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How To Manage Conflict?


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I am in my 50th year and have never, ever had a row with anyone other than my husband or children - until Tuesday, at work.

 

It's quite a complex scenario, but began with four members of staff going on training, funded by Transformation fund, to do level 3. Three of them worked the day of the training, and so we had to provide cover - in fact, took on new members of staff. We offered those on training the option of working more sessions so they would not miss out on wages - their contract with us states that training, meetings, etc., are all included in their hourly rate of pay. Two did decide to take extra sessions, one did not

 

Then the transformation fund provided money to support staff salary, so we applied for this, understanding that this was to compensate the setting in covering the staff on training, and we hoped would help to increase their salary on completion of the course.

 

When we received the money, I rang to get further advice on how the money should be allocated, and was told that it was not to pay the staff on the training, it was to reimburse the setting, to use as we felt fit. The staff on training could apply for travel and child care costs. (Neither were applicable). The person I spoke to said she would also verify this with her training manager. She rang back 10 minutes later and left a message: it was as discussed.

 

In the meantime, the one member of staff who chose not to take extra sessions, approached me this week on the day I work without my business partner (her friend and neighbour) and asked if we had received the money yet. We were in the kitchen, and all the staff were around, setting up. I said yes, we had, but it was not for the staff. She challenged me, asking where my information had come from, and I told her the name of the person I had spoken to. She stated that she felt she needed to speak to someone about it, and asked for the number, which I gave her, and invited her to ring there and then. She refused, saying she would rather wait til she got home.

 

She then went on to say she felt sure that my partner and I got paid whilst we were on our course (Foundation Degree) and I advised her that that was a matter for us to decide. (We do, but we work every evening, and over holidays and weekends - well, I know you all know it's a never-ending job). The staff do nothing at all at home. They attend a meeting once a month in the evening, and a planning meeting once every term.

 

The discussion then got very heated, as I felt she was doubting my intentions, did not respect my leadership or management of the group.

 

I e-mailed the lady I had spoken to, and received an e-mail from her colleague, telling me that in fact the staff should have been paid the money, and suggested I apologise to the staff for my error of judgement! She said her colleague probably thought we were already paying the staff to attend training ourselves.

 

The staff member has ignored me today. How can I continue to work with her if she doubts my integrity?

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Hi Di, not a nice situation but as you were going by the information you had been given then I suggest you speak to all of the team, explaining how the information was wrong, you appologise for any mix up as a result and leave it at that. Dont doubt your judgement. You can only act on the information you have.

The staff member who is ignoring you will either have to accept your apology or not, but please dont let it get to you. You acted in good faith.

If she continues to ignore you then have a quiet word, but for now I'd leave it. Everyone will see who is at fault and it wont be you.

Good luck

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Good advice from Rea. It appears that this member of staff was unhappy about the financial situation, which in a way is her right. However, she shouldn't of 'counter-attacked' by making an unrelated, issue of your personal salary details. I would hope it was not her intention to question your integrity, just discontent clouding her rational thought, and possibly conflicting information about training subsidies.

 

I agree do as Rea says, and maybe in due course make clear on employment contracts that salary issues are confidential, and make clear grievance procedures, definatly not to be discussed in the manner of this incident. Also have clear training policy on reimbursment of wages / costs, subject to clear information from training providers. :o

 

Hope all settles down soon.

 

 

Peggy

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p.s. GOLD AWARD FOR 50 'ROW FREE' YEARS. xD ,

 

I bet there are not many people who can make that claim. :o:(

 

Peggy

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p.s. GOLD AWARD FOR 50 'ROW FREE' YEARS. xD ,

 

I bet there are not many people who can make that claim. :o:(

 

Peggy

 

My First Ever Certificate! (Well, since my 25 yards swimming when I was 8). Many thanks for your support and advice. I have also learned to make sure I get any advice in writing!

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Hi

 

Losing wages to attend training that benefits the setting isn't nice. My last setting didn't pay for staff to attend training and staff were reluctant to attend. It always seems unfair when you are sitting next to people that are being paid. I course I went on recently, one member was being paid and recieved a £20 M+S vouncher for attending.

 

I am Supervisor at my new setting and staff attend their NVQ3 training in the evening for which they don't get paid. Although the setting has paid the remainder after their bursary and assessments are carried out in work time. We also paid for their books, but was later able to get a grant for these. Staff are paid to attend one off courses up to a total of 4 a year.

 

I don't know the full picture of your disagreement (the member of staff may be on a huge hourly rate!) and I am sure that you were getting supply costs for your foundation degree, but it does seem unfair that you were getting funding from the transformation fund and the staff are losing wages. (with her course work etc, it may not have been easy to fit in extra shifts). I feel sure that in any other industry staff do not lose wages while training.

 

Having said this, it's best not to have a heated discussion at work. Her not talking to you is unacceptable professional behaviour and you may need to follow the disciplinary procedure.

 

The poor children must pick up on the atmosphere.

 

Hope this helps. :o

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Hi

 

Losing wages to attend training that benefits the setting isn't nice. My last setting didn't pay for staff to attend training and staff were reluctant to attend. It always seems unfair when you are sitting next to people that are being paid. I course I went on recently, one member was being paid and recieved a £20 M+S vouncher for attending.

 

I am Supervisor at my new setting and staff attend their NVQ3 training in the evening for which they don't get paid. Although the setting has paid the remainder after their bursary and assessments are carried out in work time. We also paid for their books, but was later able to get a grant for these. Staff are paid to attend one off courses up to a total of 4 a year.

 

I don't know the full picture of your disagreement (the member of staff may be on a huge hourly rate!) and I am sure that you were getting supply costs for your foundation degree, but it does seem unfair that you were getting funding from the transformation fund and the staff are losing wages. (with her course work etc, it may not have been easy to fit in extra shifts). I feel sure that in any other industry staff do not lose wages while training.

 

Having said this, it's best not to have a heated discussion at work. Her not talking to you is unacceptable professional behaviour and you may need to follow the disciplinary procedure.

 

The poor children must pick up on the atmosphere.

 

Hope this helps. :o

 

Hello Diesel 10, a warm welcome to the forum and thanks for your balanced response, look forward to hearing more from you in the future. Hope you are enjoying the forum so far, the forum can become addictive, but in the nicest possible way. xD

 

Peggy

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Hi, Diesel 10, and thank you for your comments.

 

I've been searching the resources site for a sample Staff Training Policy so we can all be clear about the situation. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

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I started writing one so it is only in draft form, and not agreed. I discussed with CWDC and PLA legal advisors about the requirement to employ degree level staff by 2010 /15 and the difficulties of changing current staffs contracts for staff who did not want to do further training.

Anyway, I closed so it wasn't completed. It may be a useful starting point though.

 

Peggy

Staff_Training_Draft_Policy.doc

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P.S. Have just been handed a letter from staff adversary, advising me that she wishes to instigate a formal grievance procedure against me, for not paying for her training (which we are now), and for raising my voice! Thank goodness it's half term!

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Sorry to hear the 'dispute' has not gone away, try not to spend too much time giving this room in your head over the half term break ( it will still be there when you get back and break time is just that, a break from work).

Hopefully your grievance procedure includes an objective third party, both of you can voice your perception of events, actions can be decided on how such incidents can be resolved in the future, on her side as well as yours, and the matter can be ended.

 

Let us know how things go.

 

Peggy

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What a shame she feels the need to go down an 'official' route rather than coming to you to sort things out. It really doesn't make relationships very easy in the workplace and creates tension for everyone. I would endorse what Peggy says about putting it out of your mind as much as possible, as there is very little you can do at this stage and you don't want to ruin your holiday because of it. Make sure that all your procedures are followed correctly and try to behave in a professional manner towards her at all times so that she can't gather any more ammunition for her grievance. She obviously feels the need to lash out at you in some way but if she has received the money (and has had an explanation on how the misunderstanding arose in the first place) and you have apologised for raising your voice then I don't really see the grievance coming to much, other than as Peggy has said an agreement on how matters of this nature should be handled in future.

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Thank you both for your kind reassurance. I am able to work with her professionally, as some members of staff have no idea that there is anything untoward, and I would not wish staff morale to be affected. The difficulty with our grievance procedure is that I am her boss, together with my colleague, (her 'friend'), who is backing me 100 per cent. The lady in question has not mentioned the matter verbally to my colleague, even though I passed on the grievance letter to co-boss, and she replied! Also, my colleague will be my support, she may bring in a work colleague, so it will be employers v. employees! And we're not going anywhere!

Have been advised to contact Lawcall, so will begin to tackle issues tomorrow. Again, many thanks.

P.S. Have also downloaded the Confidentiality Policy posted yesterday. Very interesting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

Losing wages to attend training that benefits the setting isn't nice.

 

I have to say that I disagree with this comment. These staff members were training fro a level 3 qualification this is a qualification that they will take with them onto their next job if they ever leave and would receive the benefit of being able to run their own setting or managing another.

 

If this were eg a EYFS course or a dealing with challenging behaviour course then I think they could argue the toss, however a level 3 is a qualification and if the staff decided that they want to go and do this then it should not be up to the setting to pay their wages while they better their own CV. I do not pay for my staff members to to courses like this as this is more for their benefit not mine.

 

Debs

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