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Paying Employees To Attend Meetings


Guest Spiral
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We have a new committee and they are considering all sorts of amazing things -applying for funds for additions to the outside area too!

 

One of the things they have been asking is whether the staff team would like to come along to their meetings. I'm in two minds, but then two of the team asked whether they would be paid and I can't remember whether this is allowable (I'm now worried about the complications), help please, any thoughts?

 

Spiral

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I think the gesture the committee has made was one of building a team and working together rather than giving an opportunity to get extra pay. I attend all the committee meetings at my setting as I feel that is the most important working relationship committee run pre-schools have. We need support from the parents on that committee in order to function as a quality setting. I think go along to a few meetings and encourage the committee members who seem to be enthusiastic and want good things for your setting.

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I think the gesture the committee has made was one of building a team and working together rather than giving an opportunity to get extra pay. I attend all the committee meetings at my setting as I feel that is the most important working relationship committee run pre-schools have. We need support from the parents on that committee in order to function as a quality setting. I think go along to a few meetings and encourage the committee members who seem to be enthusiastic and want good things for your setting.

 

Hello Adbenaja,

I agree, I do believe the committee are making a kind gesture, it is one of those difficult situations that creates difficulties and I'm worried I'll get stuck in the middle trying to please everyone. I was under the impression that there were reasons for not psying the staff to attend such meetings (attending just to get paid would be a good one).

 

We won't be able to afford it if all of the staff came along (and we'd need a bigger meeting room). The more I think about it, the bigger the problem gets.

Spiral :o

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Our staff don't get paid to attend committee or fundraising meetings, but then neither do the parents. I guess one could argue that the setting is for the benefit of their children but these days the responsibility is huge and the commitment bigger I feel, we cannot lose sight of the fact that parents are not being paid to be our employers either.

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Hi Deb, my sentiments exactly.

 

The committee are incredibly giving and it could be argued that if staff want to give up an hour or so every term then they are showing their own giving side. I know none of us are paid well, but the love of the job is the reason we stay!

 

thanks,

Spiral

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Spiral there are certainly rules about staff members serving on committees, and these will depend on your group's constitution. However I'm not aware of any rules about staff members being able to be paid for attending a committee meeting.

 

As to whether they should offer their time voluntarily I think that will depend on how they feel - if they are generally not asked to do very much outside of work hours then that might be one thing. However if they are routinely doing unpaid work at home then they may well be less receptive to this idea.

 

Maz

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My colleagues and I try to attend all the committee meetings in my setting. We are lucky enough to be paid for nearly all of our work outside the setting so have never expected to be paid for such meetings.

 

Lets hope that this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship between your new committee and your setting. :o

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we had only one staff member at committee meetings and they were paid, this was usually manager but not always... but our meetings were held during session time ( so children were cared for and parents did not have to find childcare ,a lot were single parents)

 

no reason why they could not be paid but they would have to look at constitution as to what sort of role they would have at the meeting. In most cases they would have no voice, unable to vote and only be there to see what was being discussed, would have to leave for any wages/ sensitive part of the meeting which discussed staff / other items only for committee.

 

At our AGM we had rights to vote and have a voice, as it was in out constitution.. which is unusual, but someone obviously felt it was a good move when they produced it...

 

We as staff were always given the minutes of the meeting afterwards so we always had an idea of what was happening.

 

Our staff always gave extra time for lots of things though...and always attending things unpaid, this was just one way that a few hours could be covered for their time..

 

 

Inge

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Guest babyjane31

As manager I am required to attend all committee meetings and often asked along to fundraising meetings, I have done this for several years without pay (or expecting to be paid). At the last committee meeting the committee informed me that they will now be paying me for attending meetings as a way of saying thank you for my committment to the job, which I thought was a lovely gesture, there are no rules that we are aware of that prevent staff being paid for meetings. My committee are very good and do value staff highly, they are all paid 5 hours non-contact a week and paid for any training they have to undertake in their own time, our fees and budgets are set accordingly as staff are seen as our main asset.

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We do the same as Inge, meetings during session time, leader attends but other staff are busy running the session.

 

To be honest, from my perspective as chair, I would say having too many people at a meeting would slow things down. It's great to do all the discussion stuff, but sometimes decisions have to be made. I try to keep our termly meetings to about an hour, if you're really focused it can be done in that time. I'd also feel a bit awkward discussing some of the things we talk about with all the staff there, particularly where the leader has to say about any low level staff issues that she's having.

 

We do pay staff to attend staff meetings, we're having an extra one today where our EYA is coming in to do some training with us.

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As others have said, there is no legal reason why staff can't be paid providing they are not on the committee itself and not involved in any voting etc. However, if you have a lot of staff it would probably be uneconomic for all of these to be paid for every meeting. As Suzie also says, too many voices can slow things down and meetings may tend to get longer and run on and on with no decisions being made.

 

That being said I personally think its imperative that there is at least one member of staff in attendance, preferably a senior member, who has the experience and knowledge to support the committee in their role. This also prevents a 'them and us' attitude from building up. I would also suggest that this person is paid to attend as a gesture of goodwill. Staff in committee run preschools tend to do enormous amounts of unpaid work outside of their contracted hours and are paid a pittance for the work they do in any case. Paying for an extra hour once a month is not going to break the bank, and if it is this suggests there are already serious sustainability issues!

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What a brilliant response, :o

 

there is lots to ponder and discuss - maybe that would take a committee meeting itself! xD

 

Personally, I'm still convinced that the role should be voluntary -as a gesture that there is mutual respect at the meeting as the rest aren't getting paid - equality?

 

I think it also shows the committee that those who attend the meeting are dedicated and financially it is more positive - I really don't think we could keep up if all of the staff came along - after all, we struggle at staff meetings to fit in the staff room (especially after the choc biscuits)! :(

 

We'll see what happes, will let you all know

Spiral

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I have always attended committee meetings (nearly 20 years now as committee and staff) always unpaid. We now have our staff attend on a rota basis. Myself & Deputy always attend other 6 staff take it in turns 2 at a time. I do feel that it is important to have some staff there. Certainly our committee would stuggle with no staff there. I feel quite strongly that staff shouldn't be paid for these meetings. Committee members aren't paid and I feel that if we expect them to come for nothing then why shouldn't we? I know we all do a lot out of hours for nothing but unfortunately that's the nature of the beast and has always been so in EY's.

As a committee member (I have served on our local PSLA branch for last few years) it drives me nuts when the senior DW tells us how the DW;s are attending without pay, dont have to attend and are just there out of the goodness of their hearts!! Well you know? what so am I!!

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