Letter - Highly provocative and an insult to teachers

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IN response to Coun Olivia Rowley’s letter of two weeks ago, I feel the following vital points need to be raised.

With regard to Wakefield Music Service and the proposal to remove Qualified Teacher Status from some of its staff, this is a highly provocative move which is an insult to the teaching profession and to the qualifications and experience staff have worked hard to achieve over many years.

This sends out a worrying message to parents and pupils. Apart from being an extremely difficult proposal in terms of the legal position which many staff feel ready to challenge.

Coun Rowley conveniently omits to mention that this proposal potentially involves a significant loss in salary of up to £14,000 in some cases plus staff gave an extra 2.5 hrs onto their working contracts only 16 monhts ago.

This being greatly in excess of the sacrifice that other sectors are being expected to make.

Staff are also being expected to work to exactly the same contract as before with no apparent negotiation.

The proposal has the potential to signal the demise of the Music Service as staff will look to go where their professional qualifications are recognised and respected and remaining staff will see no career path or development leading to a very strained working atmosphere.

Although a period of consultation is taking place staff are concerned that meaningful negotiations are not and would like to warn fellow council employees that if you have studied, trained and developed your skills and gained nationally recognised qualifications, you could be next in line.

A Staff Member

- identity withheld