Stranded workers to 'make up time'

TEACHERS and other public sector workers who were stranded abroad due to the Icelandic volcano face having their pay docked.

Monday, 26th April 2010, 3:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2010, 12:33 pm

Council staff, health workers and the police have been asked to make up the lost time while flights have been grounded.

Tam Milner, of the North and West Yorkshire branch of the teachers' union NASUWT, said: "It's crazy. Teachers give over and above the call of duty. Many of them work during the holidays and they don't then bill the authority for their extra hours."

Headteacher Jim Ryan of Batley Business and Enterprise College added: "I can't quite see how teachers can make the time back because the pupils are only in school at certain times."

He said eight teaching staff and three non-teaching staff had been stranded abroad and were expected back by the start of this week.

Supply teachers had to be brought in, costing the school at least 1,200.

Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton had seven staff off who were beginning to return last week.

Headteacher John McGee said: "I can't see how teachers can be expected to endure the cost and discomfort of being stranded abroad, to them come home and hear they are going to lose pay as well."

A council spokesman said: "The advice we have given to schools is that staff who have been absent should be allowed to make up as much time as possible. This can be done through working extra sessions, such as before and after the regular school opening hours."

He said some council staff might be required to take unpaid leave.

West Yorkshire Police have asked staff to cover any absences with annual leave, rest days, time off in lieu, overtime or flexi leave.

A spokesperson for Kirklees Community Healthcare Services said: "Whilst the organisation can't give free leave to people, KCHS will ensure that individuals are able to work time owing over the course of the year."