luck and remember your in your right to talk to this member of staff.

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The committee as your employees are behaving directly against 'disciplinary / grievance policy procedures. Has the committee member who spoke to you breached a confidentiality?

I really advise that you get support from PLA if your group is a member. If not a member I suggest that you consider writing a letter to the chairperson requesting that they follow the preschools grievance / disciplinary procedure should they have a complaint against you. Also state that you are NOT prepared to discuss any employment issues during your work hours unless appropriate meetings are arranged with full staff cover so that you can discuss any issues confidentialy and in the appropriate manner.

State that should you be required to attend a meeting that you have the appropriatte notice and full details of what the meeting is concerned with. I would then take a witness with you.

 

Good luck, try not to let them blow this issue out of proportion, stay as calm as possible, be firm in the way that you expect to be treated fairly as an employee and seek further advise such as PSLA or Citizens advice.

 

Peggy

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Thank you, I just feel like crying! Yes are Ofsted reports are always good and we have reached a high standard. All the other staff are willing to write statements to support me. I believe the member of staff says I have picked on her, but this is totally untrue. I have had an email of support from the secretary saying the committee are having a meeting tomorrow morning. I have decided to take a few days off of work. It is great to have this forum as I feel I need someone to pur my heart out to!

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Thank you, I just feel like crying! Yes are Ofsted reports are always good and we have reached a high standard. All the other staff are willing to write statements to support me. I believe the member of staff says I have picked on her, but this is totally untrue. I have had an email of support from the secretary saying the committee are having a meeting tomorrow morning. I have decided to take a few days off of work. It is great to have this forum as I feel I need someone to pur my heart out to!

 

Just want to give you a really big hug and say that you are not alone I am going through terrible times with my committee too and just want to cry. keep strong

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its so sad isnt it? Big hug to you to jessica.

Yes but Peggy you just say it so beautifully im just full of gas and go round the hills to say what i mean xD You should see my first assignment for uni tho!!! My mentor managed to get it down to the word count required just by adding a few big intellectual words!!! and I even understood most of them!!! :o

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I just wanted to add my support - you have obviously thought about all this carefully and are clear in your head and heart that you have done nothing but do your job in an increasingly difficult situation. I would get some advice about your personal situation, and I echo what everyone else has said.

 

Even if you are the only person handling this in a professional way, try to make sure that others don't let personal feelings and friendships get in the way of settling this matter properly and fairly for all.

 

As usual, we're all here for you to pour it all out if you need to!

 

Maz

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All the committee had a meeting today to discuss the letter and told me a meeting will be held with two members of committee,psla and me, but I don't know what I am accused of as they wont reveal the contents of the letter. Surely I have a right to know? It seems so unfair that all the parents on the committee know and not me. I don't know when this meeting will be held and am at breaking point!

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That is awful and i am sure you are within your rights to know what it is they want to meet with you about. Please make sure you take someone with you to this meeting - also can you contact you local Early Years and get some supprt and guidance from them?

xxxx

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I'm not in pre school and have no experience or expertise in any of this but I send you both my best wishes for a quick resolution of what must be a very difficult time. If you were in teaching I would say get your union involved and can only urge you to get yourselves some support and not to attend any meetings without a "friend".

McFletch, taking some time out of work sounds like an excellent idea.

Good luck. Thinking of you.

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it is wrong you dont know what is in the letter mcfletch cos how can you respond? If you dont get to see it until the meeting I wouldnt say anything. I would say now you know what you are being accused of you will go away and contemplate and get advise say perhaps we can make another meeting for tomorrow or end of the week etc

Please dont let them get to you

if it is because you asked her to speak properly or not shout in front of other staff then I would do as above but when you go back then and say you have given it much thought and accept you acted hastily and should of taken her to one side apologise for not doing but stress to her the facts still stand and if you dont do appraisals you need to start as soon as poss.

i'll be thinking of you keep talking to us it will help

andrea

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What does your grieveance procedure say? Surely you should know what the letter says. Who is supporting you through this? You must take someone along with you.

 

I'm dealing with a potentially difficult situation at the moment, so I sympathise with you.

 

This does seem a very unfair situation. You will have to be the one who continues to act professionally, keep your cool, have belief in yourself.

 

I think I would be inclined to write to them to let them know how you are feeling, without support, assumed guilty without knowing what of? Find out what your grievance procedure is and get them to follow it.

 

Absolutely maddening!

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:o

Hi there,

 

You poor thing, I went through a disciplinary with a member of my staff last year and I know how it feels - but you are not alone and the response you've already generated through the forum is just a small amount of proof that you are supported and well thought of.

 

Down to business.

 

When things were getting rocky, i immediately joined a union - so they could offer the legal strength I deserved - and I feel very supported by them, and confident that if anything ever happened again they would send someone to represent me. You do not need to tell your empolyer (in this case the committee) that you have joined a union.

Have a look st the Unison website for some guidance: http://www.unison.co.uk/

 

Also, you need to understand exactly how things stand - for example, during our disciplinary, the staff member brought in someone who was used to managing disciplinaries for another 'service' who took control of the meeting and twisted things a bit. In order for this type of thing not to happen you must be familiar with what is expected of you and your employer.

 

Have a look at this website for details of the law as you stand as an employee: http://www.directgov.gov.uk/en/Employment/index.htm

 

And have a look at this website for details of the law as it stands for employers:

http://www.acas.org.uk/

 

Just in case there are any unexpected twists, I now keep a copy of this document in my files at work (grievance and disciplinary procedures):

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/9/5/CP01_1.pdf

 

However, it should all blow over as you are within your rights for asking your staff member not to shout.

 

One last thing, don't forget, if you can't get a representative to accompany you on the day, cancel and re-arrange and if the meeting ends up going in a way you are not sure of, ask them to stop and re-arrange, as you may want time to get another representative.

 

Ensure they stick to the point and I'm sure they (and you) aren't allowed to discuss any other conduct or matters other than what the meeting was called for.

 

Best of luck, have a look at the websites and call the phone lines too - I found them very useful and reassuring. x

xD

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Poor you, I hate going into meetings unprepared. I completely agree that you should ask to see a copy of the letter before the meeting. What is their justification for not showing it to you? I can understand that they do not want to discuss the incident outside of the meeting, but not allowing you to prepare for the meeting is very unfair.

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Hi Mcfletch,

I'm sfraid I cannot add to wonderful advise already given to you, I just wanted to say "chin up" and send virtual hugs your way.

Hope it all gets sorted out, keep us informed.

Sal

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Just want to add my love to you, what an awful time for you.

 

I have had my share of grief from the committee at my setting, this was a new way of working for me and I don't like it at all. Without going into details as this is your thread, I don't think I would look for a job in a committee ran setting, after one term I am job hunting again - you have my deepest empathy and virtual hugs - keep posting and taking in all the forum adivce and support. :oxD:(:(

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Just want to add my love to you, what an awful time for you.

 

I have had my share of grief from the committee at my setting, this was a new way of working for me and I don't like it at all. Without going into details as this is your thread, I don't think I would look for a job in a committee ran setting, after one term I am job hunting again - you have my deepest empathy and virtual hugs - keep posting and taking in all the forum adivce and support. :oxD:(:(

 

I feel just the same, I have lasted two terms, never ever again. hope things work out for you, and you can soon put this behind you and get on without worrying about the problems you have now. good luck.

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All the committee had a meeting today to discuss the letter and told me a meeting will be held with two members of committee,psla and me, but I don't know what I am accused of as they wont reveal the contents of the letter. Surely I have a right to know? It seems so unfair that all the parents on the committee know and not me. I don't know when this meeting will be held and am at breaking point!

 

 

They shouldn't 'tell' you about a proposed meeting, they should write a formal request for you to attend a meeting stating when and where and the purpose ( agenda) and who else ( by name) who will be attending, in this letter they should inform you of your rights to representation ie: union representative etc.

 

If I were you I would write a letter to the chairperson stating very clearly how that the way the committee have handled this situation has affected your health through stress. State that you have been told what may be confidential information by a committee member ( letter from other staff, including an idea of content) that the knowledge of a meeting with no other detail has induced further stress and that you wish the matter to be dealt with by use of the grievance and disciplinary procedures, or not at all. State that you expect a quick response to your letter, ie within 5 working days as to whether they are or are not going to follow the D & G procedure against you. State also that you would like to have this letter recorded as a grievance against the committee for unnacceptable behaviour towards you and that you expect a response on how they will handle the current situation appropriately and how they plan to ensure that the D & G procedures are followed correctly in the future. I would then let them know that you have sent a copy of the correspondence to the committee to Ofsted. ( and do so). If you don't feel that you want to involve Ofsted at the present time it wouldn't hurt to phone them, use their complaints number found on the poster which should be displayed in your setting, talk through with them your grievance which is basically how this situation has been handled rather than the actual situation ( if you see what I mean) and ask their advice, should you report this complaint.

 

These people are in a professional position, with the responsibility of the well being of staff and children, if they can't get this right then should they be in their position?

 

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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