Below are thoughts from a 2014 conference discussion group - any comments, suggestions?
The group agreed that:
a. Instructors aren’t paid enough for the skills required for the job
b. ITOS and schemes should aim to increase the pay of instructors in order to have a reliable professional staff
c. Instructors should be encouraged to form a Guild or Union
As a scheme provider outside of London we pay our self employed instructors £80 per day as an NSIQ. NSIP's are paid £60 per day.
With a normal start time of 0830/0845 and a finish at 2.30 most days, this equates to an hourly rate of approx £13.33 including a paid lunch break. Take out a 30 min lunch break and the hourly rate is £14.54.
We value all our instructors giving them the best uniform we could find, including a waterproof jacket to 20,000 NM. We offer CPD, mentoring and a friendly enviroment to work in for all staff and have no issues with retaining them.
I saw on another thread of a pay rate £ 7ish for instructors. This is far to low for people who have such a responsible job.
I know there will be some schemes out there that may pay more or less than we do, but people are free to work for whoever they wish. The good schemes will have happy, reliable and positive staff. The schemes paying peanuts will probably not !!
No real concerns over a guild/union. Schemes will still pay what they want even if an instructor was in a union. With tenders being so competitive, one of the only ways to get the price per head down low, is to pay less, not provide decent uniform etc.
Maybe if all the schemes had to submit the same price per head for a tender, then instructors would have a better if idea if they were getting ripped off on pay.
I don't think it is up to ITOs to fight for instructor pay increases, rather schemes should pay the best they can to ensure quality.
By paying well, for example paying through the lunch break, schemes create a more viable profession. This means instructors will stay in cycle training longer, growing a better pool of experience.
Instructors should encourage each other to form a guild. It does seem like an excellent idea to support themselves in the marketplace.
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The Association of Bikeability Schemes.