Page 1 of 2


Posted: 7 Feb 2020, 6:20pm
by DeVlaeminck
Any instructors comment in this? When I started as a trainer we worked 2 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon , claimed 6 hours to account for travel, turning up a little early to sign in, admin, certificates etc.

That was then cut to 2.5 hours a session.

That has now been cut to 2 hours, so we cycle to a school, work 2 hours, have an enforced unpaid 75 minute break from 12-1:15, then work 2 hours. No travel time, no travel expenses.

Yes I am planning on jacking it in - just wondered if this was typical. I don't do it purely for money but I feel our work is being used to subsidise full time staff. There is precious little oversight of standards or if trainers do a decent job, pack up early etc and it's just very demoralising when you are trying to do the best job you can for the kids. This is a local authority rate of pay I think is just over £9 per hour.

With the announcement bike ability is being expanded maybe there should be a set wage for trainers .

Re: Pay

Posted: 7 Feb 2020, 9:45pm
by pedals2slowly
I work for a local authority that pays mileage from home to site but not the hours (Which i don't mind as I invariably get a nice bike ride out of it)
They pay £9.55 per hour (NSIQ) plus £1.38 per hour to cover holiday entitlement etc.

Yes, it's a zero hour contract, lunch time lost is lost and so essentially we are doing it as a voluntary activity, but it's fun isn't it?
IMHO it should be a properly paid job but you've got to be realistic.

If you don't enjoy it, move on.

Re: Pay

Posted: 8 Feb 2020, 10:05am
by DeVlaeminck
Yes that is probably what I shall do, fortunately I have other types of work I can do.

I don't think it should be seen as a voluntary activity though - yes it can be fun - it can also be hard work especially on a cold day standing out on the street morning and afternoon all week. It's funded at a reasonable level and that should allow instructors to be paid accordingly - nobody expects to get rich out of it but if I'm out of the house for 6.5-7 hours of the day without commuting outside my home town being paid for 4 hours of that seems unfair. My objection is that funding being used as a money making operation to fund full time office staff whose jobs are effectively paid for by the people doing the delivery.

The other point is realistically in a 2 hour paid slot if you arrive at "work" dead on and leave dead on the kids are getting nowhere near the time on the road that they are supposed to and often you'll get comments from the school that "we thought you weren't coming" - so if you actually want to deliver what the kids are supposed to get you are working time unpaid. Our delivery I'd guess the afternoon groups typically get 4 hours level 2 -that's a group of 5 or 6 - that falls well short of the 5-6 hours minimum that is stipulated. Of course it depends when you time it from - do you time it from ringing the school door bell and waiting to sign in, show your DBS, find out where the kids are, get the bikes out etc etc or do you time it from the kids being ready to leave the premises with bikes .

Anyway rant over - as you say probably best to move on to something new.

Re: Pay

Posted: 8 Feb 2020, 4:20pm
by Si
Iirc, freelancers that I worked with at sustrans were on £10 ph, I think bikeright were somewhere around £15,. BC were £15 , and Birmingham council, then BBB when they took over were about £19ph.....although the lead is expected to do extra stuff beyond the paid session.

Considering the responsibility and limited hours, i think that £10 ph is pretty rubbish. If you are semi retired and looking for a small extra income then you are probably ok, but if you can only get four hours per day, and maybe 20 weeks per year then you are going to struggle to live on it.

The govt have made noises about every kid in the country getting have to wonder where all the instructors are going to be found.

Re: Pay

Posted: 9 Feb 2020, 10:23am
Cycling UK have said that it won't work because the infrastructure is not available, that is to get millions on pushbikes.

on the pay, what is the recognised employee rate?
What ever it is you need to times this by at least 1.75 if you are not employed directly.
It should not be that because you are either self-employed or on a contract which does not give you full employment rights, you are deemed to be supplementing your income with other income you have.

Unfortunately many of the people who probably set the rates haven't got a clue what the difference is between being employed and being self-employed.
This will need sorting if the government intend to push ahead with the floored training program.

I have no idea what is zero hours contract really means, but my idea is that it's minimum wage, you are expected to be on call 24 hours a day, if your income is then insufficient to support yourself you will need to be topped up by benefits.

"Self-employed basis "
"freelancer (could be either self-employed or employed on a contract) "
Both these phrases are banded around but neither of them has any meaning, A bit like common law wife husband.

And any rate should be a employed rate.
Otherwise it would be a contract to do the job.
You would be a fool to enter into a contract unless You had already taken into account all your expenses, that you don't get cover for When you are fully employed.

The fact that you may well be financially well off and or retired et cetera et cetera should not come into it at all, otherwise these jobs are only for people who are already financially okay and do not need the money?

of course if we say that a part time job should have full employment status there in lies the problem.
Part time jobs are only for the very poor all very well off.
The poor will need benefits to top up their income to survive, the well-off don't need the money, people don't realise that they are subsidising the work by doing it so cheaply.
The employer wins hands down.

These jobs should not simply be for the well off retired people.

Re: Pay

Posted: 9 Feb 2020, 11:38am
by pedals2slowly
In the organisation I work for NSIs have many different circumstances.
Some work pretty much full time and earn say £2000+ a month in busy summer term time months.
Most of these have other jobs, such as kitchen fitter, gardener, children's entertainer etc which fill in the school holidays and quiet periods.
Others (like myself) choose to work a few days a month as it suits my personal circumstances. My income is minuscule compared to anyone in full-time employment, but so are my out-goings.
The zero hours contract is what I want, it means I can pick and choose the hours I work, it's a bit more than minimum wage, certainly not on call 24 hours a day and no need for benefits if you have other work.
If the job became full-time I would be unable to do it due to my other responsibilities.
Yes I'd like to be paid a going rate, which I think should be on par with supply teachers.(Consider the responsibility of taking young children on the road in all weather with that of looking after them in a classroom!)
All the NSIs I've worked with are perfectly able to find other work if they want to.
It is your choice, feel free to lobby for better conditions but that does seem a bit futile under the current government.
I think many NSIs are motivated by wanting to see more people cycling and prepared to work on a semi-voluntary basis to do that.
Don't be surprised if the move is towards fully voluntary rather than fully professional!!!

Re: Pay

Posted: 10 Feb 2020, 6:47pm
by DeVlaeminck
I agree with much of what you say though if the govt are willing to fund this at £40 per child they should at least ensure that they are getting value for money for that.

If you want competent experienced people to work more than a very few hours a month then the best way to achieve that is to pay them fairly - something that should be achievable from existing funding levels. Yes you will get good people to do a little bit for not much as a kind of hobby and that is pretty much what I've been doing recently and it sounds you have a similar approach but we wont maintain let alone increase bikeability training levels of a decent quality on that basis.

Re: Pay

Posted: 10 Feb 2020, 8:35pm
by passing the junction
I agree with much of what you say though if the govt are willing to fund this at £40 per child they should at least ensure that they are getting value for money for that.

It's been £40 since the grant first started - 2007? - it wasn't a vast amount then and it's worth even less now. Self-employed Instructors especially get squeezed.

The Bikeability Trust have accelerated a trend of professionalising Instructors' role but de-professionalising the terms and conditions. "Doing it for love" doesn't make it OK to be ripped off.

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 9:30am
by Si
This is another problem that I think bikeability may be bringing on themselves - don't know about other areas but where I am there is a reliance on volunteers to teach adults as part of community cycle clubs and similar. Now that we have the new standard with the requirement for extra training, registration and on going costs I can see a number of these volunteers giving up as donating their time is one thing but having to pay to be allowed to donate their time is taking the mick!

I know of several who have stopped and others who are just sticking to the old standard, given that it does a perfectly good job of teaching people to ride......however they may then find themselves in a grey area insurance wise.

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 11:50am
by Vorpal
I only taught Bikeability for a few years when I was doing an online master's degree.

It was good for having a little money coming in & getting me out of the house, but not for a proper job. We got paid 5.5 hours per day, plus 3 hours per course for risk assessment and planning time. We also got paid mileage, and it was the same whether we drove or cycled. Theoretically, we had to pay taxes on the difference between the cycling rate & driving rate, but in practice it was almost nothing.

I considered applying for the safety officer job coordinating Bikeability instructors on behalf of the county council, but I had better earning potential elsewhere (and ended up taking a job in Norway :) ). IIRC the safety officer / coordinating job was full time and around £25,000 per year in 2012.

I enjoyed doing it, and honestly, if teaching Bikeability paid enough to support a family, I'd still be doing it.

Different companies / councils offer different levels of pay and benefits. There were a few private companies that paid considerably better than local councils. Also, those who teach the courses for instructors get paid a bit better.

edited to add: there have been a few other threads on here about pay, but most are a bit old, now

here are a couple...

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 12:11pm
The whole thing hinges around pay......................and how / not, you are employed with full time employee rights.
With out employee status your are doomed.
Some time back when I was self employed another worker was an employee of his own company.......obviously this can evade your normal income tax but does not give you employee status with benefits like working for a large firm / council.

So a typical full time instructor gets at some time £25k , not bad in 2012 with full benefits.
I would imagine employed with a agency is less favorable unless the agency has a good contract?

And benefits include a good company pension even a final salary one too.

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 1:05pm
by Vorpal
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:So a typical full time instructor gets at some time £25k , not bad in 2012 with full benefits.

There seems to be some misunderstanding. Most instructors are not full time, and most instructors do not have any benefits.

The £25,000 I mentioned above was for a full time job at the country council, not as an instructor, but as part of the road safety team, with responsibility for coordinating the Bikeability instruction across the whole county.

For instructors, the councils use volunteers, hire their own instructors through an agency, or they use a service provider. Some of the service providers pay better, but the hours are still not full time, unless instructors also do something else for the service provide, such as coaching.

When I was doing it, most weeks, I had 25 working hours. 4 days at 5.5 hours, plus some time for planning and risk assessment for the following week.
I had 29 hours a couple of times. But I also had weeks without any work at all.

I also did some work as a private instructor. But I had to pay for my own insurance for that. I only got enough work to cover the cost of insurance and make a little from it. I made so little doing that I didn't pay any taxes on it.

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 2:05pm
So as a cycling instructor (whatever that job entails) as I said further up post suitable only for-
Retired financially well off. / those who want to do low paid work for the Samaritan good feeling factor.
The employer relies on the fact that the naive / uninformed, taker of these jobs, will be unaware of what expenses will be involved with out any benefits, will be led into subsidizing through their other income?

I do feel many people are not aware of what adhoc part time work actually means.

The last time I submitted a price on a job 20 years ago, I worked it out backwards and it ended up at £28 / hour.
Based on doing it as overtime (after a days work), in my own premises without insurance :P , my best buddies would need free tea breaks :?
I paid my mates good tax free pay above their normal hours :? :(

The pluses were working at home, taking breaks whenever I needed, and actually earning over £60 / hour for my self :)
Everyone was happy.

But you see the way to make money is to use people..............................

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 2:26pm
by pedals2slowly
So as a cycling instructor (whatever that job entails) as I said further up post suitable only for-
Retired financially well off. / those who want to do low paid work for the Samaritan good feeling factor.

I think I understand your opinion, however it feels rather condescending.
It may appear so, but actually there are lots of instructors I work with who are earning enough to live on.
There are others who fill in with other jobs, so earn enough to live on.
There are others who have child care commitments and so working within school hours/term time is great.
For myself I have a family commitment that doesn't allow full time work. The hours I work suit me and I am not retired nor financially well off.
I wouldn't do it if it wasn't paid, I enjoy it.

The problem is nationwide and not confined to Bikeability- all the unpaid volunteers clearing footpaths, picking litter, driving people to hospital, volunteer lifeboatmen, firefighters etc. Helpers in any capacity are subsidising the state and denying people full time jobs. I don't think NSI's are going to change the national system that we have in place. At least we are paid an OK hourly rate, and you like it or lump it.

Anyone any proposals to help make it a more professional career????

Re: Pay

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 2:28pm
by pedals2slowly
Incidentally I have word of mouth from the highest authority in CUK that the funding for extra Bikeability WILL be forthcoming and repeated when I expressed my scepticism.
I'm not holding my breath!