Throughout #TECHOGNITION week, we asked technicians "If you could send a message to the (UK) government regarding your role as a school science technician, what would you say?". The replies can be found below.
"Since many state schools and colleges rarely offer starting salaries that exceed the Living Wage, the young and enthusiastic disregard the profession as a viable "career""
"We have the technical skills of multiple jobs, are heavily relied on by the science department and told we are invaluable part of the team, yet we're among the lowest paid in the school."
"As an authority we recently went through a job evaluation process for support staff. Based on 13 skill areas our jobs were reassessed & as Science Technicians our salaries remain lower than most Administrative staff in schools."
"Technicians are the first point of call for advice for teachers. Many of them have come from industrial and medical backgrounds and are more qualified than the teachers. This needs to be respected and publicised."
"Schools are run by teachers.Our skills are different from teachers' and therefore deemed to be inferior. When teachers' skills increase above a "threshold" they move on to a new pay scale. My years of experience count for nothing.
"Grades and pay for Science Technicians should reflect the specialist knowledge experience, responsibilities and duties that technicians perform. Salaries should also be for the whole academic year like teachers & not term time only!"
"Technicians do much more than preparing delivering & clearing Science practicals. Their expertise contributes to the safe and efficient running of the Science Department although the salary certainly does not reflect this.
a person employed to look after technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory.
More often than not employed on a pro rata basis on a wage equivalent to some supermarket workers."
"We are among the most highly qualified of support staff, we ensure all H&S regulations are adhered to & are required to mend old equipment due to lack of funds. We are an invaluable asset to the smooth delivery of practicals."
"Every day schools are losing incredibly talented technicians because of poor pay and conditions. When pay reviews are done and a technician and a cleaner fall in to the same pay grade something is seriously wrong."
"(schools need) to offer better pay scales. Working with corrosive, toxic and flammable chemicals, lifting and transporting heavy objects, always on feet but keeping health and safety first.
Increase Teacher to technicians ratio.
"Technicians are an essential & highly skilled workforce who play a key role in the running of a successful Science Department. Their salary does not reflect their contribution to the education of all pupils & teacher support they provide."
"I love my job and wish I could work my entire career in the field but I am currently job hunting as my low wage is topped up with housing benefit (i.e. the government pays me twice?!) and this isn't a secure platform to raise my young family on."
"I have a degree and I have to handle dangerous chemicals as part of my job to support the teaching of science in a secondary school. I get paid as much as the cleaners do - do you think this is fair ?"
"Science technicians are educated to degree level or above, & years of experience working in industry. It's time that science technicians are recognized and paid accordingly for the wealth of experience that they bring to their departments."
"Behind every successful School Science Department is a hard working, low paid Science Technician who gets very little recognition for their expertise and dedication."
"Without technician support and knowledge of their subject Science teachers would not be able to deliver safe effective practical lessons to their pupils.."
"Science Technicians are amongst the lowest paid support staff workers in schools despite their extensive knowledge and understanding of the subject required to deliver safe practical science."
"Technicians support teaching and learning by freeing teachers from preparation of practical lessons and demos. Technicians are in the front line with regards Health & Safety and provide a reservoir of experience and expertise"
"Given that I research experiments, carry them out, write them up including the addition of all data and graphs. My science department would find it more difficult without my input. I deserve more than minimum wage."
"Please allow us the funds to replace staff who leave and don't expect us to sometimes work in such a rushed manner that it is verging on unsafe."
"I would like enough funding to function really effectively. I'm sick of having to 'make do' because we don't have the budget to buy enough of the correct apparatus. I'm fed up of working unpaid over time to complete tasks."
"Science Technician needs to be seen as a career option, not a leisurely retirement earner. More schools want degrees, and are merging technical and teaching support but the pay grades and hours don't reflect these changes."
"I would like the government to realise the diverse skill set school science technicians need for our job role, we are on the same pay grade and cleaners and kitchen staff, yet we are often designing and adapting practicals."
"Without technicians practical science in schools would grind to a halt as teachers don't have the time (or the skills) to prepare equipment for themselves. Proper recognition of our role is long overdue!"
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