• Cycle Experience/TTC, Bikeworks, Cycle Confident, Cycle Instructor, British Cycling, The Bike Project, Wheels for Wellbeing, London Bike Hub. Also a number of councils and others like Sustrans, LCC and others that use instructors.

    With new contracts for delivery with councils being tendered and due to be decided some don't want a repeat of Bikeworks move into Tower Hamlets and instantly cutting the pay of all those working from £18/hr to £16/hr along with aggressive gig economy working conditions and tactics.

    I met someone in the week that was NSIP so was told they would get a lower rate of pay £70/day to deliver bikeability, historically this payment was worked out as being for delivery of 4hrs training with 2 groups between 9am-3:30pm and amounted to £15/hr+£10 for the extra time setting up and that would repeat for 4 days so each kid had 8hrs training. In more recent times the provider has juggled the times organising with the school to move breaks so they deliver training nonstop all day for 3 days and teach 3 groups, it's so broken that on paper they deliver training from 8:30am one of the days to meet the hour requirements set by bikeability and taking kids out for 2 sessions of a course intended to be spread across an extra day makes it harder to deliver. Checking bikes before and packing away after mean if all goes as planned they now work 8:30am-4pm with a 30min break that's often inturupted or worked as they need to talk with teachers and such to make the courses fit. When you do the math £70/day for 8hrs works out to be £8.75/hr and as they are then "self employed" making employers contributions the wage they get is significantly lower than the national minimum wage.

    This stuff is all over the cycle training now. One provider I worked for did a copy+paste of old CTUK policy intended for actual employees who would get payment for the time they spent following the policy and just decided they want instructors to pour hours of work into following the policy for 0 pay, this was all to tick higher boxes on how they had done CPD/QA. How CPD/QA requirements will do anything but push training providers to further bludgeon the workforce to present themselves as better than the others in a violent bidding war, I've no idea.

  • Thanks for that full picture. I hadn't heard of Cycle Experience/TTC yet. It's worrying how employment standards are sliding. Good luck with the union.

  • That is a small corner of a much larger picture. I have an ongoing tribunal claim against Bikeworks(it predates my joining the union), if I didn't would be a huge rant here about my own experiences as an instructor and not just a couple of paragraphs of things others have experienced.

    I've joined to help others, I've experienced and seen enough to the point I can no longer brush it off as mistakes and accidents but very deliberate and disgusting workplace practices that are copied across all the training providers for profit. I'll do what I can to ensure it changes.

    I think the biggest fallout from this will be if a council decides to sue a training provider. I've seen similar before when a council contractor decided to use subcontractors and broke an agreement by doing so. If a provider has tendered and entered into a contract stating clearly that staff of that company would provide training then it comes out that they are using external contractors for training it could all get a bit crazy. Lots of councils are also making living wage pledges which the training providers can't prove they keep if instructors can subcontract.

  • Cycle Experience have held the contract for Wigan for several years.

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