Make sure you know your rights

I am currently on a part-time, temporary contract in a Scottish school. Some months ago I approached the rector to ask him what position I would be in when the Scottish Executive carried out its plan to guarantee all probationary teachers a year's placement in a school.

He informed me that, if my job went up to 0.7, my contract would probably be terminated and a probationary teacher would replace me. I checked my position with my union and was told that, since I had been in post for more than a year , I had employment protection. The union would be prepared to provide legal assistance if my contract was terminated in this way.

I have since heard that some teachers in the same position as me have been told their contracts have been terminated and they are to be replaced by probationary teachers.

I am very concerned that colleagues might be treated like this. I would hope that anyone who has lost their job in this way would feel able to contact their union.

As I understand it, the law states that, whether you are part-time or temporary or part-time and temporary, if you have one year's service the employer must either redeploy you or make you redundant.

In other words everyone has the same rights to employment protection as a full-time, permanent member of staff.

I understand the Executive's concern for probationary teachers, but I do not think that a policy like this should be carried out at the expense of more experienced teachers.

Theresa Calderbank East Back Dykes Strathmiglo, Fife

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