SHOULD TEACHERS GET PAID LEAVE ON YOMTOV?
I work for Brent Education Authority. I have been refused unpaid leave for Succot, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah by my line manager, even though I have observed them throughout my teaching career ( JC, October 3).
I would like to know if any of your readers who work for this education authority as teachers have encountered a similar problem this year. Rosalind Schogger firstname.lastname@example.org This dispute over days off school for Yomtov observance has been going on for many years.
When I first started teaching, in 1950, there were only two Jewish teachers in Bristol local-authority schools. I was one, and the other teacher, who was much older than me, had never been paid for her days off for Yomtov.
I felt that this was very unfair, and knew that one of the people on the Bristol Education Committee was Jewish. She campaigned on our behalf, and in a short while the committee allowed us pay for days taken off. Vera Feldman Knightlow Road, Birmingham One of your readers has had difficulty getting time off for Yom Kippur with pay. When I was a lecturer, all staff were allowed three days a year with pay for religious observance.
Who changed the rules? Stuart Alan Chait email@example.com I don’t know what all the moans are about. I have just retired after working for 40 odd years and have — like many other Orthodox jews — had to take all the festivals as part of my holidays. I and countless others are still here, have put challah on the table, educated our children, etc etc. Stop spending time and my tax money bothering the local authority and moaning about it, and get on with your lives. Phil Cammerman The Fairway, Leeds LS17 The real employers of teachers are their students. Nobody mentions the effect on students when their normal teacher is replaced by a locum. How did Mike Fligg ( Letters, October 10) make up his work hours in a way which ensured that his students had the full benefit of his teaching skills? Natalie Kehr Natalie@kehr.co.uk We too were sorry to hear about Lucy Nuttgens’s troubles taking time off teaching to observe Jewish festivals. Fortunately most teachers do not have these problems, though many teachers end up forced to take time off work as unpaid leave.
We are currently running an online survey on this issue and would appreciate hearing of all experiences, both positive and negative ( http://tinyurl. com/4q65p7). Daniel Needlestone Chair, The Jewish Teachers’ Association firstname.lastname@example.org